Human resources professionals looking to develop their skills and increase their earning power are increasingly turning to online MBA programs. A 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Education showed that almost one million graduate students attended classes online, with over 75 percent of those students earning their degrees exclusively online. Similarly, the National Center for Education Statistics found that between 2003 and 2012 the percentage of graduate students who took distance education courses more than doubled.
What has driven this shift in education? Distance education technology has improved over the past decade, bringing faster video and more interactive methods of instruction. There are more advantages to online MBAs that have HR professionals choosing to pursue this path.
Earn While You Learn
For one, HR professionals can continue to earn while they learn. Online education provides flexible scheduling for students who would rather work while earning a degree. For an HR-focused MBA, online education is particularly apt. Working professionals can immediately apply the skills taught in an HR-focused MBA program, seeing immediate returns on their educational investments.
That knowledge sharing works in both directions. As a working professional in an HR-focused MBA program, you have valuable insight into your industry. That insight can provide case studies for your graduate work and advance practical knowledge in the field. Given that online MBA programs with an emphasis on HR are designed for working professionals, nontraditional students are welcomed and actively sought out.
Perfect For Nontraditional Students
Nontraditional students can excel in online environments, especially with a practical MBA focused on HR. Heather Stringer, reporting for the American Psychological Association, points to a possible reason why: “By comparison, nontraditional students are more apt to turn to task-oriented coping strategies to overcome the stressor, such as thinking about what steps to take next and devising a plan of action.” These strategies mesh well with the nature of an HR-focused MBA, in that task-oriented behaviors lead to workplace success.
Networking for the 21st Century
More students are turning to online for an HR-focused MBA due to the advances in technology, the opportunities for networking in an online program are increasing and are reaching the level of those offered by a brick-and-mortar MBA program. The technologies that fuel 21st-century education are also driving 21st-century commerce. Students in an online HR-focused MBA program get the chance to network with other HR professionals not only in their state, but also throughout the nation and world. Online MBA programs widen the scope of professional networks from local to global.
Online MBA programs that focus on HR provide a number of advantages for 21st-century working professionals. As virtual networks connect more people across the world, highly skilled human resources professionals are in demand. As connected HR professionals, graduates of online HR-focused MBA programs are in a prime position to drive behavior and personnel management in order to connect labor and business. As these trends in 21st-century education have shown, professional development can be convenient, flexible and affordable while still being rigorous and rewarding.
Learn more about the UL Lafayette online MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management.