There are many ways that an MBA differs significantly from a graduate degree in the humanities. The latter concerns itself with abstractions and interpretations, all toward a deep reading into the products of culture and an understanding of what makes us human. It’s hard to assign a use-value to that. A business degree by contrast attracts students who desire an immediate, measurable impact on their future career prospects.
Yet when it comes to choosing the right program, both types of scholar take into account the same primary factors: quality of instruction, cost, and access to opportunity. In the humanities, opportunity is mediated by the support and patronage of an established faculty. Studying with the best increases one’s chances of receiving early recognition and a start on the tenure track path. In business, the same principle applies in terms of estimating the benefits of an MBA, or ROI: which schools offer the most robust improvements in terms of future salary versus investments in tuition, living expenses and time off of work over the course of your studies.
Fortunately, there are empirical external metrics for evaluating online MBAs in Canada. Aston University’s online MBA has traditionally placed highly in rankings offered by publications such as The Economist (No. 1 in the UK, No. 3 worldwide), the National Student Survey (90% student satisfaction), CEO Magazine (European Tier 1 among online MBA programs) and the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings (top 15 globally).
Why Get an MBA?
Simply put, in today’s business world there is little other choice for those with ambitions of reaching the top. MBA Admissions consultant and U.S. News contributor Stacy Blackman recently noted that “Recruiters have said that some of their corporate clients will not consider any candidate without an MBA, which shows just how much business leaders value this qualification.” In order to pass the initial hurdles to be considered for attractive positions or promotions, you need to be able to demonstrate you’ve met the standards of a top school. With literally hundreds of programs available, however, choosing the right school is a challenge in itself.
How are MBA Programs Accredited?
Fortunately, there are empirical external metrics for evaluating online MBAs in Canada. Aston University’s online MBA has traditionally placed highly in rankings offered by publications such as The Economist (No. 1 in the UK, No. 3 worldwide), the National Student Survey (90% student satisfaction), CEO Magazine (12th globally among online MBA programs) and the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings (top 15 globally).
There are also rigorous formal processes of accreditation that schools can optionally undergo to prove their quality. Accreditation takes into account the school’s reputation among employers, students and other institutes of higher learning. Top accreditation bodies include:
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB): Founded over a century ago, the AACSB has become one of the most respected bellwethers of program quality. As noted on its website, accreditation demonstrates that the school meets “a set of 15 business accreditation standards that focus on mission and strategic management; support for students, faculty, and staff; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement of students and faculty.”
- The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS): EQUIS measures both the basic quality of a school’s curriculum and service delivery, but also its suitability to international learning. Are the lessons imparted relevant outside of the culture and norms of the university’s home country? Does earning an MBA help secure employment opportunities globally?
- The Association of MBAs (AMBA): Recognition by the AMBA is indicative not merely of competence but of leadership within the business education sphere: “AMBA accreditation is awarded to the best programs internationally and denotes the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education. Students, business schools, graduates and employers all recognize it as a gold standard.”
Those seeking the greatest possible benefits of an MBA are advised to seek out programs that offer triple accreditation, as these provide a guarantee that the degree you will eventually earn commands the respect of those making hiring decisions.
An MBA also helps your business career by making you a smarter, more agile professional. To learn more about Aston’s curriculum, or to speak with one of our advisors, contact us using the sidebar on this page.