Online MBAs: A Viable Option for Busy Moms?

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Online MBAs offer various opportunities for busy moms like you.

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Being a working mom is tough. You already have a lot on your plate, from managing a household to running a business. Adding anything else to your busy schedule may seem impossible, especially if it’s something as big as earning a master of business administration (MBA). Yet, what if there was a way to make it work? Online MBAs offer various opportunities for busy moms like you.

These programs can help you learn new skills without sacrificing family time and business responsibilities. If you believe being a mompreneur will hold you back from completing an online MBA, you may want to think again.

How Online MBAs Are Designed to Meet Your Needs

There’s a common misconception that online MBAs are challenging to earn. However, these programs are much easier to complete than you think. Online MBAs have become popular because many schools have realized the importance of giving students options to match their lifestyles.

1. Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is a key feature of online MBAs that allows you to access your studies and complete assignments independently. There’s no need to attend live sessions, as you can access these anytime and complete your tasks within one to two weeks.

For you, this means you can engage with your coursework whether it’s an early morning or late at night. Asynchronous learning ensures your education and business life fit seamlessly into your packed schedule. As such, it’s an ideal solution for moms who are always on the go.

2. Part-Time MBA Programs

Part-time MBA programs are designed with the utmost flexibility in mind. Most students in the program are between 27 and 32, so many parents like you are attending this program to balance the demands of family and work life. By spreading the coursework out, MBAs reduce the weekly study load, making it easier for you to manage tight schedules.

3. Accelerated Courses

Accelerated courses can be a good option if you’re eager to advance your education without putting your family or business commitments on hold. They cover the same content as traditional classes in a shorter timeframe so you have the flexibility to complete your degree faster.

4. Modular Courses

Modular MBA courses are structured to break down the curriculum into focused segments. Each covers a specific area of business expertise for a more manageable learning experience. Instead of juggling multiple subjects at once, you can immerse yourself in one topic at a time to gain a deeper understanding of the subject and retain more material.

When managing a hectic schedule, this type of learning can be especially advantageous since you can plan your studies around family and business time. Therefore, you progress through your MBA at a pace that aligns with the demands of motherhood and entrepreneurship.

5. Pause and Resume

When big life events occur, sometimes you need to take a break from your studies to attend to them. Be it family emergencies, business deadlines or personal challenges, they can make your schedule overwhelming. Therefore, pausing your coursework can make sense.

Yet, before you decide, it’s important to consider if this is worth it to you. Will taking a break benefit you in some way? Leaving a grad school program may have risks, such as losing your scholarships or funding. However, some MBA programs allow for an easy return, so discuss your options with your admissions counselor.

6. Real-Time Virtual Classes

Part of the reason busy professionals can return to get their graduate degrees is the flexibility of online learning. However, it also comes with the interactive benefits. As a student, you can connect face-to-face with your instructors and peers — a crucial aspect of online studies. These live sessions allow room for feedback, insightful discussions and immediate answers to questions, enhancing your overall learning experience.

Despite a hectic schedule, you can attend these virtual classes at times that work for you. This setup maintains the personal interaction and engagement of a physical classroom while accommodating the demanding life of a mompreneur.

The Opportunities MBAs Provide

Online MBAs offer more than flexible learning — they also open you up to a world of opportunities. Two essential benefits it brings to mompreneurs are the hard and soft skills you learn for corporate life. An MBA gives you the latest business strategies, digital tools and leadership techniques applicable to managing and scaling your brand.

Your curriculum will to teach you to address marketing needs, interpret financial statements, create marketing strategies and more. You’ll also acquire the competencies to manage projects on time, think strategically and work with others. Each of the hard and soft skills you learn will enable you to use them in real life, driving your enterprise forward.

An MBA also connects students to a large network of professionals, including peers, alums and industry experts. Such interactions can lead to new opportunities and possible partnerships, whether through a virtual meetup or group project. Expanding the circle of people you know is invaluable to your career, as there will always be somebody who knows someone who connects you to future projects.

The Concerns About the Credibility of Online Degrees

Some stigmas surround online MBAs that concern prospective students. For example, those who want to return to school may believe they won’t be taken seriously throughout their career if they earn their degree online.

However, online higher education has evolved significantly over the years. In the professional world, people are increasingly acknowledging the value of the skills and self-discipline required to succeed in an online MBA program. Managing coursework alongside professional and personal responsibilities shows a high level of time management, self-motivation and adaptability.

An accredited program is key if you’re concerned about how credible an online MBA is. These education programs should be recognized by bodies such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Association of MBAs. These accreditations ensure your program meets the academic and ethical standards of a traditional MBA’s value.

Additionally, if you’re concerned about how others perceive your online degree, consider programs offering a curriculum aligned with skills directly applicable to your career goals. By selecting a reputable program and leveraging your newly acquired knowledge, you can greatly increase your confidence and prepare for your professional endeavors.

Time Management Strategies for Busy Mompreneurs

One of the major worries professionals have about pursuing their online MBA is balancing the demands of family, career and school life. When your schedule gets too hectic, these effective time management strategies can help you endure.

1. Prioritize and Plan

Begin each week by identifying key tasks for your family, job and studies. Then, use a planner or digital calendar to keep track of each one, prioritizing them based on deadlines and importance.

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to manage your time with a schedule in front of you. It helps you visualize your week, and address assignments or business to-do’s without overlooking family time. It also lets you identify where you can block off time for work and personal tasks, enabling you to maintain balance and efficiency.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Reduce the feeling of overwhelm by breaking down your coursework into achievable goals for each study session. Doing so ensures you stay focused, preventing you from taking on extra tasks of less importance. Plus, it’s beneficial to your mental and physical well-being.

Managing personal and work life as a mom is already challenging enough, so there’s no need to take on extra work that adds more pressure. Once you attain your goals, ensure you recognize all your achievements. This will create a higher sense of accomplishment throughout your studies, keeping your motivation high.

3. Leverage Your Support Networks

It’s easy to hesitate to lean on others for support, as you might think you can do it all yourself. However, leveraging help from family, friends and colleagues will sometimes be essential. You may need to delegate tasks to your team members if your company grows.

Or, there may be a time when you need to arrange a babysitter when you need time to focus on your studies. Utilizing a support system is crucial, as it frees up time for your work and gives you a much-needed break.

What You Can Gain from an Online MBA

In addition to all the knowledge you gain from earning an online MBA, returning to school for a higher education has financial benefits. There’s a cost to attending school, but you can achieve a return on investment that makes it even more compelling to enter these programs. The average starting salary for master’s degree graduates in business was $80,305 in 2023.

Furthermore, NYU Stern reports its graduates experience a 52% salary increase by the end of their program, with an annualized increase of 17% over three years. While these statistics show immediate financial gains, you also sustain long-term income growth an online MBA can offer.

As someone who wants to succeed in their business, investing in an online MBA lets you reap greater financial rewards. Therefore, the time and effort you spend furthering your education will be worth it in the long run.

Earning an Online MBA as a Busy Mom

Getting a degree through an online MBA program is a powerful step toward growth. It offers numerous benefits to your life and business. However, it takes the right balance, dedication and support to get through it all. Once you have all these, you can achieve your dreams of a successful career.