Get the latest news on the distance learning MBA.

Here's a report:

More than 100 accredited business schools now offer a Master of Business Administration degree via distance learning, which makes getting an MBA online more possible (and attractive) than ever before.

Like traditional MBA programs, distance learning courses include classical and current business theories and strive to teach students how to do a good job of managing and leading complex organizations in today's fiercely competitive business world. However, unlike many campus-based MBA programs that only require professors to have a Ph.D., most online MBA teachers also have real world business experience.

Distance learning has several advantages. No travel or parking costs. Courses are available 24/7 and accommodate students from different cultural backgrounds and levels of business experience. And even though some still consider an MBA from a bricks and mortar campus more "real", your "real" diploma won't give away the fact that you met your MBA requirements online.

Costs for acquiring an online MBA degree from an accredited school range from $5,000 to more than $100,000 for very similar curricula of 12 to 15 courses. Student loans are available at attractive interest rates. That may sound like a lot to spend, but remember that having an MBA degree can boost your salary by as much as 50% and vastly improve your job mobility.

Here are some things you should think about when seeking a distance learning MBA:

What's the curriculum? Will it give you the knowledge you need? Do you have the background to take it (math, statistics etc)? Can you afford it? Are the school's graduates successful or are they losers? Do they get the chicks?

Simon Midgley writes for the Times of London:

At any one time almost 25,000 British and foreign students are studying for an MBA by distance learning with UK institutions.

Edinburgh Business School, one of the world’s biggest, has 7,000 students and the degree is taught in English, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic or Chinese to students from 150 countries. The Open University has 6,500 students, Henley Management College 5,000 and Manchester Business School Worldwide 2,500. The remainder are studying with various business schools such as Warwick and Leicester.

It is big business. But is it worth it from the student’s point?

Is an MBA, or any other kind of masters degree, obtained by distance learning as valuable as one obtained by full or part-time, face to face instruction? Do potential employers regard such degrees as having equal merit? Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, which represents 600 big UK employers, is slightly equivocal.

“My sense is that some employers do have their own rankings for institutions and, therefore, may have a similar view on different modes of learning. But I do not think this is widespread. A sensible employer would probably want to judge applicants on what they can bring to the business, irrespective of the way they gained their masters.

“Ultimately it is not so much the way in which you have achieved the qualification that is going to make the difference, it is how you market the learning you have gained in an application for a job. Candidates need to emphasise what they have gained from distance learning and how they can apply that in the role to which they aspire.”

Gilleard adds that the OU careers department is keen to laud the motivation, dedication and enthusiasm of its graduates, which are all qualities employers seek. Such students may well be holding down a job and bringing up a family at the same time as studying, he notes. They need organisational skills to manage their time and to take control of their own learning, which is precisely what most employers seek. Dan Ganly, head of the MBA and executive development programme at Oxford Brookes, does not think it makes a difference whether a student does the course part or full-time, or by distance learning.

The key, he says, is that the degree is awarded by a school with a good reputation and is accredited by the Association of MBAs. Then employers will consider candidates’ track records, where they have worked before and whether their personality fits the culture of the organisation they aspire to join.

Here are five degrees that will help your business skills:

MBA in Marketing: Marketing is a crucial aspect of any business. Whether you're an entrepreneur, corporate slave, or marketing guru, knowing how to promote yourself and your business is a valuable skill.

Masters in Leadership: Have you got your sights set on a leadership position? Most companies won't just take your word for it that you have leadership potential. You need to prove it. One way to prove your worth is to get a Masters in Leadership.

Masters in Business Intelligence: We live in a fast-paced digital world in which finding information on everything from your competitors to your suppliers and customers is an important part of everyday business. With a degree like this, you'll be able to understand advancing technologies and processes, as well as learn how to collect and interpret information that you need to succeed.

Online MBA: An online MBA degree is great for the business professional looking for a good, all-around business education, but that doesn't have the time to attend traditional classes on campus. You can take classes from the comfort of your home, and earn your degree.

Master of Public Administration: This is the public sector equivalent of an MBA. Whether you are hoping to head up a city, school, or other public institution, an MPA degree will prepare you for just that, and set you apart from the pack.

I recommend these links about the distance learning MBA:

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