Is an Online Degree in Business Administration Worth It?
A general trend that colleges seem to be embracing is moving their course offerings online. Many people are interested in an online degree; Business Administration is a popular degree. But what is it that you get with your online degree, often this can be hard to determine.
As I was doing research for this article, I Googled the term “online degree, business administration” I found three ad-supported results at the top of the page. These were for SNHU.edu, Medaille.edu, and Ashford.edu. , 3 colleges that are actively trying to attract the online business administration student.
I wanted to get an idea of what it would cost to go through a full program of business administration online. The only place that I could determine this was DeVry University. All of the ad sponsored results did not provide me any information, they were interested in getting me into their funnel where they could have someone call me and discuss my options. I wasn’t interested in getting calls, I was interested in getting information.
At DeVry, at least I was able to reach a form that asked my interests and allowed me to reach an estimated tuition calculator. For the business administration program, $78,496 is the total program cost. My first year would cost $18,990. They estimate that the tuition will cost $18,270, and some sort of student services charge would be $80 (why that is not included in the tuition, I have no idea) and a course materials cost of $640.
It is expected that you would take 15 to 16 credit hours per semester with two semesters per year. This works out to $1187 per credit hour. In some semesters, it may be necessary to take 17 to 20 credit hours. If I take the overall cost of the degree program and divide by the number of hours required my result is $634 per credit hour.
What would I get for my $80,000?
The program objectives from their catalog indicate that I will be proficient in:
• effective oral and written and electronic communication.
• Leadership skills and working with a team
• develop business decision-making skills.
• Understanding the legal and ethical implications of the business activities.
• Using critical thinking and analysis skills solve business problems.
• Develop teamwork skills in real-world applications.
To do this, I will be taking classes in communication skills. There are four English credits that are required, five if I’m not enrolled in New Jersey. I’ll be taking three humanities courses and three courses in social sciences, as well as two courses in personal and professional development. Those are the courses that are required as basic courses before we even get focused on business administration.
I could go on and on about what this program is about, essentially, there is a lot of fluff in their program. If I wanted to learn about business administration, I would identify what it is that they think is the essential core of the program, identify textbooks that could provide me with that information and learn the information in those books. Most textbooks have question-and-answer sections at the back of each chapter that identify the core concepts that you need to know in each chapter. Answering these questions will provide you with feedback as to how well you have retained the information that you read. If I needed additional information that wasn’t included in these textbooks, I would pop over to the MIT open courseware curriculum and identify the resources that they have included in their curriculum, and use this as additional resources to learn the material.
Formal courses, sitting in class listening to a professor drone on about the information already provided in the text no longer interests me. I can glean the important information from a textbook without resorting to this general time waster. I can also research coursework online and view the information in another format if this is more effective for learning. Audio and video abound online. The largest problem is keeping focused on the task at hand when going online.
The World is Moving Online
The world is moving online, colleges are not keeping up with the information they need to be providing to be current in today’s marketplace. And to top it off, the earning power that you gain by having a degree is not commensurate with the investment required to get that degree.
One of the most successful online business people reached his success by providing online training products. The online model does work. Colleges, however, are padding their course offerings with extraneous material not directly related to the main topic.
I’d like to suggest to you that your investment can be more effective if it’s a redirected into entrepreneurship. Learn what you have to know to pursue your goals. If those are to work for someone else, then by all means, learn the knowledge that you need to pursue your dream job. In today’s environment, it makes more sense to work for yourself at something you love than to work for someone else at something they love.
I went to college for 20 years, I think that’s a record. At least the school that I attended thought it was a record and they forced me to complete my coursework on their schedule. This meant that I needed to leave a job that I was working, and go to school full-time to finish my remaining coursework. I had been working full-time at a job, and attending classes at night on a part-time basis. This was an economically feasible way for me to finish school. When I completed my education, it was already obsolete. I effectively had a worthless degree. But I had that degree.
The on-the-job training that I received while going to school and working full-time was much more valuable to me than the piece of paper. I was also not getting fulfilled, was working well below my level of expertise and expected that a college degree would actually give me the opportunity to advance in my work. This did not turn out to be the case.
Eventually, I needed to quit my job, start working for myself and created an opportunity for myself that has several benefits.
• Scheduling freedom – I can work where and when I want. Often it is much more than 40 hours per week, but I can do this when I want and I’m not subject to the schedule of others.
• Unlimited financial rewards – working on a time for pay reward system is an outdated concept. I can create something once and get paid for it over and over again.
• I did this while still working until I was able to replace my job income with online income.
If you are set on going to school and need to find a way to earn income while in school, this is a great way to start. If you’re contemplating going to school but still need to earn some income and save up for school, this is a good way to increase your earning power over a low-wage precollege earning level.
I also have learned some valuable skills, I already knew how to program because I went to school for engineering. The programming I learned, however, was outdated, I was able to update my skills to reflect today’s technology. I’ve also learned many valuable business-related skills. I’ve had to crack the books and learn accounting methods, I’ve had to learn marketing skills including copywriting. And in general, I think I have a much more rounded education. It is certainly more current and in line with today’s evolving technology.
I hope I’ve at least piqued your curiosity. Give this online learning community a look and you may find that there are benefits that go well beyond a standard college degree program. The price is much more attractive as well, you can get an entire year inside his community for less than the price of one credit hour. If you’re still not sure, there’s even a starter membership completely free. The starter membership course is just what it says, it’s a way for you to get your feet wet and see if you like what you’re learning. If you like it there is a premium membership which you can pay monthly or an annual membership.
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Is this something that interests you while you are online in school?