Online MBA in Canada - The Complete Guide

Online MBA in Canada - The Complete Guide

A recent survey by Bloomberg Businessweek revealed that professionals who left their full-time roles to enroll in an MBA program saw an 80 percent increase in their salaries upon graduation. While the boost in salary is a compelling reason to enroll in an online MBA in Canada, there are other positive aspects of the degree that students should consider before making the required financial and time investment to completing the program. To help students determine whether an online MBA is worth it, this article provides answers to the many important questions beginning with what exactly an MBA entails.

What is an MBA?

An MBA, or Masters in Business Administration, is an advanced degree designed to give business professionals the skills and credentials to thrive in organizations in both the public and private sectors. The MBA dates back to the early 20th century; as the nation was becoming increasingly industrialized, companies required professionals with management skills to lead corporate projects in the workforce. Since its introduction to incoming students at Harvard in 1908, the MBA has become a dynamic and comprehensive program for professionals in commerce. Today, the degree is meant to develop a student’s skills in critical thinking, leadership, and problem-solving.

What are the different types of MBAs?

It is important to understand the different types of MBA programs so that you can decide on which option would suit you and your lifestyle best: 

Full-time MBA - A full-time MBA entails a one to two years of full-time, on-campus graduate study. Students enrolled in these intensive programs are immersed in their studies and go on to complete an internship at the end of the program. Working adults who wish to grow their business skills often have to leave their jobs to pursue a full-time MBA.  

Part-time MBA - A part-time MBA degree is a variant of the full-time program but taught via weekend or evening classes. Participants do not have to leave their full-time jobs to pursue an MBA in this format.  

Accelerated MBA - An accelerated MBA or an accelerated online MBA is a two-year program but completed in a shorter time. Participants can choose to take on a more intensive class schedule and higher course load to complete their MBA in one year or so. 

Distance learning MBA - A distance learning MBA is a hybrid format that blends online and on-campus classes for students. They have a lot of flexibility since they can attend most of the classes online and only step out for some classes and internships. 

Executive MBA - An executive MBA is meant for working professionals who wish to grow their business skills but also need a lot of flexibility since they are typically in managerial positions with lots of responsibility. This too has a blended format allowing participants to study while they work. 

Online MBA - An online MBA program, as the name suggests, is offered completely online and ideal for working professionals. They can now earn an MBA from a prestigious school, add to their skills, and apply what they have learned in their work, as they continue to work. These are usually designed to be two-year programs.

Learn more about Aston University's Online MBA in Canada program

What are the advantages of an online MBA? 

There are many benefits to pursuing an online MBA. the top reasons would be salary increase, skill enhancement, networking opportunities, and career advancement. While an MBA is a valuable credential that increases a student’s marketability, many students cannot afford to take out six-figure loans at a given stage of their career. Aston’s online MBA program is affordable and recognized by accreditation agencies in multiple countries.

An improved salary - The average salary of $82,000 for MBA holders in Canada. An online MBA in Canada from Aston University can position students to compete with business professionals globally. 

Affordable tuition - An accredited online MBA costs much less most full-time MBA programs. Students can keep their education costs low as they pursue advanced business studies and earn the same prestigious degree as they would with a regular MBA program. 

Be industry-ready - A Canadian online MBA program like the one offered by Aston University allows students to leverage their work experience and customize their degree with a choice of four concentrations. Students now have the option to hone their core skills further and be ready to apply their knowledge in their work right away.

Create a global network - Joining an online MBA program also means connecting with a vast alumni network, and in Aston’s case, it is a global network of professionals. As a Canadian online MBA student, you will develop a robust professional network and for global employment opportunities in the future.

Flexibility and work-life balance - The flexibility offered by an online MBA program in Canada allows professionals to earn their degrees as they continue to work. 

Let’s take a look at how Aston’s online MBA in Canada provides the perfect bridge to a work-life balance.

The on-campus schedule and the related commute time often preclude students from allocating enough time to the various day to day tasks. The stress associated with daily professional and personal responsibilities is often exacerbated by the two-plus years required of on-campus coursework towards an MBA. Students can reduce the length of time it takes to receive a degree by selecting the online option.

While students can set their own pace for the MBA coursework, the average online degree covers two years of study. Whereas some students who take on small course loads will take up to six years for degree completion, others with business backgrounds will pursue accelerated programs that enable them to complete their MBA in just over a year of full-time study. Different universities have special programs that can either accelerate or extend the completion of the degree.

Schools such as Aston that incorporate the cohort learning model - a program where students work as a team throughout the course of their studies - can help students finish their degree in a shorter period of time than other conventional approaches. Other programs that require internships extend the time of completion because they usually do not allow students to receive many credits for the hours spent on the job. That said, the average course load for an online MBA is one three-credit core course at a time over a five-week period, but some programs offer opportunities to complete six or more credits per term. 

Finally, the online MBA in Canada is made available to students with different academic and professional backgrounds. For example, students do not need a four-year undergraduate degree to gain entry into the program.

Is an online MBA worth it? 

To determine whether or not an MBA is worth it, the student must perform a cost-benefit analysis. If the potential benefits outweigh the costs, the student can feel comfortable with his decision to make the time and financial commitment. While the costs are explained above, the benefits are explained below.

As tuition costs for graduate degrees skyrocket, the online Aston MBA remains a very affordable option for students who are looking to get ahead. While an MBA from a top Canadian business school can cost $100,000, an Online MBA from Aston University costs £18,700 over two years, or roughly $30,645 CAD at the current rate of exchange.

Not only is Aston’s tuition significantly less expensive than its counterparts, it provides a top-tier MBA education for its students. Aston is part of the elite one percent of schools in the world that is accredited by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation organizations:[1]Whereas the AACSB is the premier accreditation association in the United States, it's equivalent in the United Kingdom is the AMBA. Unlike the two national accreditation systems, Equis is a regional system that covers universities in the European Union. The triple accreditation is made possible by the University’s commitment to offering innovative courses taught by reputable faculty.

Learn more about Aston University's Online MBA in Canada program

Valued skills acquired through an online MBA

Students who graduate from Aston’s online MBA Canada program will gain a variety of hard and soft skills. Whereas hard skills are specific technical knowledge, soft skills relate to personality traits such as time management and communication.

The types of hard skills students acquire is provided below:

Finance - Focus on financial management decisions, the characteristics of different forms of finance, and the linkages between organizations, the financial markets, and financial strategy. 

Global Business - Aston’s online MBA program provides students with the tools to thrive in foreign trade and investment projects. Understanding the impact of political, economic, and social factors on a company’s risk-reward proposition is an essential ingredient in the cross-border experience. 

Strategy - A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision making. A strategy is, therefore, about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order to accomplish key objectives. 

Organizational Development - Gain critical knowledge and skills to identify and navigate key organizational development issues, including ethics and human resource management. 

Soft skills are personality traits which are listed below:

Leadership - While the leadership instinct cannot always be taught, students can learn about different leadership styles and select which one is best suited for them. This program will help students build competencies to think and act like a leader. Negotiate with confidence and define the direction of your career 

Communication - Regardless of which specialty an MBA graduate pursues during and after their MBA coursework, success depends in part on exceptional communication skills. Coursework requiring written assignments and presentations will focus on developing solid communication skills that empower graduates and enhance their effectiveness both inside and outside of the workplace. 

Networking - Practice makes perfect. Some skills can only be developed with baptism by fire. With an alumni network of 90,000 people in multiple countries, there are tremendous opportunities for meeting and networking with new people.  

Change Management - Courses in entrepreneurship and global business provide students with the necessary skills to be an agent of change. Whereas entrepreneurship empowers students to transform their innovative ideas into tangible solutions, the global business module teaches students how to transform uncertainty into a competitive advantage. With these skills, students will intuitively understand how to stimulate change and reverse antiquated ways of working. 

Ethical Awareness - The fluidity of the global business environment is constantly shifting the professional landscape. With such significant changes, the foundational aspects of business ethics ensure core principles are not sacrificed in the pursuit of profit maximization. The online MBA provides tools for students to remain anchored in foundational ethics as they navigate the waters of change.

Online MBA salaries and career opportunities

Graduating with an MBA opens the door to myriad career paths. With an MBA, graduates can select which route they will take based on their substantive interests and logistical requirements. For students who work full-time while pursuing a part-time MBA, the degree prepares them for management positions they have always wanted. In other cases, exposure to new subject matter during their MBA coursework compels students to pursue a different path that might be more rewarding.

Strategists - The career path in strategy is often the highest paying specialty of the MBA. Higher pay rates are available because those graduates who become strategists often take a macro-view of the company and its priorities moving forward. Such big-picture decisions about expansion, product offerings, and risk management methods have a direct impact on the company’s success or failure. For these reasons, strategists are well-compensated. The average annual salary for strategists who hold an MBA in Canada is $81,000.

Management Consultants - Management consultants help businesses improve their performance and grow by solving problems and finding new and better ways of doing things. It's not just in the private sector either – many firms work with public sector organizations to help develop their services and, where necessary, reduce costs and save.

Senior Product Manager - The main responsibility of a senior product manager is product strategy and planning. They require a strong ability to persuade others and often think about what kind of products can make a good profit.        

Finance Manager - A finance manager organizes and manages an organization's or an individual’s financial portfolio. They also prepare financial reports, oversee investments, and help with cash management. This makes a financial manager a critical member of many organizations.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) - A CFO is a senior executive responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. The CFO's duties would include tracking cash flow and financial planning as well as analyzing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing corrective actions.

Senior Analyst - While younger analysts tend to do a lot of data gathering, financial modeling and spreadsheet maintenance, more senior analysts tend to spend more of their time developing investment theses, speaking with company management teams and other investors, and marketing ideas.

Project Manager - Project managers are held accountable for the success or failure of a project.  More specifically, they identify the steps necessary to transform an idea into a product that adds value for those who use it.

Business Development Professional - Business development professionals identify opportunities to grow and work with potential clients to demonstrate how certain products can add value. In this position, professionals gain the ability to grow and manage a business, which will be invaluable when they are working on their own.

Whether a student decides to accelerate his/her voyage along his/her current path or opt to switch gears, an MBA will be a very valuable asset to the journey. A review of the data around CEOs and MBAs reveals that 32 of the World’s top 100 performing CEOs have an MBA. This data demonstrates the growth potential an MBA gives students, allowing them to move up the ladder at a quicker pace and thrive in their career.

For working adults pursuing an MBA can be a challenge since they have to juggle multiple responsibilities.  An online MBA from Aston University is designed to work around you and your lifestyle and a dedicated student support advisor will help keep you on track with your studies.  Click here to learn more.


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