The Business of Graduate School

When I moved from SC to South Florida in October 2011, I was more than 2/3 finished with my MBA through a large university that had a location near my home. With only 6 classes left to complete my degree, I thought it would be a snap to either transfer my credits to another school or complete the degree through the online version of my school. I was in for some surprises.

I enrolled to take my first online class which started in January 2012. This class was an eye opening experience for me. For many years, I had taken and developed asynchronous e-learning opportunities and approached the class in the same way as I had in my past experiences. I quickly found out that online schooling was not the best learning model for me. I withdrew from my class and went about looking at MBA programs near my home in South Florida. I could find no school that would allow me to transfer credits; I would have to essentially restart the process at their school. I guess graduate school is a business like any other and the schools need to generate profits. Not wanting to restart the whole program, I went back to the original plan to take the remaining classes online but this time with a different mindset. So far, the classes are progressing well. I have found the online classes require much more time commitment than attending brick and mortar classes. I spend about 10 to 14 hours per week on classes. With a full time job and other responsibilities I am only able to take one class per semester. At this rate, I will be finished in early 2013. If my graduate school did not have an online option, I would have had to either restart my degree anew or go back to SC for classes for a few more months. Neither option would have been a first – or second – choice.

The moral of the story – carefully chose your graduate school. Advanced degrees are a great way to develop professionally and personally. An investment of this caliber requires thoughtful deliberation and patience. And if you think online learning is easy, you might need to think again. Or just change your approach.

Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!




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