A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is one of the most aspirational programs for ambitious professionals looking to grow in the management industry. A traditional MBA has a duration of one or two years, and is offered by universities across the world. 

Traditional MBA programs offer training and exposure to freshers and experienced professionals to build critical skills and leadership abilities. However, one of the core challenges of a traditional MBA is that it requires a full-time commitment and must be attended in a physical classroom. Hence, professionals will need to take a sabbatical from work to complete the program. Traditional programs also lack the flexibility and agility needed to keep pace in a fast-changing work environment. 

In contrast, MBA alternative programs are disrupting the status quo and offering a high-quality, flexible option to professionals looking to build management skills. In this article, we explore in detail the value of MBA alternatives and their role in shaping your management career. 

What are MBA alternative programs?

MBA alternative programs are offered virtually and the curriculum is compressed into a duration of three to six months. The programs come with innovative learning formats, contemporary curricula and flexibility to fit learning into a professional’s existing work schedule. The curriculum is continually upgraded to keep pace with evolving market scenarios. Alternative MBA programs also encourage microlearning and a blend of self and community-based learning. The virtual nature of MBA alternative programs enables students to be taught by the best industry experts from around the globe. 

Benefits of MBA alternative programs 

Here are seven benefits of MBA alternative programs and how they can add value to your career: 

Innovative learning formats 

One of the most valuable benefits of an alternative MBA program is the delivery mode. Traditional education is delivered in the form of classroom-based lectures. However, virtual education leverages a diverse mix of online learning resources such as videos, podcasts, audio clips, quizzes, and self-assessments, as well as live sessions, expert talks, projects, and discussions. MBA alternative programs are therefore interactive and allow for self-learning. 

Can be pursued from anywhere

MBA alternative programs are accessible online and hence can be pursued from any part of the world. You only need access to fast internet and a smart device to engage with all learning formats of the curriculum as well as attend live instructor-led discussions. You don’t need to uproot yourself from your current location and migrate to a new state or country to access quality management education. 

Cost-effective

The duration and format of a traditional MBA program make it an expensive investment for any ambitious professional. In contrast, the virtual nature of an MBA alternative program enables professionals to access high-calibre management education at lower costs. 

Learning is a flexible, continual journey

Professionals have access to a rich variety of learning resources on demand in an MBA alternative program. This approach to learning makes it convenient for them to learn at their own pace while working a job. The program’s content is accessible via smartphone, making it even easier to learn on the go. 

Focus on personality development

School and college education focuses primarily on building subject knowledge. There is hardly any emphasis on building the right personality to become successful in business. In comparison, personality development is a core thrust of MBA alternative programs. These programs unlock the route to growing your identity, making superior decisions, building confidence, and shaping the leader in you. 

You will learn aspects such as the importance of tone of voice in communication, how to use body language to your advantage, and the secret to networking with authenticity during the course of an alternative MBA program. As you rise up the management hierarchy, you will continually engage with colleagues, clients, investors, and stakeholders. Personality development skills are essential skills to help you excel in any leadership role.    

Be part of a global community 

Hybrid and remote work cultures require professionals to be savvy in collaborating with colleagues and clients across the globe. MBA alternative programs tend to be international hubs with students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers from around the globe. This is an extremely asset in an increasingly connected world. It offers management professionals an opportunity to work collaboratively on projects and learn best practices in different cultures. 

Access to mentorship

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, once said: “Your mentors in life are important. So, choose them wisely.” As a busy professional, you may not have the bandwidth or acumen to choose a good mentor. However, superior MBA alternative programs can do the job for you. The mentorship framework enables you to regularly engage with a set of dedicated mentors who can be thought partners in your journey and offer insights and support at every step of the way. 

How to choose a credible MBA alternative program 

When choosing an MBA program, it is extremely important to establish credibility. 

  • Ensure that the faculty and guest lecturers are industry veterans with stellar track records. 
  • Review the curriculum and see that it comprises all the subjects and fundamentals needed to equip you for a successful career in management. 
  • Live projects, discussions, and real-time sessions must be an important part of the program.
  • Ensure you get a certification that is recognized as an industry standard on completion of the program. 

Conclusion 

MBA alternative programs offer a great opportunity to professionals looking to rise in the ranks and lead their companies across a wide range of sectors. Equipped with the right skill sets, personality development tools, mentorship, and access to a global alumni network, ambitious professionals can become unstoppable forces in their fields. With an alternative MBA program under your belt, you will develop an agile mindset when faced with unique challenges and be in a position to achieve your career goals much faster. Pursuing such a program is a steppingstone to future-proofing your career for a long time to come. 

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