Student Spotlight: Chief Scientist Helps Broaden Biotechnology Field

Bit Bio, the U.K.-based startup, only needed three weeks to raise $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support the company’s goal to transition biology into engineering. 

This synthetic biology team was founded by stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon, Mark Kotter, in 2016 to commercialize biotechnology that can reduce the cost and increase the production capacity for differentiated human cells. These cells can be used in targeted therapies and as a method to accelerate pharmaceutical drug discovery. Bit Bio’s goal is to be able to reproduce every human cell type, boosting basic research and enabling a new generation of cell therapies.

How can this type of cell therapy specifically help? By generating every cell type in the human body, this biotechnology will help unlock solutions for tackling cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Bit Bio’s approach will also help reduce expenses, aid drug discovery, and decrease the reliance on animal studies. 

Quantic alum, Grant Belgard, is the Head of Bioinformatics at Bit Bio. The company’s website explains the centrality of computation: “Bit Bio represents the two fields: coding and biology that determine the identity of every human cell. Ultimately, bits are the building blocks of code, just as cells are the building blocks of life. This is reflective of what Bit Bio does: precise reprogramming of human stem cells.” 

Belgard is also the Chief Scientist and CEO of The Bioinformatics CRO. The company was developed as the subject of his Capstone project in Quantic’s Executive MBA program. The flexibility of the curriculum enabled Belgard to learn, while simultaneously building his new company and pursuing his professional goals.

Now, Belgard’s goal for The Bioinformatics CRO is to streamline biomedical research worldwide. This represents a new breed of contract research organization that offers quality customized bioinformatics services to global biotechnology companies.

Biotechnology companies, like Bit Bio and The Bioinformatics CRO, will help merge biology and engineering and can help bring about long-awaited precision for stem cell research and help improve the lives of millions.

The Quantic community is thrilled for Grant and his colleagues. We can’t wait to see what he does next and how this combination of data science and biology will help code cells for the well-being of humanity.

How to Become a CTO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to become a CTO? In most cases, that’s the pinnacle of a tech professional’s career and there are a lot of challenges to get there. From identifying what degrees or certifications you need to figuring out what position you should hold next, you’re going to overcome a lot as you aspire to that executive status.

You can do it. We believe in you. We even put together this guide with the answers to every question you might have.

We’re going to break down the steps of how to become a CTO, take a look at the skills you must possess, and show you how choosing certain education paths over others will deliver the biggest advantages in your career. 

Read on to indulge that inner strategist and get planning the next big step in your career. 

What is a CTO?

A chief technology officer (CTO) is an executive-level position that oversees all of the technology that an organization uses. His or her primary responsibility is to make sure that the hardware and software an organization uses are secure, helpful, and supports business effectively. 

Sometimes known as a Chief Technical Officer, or Chief Technologist, it’s among the highest-ranking IT positions in business. A CTO keeps pace with technological advances, then uses their executive powers to make decisions and investments that further the objectives of the company to stay competitive in the 21st century. 

For example, organizations bring a CTO on board during or immediately following digital transformation. This process sees the wholesale digitization or update of business processes and may change the way a company is organized. It requires the oversight of a professional who can plan and execute such a process, in addition to identifying whether a technological solution is appropriate, cost-effective, and helps the organization meet its goals in the long run.

The CTO vs. the CIO

CTOs typically work with CIOs (Chief Information Officer), but the roles aren’t the same. A CIO typically has a much more hands-on role in the IT department. For example, they may work directly with IT staff to innovate and develop solutions that keep things running on a daily basis. 

In contrast, the CTO is much more business minded. They will make decisions regarding the overarching technological infrastructure. (The CTO is considered one of the three heads of engineering leadership in a corporation.)

In the example of digital transformation, a CTO may develop the overall plan for upgrading a company’s technology in a way that will help the company adapt to the future. A CIO may handle the details on the ground-level, overseeing the implementation of specific technology. 

The Career Outlook for CTOs: Necessary and In-Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information system management occupations are growing by about 12 percent annually (that’s twice the average growth rate for all occupations). This category includes CTOs, who are becoming increasingly desirable in corporate leadership. 

Technology is increasingly taking a front and center role in business, making technological disruption both a threat and opportunity for any organization – and they’re taking note. According to The 2020 State of IT report by Spiceworks, 44 percent of companies have increased their budget for technology in 2020, compared to just 38 percent in 2019. That trajectory is expected to continue through 2025. 

Despite this, most companies do not consider themselves prepared for the major technological shifts already occurring in the world. A survey by McKinsey found that as much as 79 percent of North American companies consider themselves “not ahead of the curve” when it comes to such shifts. 

All of that puts CTOs in demand – big time. According to McKinsey, every company needs one if it wants to adapt, innovate, and thrive.

What Does It Earn? CTO Salary Statistics

CTOs are valued in their company, and it shows. 

According to PayScale, the average salary for a CTO in 2020 was $159,419. Salaries compiled by Glassdoor generally concur but note that some executives earn as much as $240,000 per year. 

CTO Responsibilities & Roles

According to Gartner, four different “types” of CTOs exist. They are:

  • The Digital Business Leader: The person who emphasizes digital business strategies over manual ones.
  • The Business Enabler: The person who ensures the technology operates as intended.
  • The IT Innovator: The forward-looking person who leads the company in staying competitive by using technology. 
  • The Chief Operating Officer of IT: The person who helps keep it all running (often working with a CIO). 

Those “types” overlap with each other and even with the role of the CIO. That often leads to job descriptions full of vague descriptions of key duties – it’s not uncommon to see the CTO role tasked with responsibilities such as “driving innovation” or “identifying disruptive technologies.” 

Those descriptions aren’t super helpful for those of us unraveling how to become a CTO. However, understanding what these job descriptions hint at can help us build a plan of action to eventually land the position.

Ultimately, it’s the CTO’s duty to align technology with organizational goals. A solid executive bridges the business and technology worlds to help a company move forward. Depending on the company, a CTO may find themselves accomplishing that by: 

  • Leading technology teams for a variety of goals.
  • Managing technological research and development.
  • Planning and implementing infrastructure.
  • Working with the CIO to enact a digital transformation.
  • Allocating resources and overseeing funding for technology investments.
  • Guiding strategic business decisions from a technological standpoint.
  • Monitoring technology management and conducting reviews or audits.
  • Overseeing technology compliance requirements.
  • Engaging in thought leadership. 
  • Brainstorming customer-focused technology solutions. 

The Most Critical Skills for a CTO

The range of responsibilities and roles a CTO may fulfill demands an array of hard and soft skills. You’ll need to demonstrate technical expertise while proving you are versed in business skills and leadership. Here’s a closer look at each.

Technical Skills for a CTO

A CTO needs a strong grasp of a range of technologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that most CTOs possess around 15 years of experience in the IT field before even being considered for the job. Likewise, many CTOs start out as engineers in their chosen field, working their way up the ranks. 

Either way, expect to require competencies in topics that may include:

  • Cybersecurity and information security management
  • Network architecture
  • Big data engineering and architecture
  • The Internet of Things
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Industry-specific disruptive technologies

CTO Business & Management Skills

On the day-to-day scale, a CTO may find themselves engrossed with activities related to business management. That’s because they’re tasked with making decisions that will fundamentally impact the company’s future. To ensure those decisions are sound, CTOs need a firm foundation in the following: 

  • Finance, statistics, and marketing. Like all executive-level professionals, a CTO will read reports and business documents, make financial decisions regarding resource allocation, and use metrics to track the success of an initiative. These are core business skills that directly affect the success of a company.
  • Strategic and visionary thinking. CTOs are concerned with top-level business strategy. They help drive the company into uncontested market spaces where they possess the greatest advantage.
  • Data-driven decision-making. A CTO should know how to apply insights from data and statistics to plan and execute decisions. 
  • Team management and leadership. Working with teams represents a core responsibility for any CTO. A solid grasp on organizational behavior and team management facilitates success.
  • Communication and diplomacy. While much of the CTO’s duties will focus on customer-centric technology initiatives, skills such as negotiation are also critical.  A CTO can expect to manage vendors, meet the needs of external key stakeholders, and occasionally work with clients or customers directly.

Who Will the CTO Manage? Positions Under Their Supervision

Although the CTO executes plans and initiatives at a top-level, they’re also sometimes the head of a department or active participants on task forces. Expect to manage:

  • Software architects
  • Senior developers
  • DevOps engineers
  • System administrators
  • Security specialists

Talent management is often one of the biggest challenges for CTOs. For example, the connection between a CTO and software development might not always be obvious. Unless the CTO demonstrates strong technical leadership, engineers or developers may create challenges during project management, especially if they’re accustomed to operating a certain way. 

The Steps to Become a CTO: An Executive Career Path

Becoming a CTO is no small feat, but with the right education and experience, it’s attainable. Generally, anyone who wishes to become a CTO will need to: 

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year degree in a computer science-related field will lay the technical foundation for becoming a CTO and give you that critical entry into a preferred industry or field. 

2. Gain Relevant Work and Industry Experience

All CTOs boast strong technical skills as well as deep industry insight. For most, that develops over a decade or longer – very often at the same company or within the same industry. For those just starting out:

  • Take on projects at your job that allow you to expand your skills and leave you with demonstrated expertise on your resume.
  • Consider leadership opportunities on special teams and projects as they arise.
  • Embrace continued education through certifications, regular training, and courses applicable to not only your technical specialty, but also business.

(Also consider joining a career network to start developing the connections you’ll need.)

3. Pursue a Master’s Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, C-level executives increasingly have master’s degrees. A 2019 study from MIT found that over 50 percent of respondents had a master’s degree or higher. Business-related degrees are among the most popular, followed by public administration, law degrees, and occasionally, liberal arts.

4. Take Steps to Prepare for an Executive Position

Consider things like social media presence, civic involvement, digital brand, and other features that can reflect well or poorly.

Education Requirements for a CTO

Quantic CTO, Ori Ratner received a timely heads-up about a business education for technical specialists: “Early on, one of my mentors suggested that developing a sense of ‘business acumen’ would be just as important as growing my technical skillset.”

Imagine being a software engineer for a startup, and you walk into a meeting with an angel investor to give a presentation on an app your team is developing. When the conversation turns towards financials and business growth, you’re lost. What happens if there are follow-up questions within this new context? 

The higher you move up the ranks of a company, the more likely you’ll face situations that require skills and knowledge outside of your technical expertise. From managing horizontal teams to deciphering marketing lingo, get ready to evolve your skillset if you intend to take it to the next level. 

Here’s a closer look at what education a professional requires to be considered for the CTO role.

What Degrees and Certifications Do CTOs Have?

According to Indeed, CTOs typically hold numerous degrees and certifications. These include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a technology field. 
  • Industry-specific software certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster or Google Developers Certification.
  • Project management certifications such as CompTIA Project+ or PMI Agile.
  • An advanced degree.

When the position of CTO gained prominence in the early 2000s, it was estimated by InfoWorld Magazine that around 12 percent of them held advanced degrees. By 2019, research from MIT suggested this trend has reversed, with most CTOs holding master’s degrees or higher. Among the most common master’s degrees for CTOs, however, include:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Management

Shane Emmons | CTO @ TeamSnap

Why an MBA is a Smart Move for the Future CTO

Like our CTO said, developing business acumen sooner rather than later can give you a major leg up in your career.

An advanced degree in business can provide a competitive edge when pursuing the CTO position. Besides strong technical skills and deep industry knowledge, a CTO must demonstrate the ability to bridge the technical and business worlds. An MBA does exactly that.

We’ve also found that many professionals initially overlook the value of an MBA. Many potential CTOs start with a technical background with the intent of becoming an engineer or other specialist. It may not have occurred to them to seek out business, finance, or marketing education. However, without these holistic business credentials, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to move into the upper echelons of a company’s management. Notable CTOs with an MBA

What to Consider when Choosing an MBA Program

There’s a lot to weigh when making the decision to return to school. While pursuing an MBA is certainly a commitment, doing it without quitting work is paramount for any professional in a technology field. Some questions individuals might consider include:

  • Is the program flexible enough to continue working full time? Unlike other fields, STEM professionals don’t have the luxury of putting a career on hold to pursue an MBA.
  • Is the program broad enough to cover several skills? Many technology specialists return to school because they’re lacking the business skills they need to advance professionally.
  • Are online options available? Online courses can eliminate burdens on a schedule and improve access to education.
  • Is an executive MBA appropriate? An EMBA lets professionals develop their leadership skills beyond what an MBA will offer.
  • Is the program in touch with current technology? Programs that reflect a technology-driven future will best prepare their participants.

How to Become a CTO with an Online MBA

Finding the time to get the knowledge and credentials to move forward can be tricky, but that’s where an online MBA shines. An online MBA can:

  • Deliver the information in a way that works for you. Whether business administration from a technical background without the vocabulary or tackling your greatest achievement, a good program will meet you where you are. 
  • Promote holistic business and leadership skills. Enjoy a well-rounded education that promotes long-term professional growth by exposing you to topics you might not have considered. 
  • Inspire networks and connections. Take advantage of the digital space to create a network to draw upon and connect with other professionals. 

Summary: Which Degree is Best for Your Career Growth?

As more and more companies embrace sophisticated technology, the position of CTO is growing in prominence. We’ve taken a closer look at what it takes to become one, and what sort of education potential executives can expect to pursue.  

The long road to becoming a CTO requires planning – it doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right combination of skills and credentials, it lies within your reach.

How to Become a CFO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to take that leap into one of the hottest roles in the boardroom? No matter your industry, opportunities abound for aspiring chief financial officers. This fast-paced, forward-thinking, and well-paid position will challenge and thrill you every single day.

We’ve got the ultimate guide on how to become a CFO right here.

Like all executive positions, becoming a CFO requires a commitment to the long-haul and careful planning along the way. We’ll help you figure out where you stand and what you need to do to accelerate your path forward while avoiding common pitfalls by making smart choices about your education and career experience. 

By the time you’re through, you’ll have the foundations for your strategy to secure that coveted executive position. Let’s get started!

CFOs Are in Demand: A Sunny, Competitive Career

If you’re envisioning your future as a CFO, make it a bright one.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers at every level have experienced a 16 percent growth rate in their job outlook since 2018, with that rate projected to stay steady through 2028. That’s four times the national average of similar careers, such as sales managers (5 percent) or even other executive roles (6 percent).

What does a highly skilled executive like the CFO earn? According to Indeed, the average salary is $138,374 per year (plus benefits). However, it’s possible to earn closer to $200,000 per year if you’re located in an area like New York City, where demand for CFOs is particularly high.

What Is a CFO? Responsibilities and Role

A CFO is the senior financial manager responsible for overseeing and managing the financial actions of a company. Like a treasurer or financial controller, CFOs often manage an organization’s finance or accounting departments.

However, unlike a controller, the CFO makes decisions that have an impact on the overall direction of the company. For example, a controller may review financial statements to audit them for accuracy and adherence to regulatory compliance. In contrast, the CFO reviews those same financial statements to analyze them before making recommendations to improve the company’s financial performance.

Nonetheless, you’ll sometimes see a CFO referred to as a top-level financial controller, where their primary responsibility lies in overseeing all cash flow and financial planning in an organization. 

The Duties of a CFO

As a CFO, you’ll wear many different hats throughout the day. Expect to:

  • Lead, direct, and manage the organization’s finance or accounting teams.
  • Advise the CEO or other executive members on the financial implications of business plans or current events.
  • Review formal finance, H.R., or IT-related financial procedures to enforce policies or internal controls.
  • Manage or oversee independent auditors.
  • Plan, execute and oversee upgrades to financial systems, processes, or technologies.
  • Relate with investors or shareholders to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations.
  • Provide data-driven analyses and recommendations related to the financial goals of a company.

Who Does a CFO Manage?

Traditionally, the CFO heads the finance or accounting department. Here, you may manage a range of professionals, including:

  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Tax professionals
  • Analysts
  • Human resources
  • Investor relations specialists

However, any financial hierarchy within a company will fall under your leadership. In general, if any planning or analysis requires the input of an expert on the financial impacts, you can expect to be tapped for your advice.

The Skills & Qualifications of a CFO

Get ready to showcase your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to be proactive in supporting sustainable growth. The CFO is one of the fastest evolving positions at the executive level thanks to rapidly advancing technology and shifting expectations about the way we do business.

But technology isn’t the only arena in which you’ll need to demonstrate competence. You’ll need a range of hard and soft skills to navigate your position effectively. You can break those skills down into four distinct categories:

1. Leadership and management skills. Almost everything you do as a CFO involves some form of leadership. Whether it’s managing a team to implement new financial infrastructure or getting other executives on board with a plan, understanding leadership fundamentals is crucial to success. 

2. Accounting skills. CFOs are expected to demonstrate technical expertise in accounting and financial topics. Additionally, you’ll need to have a solid grasp on abstract subjects that have concrete impacts in the business world, such as the time value of money.

3. Data skills. According to Deloitte, businesses increasingly expect CFOs to handle business and financial analytics, using it to make highly data-driven decisions. At least 18 percent of CEOs who responded to their survey believed those responsibilities belonged solely to CFOs.

4. Strategy skills. The CFO is responsible for laying the financial foundation to help a company reach its goals. Expect others to turn to you when it comes time to find that uncontested market space that makes competitive and financial sense. 

Deloitte identifies four key skill sets that CFOs must possess. They are:

  • Steward: Protects vital assets, closes the books correctly, ensures compliance.
  • Operator: Emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness in the organization’s finances. 
  • Strategist: Develops long-term plans to improve the company’s financial performance.
  • Catalyst: Drives business improvement initiatives to keep the company competitive.]

The Most Common Degrees for CFOs

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become a CFO. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the most common are finance, public accounting, economics, public administration, and business administration.

A master’s degree – usually in one of those same fields – also comes highly preferred due to the level of management you’ll demonstrate every day. Common master’s degrees include:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Analysts
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Managers

Getting an MBA Is a Very Smart Move

Strongly consider getting an MBA along the way. According to Russell Reynolds Associates, 62 percent of all CFOs hold advanced degrees, with the vast majority opting for an MBA. (Plus, executives possessing one can expect a pay bump by as much as 16 percent, according to research by Wayne State University in Detroit.)

However, an MBA is valuable because it increases the breadth of your business knowledge. Imagine trying to understand why a product is underperforming but having no grasp on whether it’s the product itself or the result of a failed marketing campaign.

Or, imagine leading a company restructuring to reduce overhead and improve cost-effectiveness, but proposing a recommendation that inadvertently cuts the company’s most valuable talent.

Both scenarios could break the company and end your career super-fast.

As a financial executive, your decisions and recommendations directly impact the course and wellbeing of the company. An MBA will help you expand your perspective to contextualize your decisions within the organization better.

Today, many different types of MBAs exist. Traditional MBAs can provide more hands-on guidance, while an online MBA is great for self-motivated people who want to work while they go to school. We’ve covered the advantages of each to help you determine which path is right for you. 

Here’s a list of just a few of the elite-level CFOs who have earned an MBA:

Consider an EMBA

MBAs are expected in the boardroom now. So, taking your education a step further can set you apart. An Executive MBA (EMBA) is specifically designed for mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who want to keep working full-time while developing more advanced skills.

An EMBA curriculum is slightly different from a traditional MBA in that it emphasizes leadership and strategy skills in the context of a corporation. At the same time, you’ll still learn everything that you would in an MBA curriculum; an EMBA is explicitly geared towards professionals seeking an executive position. 

Do You Need to Become a CPA?

Technically no, but many CFOs started out as CPAs. The position requires a solid understanding of accounting, so it will give you an advantage. However, according to organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, the percentage of CFOs who are also CPAs has fallen over the past decade. In 2014, some 46 percent of CFOs were certified public accountants. In 2019, that number had dropped to 36 percent.

A CFA Can Become a CFO

A chartered financial analyst shares some of the technical expertise of a CPA, but a CPA typically has a much stronger grasp on accounting, taxes, audits, and other skills a CFO needs. That said, if you’re a CFA, you’ll stand the best chance at becoming a CFO by pairing your current degrees and certifications with an MBA. To take this route, look for an MBA program with a strong emphasis on accounting fundamentals to gain the technical skills you’ll need.

The CFO Career Path

If serving as a CFO is on your professional bucket list, be prepared for the long-haul. According to one interview with a CFO, potential prospects typically have around 10 years of related background and experience before seeking the position. If you’re laying out your career planning early in your professional development, you can take steps to accelerate your trajectory – such as picking out a business school with a proven track record in helping students achieve their career goals faster.

How to Become a CFO

Attaining the top position in the financial role takes careful preparation. Whether you’re just starting or are looking to advance your career, here are a few tips to help you out.

1. Choose Your Degrees Wisely

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Most likely, you’ll also need an advanced degree to carry you forward. Pay special attention to degrees and programs that give you a solid grasp in accounting plus other financial skills. 

Your competition probably has an MBA, but remember that not all MBAs are created equal. Check out the differences between an online MBA and an advanced EMBA right here. 

2. Gain Broad Financial Experience

Actively choose jobs that broaden your financial experience. In addition to accounting, consider positions that demonstrate budgeting, analysis, risk management, investing, and more. The more well-rounded you are, the stronger candidate you become.

You can do this in a variety of jobs, or you can work your way through one company. If the former, it’s wise to stay in the same industry to deepen that experience as well. Many people also pursue a CPA license for this purpose.

3. Take on Roles that Expand Your Skillset

You’ll need to know more than just finances. Look for opportunities to widen your customer service experience, business and operational expertise, technological literacy, and leadership skills.

4. Join a career network.

Career networks can put you in touch with the right people when you’re ready to become a CFO. Join one sooner than later to begin forming connections. Consider the presence of network opportunities when you pursue your MBA or advanced degree. Some programs have career networks which you can leverage while you study.

5. Pursue Board-Readiness Training

Done everything above? Think about sharpening yourself with a board-readiness program. Deloitte recommends that professionals seeking an executive position attend board-specific training to develop a deeper understanding of what’s expected of you in the C-suite.

Summary: How to Become a Great CFO

The Chief Financial Officer is a staple in the board room, playing a vital role in keeping the company compliant and profitable. Yet, the route to achieving that coveted role can seem confusing, leading many people to feel as though it remains just out of reach. 

With the right preparation and strategy, you can absolutely become a CFO. We’ve outlined what it takes to become one, the skills you will need, and provided some pointers in the steps you can take right now no matter where you are in your career. 

Happy advancing!

becoming a CFO. Read the case study now

Online MBA vs Traditional; Pros, Cons, Employer Outlook

An MBA will change your career—and your life—for the better. 

You can leverage it to achieve promotions, a wealth of new job opportunities, a paradigm-shifting career change, or an increase in salary. For others, an MBA is a springboard for their entrepreneurial efforts.

But choosing the right one is key.

There are a lot of options. Sifting through them is overwhelming. Especially as exciting new options emerge.

The most exciting new option is a fully Online MBA. 

While an online MBA often sounds attractive to students in our increasingly flexible, digital-first, and remote-friendly workplace, many business professionals wonder if it’s a smart choice. 

Will potential employers take my online degree seriously?

Do traditional MBA’s actually offer more networking opportunities?

We’ll clear up some common myths and misconceptions in this article. 

To help you decide between a brick-and-mortar business school and an online MBA, we’ll go through some of the main differences between the two. From cost comparisons and admissions requirements to employers’ opinions of each one. 

We will also introduce you to Quantic’s innovative free online MBA program and online Executive MBA program. More specifically, how they overcome any concerns you may currently have.

Online MBA vs Traditional (On Campus) MBA – What’s the difference?

When it comes to an MBA program, many potential graduate business students think of a traditional, on-campus MBA at a brick-and-mortar school. There are over 1,000 MBA programs in the United States. Some are full-time, while others are part-time, often offering classes on nights and weekends.

But, just like the world of business itself, MBA programs are changing rapidly. There are now over 330 online MBAs offered in the U.S. Many of these programs are affiliated with long-standing, top-tier business schools, while others are completely digital degrees that approach online learning in a variety of ways — some more effective than others. 

There is a clear trend towards online learning. Applications for campus based MBA’s over the last two years fell. While demand is growing for online programs. 

No one knows if this trend will continue. But we do know that we live in an unstable world. One that has already become more digitized after CoVid-19. There are now more remote workers than ever before. MBA’s may continue to follow suit.

Despite their differences there is one big similarity.

All accredited programs are rigorous and intellectually demanding. Period.

Both tend to have similar educational requirements and similar coursework. 

Quantic’s free online MBA program, for example, includes courses in accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, supply chain and operations, data analysis and decision-making, strategy and innovation, economics, and entrepreneurship. 

Meanwhile, Quantic’s online executive MBA (EMBA) program adds additional coursework in operations management, corporate strategy and other areas of study that help working, mid-career professionals level up their leadership skills. These curriculum paths are comparable to those you’ll see at any top-tier business program, whether online or on-campus. 

Ok – now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into some pros and cons…

Online MBA Pros and Cons

As a business professional, you already know the best way to make a tough decision is through a cost-benefit analysis. So let’s examine the pros and cons of getting an online MBA vs. those of an on-campus master’s in business administration degree. 

Online MBA Pros

The biggest reason that many students choose an online MBA is flexibility. Unlike traditional MBA programs, whether full- or part-time, most online graduate business degrees allow you to work on your own time, from anywhere. While some classes may be synchronous, most online MBAs are incredibly flexible. 

This learning environment is ideal for working professionals who don’t want to quit their already lucrative jobs or satisfying careers to bolster their education. It’s also perfect for students with other family responsibilities and obligations, such as spouses and kids.

If you’re an especially ambitious, self-motivated person, you’ll also appreciate the efficiency of an online MBA program. 

Most traditional full-time MBA programs take around two years to complete, while part-time MBA programs take around four years. By contrast, online MBA programs tend to be shorter, ranging from a year to 18 months in many cases. Quantic’s MBA is just 10 months and the EMBA takes 12 months to complete. 

Online MBA programs also tend to be more technology-driven, which in turn can help you develop your own technical acumen and understanding of the digital marketplace. 

For example, Quantic’s interactive software offers interactive feedback every eight seconds and allows you to work at your own pace in a mobile-first online environment. This fluid-yet-structured approach to learning customizes your educational experience as you go along. 

Online MBA Disadvantages

One disadvantage of an online MBA program is a lack of in-person community and connection. Students often benefit from in-person conversations with peers and instructors, whether in terms of academic collaboration or socializing. 

Another common objection to an online MBA is a smaller pool of networking contacts. Most brick-and-mortar graduate business programs offer happy hour networking events, Q&As, and career fairs throughout the year. Many potential online business students worry they might miss out on these crucial opportunities to launch their careers and expand their professional circles.

Quantic’s online MBA addresses this common problem proactively in three ways.

  1. Online network and collaboration 

Students connect with peers around the world via our interactive network. Ambitious, driven people from 80 countries and counting…

You and your cohorts will move along your curriculum sequence together, actively collaborating on group projects, case studies, and assignments as you go.

  1. Offline Events

“Extracurriculars” and social events are also available in Quantic’s MBA. Virtual and in-person meetups, both online and around the world, will allow you to rub shoulders with your classmates, instructors, and established alumni students. 

The Executive MBA also offers multiple weekend-long conferences held in cities around the world. These conferences provide opportunities for students to meet face-to-face with peers during workshops, case studies, and meetings with local business leaders. Recent conferences were held in Washington, DC, Dublin, and Singapore. 

Here’s what one looks like…

  1. Career Network

You get access to a built-in Career Network. Top-tier employers use it to recruit our students and alumni. It serves as a career hub for graduates. MBA grads’ profiles stay active, so employers can browse alumni profiles whether they’re already employed or not. 

Here are a few of the companies our grads work at…

Traditional On-Campus MBA Pros

Traditional on-campus MBA programs often appeal to students who need or want a little more structure and hands-on guidance. Students just out of an undergraduate business program, for example, might prefer the additional in-person attention offered by a brick-and-mortar school, as well as the familiar daily routine of face-to-face classes. 

Brick-and-mortar business schools also have the opportunity to offer more bells and whistles when it comes to activities, facilities, and clubs. If you love the idea of getting together with your cohorts every week for dinner, for example, or catching up with your colleagues at the on-campus gym, the community of an on-campus environment might be more your style when selecting an MBA program. 

Traditional On-Campus MBA Disadvantages

Of course, the most significant disadvantage of on-campus MBA programs is the lack of flexibility. 

If you have a family at home, existing business obligations, or a burgeoning career, it can be difficult to justify starting a full-time MBA program. Even part-time MBA programs can be draining, as you’ll have to work your schedule around theirs (not the other way around) and possibly take on a frustrating commute.

On-campus MBA programs often also lack the cultural and demographic diversity of online programs. On-campus MBA students tend to be younger on average, for example, and there aren’t as many international students at any given on-campus program. 

Working alongside and learning from diverse colleagues can help you build your cultural competency, leadership, and collaboration skills. It can also position you to take on an increasingly global marketplace with more confidence and finesse.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA Comparison (table)

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of how an on-campus MBA program differs from an online MBA with a point-by-point comparison of typical student demographics, average tuition cost, average salary growth after graduation, and more. 

Online
MBA
Other Top Programs

Traditional
MBA
Other Top Programs
Quantic 
Programs
Sources
Avg Age on Entry332730 US NEWS
Avg Years Work Experience844 US NEWS
Avg Cost$23,918 average cost at a regionally accredited university
— $36,166 average cost at AACSB online business schools
— $11,972 average cost at nationally accredited online business schools
vary between programs, but roughly the same as onlineMBA: Free
EMBA: $9,600
GETEDUCATED.COM
Princeton
Review
Avg Time to Complete1-2 years1-3 years1 yearPRINCETON REVIEW
Avg Salary Growth22%23%US NEWS
% Requiring GMAT/GRE Score54.6%94%US NEWS

Cost

Online and traditional MBA programs vary widely, but usually they are broadly comparable. A nationally accredited online business school usually costs around $11,972 per year, while AACSB online business schools cost around $36,166 in annual tuition. 

Due to Quantic’s “flipped” tuition model, free online MBA students don’t pay to be recruited by potential employers. Instead, employers pay to recruit them. Meanwhile, Quantic’s executive MBA cost comes in at just $9,600, with employee reimbursement and scholarship options available. 

Completion Time

Traditional MBA programs, as we described earlier, take around two years to complete. Accelerated programs may take 18 months or even a year, while some programs take up to three years. Part-time programs may take four or more years to complete.

Many online programs take slightly less time to complete than on-campus programs, making them a more efficient choice in many cases if you want to get the ball rolling on your business career faster. Quantic’s free online MBA and EMBA programs take 10 and 12 months to complete, respectively. 

Average Salary Growth 

Average salary growth for both traditional and online MBA students varies widely. Still, it’s clear that the available data suggests that online MBA students tend to see a substantial return on their investment. 

Online MBA students report an average of 22% salary increase after graduation (for Quantic it’s 23%).

These salary bumps usually come through a promotion or raise at an existing company, a lateral move to a higher-paying job at the same level, or by taking on a higher position in a new industry. 

Admissions Requirements

One of the main concerns some employers might have about students with an online MBA is that online MBA programs tend to be less selective than traditional ones. 

You might wonder, for example, “Do I need a GMAT for my MBA?” The answer varies by program. Only 54.6% of online graduate business programs require GMAT/GRE scores from applicants. Meanwhile, a whopping 94% of conventional MBA programs require GMAT/GRE scores from their prospective students. 

The requirements for test scores and undergraduate GPAs are also sometimes a little more lax when it comes to online business schools. This contrast can worry some employers, who might think that the lack of selectivity of a school suggests less dedication and rigor in an applicant. 

But Quantic’s free online MBA and its Executive MBA are highly selective, admitting only a small percentage of applicants each year. And around 80% of Quantic’s free online MBA students graduated from top-30 undergraduate institutions (including Harvard, Duke, Stanford, UPenn, to name a few ..).  

In turn, the program’s selectivity translates into higher completion rates, more engaged (and more impressive) colleagues and network contacts, and higher perceived value by employers. 

What do Employers Think of an Online MBA?

Many prospective MBA students think an online MBA sounds like the ideal fit for them in terms of their schedule and learning style. But some worry that employers won’t take an online MBA program seriously. 

Luckily, the available data doesn’t suggest that to be the case. In fact, some employers consider an online MBA to be an asset in that it showcases a student’s independent, autonomous approach to learning and their mastery of technology. 

Kathryn Lee, human resources director for North America at Fiat Chrysler, told Seb Murray at the Financial Times in 2018 that most employers now considered online MBA students to be just as competitive as traditional students. 

“Online MBA students are equally as competitive as those attending classes on campus” 

Lee added that online students’ drive to succeed and excellent time management skills illustrated their ambitious nature and commitment. “They display qualities that are important in people we hire — a strong work ethic, project management and critical thinking skills,” she said of online MBA grads in the same interview. 

According to Jordan Friedman at U.S. News and World Report, many employers think far more about an online business school’s coursework, reputation, and opportunities for student-faculty interaction than about the format in which classes are delivered. That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure the MBA program you choose has ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and interactive learning.

Many employers who have recruited MBA grads through Quantic’s Career Network see an online MBA from a reputable school as proof an applicant is creative, adaptive, and flexible. 

Greg Buechler, a talent acquisition specialist, shared his thoughts about the value of Quantic’s MBA for employers.

“Quantic has allowed us to hire executive talent from around the world in the shortest time I have ever experienced in my 30 years of recruiting,” he said. “I am almost unwilling to share this gem of a tool!” 

Overall, the higher salaries enjoyed by online MBA grads and the growing demand for online business schools indicates that there’s no shortage of employers who view online business degrees favorably. According to Jonathan Moules at the Financial Times, online business school growth is far outpacing that of traditional MBA programs. As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, higher education in business administration is following suit. 

Summary – Which Degree for Your Career Growth?

Both traditional and online MBA programs can expand your career opportunities substantially. In addition to providing you with the critical thinking skills and key knowledge you’ll need to move up in your existing business career or launch a new one, an MBA program can bolster your confidence as a leader and widen your network of contacts. 

Traditional MBA programs are sometimes preferable for students who require more structure and guidance. Some traditional graduate business programs offer more on-campus facilities and activities. However, they are not as flexible as most online MBA programs, and they tend to attract younger students with less work experience on average.

Meanwhile, online MBA programs like the ones offered at Quantic are best for self-motivated, independent thinkers who work well at their own pace. They can also benefit students who want to complete a graduate business degree faster, who have family or work obligations they can’t interrupt, or who thrive in a flexible, technology-driven learning environment. 
Interested in learning more about how Quantic’s online MBA program can be a game-changer in your business career? Read on to learn how Quantic’s disruptive approach to learning and global scope helped one student become a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient.

An App A Day Keeps Boredom at Bay

The coronavirus has a lot of us sitting around the house these days, scrolling through our phones or tablets. Skimming Instagram and Twitter have become common ways to pass the time, and while you may not think more screen time is the answer to the quarantine blues, some apps are proving to have benefits for the mind, body, and improving daily life. Quantic students have developed apps that help make dinner possible, ease anxiety, and get you back on track with your fitness goals during this crisis. 

Kyoo

In direct response to the global COVID-19 crisis, Quantic MBA Alum, Albert Brown, and his team launched Kyoo Curbside. Kyoo has helped hundreds of businesses rapidly set up online ordering with no-contact, curbside pickup orders. Because of its popularity, it was fast-tracked by Square to become an official ordering partner and it is now the only free product listed. Merchants can set up their store in a snap. Items import automatically from their Square menu and they can accept orders right away. Customers can place orders on mobile, web, kiosk, or simply by text message. They receive instant text message updates to keep them moving through the queue and provide clear instructions to get their order fulfilled. 

Hero Trainer

Staying home? Stay active! Quantic MBA Alum, Yash Jain, developed Hero Trainer to help us reach our fitness goals. The mobile app allows users to earn rewards in their favorite video games for exercising. A little walk around the house, or on the treadmill can earn people premium paid reward codes. The app tracks your steps on a walk or run. You earn points for each step and exchange those for reward codes to your favorite games.

Mooditude

We could all use a little mood boost to help cope with quarantine. EMBA Learner, Kamran Qamar, developed a clinically designed self-help app for depression and anxiety. Mooditude helps you identify and change your thinking using transformative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For lasting cure, you can build mood-lifting habits using goals and routines. When you feel stuck, go deep and find solutions to your specific problem within the dozens of psychiatrist developed programs. 

It’s exciting and uplifting to see our students take action and find ways to stay productive, engaged, and mindful while life — in some respects — stands still. Here’s to those who #ChangeTheCourse. 

Blankets: Not Just for Snuggling

When we think of blankets, we often think of cozy nights and hot chocolate. But what if they had the power to change the course of healthcare technology, especially during the coronavirus pandemic? Executive MBA student, Olivia Lin, had this exact same thought. She wanted to combine her strong tech background and desire to create textiles with a purpose. Olivia and fellow EMBA student, Edward Shim, soon launched their start-up, Studio 1 Labs, specializing in cutting-edge textile technology. 

Their first product? A “smart” bed sheet that can be used in hospitals to monitor patients’ vitals. This has been crucial during the COVID-19 crisis because it continuously monitors for respiratory distress. The bed sheet detects respiratory patterns and transmits the data to a computer terminal for healthcare workers. With advanced data accuracy and analytics, this technology can also predict the onset of health decline and emergencies like apnea, heart attack and stroke.

Olivia is originally from Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in Canada. She studied psychology at the University of Toronto, and earned a Master’s and later a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Waterloo. While studying psychology, Olivia was drawn to subject matter known as Human Factors, a field focused on the application of psychology in society.

When asked how and why she made the transition from psychology to starting a textile tech company, Olivia laughed — the transition even surprised her. She had a friend who worked in textile technology and saw how she combined fabric, art, and modern technology to create clothing with a purpose. This sparked Olivia’s interest and curiosity and she asked for her friend’s help in learning how to sew fabrics infused with tech. 

While completing her Ph.D., Olivia met Edward, and her hobby soon turned into a business idea as the two began researching the commercialization of fabric sensor technology. They had identified a growing trend in healthcare of using everyday objects as tools for monitoring vitals and felt that textiles might just be the perfect canvas for such a device. This kind of application had particular relevance to Edward, who, when serving in the military, sustained an injury which left him experiencing respiratory issues. He was well aware of the processes in place for patients to have their breathing monitored and knew there had to be a better way. Both he and Olivia saw a need for improvement in this space and after enlisting the help of a few more colleagues, Studio 1 Labs was born.

“There was a lot of exploration and experimentation and finally we found an application that really works,” said Olivia.

Studio 1 Labs’ fabric sensor bed sheets are a glimpse at the future of health technology. These sensors monitor a patient’s respiration pattern, location, movement, and prolonged pressure. The patient does little more than lie in bed and his or her vitals are measured and reported. This is especially important for elderly patients, who are less able to adjust their lives for doctors to gather the data they need to make an informed diagnosis and treatment plan.

Beyond product development, Olivia had also recognized the need to increase her knowledge of business and strategy. This is when she decided to pursue an Executive MBA. With Studio 1 Labs having locations in both Canada and Taiwan, Olivia was constantly traveling and Quantic’s mobile-first design enabled her to learn no matter where she was. 

“Being an entrepreneur, I felt like I had gaps in my knowledge and I couldn’t keep pace in conversations with executives and potential partners to the degree I needed to. I wanted more of the knowledge that would enable me to carry on and lead these conversations.” said Olivia.

Olivia’s impressive efforts in creating this business have not gone unrecognized. She was featured by Girls in Tech Taiwan 40 Under 40 and Studio 1 Labs won the Markham Board of Trade Aspire Startup Award in 2018. Outside of being the Executive Director of Studio 1 Labs, Olivia was a mentor for the City of Waterloo’s initiative, Girls in STEAM, a program that promoted tech and other STEAM careers to local girls to spark their interest at a young age. Olivia now lives in Taiwan, as she continues her rewarding (and challenging) entrepreneurial journey and helps to continue to #ChangeTheCourse of healthcare technology. 

Survey: Quantic Students Respond about Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Employment Outlook

How the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the employment market for our community.

What we did

Quantic School of Business and Technology conducted a survey with students and alumni to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our community in regards to the employment market. Our goals were twofold: to better understand how and to what extent the pandemic is affecting our community, and to identify any strategies that could be of use. Here are our findings. Note: percentages reported below have been rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Who responded

Our community is particularly aware of and involved in the employment market — one of the main reasons people undertake an MBA program is to move up in their career or enter a new field. And because of the level of seniority and achievement of our students and alumni, many are involved on the hiring side as well. We sent this survey out to 5,000 Quantic students and alumni, and heard back from 1,743 of them.

25% (443) were exclusively seeking employment
25% (433) were exclusively hiring 
10% (177)  were involved in both activities
39% (685) were involved in neither

We got broad industry representation with respondents from agriculture and the arts to travel, transportation and telecom.  

What we learned

Sentiment

Overall, there was a drastic shift in how people feel about the state of the employment market. 

The numbers have flipped: Prior to the pandemic, over 60% were optimistic about the market; after, that number has dropped to less than 10%.  Prior to the pandemic, less than 10% were pessimistic; that number has soared to over 60%.

While that is a dramatic change, there are nuances as well: 

  • 18% of respondents didn’t change their overall opinion of the market (between 15 – 22 percent for each segment). 
  • A very small percentage, 3.3%, revised their opinions favorably, going from pessimistic to optimistic or neutral, or from neutral to optimistic. 
  • Those that were not actively involved in either hiring or seeking had the highest percentage of negatively revised opinions at 85% going from optimistic to neutral or pessimistic, or neutral to pessimistic. 

When asked to comment on this there was a wide range of responses – here are a few insights. Note: quotes below lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and clarity:

Analytic Observations

  • I believe Covid-19 will affect the job market globally. Home working could help cross country hiring and balance/reduce the global unemployment rate. Exceptional times require exceptional measures.
  • I believe we will have to adapt to the new normal and that presents the opportunity for us to re-think our mid to long term strategy and innovate accordingly.
  • I felt the job market before the pandemic was already heavily over-extended. In my opinion, it was artificial and unnatural for a bull market to rage on for ten years with no significant correction. For over a year, I was convinced a recession was going to happen but did not know what would be the catalyst for it.

Emerging Economies

  •  In West Africa, there’s a high probability of decreased funding in the immediate future to areas of public health and social intervention.
  • Personally, I feel this pandemic has come at a time when Kenya is already economically on its knees. This virus has killed our hopes of recovering from our former status, and we are expecting very many deaths due to starvation and suicide.
  • While I anticipate that developed countries will be fine in a few months, I feel developing countries (South Africa, Nigeria and India especially) will be suffering the effects of this pandemic for years to come. 

Work/Life

  • It seems like parents are having an extra hard time with children at home and still trying to work. Schools here are having us home school so it takes a lot of time and energy. Productivity is down and stress is very high. It makes work and school difficult.

Industry Specific Insights

  • Our industry (management consulting / leadership training) has been hit hard. Especially at smaller consulting firms, we’re seeing a lot of lost revenue and layoffs as corporations are pulling from training budgets to shore up core operations in this downturn. 
  • Our information technology field is much better than other markets and even possibilities to glow providing the solution during/after the Covid-19 problem. 
  • Staying in healthcare I feel optimistic. Potentially switching careers I feel less optimistic. Overall, at peace. 
  • The spread of the virus will change business dynamics, especially in the segments of the traditional heavy industry as steel for instance. The virus will also weigh on the overall economy much more than the 2008 crisis. 
  • My law firm provides services to Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals. We expect a downturn over the coming weeks (perhaps months) in demand for our services. This will therefore impact the need for professionally qualified staff. 
  • Within the food industry, it’s going to be a very steep uphill battle to get things back to the way they were.  

Strategy

  • We are a startup. We now aim to be self-sustainable rather than grow quickly because of the VC climate.
  • There is clearly a lot of unknown and I fully expect companies will either wait out or reevaluate their business model and roles needed to support it.
  • We realigned expectations and targets. The hiring policy reflects this, resulting in significantly reduced hiring for Q2 and Q3. We review strategy quarterly and depending on the situation in the coming months, further changes can happen, positive or negative.

Noticeable change in activity

The events are also altering how people interact. For seekers, 74% have noticed a change in hiring processes, including interview delays or cancellations, lack of announcements, or virtual interviews. Of the 428* people in that group, 24% of those who were seeking employment have decided to pause their search. 

On the hiring side, 53% have seen slowed activity, either putting hiring on hold, canceling interviews, or instituting a hiring freeze. 

Hiring Observations

  • With so much current uncertainty we are not making any major changes. We are taking a wait-and-see approach and minimizing expenses.
  • Our company (1500+) has instituted a hiring freeze, as have many others. Smaller firms in the industry are furloughing staff.
  • I am a hiring manager and have been told by my company that junior/associate level positions are on hold (I have one open position that has been temporarily frozen) until the “shelter in place” order is lifted and we can return to the office. Higher-level positions may still be filled, but all interviews will be over video calls.
  • Overall, I am very apprehensive to hire because I do not know the long term effects. 

What can you do?

This data doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While the volatility is obvious and there’s been a clear change in sentiment, here are some ways we can apply what we’ve learned to benefit ourselves and the Quantic community. 

Know you’re not alone.

One of the most important findings is that this is happening to everyone — even those who aren’t actively looking or hiring have felt the impact. 60%, of our community is directly impacted, and the other 40% are also noticing significant changes in the market. 

Many of the comments express similar thoughts around the changes that are taking place, including delays in interviews, hiring freezes, and slowdown in overall market activity. Even if you are negatively affected by what’s happening, it’s not just you. 

Leverage the network

If and when you become aware of opportunities, share them widely. You never know who’s looking or who you might be able to help. If you hear of something you think might be a perfect fit for someone in particular, let them know about it, even if you’re not aware they’re on the market. You never know if they are looking for an opportunity. In addition to your regular channels, you can share opportunities and reach out directly to Quantic classmates and alumni in the online student portal.

Prepare for opportunity. 

There is still some activity happening: 15% of those who are involved in hiring indicated that they have not changed anything in regards to hiring or are still hiring as usual, and in a follow-up survey, 14% of respondents have increased the rate of hiring or are backfilling positions due to quarantine during this time. If you do want or need to make a change, do what you can to optimize yourself as a candidate. 

  • Research the market. Analyze job announcements in your field and identify the core competencies that are in high demand. Review your history for ways that you’ve demonstrated those skills in your career.
  • Update your resume. Make sure your Quantic career profile, resume, and LinkedIn profile are up to date, and draft a cover letter that you can customize as needed. 
  • Professional Development. If you have an experience or skill gap, now might be the time to fill it through education, or volunteering for a project at work to learn a particular technique (Remote project execution – check!)
  • Proactively contact your references. It’s always easier to reach out ahead of time, stay in touch and catch up without pressure so that there’s no rush when the time comes. 

If you have any questions about this survey, or ideas for Quantic that you’d like to share, please get in touch


* Percentage based on round one of survey respondents

Leading in Business and Life: Parenting and Earning an MBA without Missing a Beat

South32 Connectivity & Cyber Security Program Manager, Barbara Meyer knew she wanted to earn her MBA. Being a working mom, she needed a program that would fit into her busy schedule. Here is a note on her Quantic experience, why she believes all moms can achieve their professional goals, break down stereotypes, and become rockstar role models for their children:

Moms should feel welcome in MBA programs and not feel held back because child-bearing years and MBA programs coincide. Furthermore, moms should not be left having to choose between a family and furthering a career, through study. Although business schools have been encouraging more women to join master’s programs, they still have not reached gender parity. 

As a single mother of a toddler, I found myself in the middle of this dilemma. I realised that in supporting my daughter’s growth as an independent, strong, educated woman, I needed to be a role model for her. I needed to be the best version of myself and put myself in a position to advance my professional career. The tricky part was how to accomplish this without feeling like I was relinquishing responsibility and missing precious time with my daughter. 

As an IT program and project manager, I often thought that an MBA might provide me with a well rounded business foundation, which might be the next step to advance my career. However, everything I knew about traditional MBA courses seemed to be daunting: excessive cost, fixed on-site lectures or block periods, lengthy course durations, and sacrifices beyond my appetite. This was true until I came across an online invitation to a free MBA with Quantic.  

I was hooked. Everything I hoped to have in a MBA course was packaged into the Executive MBA online offering: it was not only flexible, mobile and affordable, but also pedagogically sound and ensured active student participation (the first 11 years of my career were spent as a STEM teacher), a global network of alumni, and best of all, it could be completed in 12 months.  

In the past eight months of studying, I found that the pace and schedule were manageable, while balancing my everyday life. I am very privileged to have flexible working hours and lots of support from my employer, South32. With the mobile application available 24/7, I used every spare five minutes to complete a learning unit. This happened during lunch time, sitting somewhere waiting in a queue, 15 minutes after I woke up or went to bed, and especially the time at night when the little one would wake up and I couldn’t fall back to sleep (don’t all moms know this midnight joy?). Thus far, it has been an enjoyable, highly interesting journey and well worth the effort. Even in this short time, I have been able to incorporate my learning into my day job and have applied some of the principles to make innovative changes.

Were there difficult times? Yes, especially during the time that we were both sick. Are the exams and assignments challenging? Yes, you must put in extra effort during exam week. Is the Quantic staff helpful and supportive? For sure, they know that students are human, life happens, and that there is always a plan to get back on schedule.   

The most pleasantly unexpected experience with my Executive MBA was during one of my exams, as highlighted in an email I wrote:

“I wanted to share with you a precious moment and why I love the format of the Quantic EMBA. I have been working diligently during the hours that my daughter is asleep (because I do not want to impact the little time we have during the day) and thus far, it has worked very well. I try to do most of my exams early in the morning, before she wakes up. At 5:15am, I settled in behind my machine, ready to take on the Operations and Project Management exam. Instead of her waking up as normal around 7am, she woke at 5:30am. Needless to say, I had a curious, happy-to-be-alive, wanting-to-be-with-mommy, toddler. I almost had a panic attack but decided to make the most of the situation.

As she played, I finished my exam through all the questions, requests and played along. The picture says it all. Although it took a little longer, the end result was a whopping 93% and a very happy little girl. I can’t think of a better result :-).

I hope that it can be an encouragement to more mothers out there; it is possible to complete the Quantic EMBA, tend to your family and work full-time. Thank you again Quantic for enabling continuous studies and making it possible to have fun doing it.”

It is my hope that more women will join the increasing network of MBA alumni. Quantic has gone the extra mile to make moms feel welcome in the Executive MBA program. Quantic has designed their Executive MBA program in such a way that a mom is not trapped in the compromises of choosing between career advancement, further studies and raising a family. Moms, let’s go forth to equip ourselves for professional success, model an example for our children, and help to break down barriers and stereotypes with an Executive MBA.


EMBA vs MBA: The Best Degree for Your Growth

There are hundreds of business degree programs offered globally. Navigating the business school landscape is challenging. There are tons of options.

This article will put you on the right path. 

At Quantic School of Business and Technology, we understand how big this decision is. After all, picking the right MBA or Executive MBA will propel your career forward

To help equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision, we’ve developed  a program comparison guide. 

Use it as a tool to determine which program is best suited to your unique situation and desired career outcomes. 

MBA Programs

MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs are most commonly suited to those with less work experience — often, those who have recently graduated. These are people who require more introductory courses in business administration. 

Therefore, MBA candidates are commonly required to maintain a heavier workload and a more demanding schedule during their full-time studies. 

By working on a full-time schedule, MBA programs tend to offer more freedom within the denser school schedule. For instance, selecting electives or choosing a subject specialization or “track.” (Although this is not entirely uncharacteristic of Executive MBA programs, it’s rarer.)

EMBA Programs

Executive MBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) programs are developed with working professionals in mind. Those who want to keep working full time, while advancing their skills.

This is frequently done on a part-time basis. Some schools offer specializations in industries like healthcare and technology; the Quantic Executive MBA’s award-winning curriculum offers elective specializations in management, leadership, entrepreneurship and advanced strategy.

MBA and EMBA Statistics

A good approach to researching which type of program is right for you is by looking at MBA and Executive MBA programs by the numbers—or in business terms, through a cost-benefit analysis. 

Cost of an MBA vs. an EMBA

Approaching your selection of a program through a financial lens is one of the most common methods of analysis. Pursuing  an MBA or Executive MBA costs time and money — it’s a commitment that’s worth taking the time to think about in-depth. 

The key lies in determining which type of program is best suited for where you are in your career, and which stands to be of most benefit to you in terms of career growth. one major difference between Executive MBA and MBA programs is the format of their delivery and associated costs. 

Executive MBA programs, mostly delivered part time, allow students to keep their jobs. This means that Executive MBA candidates can bring in a steady income while they study, thus increasing the ROI of their EMBA degree by reducing its overall cost. 

MBA programs, on the other hand, are most commonly delivered in a full-time format, requiring candidates to put income-earning on hold. They may also require students to incur additional living costs (like room and board), if they have to relocate to pursue the degree. 

Average Age

Executive MBA programs typically attract more mature professionals (with the average EMBA applicant age being 38), with greater work experience. They have competitive résumés and are poised to move into more senior leadership roles with their current employer, change industries, or perhaps, branch out on their own to start a new company. 

MBA applicants, by contrast, tend to be younger (with the average MBA applicant age being 28) and have their applications reviewed on the basis of academic credentials. That said, many programs, including Quantic’s MBA, value unique and sometimes less traditional backgrounds. 

With either program, there are always outliers so one of the most useful ways to determine which program is best for you, is to consider the kind of peers you stand to gain. Will learning alongside those who are just starting out in their careers challenge you? Will you be able to contribute to your cohort in a way that’s valuable and challenges others? These are the types of questions that can help you choose a program that stands to benefit you the most.

Work Experience

Each type of program is delivered with a unique purpose and student needs in mind. 

Executive MBA candidates often compete for admission on the basis of their work experience rather than academic scores. And they are typically required to apply with a minimum of five years’ work experience (though their average work experience is 14 years) and demonstrated managerial or leadership roles. 

MBA applicants, on the other hand, typically compete on their GMAT and academic credentials, as well as their work experience to-date. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA, however, do not require students take the GMAT. Both programs require a bachelor’s degree. 

Program Duration

How long an MBA takes to complete depends on the type of program you choose. Executive MBA programs are typically part-time programs that run on weekends and weeknights and vary in duration (between 18 and 24 months, though some take as few as 12 months, like the Quantic Executive MBA); more traditional MBA programs, by comparison, usually take more time, often requiring 4 semesters of full-time study (following a typical university schedule), amounting to two years total (24 months). 

Some online MBA programs are shorter; for instance, the Quantic MBA takes 10 months to complete. Though, this is not an indication of a lighter curriculum — Quantic’s program length is a direct result of its proprietary pedagogy that uses Active Learning to teach. They’ve done away with time-consuming lectures entirely and deliver content via fast-paced, interactive, and personalized modules. Plus, shorter programs  mean you can start earning faster. Quantic’s MBA also has the added benefit of a built-in career network, too, so you’re likely to put your skills to use immediately.

Fees

Whether you choose a traditional MBA or Executive MBA program, the cost of tuition, plus any additional expenses, tends to be substantial. 

As per EMBAC’s 2019 Membership Program Survey, the average executive EMBA cost runs at just under $83,000 (US), though higher tuition costs are not uncommon; many ranked MBA and EMBA programs’ tuition can easily exceed $100,000, and the most prestigious business schools can cost double that (upwards of $200,000). 

MBA programs, on the other hand, while costing somewhat less in tuition (on average $60,000), quickly add up in day-to-day living costs that aren’t offset until graduates return to regular employment. 

Quantic offer’s a hyper-competitive free MBA. How is it free? Tuition is subsidized by the built-in career network, Smartly Talent. Employers pay to recruit from the school’s high-caliber student and alumni network, thus, shifting the burden of tuition costs from student to employer. The Executive MBA, while not free, is just 5% the cost of a traditional program. 

Company Sponsorship

Another stark contrast between the two program formats is funding. 

It’s far more common for Executive MBA candidates to be funded by their employers, while MBAs are typically self-funded. 

This creates a landscape in which MBA students often have more options for applying for scholarship funding, should they invest their time in this additional research and application process. 

It should be stated, though, that over the years schools have begun  to offer more Executive MBA scholarships in response to a changing trend whereby EMBAs are seeing less employer sponsorship and need to be self-funded. Quantic’s Executive MBA offers candidates pathways and resources for employer-funded tuition reimbursement. 

And of course, even for students who are company-funded, conditions may apply, such as requiring that Executive MBA graduates complete a term of employment with the sponsoring company after graduation. Additionally, most require that the school is accredited (Quantic is accredited).

Lifestyle

A student’s lifestyle is heavily influenced by the program they choose to undertake. 

Since Executive MBA candidates tend to have significant and continual work obligations alongside their academic pursuits, course schedules will typically run outside the usual 9-to-5, during what many working professionals consider to be their leisure or personal/family time. This, of course, will also have significant social implications—although course attendance and networking with their newfound community can help fill that social gap. The latter is true for MBA candidates too, who will undoubtedly spend much more time in person with classmates, whether in the classroom, in the library or at networking and MBA events on evenings and weekends.

Because Quantic’s programs are entirely online, it enables both Executive MBA and MBA students to learn on their own schedule, with most students spending between 5-15 hours a week on course work. And with group projects, virtual classrooms for discussion and debate, and optional in-person meet-ups and conferences, there are plenty of opportunities for networking and connecting with fellow peers.

Executive MBA Benefits

Learning Experience

The “E” in EMBA often has prospective students mistaking the EMBA as a more “elite” form of study in comparison to the “more basic” MBA program.

The reality is the two programs are simply designed to suit different kinds of students. They offer different curricula and educational experiences. While much of the core curriculum is shared between the MBA and EMBA, Executive MBAs offer more in the way of advanced courses in C-level management, strategy, and leadership.

MBA programs tend to include more introductory courses for those with less managerial experience with the option to specialize in more focused courses, similar to those seen in an EMBA curriculum. 

Due to constraints on EMBA candidates’ schedules, EMBA programs also offer more classes on the weekends, on some weeknights, and in more condensed formats. 

This results in a program that tends to offer fewer elective options than a typical MBA. However, EMBA cohorts tend to have students from all kinds of backgrounds who bring different experiences, perspectives, and knowledge to the table, which massively enhances the learning experience in its own unique way

Salary Increase?

A Master in Business Administration program offers candidates significant monetary returns upon graduation. 

While salary increases vary by candidate and industry, according to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates saw an average salary boost of 13.5%. 

While this number is lower compared to MBAs (who by virtue of being younger and earlier in their careers have more to gain in terms of earning potential), the same survey also saw 53% of EMBA candidates reporting that they received more responsibilities, with 40% of those surveyed reporting that they received a promotion during the program. 

There’s no doubt that a degree of either type is well worth pursuing.

Skills Acquired

The skills acquired during study vary by program, depending on the specialties and concentrations  chosen, as well as the type of program. 

The primary skills gained from an EMBA degree are those related to effective leadership, strategy and corporate governance. 

According to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates reported learning skills that included strategic thinking, decision-making and leadership, in addition to gaining insight into economic factors affecting businesses today, as well as accounting skills and financial acuity. Such skills can help candidates who wish to take their consulting work to the next level, as well as those wanting to move into executive leadership roles and the C-suite within an organization. 

The Quantic School of Business and Technology EMBA prepares students to meet a variety of career aspirations and goals by developing advanced strategy skills, skills in leadership. Watch one student describe their experience here.

Full-Time Job Placement 

The most competitive degrees have gained that reputation by way of the opportunities they afford their graduates, the network and career support. Programs with a strong career network offer candidates avenues to new jobs as well as mentorship opportunities. These are particularly beneficial to students who are hoping to change industry

MBA and Executive MBA Admission Requirements

Because MBA and EMBA programs tend to attract candidates at different stages of their careers, they often differ in their requirements for admission. For instance, most MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Whereas EMBA programs require more work experience (typically 10 to 15 years).

Since most Executive MBA candidates already have a strong foundation of business experience,, standardized tests like the GMAT (Graduate Management Assessment Test) are less commonly required for admission. 

Conversely, most MBA programs put more emphasis on GMAT scores when reviewing candidates’ eligibility, and, though some programs do waive it, it’s important to know whether you need a GMAT for the MBA as well as the minimum score required to apply. While many Quantic students have taken the GMAT (and scored on par with students at top schools!), it’s not a requirement for admission. 

In the MBA world, application essays are also weighted quite heavily in admissions and some applicants might vie for a spot through more creative approaches (some schools even require video essays). And though most global programs are offered in English, students who aren’t native English speakers are often required to get a minimum score on a standardized language test, such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 

In terms of recommendation letters, both the MBA and EMBA programs often require at least one, if not several. For the Executive MBA, where work-life balance is important, candidates are also required to supply written proof that their current employer actually supports their pursuing the degree. This is true for EMBA applicants who are being sponsored by their employer to study, as well as for those who aren’t, because chances are that candidates will have to do some coordinating with their company (including potentially taking some time off) to complete the program. Quantic’s employer-funded tuition reimbursement program makes this conversation easy with a downloadable guide.

Choosing the Right Program for Your Lifestyle Goals 

The delivery format of a business degree can have huge implications for the success of a candidate during their studies as well as beyond graduation.

In-person programs provide the traditional grounding of an academic environment, but this comes at a premium — higher tuition costs, relocation, and putting a budding career on hold to attend full time

Luckily, competitive online programs are on the rise. They are changing the landscape and reducing the barriers to entry.  Some programs even incorporate cutting edge technology into their Learning Management Systems. For some candidates this is a better option. It increases their competitiveness in the job market,but doesn’t involve a massive investment of time and money. . 

Traditional (On-Campus) MBA/EMBA Programs

Residential programs are a suitable choice for students who wish to be more fully immersed in campus culture. 

On-campus programs also offer candidates more opportunities to network and socialize with their cohort, professors, and the wider academic community outside of their structured MBA or EMBA schedule.

Part-Time MBA/EMBA Programs

A part-time program, whether an EMBA or MBA, is best suited to students who wish to continue working while earning their degrees. Coursework for these programs is most often scheduled on weekends and weeknights. Of course, those choosing this option may find they require a high level of discipline, as their “free time” will be largely occupied by coursework. 

Those with children or other personal commitments and responsibilities may have to assess their priorities during their course of study to ensure they stay organized.

Online MBA/EMBA Programs 

More non-traditional programs, like those delivered online, are gaining popularity, as they offer more flexible schedules and learning environments for the modern student—and with much lower financial barriers. 

By removing overhead costs, these programs can offer a valuable curriculum, experienced faculty, and deep industry expertise at a fraction of the cost of an in-person program (and sometimes even free). 

By virtue of not being overseen by large regulatory bodies, the curriculum of these programs is often more customized and responsive to the changing needs of industry, and not simply academia. 

For example, Quantic EMBA cohorts follow a guided sequence of coursework especially developed by a team of specialists who collaborate with professors from top elite business schools to bring the program to life. Students are offered bite-size lessons and individualized feedback (every eight seconds!) so that they feel supported throughout the course of their studies, in addition to online and in-person group work and networking opportunities that round out the program.

Today’s business professionals are already seeing the signs of a growing remote workforce, heightened interconnectivity, more collaborative tools, and changing operational structures that are altering how we do business globally. 

More flexible online-first programs can be seen as an extension of these wider trends and can, simply by virtue of their delivery format, offer candidates unique insights into the evolving contexts of work as well as the skills necessary to succeed as leaders in this changing environment.

Summary: Choose the Right Degree for Your Career Growth

Is a particular MBA or EMBA program right for you?

That’s the fundamental question. 

To answer it accurately, you need to look at your own eligibility first and foremost (e.g. career maturity, academic experience and work experience). 

After that… you should evaluate your own ability and desire to commit to it.

If you still want to do one, then the delivery format is important. 

You now have the choice of online MBA’s, as well as more traditional full time and part time options. 

Pick one that works for you. 

Your own learning style, lifestyle habits and personal responsibilities and commitments — these things play a large role in what you get out of whatever format you choose. 

Not everyone is primed for success right out of the gate.

So do your due diligence and learn from those who did it right

That way, you can select the program that will give you the highest chance of success. 

The business degree landscape is full of success stories. 

Will you be next? READ THE CASE STUDY.

Build Your Network with Quantic

There are many reasons why students choose to earn their MBA from Quantic. Quantic offers innovative degree programs that are online and mobile, so students can learn wherever they want. And for many, the highly selective and global nature of Quantic’s admissions is a major draw—all in service of building an impressive and engaged network of students and alumni around the world.

Unlike many online education platforms, Quantic provides its learners with myriad opportunities to meet and connect. Quantic’s Network allows students and alumni from the MBA and EMBA programs to discover students located in their geographic area and who share similar interests. And with the recent addition of the Network Events tab, students can now do more than just communicate on the platform; they can also connect in person.

In the Events tab, students can peruse the many community events Quantic has to offer. These range from in-person conferences, meetups, and special events to online orientations and book clubs, where students discuss the monthly book pick over video chat. Some of the most significant networking opportunities in Quantic’s highly engaged network are the in-person meetups and conferences held in cities around the world.

Quantic meetups allow for students to make real-world connections with their classmates. Meetups range from sharing dinner with one another at local restaurants to a special event such as touring Facebook’s NYC Headquarters. Recent meetup cities include Toronto, Berlin, Taipei, and Sydney. Quantic has hosted meetups in over 40 cities in 2019 alone, including trips to tour the United States Capitol building and London’s Houses of Parliament.

While meetups primarily bring together students and alumni who live in the same city, the weekend-long Executive MBA conferences draw students from (nearly) every continent. Conference itineraries vary from city to city and provide unique opportunities for students to experience and learn about the city they’re in. In 2019, conferences were held in Washington D.C., Singapore, and Dublin, with the next scheduled for Spring of 2020 in Copenhagen.

Conferences provide an excellent opportunity for students to not only network with other students and alumni, but to learn about real world businesses. Students partake in workshops, collaborate on case studies, hear talks from prominent business leaders, and visit successful local businesses to gain new perspectives and insights on how businesses are run across industries and in different countries.

Why does Quantic put so much emphasis on students networking virtually and through conferences and meetups?

According to Alexie Harper, Quantic’s Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer, “Networking provides students with new career opportunities and allows them to meet the right people who may later provide them with career resources and support when they need it.”

Networking can even be a source of inspiration—presenting different paths of success that others have taken and that you have perhaps overlooked. Particularly in mid-to-senior level management roles and for students embarking upon an entrepreneurial endeavor, networking is a vital component for advancing one’s career, avoiding stagnation, and making the most out of opportunities that arise.

There’s evidence that networking plays a major role in hiring. The chart below from SilkRoad’s 2018 research report on hiring sources shows that referrals were the largest source of job hires by a long shot.

This chart from Statista shows that friends and professional connections provided the most new opportunities for job seekers in 2018.

Through student projects that encourage students to work together to solve business issues, student meetups and events around the world, and the Network tab features, Quantic students are encouraged to build meaningful connections.

So go on. Meet new people, reconnect with old acquaintances, and grow your network. You never know where it could lead.