If you are a working professional, upscaling your educational qualifications while working full-time can be a near-impossible task. For people who are busy with their professional lives, an MBA done through distance learning mode may seem like a lifesaver option. Well, how true is that? Also, you may ask, are distance MBAs worth it? Are there any alternatives to distance MBA in Dubai? In this blog, we will explore the utility, scope and validity of a distance MBA in the UAE.
What is a distance MBA?
It is conventionally referred to as the ‘correspondence course,’ in which educational materials and learning resources are dispatched to students such as text in printed format via postal mail or as PDF through email. The curriculum will be similar to the regular MBA in most Universities. Some institutions may swap certain modules/coursework of regular MBA with suitable alternatives to accommodate the inherent features of a distance learning program.
For example, in Universities hailing from South Asia, there are industry visits, internships and case study-based projects in the final semester of an MBA, but for distance learning candidates the University may offer additional subjects to complete, assignments and coursework that can be completed in the distance mode itself. The best examples of Universities offering distance MBA programs in the world are Indra Gandhi Open University from India, and the Open Distance Learning (ODL) initiative by the Open University of Malaysia.
Just like every other distance learning course, a distance MBA is also heavily dependent on the learner’s ability to self-learn and discipline to practice what’s learned. There is less or no room for interaction between an expert and the student, therefore the focus and attention required by the student is significantly higher. If the curriculum is structured in English, the learners’ command over the English language can also be a success-determining factor.
When compared with a regular MBA, a distance MBA lacks a lot of important features and benefits, but the best benefit of a distance MBA is its flexibility. With the infusion of distance learning, any MBA aspirant can complete a business master’s in the comfort of their homes and at the pace they want.
Validity of Distance MBA
If you are opting for an approved University or an educational body for your distance MBA, the validity is assured by the governing body. For instance in the case of an Indian University, if the distance education programs are regulated by statutory bodies like the AICTE and the University is approved by UGC and DEB. If you are opting for a distance MBA from an educational body with all the necessary affiliations required by the Ministry of Education of that country, then it will be valid and treated the same as a regular MBA on record.
Is a distance MBA valid in the UAE? This is a question that comes up in the minds of a lot of people who consider a distance MBA option in the UAE. Circling back to the previous example, if you are holding a distance MBA degree from an Indian University which is approved by UGC, AICTE and other statutory body, then the certificate can be attested through Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thus making it valid to be used for visa purposes and other requirements for a getting or maintaining an employment opportunity.
Reasons to ThinkTwise About a Distance MBA
It’s time-consuming: Learning vast syllabuses with a mentor is possible, but it is time-consuming. It may take you more than 2 years to complete a master’s through the self-learning method, this is the reason why open universities like IGNOU offer relaxed duration extension options to its students.
Difficulty in grasping new concepts: Self-learning can be fun and easy when you are exploring new dimensions of concepts that are familiar to you, but in the case of new and complex topics, it’s just the opposite. With the advent of the internet, there is information available everywhere, but it will never match structured guidance from a mentor. You may find it difficult to understand the practical application of concepts and methods learned through text may not translate to realizing its potential in real life – which an experienced person may be able to explain in real life.
Lack of acceptance in the private sector: In the private sector, there are companies that still treat distance education qualifications with a level of filter. The logic behind the classification is not completely irrational. For instance, a person who attended a regular or a blended MBA program will surely have more exposure to experienced faculties, industry exposure programs, seminars, workshops and more which make them more adaptive and responsive to what they learn in the classroom and from the text. Companies value that practical know-how and ability more than mere theoretical knowledge.
The above are some key drawbacks in practical life when opting for a distance MBA. There are many other drawbacks too, but let’s share some positive news with you. There are MBA learning formats that bring the best of distance and regular MBA – MBA in blended mode and online MBA. Let’s have a quick look at them.
Alternatives - MBA in Blended Mode & Online MBA
An online MBA is completely done through online mode so that it facilitates the important key feature of distance learning – the ability to attend the program remotely. The key difference that makes the online MBA stand out from distance MBA counterparts is the nature of regular classes and follow-ups by the University faculty and staff via online learning management systems. In online MBA the classes happen as per the University schedule and the students can attend the live sessions. A recorded session will also be available for future reference. In online learning, you can interact with your peers, faculty and staff of the University giving you a remote university experience.
In the case of MBA through blended learning, the classes happen online, but other course activities such as seminars, workshops, boot camps etc, happen offline giving every aspirant the option to learn online and plan for activities that are scheduled for offline. An MBA completed through blended mode will be treated same as a regular program due to its hybrid nature and innovative approach.
Atlas Group of Institutions is a pioneer and UAE’s leading educational service provider for online MBA and blended MBA. We offer UAEs most affordable MBA program. If you are interested, connect with us to know more.