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Five ways an MBA can enhance your career

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The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is now considered the most popular discipline among postgraduate students. It accounts for over a quarter of all master’s degrees awarded in the US and there are at least 2,500 MBA programmes offered worldwide.

According to a 2015 survey by the Learning House, Business Administration also remains the most popular master’s degree pursued online. Advancements in education technology and the growing acceptance of distance learning have helped online MBAs to increase in popularity. The perception of online degrees has changed as top-ranked universities are embracing online learning and have started to offer distance education options including massive open online courses (MOOCs).

In the past, a MBA always required a serious time commitment and tens of thousands of pounds. For those who want a business education but can’t commit so much time and money, online MBAs are a lucrative option. The relatively low cost is welcomed by many and the flexible structure of online learning means students can make the degree fit around their busy schedules.

How can an MBA benefit your career?

While an MBA has many benefits, the greatest is the benefits it can have on your career. Europe’s top site for postgraduate courses information, Postgrad.com, describes an MBA as a very beneficial qualification in allowing students to increase their business knowledge and accelerate their careers. Let’s take a closer look at the value of an MBA.

  1. Improves employability

Having an MBA to your name makes you a more attractive prospect to employers. According to a study by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 96% of employers agreed there is great value in hiring MBA graduates. MBA alumni are very much in demand as employers see MBA holders as a promising investment into their company’s future. The GMAC also reported that 91% of 2015 business school graduates worldwide found employment three months after graduation.

  1. Career progression

An MBA is often a route to promotion as the programmes are designed to provide learners with the skills required for upper-management positions. Holding an MBA degree will give you a competitive edge over colleagues who didn’t study a postgraduate course. A survey by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) found that 12.8% of respondents had occupied a senior management role when starting their MBA, and this rose to around a third post-graduation.

  1. A shortcut to higher earnings

The motivation in pursuing postgraduate education is driven by the potential of increasing one’s salary. Research from the Forte Foundation shows that MBA holders see pay gains of 55-65% of their pre-MBA salary within five years of graduation.

  1. Networking opportunities

There can be no doubt that studying for a MBA provides business networking opportunities. MBA programmes boast some of the best tutors in the business field who will be able to share their knowledge and experience. They will have access to a network of contacts for you to expand your professional network. You can also build a support system with fellow students to bounce around ideas and discuss potential job opportunities.

  1. Transferrable skills

Skills acquired from the MBA are not limited strictly to the business world. Students will learn about leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication; these are skills which are transferable to any number of roles, as evidenced by the MBA’s strong representation in other sectors:

  • 9% in healthcare.
  • 9% in public service.
  • 5% in energy.
  • 5% in the consumer goods sector.

Take the next step

The benefits of an MBA are numerous. From gaining a competitive edge to building a professional network, it is certain that an MBA can make you more marketable and open up endless career opportunities. An MBA is a sign that you have the knowledge and experience to get right to the top of the career ladder.

Check out our Level 7 Extended Diploma. On completion of this course, you are eligible to apply for an MBA Top Up course either online or on campus at a range of UK universities.

Four reasons why online learning is ideal for busy mums

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Have you thought about pursuing higher education but cannot juggle motherhood, paid work and university? You’re eager to take your career up a level but need more qualifications? You want to learn new skills but you’re overwhelmingly busy? You’re not alone; many mums feel like they just don’t have the time to fit learning into their lives. With family commitments, money matters and time constraints, many mums find their options for further study frustratingly limited. Online learning could be the answer to this problem.

The concept of online learning

At its most simple, online learning is a form of learning conducted partly or wholly over the Internet. Students are provided with the online resources to study for an internationally recognised qualification without having to attend any classes on campus. Courses are usually housed within a learning-management system and are supported by interactive forums, virtual lectures and webinars.

The benefits of online learning for busy mums

1. Flexible learning

It is demanding to combine motherhood, paid work and studying but the flexible structure of online learning encourages a healthy balance.  Because you’re not tied down to weekly classes, you’re in control of your own study timetable which allows you to find a study routine that works for you. You can study once the kids are in bed, or when they are at school or even on your lunchbreak at work. There are usually no set assignment deadlines and course materials are available for years so you can progress at your own pace and make studying fit around your life.

2. Ongoing support

Anyone who goes on to further study will likely feel tired and overwhelmed at times but online learning courses have great support networks in place. Studying online is no longer the isolated domain it was twenty years ago, rather students are now encouraged to engage in ‘social learning’ by exchanging ideas and resources online. Discussion forums and social network pages are accessible to help connect students with their peers, so you won’t feel alone. Tutors are also available to provide academic support online via email and webinars so that online learning students receive the same level of support as campus students.

3. Career prospects

Many mothers opt into higher education with a view to future employment opportunities. Today’s job market is crowded with graduates, many people feel that a degree will help them remain competitive. An online degree can open many doors when it comes to career prospects as the courses give students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skill sets. This is ideal for those looking to refocus their career as a degree makes you better qualified for a new role. Online learning also appeals to mothers as they can help you to increase your earning potential; courses are central to continuing professional development and put you in a better position for a promotion.

4. Cost

From day-care fees to dance classes, the cost of raising children is high. Very few mothers have enough disposable income to fork out £9,000 a year university fees. Online learning degrees are distinctive because they cost relatively little – dependent on the course provider, they can cost as little as a fifth of the price. In most cases, there are no associated costs such as text books or commuting costs as all course materials are accessible for free online.

EdTech boosts the accessibility of higher education

Educational Technology

What is EdTech?
Educational technology, often referred to as “EdTech,” is the study and practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological resources. In other words, EdTech is considered as the use of digital technology to engage learners in new and innovative ways.

How EdTech is transforming the learning landscape
The classroom of today looks markedly different to the classrooms of ten years ago; gone are the days of a single desktop computer in the corner of the classroom and teachers reliant on textbooks. Recent years have seen iPads and laptops fast becoming educational essentials with teachers turning to technology in an effort to enhance their lessons and keep students engaged. Today’s generation are digital natives who respond intuitively to technology so education is adapting to the way students learn best.

The impact of EdTech on online learning
It was inevitable, as technology has become more and more advanced, that online learning opportunities would grow. In fact, the advancements in technology have been a catalyst for improving the online learning landscape. According to a survey by the Online Learning Consortium, 77% of students believe that EdTech improves engagement with course materials. 94% of the University CIOs also agreed that digital curricular resources improve the learning experience for the student.

In what specific ways has EdTech made online university degrees more accessible? Here’s a closer look:

1. Widens access to higher education
Advancements in technology have enabled learning to move outside the classroom, which means that conventional university degrees are no longer the only way to learn. The rise of the internet means that students can learn from anywhere, whether that is at home, on the train or even on the beach. Online university degree programmes can overcome the boundaries of geography, time and money which makes higher education accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the world.

2. Facilitates flexibility in education
The advances in remote-learning technology have made way for a change in the institutional form of university. EdTech has facilitated the learning experience; students aren’t bound to classrooms but instead have the flexibility to study on their own schedule. Some students are managing a complicated triangle of work, family, and school; new online learning methods mean they are not restricted to specific class hours, instead they can choose the day, time and place to study.

3. Overcomes financial concerns
Increasingly more students are finding it a challenge to afford the traditional university experience and with tuition fees constantly on the rise, prospective students look to be crippled by student loans debt for many years into their graduate life. The average UK graduate faces debts of £35,000 – £40,000 when they graduate from their university course; this level of expense is deterring students from following the conventional university path. Online learning degrees have become a strong alternative to face-to-face instruction as students are looking for ways to keep their tuition costs down. EdTech has played a fundamental role in relieving the financial burden associated with traditional education delivery with online learning degrees costing as little as a fifth of the price. Developments in technology have made it possible to access educational content online, which reduces the costs associated with traditional studying (including lecturers’ fees, textbooks and commuting costs).

4. Offers individualised learning
EdTech has changed the way people learn; the one-size-fits-all approach to education does not suit today’s learners. Higher education can now be tailored and personalised to accommodate the individual thanks to online learning degrees, which enable the student to progress through the course material at different speeds according to their needs.

Online Business School has partnered with GEMS to launch UK Undergraduate and Postgraduate qualifications in Iran

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We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Global Education Management Solutions (GEMS) which has enabled us to launch our online learning programmes in Iran.

Along with Undergraduate study programmes the Online Business School also provides affordable Postgraduate diploma courses with exclusive online modules fast tracking learners to a university qualification. All learning activities, materials and content are provided online using modern delivery models to make learning more engaging and cost-effective. On completion of a course, the student will gain university credits to then “top up” at one of OBS’s UK University partners, which include but are not limited to the University of Derby and University of Sunderland.

“We have been excited by the potential of the Iran student market for some time,” said John Holden, ‎Managing Director at Online Business School. “We know there are high quality students with first class education backgrounds and this linkage will allow students some great options to develop their skills.”

At Online Business School, we believe in making education accessible for all irrespective of where you are in the world. With online learning, there are no geographical limitations or time constraints as the programmes are always readily available on any online device. As such, we have delivered online university pathway programmes with full Undergraduate and Postgraduate Diploma Awards to learners from all corners of the world.

“This is a great opportunity for Iranians to obtain internationally recognised qualifications from world class institutions at a quarter of the cost of face-to-face delivery,” added Dr Amir Saadati, Executive Director of GEMS. “It is also a chance for Iranian academic institutions to partner with us in order to attract international students to their institutions, raising the profile of education in Iran.”

One such institution who has partnered with GEMS is Mojtama Fani Tehran, the largest private college network in Iran with over 70 branches across the country. “While international qualifications have many benefits, perhaps the greatest benefit to Iranian students is the fact they can obtain world class qualifications without leaving the country, giving them the ability to excel and better compete with other job applicants on a global scale,” commented Mr Ali Rahimifard, Managing Director of Mojtama Fani Tehran.

We are pleased that the Mojtama Fani Tehran college network has recognised the benefits of online learning not only for students but also institutions across Iran. “This golden opportunity provides Iranian students with up-to-date and internationally recognised university qualifications at a fraction of the cost and the accessibility to study at their own pace,” added Mr Mohammadreza Darabi, project leader at Mojtama Fani Tehran. “Mojtama Fani Tehran is very proud to be the first private sector institution able to offer these programs in the country and we hope can serve as a stepping stone for Iranians to further excel in their professional careers.”

Distance learning is becoming a popular first choice for prospective students

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Distance learning can no longer be considered the preserve of working adults with many younger students now actively choosing this route. At one time distance learners were considerably older than the general population of students with online courses appealing most strongly to mid-career professionals. Recent years have however seen a rise in registrations from younger students which suggests that distance learning is becoming the preferred learning method for students of all ages.

Here are the three main reasons why prospective students are drawn towards this path of learning.

The dawn of the internet
Technological advances have succeeded in reshaping the educational experience for distance learners. New technology such as virtual lectures and interactive forums have enabled distance learning to establish itself as a dynamic learning model. Students can make video calls to their tutors or ask written questions, which suggests that distance learning can offer as much as face-to-face teaching. Students from all over the globe can enrol onto online learning courses as there are no geographical or time constraints. The growth of social media allows us to remain more connected than ever and has therefore eradicated the distance in the distance learning. With the availability of countless online communities and resources, it is now possible for all distance learners to interact and support one another.

Learn while you earn
Online learning is an appealing choice for cost-conscious students who want further education and good return on their investment. Increased tuition fees and living expenses mean that full-time university is not a viable option for all, whereas distance learning courses can cost as little as a fifth of the price of conventional university courses. Distance learning courses offer flexible payment options where you can pay as you study in monthly instalments which means that students can keep on top of the costs. This type of learning can give students the chance to learn and work at the same time which provides them with the opportunity to remain financially stable and gain work experience to boost their future career prospects.

Convenience and flexibility
The flexibility of distance learning makes it distinctive as students can fit their studying around their life. Many young students are attracted to this style of learning as they are given the freedom to study at their own convenience and pace. They can choose where and when they study – this is a flexibility which is hard to match. This is particularly valuable to those who cannot commit three years to a conventional university degree as they can shape the distance learning programme to suit their lifestyle.

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