Andy West asked:
The Master’s in Business Administration degree, or MBA, has been around for years, but evolved as management styles and business structures have changed over time. Today, top online MBA programs focus less on theories of management and more on proper leadership skills. The trend began in the late 1990’s and continues to gain momentum as more and more companies acknowledge that the way in which senior management and executives interact with their employees is crucial to getting the results they need.
The days of brutal, backstabbing competition and ruthless management like in the movie “The Bonfire of the Vanities” is gone. Many of today’s multi-national corporations are focusing on a kinder, gently approach to management and conducting business. In response to today’s increased interest in individual leadership as an essential component of good management, some of the top online MBA programs available are revising their curriculum to focus on individual leadership skills and personal growth as well as management theory and practice.
These progressive online MBA programs offer a great deal more than textbook learning and case studies. Real world scenarios, hands-on application of skills and collaboration with business leaders in a variety of industries are all central to the new breed of MBA’s. They teach students that the basis for successful team management is self-awareness and attention to the individuals within a team or company.
Because so many companies are finding success with these programs, some of the top online MBA programs focus on executives, that is, they offer specialized Executive MBA programs that are tailored to the needs of busy business people. These classes are primarily online, but feature some units that are on-site immersion sessions, usually lasting a week or less, with all executives meeting for intensive group learning sessions.
If you’re already working for a company and want to pursue an MBA in order to advance your career, keep in mind that not all MBA’s are the same. If you want one that offers skills specifically for executives who already have some years of work experience, look for EMBA’s that offer coaching or mentoring sessions in order to apply your leadership training to your own real-world situations. Look for immersion sessions that enhance your online learning experience and enrichment interaction with other executives. Also desirable would be a broad base of course work that includes leadership skills, personal development and organizational improvement strategies in addition to traditional management courses.
Be sure to look at all aspects of an EMBA. The top online MBA programs will be taught by a mix of instructors and corporate executives so that you receive a balance of theoretical and real-world experiences that will give you a firmer foundation for your own future and that of your company.