Distance MBAâ€”Earn a Degree Without Leaving Your Job
What is Distance MBA?
A Distance or correspondence course as the name suggests, is a degree or diploma course awarded to a student (candidate) who wishes to pursue the course from a “distance” away from the campus of the degree awarding university. The candidate may be an employee, a homemaker, a working woman, a student (feeling uncomfortable in physical/formal class setting), etc. It could also be anyone who wishes to pursue education at a comfortable amount of course fee and who manages to fulfill the required eligibility criteria for the course.
Thus, a Distance MBA is a pathway for those candidates who are willing to climb the ladder of success in the corporate world with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and are unable to shed their current condition to pursue an education in a formal class/campus setting.
What is the significance of an MBA degree?
An MBA degree is highly valued in the corporate, business or administration world. In fact, many recent studies still suggest that MBA helps working professionals to earn higher salary. MBA is also a good choice for those looking for a career shift. Many professionals who are stuck on the technical side of their profession find an MBA degree to be a ticket to top management position in big companies.
#Case Study: India
There are various countries with institutions that offer distance MBA. However, I’d take India as a case study in this post.
Which university/institute(s) offer a Distance MBA in India?
Over the past 2 decades, the Government of India has laid emphasis on continuing education through distance, correspondence or open Diploma, Certificate or Degree courses. Many universities and institutes have joined hands to promote higher education through distance mode. Some of them are:
- Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
- Sikkim Manipal University Directorate of Distance Education (SMUDE)
- Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning (SCDL)
- Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Global Access School for Continuing Education (NGA – SCE)
- Amity University, (Distance Learning)
- Institute of Management Technology, Centre for Distance Learning
- ICFAI University
- Annamalai University
How to apply?
Students can apply online or submit an offline application. Most institutes ask for following supporting documents —
- 10th and 12th Mark Sheets,
- graduation degree mark sheet/certificate,
- work experience certificates,
- ID proof(s),
For a distance MBA course, a candidate is required to have a valid scorecard of any of the management entrance tests as per recognition of a particular university. The leading management entrance tests recognized by most of the universities for an MBA or equivalent degree course are as follows:
- OPENMAT (IGNOU)
- NMAT (NMIMS)
- SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test)
- IBSAT (ICFAI)
- There is no age criteria in most of the universities for pursuing a higher degree or distance MBA
- A candidate seeking admission to a distance MBA course must be a graduate of 3 years or equivalent irrespective of any discipline from a recognized university or institute as per University Grants Commission (UGC) or Association of Indian Universities (AIU) regulations.
- A candidate must pass the entrance tests as specified by the university.
- Many universities may require a candidate to be having a certain length of work experience or presently working in a company or industry.
Most of the universities award an AICTE approved distance MBA degree or Post Graduate Diploma certificate or autonomous degree courses as recognized by the Ministry of Human Resource Department, Government of India.
Candidates are allowed a minimum of 2 — 3 years for completing their MBA degree and a maximum of 8 years as the deadline for the completion of the degree course.
Candidates are sent printed, audio — visual, etc. study materials at the candidate’s address and assignments are sent via email.
Some of the class sessions are also held a few weekends as per university criteria at study centres or in some cases at the campus. The study centres, for an instance for IGNOU are situated in many places of India.
Online mode of learning, e-lectures, guest lectures, MOODLE, etc. are provided by universities for quality education and instruction.
A continuous assessment via assignments and examinations is carried out so as to test the candidate’s learning and understanding.
Counselling, theory and practical sessions are held timely at the study and regional centres for the candidates.
There are also reasonable exit policies for the candidates, thus if a candidate opts out of the course after a certain completion of course, then he/she shall be awarded at least a diploma in the course selected.
The course fee varies from one university to another with as low as $226 (INR 15000) per course to as high as $1511 (INR 100,000) per course
The additional study materials, examination fees, courier charges and other costs of counselling, practical sessions, etc. may be charged as university vary.
Since many courses are low at cost due to the nature of instruction and distance education norms, yet education loans for eligible students are available for students to pursue distance MBA.
There are many roles for which distance MBA candidates may apply in the future, a few of which are as follows:
- Project Manager
- Supply Chain Head
- Operations Manager
- Marketing Executive
- Human Resource Manager
- Planning & Organising Expert
- Project Manager
- Resource Management
- Accountant (Managerial role)
- Project Supervisor
Salary raise is mostly seen in candidates who have an MBA (either a traditional or a distance) degree.
Distance MBA is a great way for working professionals to climb up the career ladder fast. Besides that, they can also transition into a new role. Many organization consider only those candidate with an MBA for certain position. Working professionals find it tough to get a regular MBA without leaving their jobs and thus they get stuck in their career. Distance MBA is a great way to get out of this situation.