Scope of MBA in Distance Learning

A degree in business administration is one of the most popular courses being pursued today. There are a large number of colleges and institutions which offer MBA degrees or PGDM programs. The most coveted programs are the ones offered by top notch B-Schools like IIM, Symbiosis, etc. However not everyone qualifies for these courses and there are many who are unable to study full time for various reasons.

The regular courses are also very expensive and this might be a deterrent for students wishing to pursue an MBA but are unable to afford the expensive colleges. One need not lose hope as there are other ways to pursue an MBA from a good college/institution. We will focus on distance learning programs as one such method to pursue an MBA.

Top Institutes which offer MBA through Distance Learning:

The Distance MBA program, the name itself recommend is concentrated on by means of correspondence mode. The main reason you would pursue an MBA is to have an edge in the very competitive job market. In such a scenario if the degree has no relevance or value it is definitely valuable money and time lost. So the first criterion is to select a good institute.

Fortunately, there are lot of good institutes and colleges which offer excellent correspondence courses. Some of the top institutes are:

  • Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Yashwantrao C Maharashtra Open University
  • Sikkim Manipal University
  • Amity University – Centre of Distance Learning
  • ICFAI University
  • MIT School of Distance Education
  • IMT Distance and Open Learning Institute
  • Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning
  • Dr B R Ambedkar Open University
  • Annamalai University

Accreditation:

In India there are six types of institutes offering Distance Learning (DE) today, the prominent ones being National level and state level open universities. To give them due recognition and to bring them under a common roof, the UGC-DEB accreditation was introduced. So any course recognised or accredited by UGC-DEB is treated at par with regular MBA courses in India.

Another important institute for accreditation of Distance learning MBA programs is AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). A thorough research is required and you should choose your college based on its accreditation and recognition especially if you are looking for an opportunity in career growth.

General Fees Structure:

Most of the MBA courses are structured for two years and the fees range from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1, 50,000 for the entire course. As you can see the cost of MBA through distance learning is significantly less. There are various payment options like EMI and part payments which lessen the financial burden on the student.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for an MBA you must have completed 12 years of studies under 10+2 pattern followed by a three year graduate degree. Some universities like IGNOU also expect three years of work experience. Graduate equivalent diplomas are not accepted. Apart from this most institutes conduct an entrance test.

Entrance Exams for Distance MBA:

Most institutes’ conduct an entrance examination and the performance of the student in these tests are considered along with the basic educational qualifications as mentioned above for admission.

Some universities like NMIMS, Amity University and etc do not conduct an admission test and eligibility is based purely on the educational qualifications of the student. Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning and Sikkim Manipal University for Distance Education conduct entrance exams and students who have qualified any state or national level entrance test for MBA are exempt for taking the entrance test. IGNOU conducts OPENMAT management aptitude test.

IMT conducts an entrance exam but certain categories of students like working professional with two years’ work experience, students who have scored first class marks above 60%, technical or legal professionals, and holders of PG diploma of IMT CDL’s programme are exempted for the entrance tests.

General Course Structure and Duration for Distance MBA:

Students are provided study material by the institute/University. Contact classes are also conducted. Most of these classes are conducted on weekends so working professionals can also benefit from these classes. The Universities provide a list of places where contact classes are held in your city/town/village and you can choose the most convenient location to attend. Some Universities like Sikkim Manipal provide a dedicated student advisor who helps and guides the students during the entire course. Usually examinations are conducted twice a year and a certain weightage is given to the assignments.

Apart from undergraduates, correspondence courses are the most popular form of study for working individuals as it is usually taken up for enhancement in career and/or better prospects for future growth. In some cases the company itself sponsors the course to enhance knowledge and keep their employees updated with the latest in the industry. For working professionals the added boon of correspondence courses is the flexibility these courses offer in terms of completion of course, date of examination etc. For example an MBA from IGNOU can be completed any time from 2 to 8 years.

So to sum up the advantages of MBA in Distance Learning

  1. Eligibility criteria: Anyone with a graduate degree can apply. Admissions usually based on performance in an entrance test
  2. Credibility: A degree from an accredited college has same value in terms of knowledge and job opportunities as a regular degree
  3. Flexibility: Students can complete the course at their own pace and convenience which makes it feasible for busy professionals, housewives and other categories of students to study an MBA.
  4. Cost factor: Courses are less expensive and there is no compromise in terms of knowledge or job opportunities.

The only disadvantage is that the salary packet will not be on par with the ones offered to graduates from top notch B-schools; that is definitely incomparable but since the whole point of this article is to provide an alternative to the B-school and regular classes this comparison is actually not relevant here.

In conclusion we can say that a student aspiring for an MBA degree can definitely look at distance learning as one the options without compromising on knowledge, quality of education and a good opportunity for career enhancement and future growth in career path.

Regular Courses VS Distance Learning MBA

Everyone knows that education plays a important role in our life. We learn from education more things that we use in our life. But it’s only a basic education that teaches us how to live in a decorous manner. But after basic education, we go forwards to higher education. Some of us want to jobs and some looking for higher education. But good jobs get only those people who have a higher educational degree like MBA programs. Presently, we can get higher education in two ways- regular mode and distance learning mode. In regular classes, we can get a good quality education, but at that time we can’t do any other work, I mean jobs and other professional business. So this mode of education learning is not so much good for working people. In such case they have to leave their jobs for attending regular classes. And mostly in India, there will be limited seats in regular courses and a very high competition in such courses like Executive MBA. While in distance learning mode like correspondence learning among the professionals is very popular. Because they don’t need to leave their jobs and easily can get a higher degree like distance learning MBA.

But in this mode there is lack of interaction between faculty and students. So this mode is applicable only for sharp minded students and those able to study themselves. And they are able to find solutions themselves.

In such cases we can say this mode is also not so good for less than average knowledge students. But to remove these constraints of distance learning academic intellectuals searched a new way- “Online Education”. We can say it has created a new revolution in the field of distance learning. In this mode you can take classes like a real regular class in your home and at your flexible time. So we can say for online MBA programs, you can do it with your job and after completion of it you can achieve a higher education degree and promote your self in your business fields.

Full Time MBA Vs Distance Learning MBA

There has always been a debate amongst the MBA applicants while choosing between a full time MBA and a distance education MBA. Students always get confused whether a full-time or a distance program would be apt for them. Should they get a degree from one of the country’s leading colleges or avail the benefits of getting a degree just from home? If studying from home is a better option then what is the credentials of distance courses? Also, it is important to know how full-time education is different from distance education programs.

Distance learning MBA:

Distance courses are designed especially for those who cannot afford to quit their job to pursue an additional degree. They either have to support a family or just do not want to sit at home and put a stop to their income. It offers an added benefit of not having to attend lecture and still availing a qualification.

Distant learning is an offline process where students get enrolled in to some distance education universities. They are then provided with all the necessary study materials and books. Students get the complete liberty to prepare for the exams on their own and as they wish. They just have to give a final examination at the end of the course tenure.

Full time MBA:

Full time MBA courses are conventional ways of getting yourself educated in a professional manner. It is obvious that the curriculum for full time courses is always better than distant courses as they include a much detailed approach. Full time courses include extensive training and practical sessions along with internal and semester examinations that help students to develop their skills in the best possible way. However, this is not the case with distance courses.

Furthermore, in some cases, the distance learning MBA degree is not considered and companies show an indifferent attitude towards candidates with such degree. However, the scenario varies for working professionals who want to pursue higher degree for better career prospects. In such cases, it is understood that it is not possible for working people to go for a regular syllabus and distance program is the only option left with them.

Finally, it is important to be self motivated if you want to gain knowledge and success through MBA programs. Hence, get yourself disciplined and organized.

Also, distance learning MBA costs lesser than full time courses. Also, these days there are a number of distance learning institute that offer you varied course options, such as distance MCA programs, distance MBA program, distance BCA courses and so on.