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 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 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.

COVID-19 Response: No Disruption to Classes, Increased Scholarships

With every day bringing news of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting global health, the economy, travel, and work, an MBA or Executive MBA program shouldn’t cause additional stress. At Quantic, we are fortunate in that our programs and required peer collaborations are entirely online, and our staff is well accustomed to working remotely. As such, our programs will continue without interruption.

We have, however, instituted changes to ensure the safety of our community and to be there to support our students and applicants, as well as the broader global community, in whatever way we can.

  • Increased scholarships for Executive MBA
    • As many have been affected financially by the pandemic, we will be increasing both the number of scholarships we award, as well as the amount. We offer both need-based and merit-based scholarships for our Executive MBA. As always, our MBA is completely free to those who are admitted. For additional financial support, please inquire about employer-backed tuition reimbursement here
  • Free open courses: We offer several free open courses available to the public. Courses include Business Foundations, as well as a handful of other MBA-level courses like Blue Ocean Strategy. Just sign up and visit your Dashboard to start learning right away. 
  • Extensions or Deferrals: If you are admitted to one of our programs but need an extension or deferral to another cohort due to circumstances related to COVID-19, just let us know and we’ll do everything we can to accommodate.
  • Events: Until further notice, we have canceled in-person meet-ups and events/conferences. Instead, we’ll host online events to enrich the curriculum and bring students from all cohorts together. 
  • Registrar: If admitted, we request official transcripts from your previous schools. But due to school closures and restricted movement, it may not be possible to obtain transcripts at this time. If this is the case, we will work with you to make alternate arrangements. 

For the past seven years, Quantic has been a pioneer of online, mobile-first graduate education, enabling students to learn wherever they are and according to their own schedule. While this is a scary time, we remain optimistic. As many of us in the education sector adapt and shift into roles that solve the challenges we’re all facing, we will continue to leverage our resources and platforms to help our fellow learners. 

Be well, stay healthy, and never stop learning. 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quantic’s Online MBA Program

Let’s face it, earning an MBA can be a big ask. Sure, it can help advance your career and provide the leadership skills and professional network you need to get to the top of your field, but traditional MBA programs often require a two-year hiatus from your job and can include a $200k price tag. This is a tall order for many working professionals in the United States who are already suffocating under the weight of student debt. 

The financial aid debt clock shows a nationwide deficit of almost $1.7 trillion, and we are beginning to hear dire stories about the impacts of student debt on family formation, small business creation, home purchases, and retirement. And in Europe, markets across the EU have been clamoring for MBA grads since 2010 when education requirements were standardized in the Bologna Process. Embarking upon a two-years master’s degree program after earning a bachelor’s has become the “standard across the continent.”

The bottom line: More and more employers want you to earn a master’s degree, but doing so could have a sizable impact on your earnings, livelihood, and even your future family. 

This is where Quantic School of Business and Technology comes in.

Quantic’s online MBA program was developed by leading academic and business minds and designed to accommodate working professionals. It is a fully online program so yes, it is flexible and convenient. But that is not what makes it unique. Check out the 10 things you didn’t know about Quantic’s programs. 

Quantic’s Technological Advantage

1. Executive leaders were key players at Rosetta Stone

Quantic School of Business and Technology brings together the collective knowledge and experience of Rosetta Stone’s former CEO (Tom Adams) and executive leadership team, including Co-founders, Alexie Harper (Chief Academic Officer) and Ori Ratner (CTO), as well as VP of Admissions, Matt Schenck. If you have ever used Rosetta Stone, you know its interactive language-learning technology set the bar for usability and knowledge retention back in the early 2000s.  

What this means for students: Quantic’s leadership pedigree is unmatched in the educational tech space. It is an organization that understands wholeheartedly the tools that best allow students to learn, retain, and master educational material.

2. Active learning increases engagement and retention

Quantic has built a more efficient and engaging online teaching model. The company has witnessed the shortcomings of MOOC programs and the inefficacy of “video professor” lectures that so many traditional universities have used to increase their online presence.

In a recent independent study, Quantic learners outperformed their counterparts from Harvard, Duke, and Wharton in standardized tests covering accounting and finance. A second study comparing Quantic learners to those enrolled in popular MOOCs, Khan Academy and edX, reported Quantic students scoring significantly higher on statistics testing while spending 67 percent less time on the platform. 

How are these results possible? Quantic designed its MBA programs around “active learning,” an approach that requires active participation (vs. passive) of the student, prompting them to engage with content every 8 seconds. Students are given immediate feedback based on their performance and the material is built on previously learned subject matter.

Active learning isn’t a new concept, in fact, it was pioneered by Maria Montessori in early childhood education, Maximillian Berlitz in immersion language learning, and Shinichi Suzuki in music study. Its benefits and efficacy have been exhaustively studied and are proven to be more effective than passive, lecture-based learning alone.

What this means for students: Quantic’s MBA program was created using pioneering learning methods and designed to keep students more engaged, learn subject matter faster, and retain material more efficiently. 

3. Mobile-first means access to cutting-edge material

Quantic School of Business and Technology conceived and built its MBA and Executive MBA programs as mobile-first options from the outset to provide students with a better learning experience that was conducive to their busy schedules. Of course, it is convenient to be able to take classes via your mobile devices, but the mobile-first approach also provides an academic advantage.

Quantic’s agile platform allows for rapid development of new, cutting-edge courses in innovative fields, while traditional MBA programs typically develop curriculum in emerging fields at a slower pace due to bureaucratic and logistical hurdles. This sluggishness to adapt is why some have argued that traditional schools are teaching skills more apt for 20th century businesses than today’s. On the other hand, Quantic recently began developing a computer science degree program as well as courses on blockchain, cultural intelligence, and design thinking. What’s more? Graduates have lifetime access to all existing courses and new courses as they’re released.

What this means for students: Quantic’s mobile-first, tech-driven approach enables it to quickly adapt to offer courses in emerging fields so you are always at the forefront of today’s business and tech environment.   

Quantic School of Business and Technology Accepts Only the Most Committed Learners 

4. Ultra-competitive admissions cultivates a powerful student and alumni network

Quantic accepts only about 7 percent of applicants to its online MBA program. Its philosophy is to attract the best and brightest business minds and give them the tools they need to build a better world through intelligent and modern business practices.  

Many online educators have admissions policies that are designed to attract everyone and while they may be well intentioned, open or lax admissions policies ultimately hurt the students enrolling in the program, as evidenced by plummeting graduation rates and poor outcomes. Quantic is built differently. Its aim is to provide students access to an ecosystem of the world’s leading professionals and cultivate an environment where students can connect, collaborate, and solve complex business problems. The goal is for each student feel part of a tight-knit community of learners who help motivate, challenge and learn from one another.

Quantic counts among its students roboticists for Tesla and Amazon, a tea magnate who donates revenue to indigenous farmers, a bio-tech CEO, four students named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list, and even an accomplished Iditarod musher / entrepreneur.

What this means for students: Strict admissions standards ensure that students admitted to the program are deeply committed to their studies, capable of completing and excelling in the coursework, and can bring valuable contributions to their cohort.

5. Students Graduate in About a Year

Quantic’s degree programs are fully online and designed to give working professionals the skills and experience they need to achieve their goals and advance their careers. Both the MBA and Executive MBA take about 13 months.

The secret to Quantic’s reduced time to graduation is twofold: First, the active learning model makes coursework not only more enjoyable, but it’s more effective and faster than passively absorbing information via lecture. Thus, students learn more, quicker. Second, Quantic only accepts students that are truly driven and committed to deepening their skill set. 

What this means for students: Do not mistake a reduced time to completion for a pushover program. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA are extremely competitive and students need to demonstrate they are committed to the coursework, comfortable with a rigorous academic program, and dedicated to achieving their goals. 

Quantic Prioritizes Network Building & Job Placement

6. ‘Network First’ approach prioritizes collaboration with peers

Early on, the founders of Quantic School of Business and Technology identified a glaring omission in how many online educators ran their programs. Unlike traditional, residential programs with deep, connected alumni groups, there was no network or peer interaction to speak of – students learned in isolation and graduated in a silo. Quantic is different, as it is a “network first” business school, which means, like traditional programs, Quantic students are provided myriad opportunities to interact with their peers and classmates, online and face-to-face. Frequent interaction and peer-to-peer learning among students is the norm, not the exception. And for the Executive MBA, a valuable addition to the curriculum comes in the form of weekend-long conferences filled with workshops, case studies, and opportunities to interact with leading business executives. 

Quantic’s learning platform enables students to discuss course material, debate points of view, and collaborate on group projects in real-time or in staggered sessions. But its commitment to network building doesn’t end on the computer screen. 

In 2019, Quantic hosted more than 60 regional events in 36 cities across the world, including San Francisco, London, Lagos, Perth, Taipei, Vienna, and Sydney. Moreover, it hosted weekend conferences in Dublin, Singapore, and Washington D.C. And in 2020, the program quickly scaled COVID-safe virtual events and summits, connecting students around the globe.

Executive MBA students in attendance at the Singapore weekend conference.

What this means for students: If you thought Quantic would be another anonymous MOOC program that you can pop in and out of at your leisure, think again. You’ll be given opportunities to experience the world and interact with leading business professionals. But, you are responsible for your own success and will be held accountable by your cohort in group projects. 

7. The first online institution to tie its business model to job placement 

Most online educators spend very little time building hiring platforms or scaling career services because, frankly, low admissions standards tend to lead to high program abandonment and low graduation rates. Those online educators have little incentive for placing students because there is no revenue attached to those efforts. 

Quantic has tied its business reputation and financial viability to strategically placing students in promising careers. Smartly Talent, Quantic’s proprietary hiring engine, requires businesses to pay to recruit Quantic students. It is a structure that shifts tuition and the job-hunting burdens of cost, time, and stress from the student to the employer. 

Smartly Talent is also highly selective and requires employers to apply to access its network of students. Employers are only granted access to the platform if they can demonstrate the ability to provide high-quality placement opportunities for students and alumni.

What this means for students: Nobody is going to gift you an MBA at Quantic but their success depends on your success. If you can commit to the curriculum and coursework, they will do everything they can to ensure you are prepared to take on new challenges in your current role, or help place you in a new career that is right for you.   

8. Active outplacement provides opportunities near and far 

Both employers and students have fully bought into the effectiveness of partnering via the Smartly Talent platform. Students are actively browsing job opportunities, communicating with employers, and frequently returning to find newly posted jobs.

While the network of employers continues to grow, more than 2,200 have applied for access to the Smartly Talent platform. And those that have been approved and are consistently posting jobs. Most employers are based in the U.S. but around 1,500 positions have been posted in 38 other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

What this means for students: Earning an MBA is about learning the business principles that will help you become a leader in your field and allow you to take advantage of high-profile opportunities when they arise. Quantic’s talent platform is tailor-made to partner ambitious students with opportunities that will help them shine. 

Quantic Offers Two Affordable Paths to an MBA (And Ways to Further Decrease Cost to Students)

9. The MBA 

The MBA is aimed at early-career professionals who show an aptitude for business leadership. It is true rival to elite traditional MBAs and includes specialized coursework, group projects, proctored presentations, one-on-one faculty consultations, library and database resources, and virtual and in-person events. The program requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of two years of industry experience, and English language proficiency. This program values but does not require business experience.

10. Executive MBA

The Executive MBA is suited for experienced professionals with more than seven years of industry experience who want to enhance their leadership skills. Students can specialize in management, entrepreneurship, or advanced business strategy. And like the MBA, offers opportunities to connect with peers via group projects, events, meet-ups and more. Additionally, Executive MBA students embark upon the Capstone project – a year-long project where they’ll build a business plan from scratch, culminating with a pitch to Quantic faculty. A few students have even launched their Capstones after graduation.

Both programs awards merit and need-based scholarships on a case-by-case basis and Quantic works with students’ employers to provide tuition reimbursement to further help cover the cost.   

What this means for students: Starting a new life or building a new career does not have to come with a mountain of new debt. If you are willing to work hard, stay focused, and take advantage of the programs available to you, a debt-free, top-tier MBA is within your reach. 

The Big Takeaway

If you’re among the tens of thousands of prospective MBA or Executive MBA students out there weighing your options and asking yourself if an online MBA is worth it, don’t worry, we get it. It’s a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

If you can afford to take two years off from work, add up to $200k (or more) to your debt load, and relocate to the city in which a top-notch residential program is located, you should do it, you won’t be alone. Thousands of other people make that same decision every year. 

But, if you’re not willing to take on that kind of shakeup in your life and still want a top-tier MBA, keep a few things in mind. Quantic’s online MBA program is changing the landscape of higher education. Its curriculum is created by leading academic and business professionals and its teaching methods are rooted in a pedagogy that is proven to be more effective across cultures and throughout history. 

Earning a degree from the Quantic School of Business and Technology also makes financial sense. Its partnership with employers subsidizes the cost of tuition for students and has built its business model around ensuring students find high-profile opportunities. 

Is an online MBA worth it? We think so. Set up an account to apply to one of our MBA programs or sample a few free courses.

Quantic MBA Student James Lu Morrissey on Higher Education and Making Forbes 30 Under 30 List

We sat down with 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient–and Quantic School of Business and Technology MBA student–James Lu Morrissey to discuss co-founding Mentor Collective, learning with Quantic, and disrupting the world of higher education.

Quantic learners tend to reflect the platform itself: innovative, disruptive, and equipped with a global scope. Those are just a few of the qualities that have led to three Quantic learners being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists in the past two years.

James Lu Morrissey (MBA – August 2018) is a perfect example of this. Lu Morrissey’s personal experiences with international education inspired him to found his company Mentor Collective, an international online mentoring community. Lu Morrissey was born in the United States, but he attended elementary school for a couple years in Taiwan. Moving to a new school can be difficult for any child; moving to a new school in a new country is even more challenging.

Adjusting in school was made easier, however, by joining the school’s sports teams. There, he was mentored by his older teammates, who eased his transition and helped him find his place. At a young age, he began to understand that mentorship was critical to adjusting to and excelling in a new environment.

He also recognized the need for peer mentorship as an undergraduate student at Carleton College. He had several friends from international and diverse backgrounds, and he noticed that many of them had difficulty adjusting to college. There wasn’t always a clear structure like a track team with teammates that could mentor them.

“When adjusting to college, all students are a stranger in a strange land,” Lu Morrissey reflected. “You might be coming from Minnesota to go to NYU. That’s a very foreign experience.”

A lack of personalized support for college students is one of the factors contributing to a college completion crisis, particularly at public universities. According to Forbes, less than 60 percent of students graduate from public institutions in six years or less. Rising tuition and student loan debt coupled with the increasing necessity of a college degree for career advancement, often puts students who do not graduate at a serious disadvantage.

To solve this problem, Lu Morrissey and colleague Jackson Boyer co-founded Mentor Collective. Mentor Collective uses scaleable and transformative mentoring, through a format supported by technology and designed for large-scale application. Mentor Collective achieves this by matching students to mentors who have a similar background.

To that end, Mentor Collective has developed partnerships with more than 50 universities, including Penn State, Johns Hopkins, and Washington University in St. Louis. Through these partnerships, they’ve mentored over 35,000 students, resulting in an up to 9% increase in retention rates and 5x decreased likelihood of academic probation.

Working towards these results has certainly kept Lu Morrissey busy, but he has still found time to pursue a Quantic MBA. While residential MBA programs have a high opportunity cost, Quantic made it possible for Lu Morrissey to “continue running my company day-to-day, while having a flexible option to learn at my own pace.”

Furthermore, Lu Morrissey has found Quantic’s courses are directly applicable to running Mentor Collective. “I can complete a lesson, take what I’ve learned, and use it the very next day at Mentor Collective.”

Lu Morrissey also appreciates the flexibility and global perspective that Quantic offers. He tries to work overseas for two to three weeks every winter, and, with Quantic’s online platform, he doesn’t have to disrupt his learning schedule to travel. “I can do Quantic while traveling in Shanghai and not have any problems with time differences.”

Lu Morrissey also sees both Quantic and Mentor Collective as helping students receive the full value of higher education. Universities, with “massive endowments and very strong brands,” may not feel the urgency or need to innovate “in the same way as many other industries,” Lu Morrissey noted. “And that can come at a big cost to students. If a school is not making an impact on students’ lives, then it’s not fulfilling its promise.”

Like Quantic, Mentor Collective’s team is passionate about the students they reach. Lu Morrissey attributes Mentor Collective’s success rates in large part to his 24 Boston-based employees. Noting that his team is interested in social impact, he emphasized that “something unique happens when you collect a lot of very mission-driven, hungry learners and put them all in the same room.”

Quantic Alumni Network is Live!

Today, we’re proud to introduce Network, a new feature of the Quantic platform built to connect students and alumni around the world.

Today, we’re proud to introduce Network, a new feature of the Quantic platform built to connect Quantic students and alumni around the world. Network is exclusively available to current students and alumni of the Quantic MBA and Executive MBA programs, and we’ve made a special preview available to prospective students.

With Network, students can explore a global map of students and alumni, search by industry and interests, and contact peers safely and easily.

We created Network to enable students to forge real-world connections and discover inspiring peers in the Quantic community. Quantic students work in today’s most exciting industries and at top companies, giving them access to an impressive ecosystem of experienced professionals.

If you’re an aspiring Quantic student, you can sign up for a Quantic account at https://quantic.mba and access a preview. We’re excited to hear your reactions to Network!

Meet Linda, one of Quantic’s experts in probability and statistics

Who says statistics isn’t exciting? Through fun scenarios and images, like the above from Quantic’s Advanced Statistics Inference course, Linda Richard is helping to re-brand statistics for thousands of learners! Linda, one of Quantic’s content creators in the field of probability and statistics, has a background in business and education and currently resides in the Netherlands. She believes that statistics is an important subject to understand because it touches so many disciplines including business, medicine, and foreign policy.

In this post, we catch up with Linda to learn what she’s working on and why she decided to join Quantic.

1. What’s your name, and where are you based?

Linda Richard.

Currently I live in the Netherlands due to my husband’s work. Before that, I lived in Seattle, and before that, New York, North Carolina, and Minnesota!

2. How long have you been writing for Quantic?

About 2 years.

3. What’s your professional and educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s in Math, a Master’s in Operations Research (a field of applied math), and a Master’s in Teaching. I worked in business for almost 10 years before changing careers to teaching. Then I taught high school math in Seattle for 6 years before moving abroad. I keep my fingers in the public education sphere through projects with Washington State and other high school curriculum organizations.

4. How and why did you start writing for Quantic?

When we moved to Europe, I wanted to find work that would allow flexible hours for traveling and other fun living-abroad-activities, but still be part of the education world. Pedago was looking for math content developers, which was right in my wheelhouse.

5. What are some of the courses and subjects that you’ve written about in Quantic?

I’ve written lots of statistics and probability lessons, as well as Excel lessons. Recently I’ve started writing lessons on coding with Python, which is a whole ‘nother challenge!

6. Why do you think it’s important for students to understand statistics?

Statistics is probably the most important field of math that most people will interact with after they finish their schooling. Statistics are used to make decisions on health, education, foreign policy, and of course in business. Stats can so easily be mis-used, intentionally or not, so having a solid knowledge base to question and understand this topic is really critical for workers and citizens.

7. What’s the hardest concept you’ve had to communicate (so far), and what was it like to try and distill it for the Quantic platform?

The probability concepts of Bayes’ Rule and the Law of Total Probability were challenging to communicate. Visual illustrations, concrete real-world examples, and spending prep time building up learners’ intuition on these concepts were the strategies. We focused on conceptual understanding rather than on formula memorization – a formula can always be looked up, but if the foundational understanding isn’t there, no formula can help you! The Law of Total Probability, for example, looks like a fairly incomprehensible, complicated formula at first glance, but it’s really just a weighted average.

8. What do you admire about Quantic learners?

With people’s busy lives, it can be hard to find the motivation and the time to take on education projects. People taking Quantic classes are doing so on their own initiative, to advance their learning and their careers.

9. What do you do to keep your learners in mind?

With my background in teaching, I’ve learned how to monitor my own thinking. When you’re teaching content that you know well, you have to be alert for concepts that seem “obvious,” but only feel that way because you’ve been working with them for a long time. Especially in math–there are a lot of embedded concepts that need to be carefully unpacked for people unfamiliar with the topics.

I also try to incorporate visuals and concrete examples wherever possible, knowing that people have different learning styles. The interactive nature of the Quantic platform of course helps with this too!

10. What’s one of your favorite storylines (or characters) used in one of your courses in Quantic?

For the Advanced Statistical Inference courses, we created a fictional winter sports equipment company. It allowed a lot of room for examples with testing equipment, sampling customer preferences, and analyzing market schemes. Plus, my editor, Ellie, found great images with gorgeous snow-covered mountains, and we were able to have some fun putting our characters in situations involving competitive snowball tournaments!

11. What’s your favorite whimsical or snarky answer message you’ve written in Quantic?

Definitely it’s the Monty Python references in the Python lessons. Some are obvious but some are hidden a bit more deeply! Spam and eggs; hovercrafts full of eels; dead parrots; the possibilities are endless.

12. What’s one of your favorite images used in one of your courses in Quantic?

Two come to mind from the Advanced Statistical Inference course. In this capstone lesson, the scenario is that all the experts on statistics at a company, except for the learner, are out of the office with the flu. All the junior analysts are panicked and looking for help. My editor, Ellie, found/created images which put a smile on my face and hopefully the learner’s too!

Meet our Newest Content Developer

John Riehl, one of Quantic’s newest content creators, is a former Air Force officer and current sailing instructor who knows a thing or two about computers.

John Riehl, one of Quantic’s newest content creators, is a former Air Force officer and current sailing instructor who knows a thing or two about computers. He’s writing a new computer science curriculum for Quantic, scheduled for release in 2018.

In this post, we catch up with John to learn what he’s working on and why he decided to join Quantic. Find out why he believes developers should go back to basics and what distinguishes the Quantic computer science curriculum from others on the market.

1. What’s your name, and where are you based?

John Riehl, and I’m based in Port Charlotte, Florida. It’s about 90 miles south of Tampa, on the Gulf Coast.

2. How long have you been writing for Quantic?

I started in August of 2017. I’m coming up on four months, so I’m still a newbie!

3. What’s your professional and educational background?

I graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Computer Engineering in 1989. I went to school on an ROTC scholarship, so I went on active duty in the Air Force after graduation. I stayed in 26 years, working in a variety of jobs closely related to computer technology—but nothing actually hands-on in terms of building or programming computers. During my time in the Air Force I picked up a Master’s in Computer Engineering along with Master’s Degrees in Air and Space Studies and National Resource Management.

4. How and why did you start writing for Quantic?

After I retired from the Air Force I wanted to get back to my technical roots in computer science. I came across Quantic, and it seemed like the perfect fit—share my knowledge and with the next generation of IT professionals while working from home on a flexible schedule. I appreciated Quantic’s innovative approach to education and was (and am) excited to play a small part in equipping the workforce of tomorrow with the skills they’ll need to succeed.

5. What are some of the subjects that you’ve written about in Quantic?

I’m working on a new curriculum for Quantic—Computer Science. What’s interesting about the course is that we’re striking what I think is a great balance between theoretical underpinnings and practical application. There are a lot of online courses for computer programming, but most of them focus just on the practical aspects—how to arrange instructions in a particular programming language to get a program to run. When it comes time for the learner to expand in a new direction or handle a novel situation they’re not as well-equipped as they would be without some fundamentals under their belt. On the other end of the spectrum is a typical four-year computer science program, which builds an extensive theoretical foundation at the expense of time (and money) getting the student to market, as it were.

6. Why do you think it’s important for students to understand computer science?

It’s not an overstatement to say that IT has fundamentally changed the world we live in. Given its impact, it’s important for those involved with building IT capabilities to get things right. A programmer without the right fundamentals is like a chef who doesn’t know what his or her ingredients taste like. Both can follow a recipe and put something together, but the result might not be very good. In the case of computer programs, it could be very bad indeed. Here’s a story about how not knowing the fundamentals created an unintended result. Imagine if that counter had been for something related to scheduled maintenance on a nuclear reactor.

7. What’s the hardest concept you’ve had to communicate (so far), and what was it like to try and distill it for the Quantic platform?

In general, the toughest part for me has been figuring out what the right level of detail is for a concept. For example, when you talk about digital videos you can range from “a video is a series of still images” to “here are the technical details of each of the over 100 different video compression formats in use today.” Finding what the learner needs to know, narrowing the scope down to the most important elements, and presenting it in a way that doesn’t make it a rote memorization exercise is always a challenge.

8. What do you admire about Quantic learners?

It seems to me that Quantic learners are self-starters who are willing to break with convention to improve their knowledge and marketability. They could “play it safe” by getting the standard college degree. Instead, they see an opportunity to be part of a new approach. Those kinds of people will take that same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with them into the marketplace, making things better for all of us.

9. What do you do to keep your learners in mind?

I must confess that I’m still working on this. Too often I’ll assume that a concept is obvious—after all, it’s obvious to me! I rely extensively on the Quantic review process to identify when I’ve leapt too far. I do my best to keep the lessons interesting. Having taken many online courses myself, I’m well aware that it’s very easy to get distracted with email, Facebook, etc. if the material is dry.

10. Anything else you’d like to mention?

I can’t speak for other content developers, but one great side benefit for writing educational content is the learning I do along the way. The process of articulating concepts that I have in my mind forces me to think through them in greater detail than I did when initially learning them. There have been a few times when things I thought I knew turned out to be based on bad assumptions and mental short-cuts that I shouldn’t have been taking. Bottom line—the work is fun and fulfilling from a personal perspective, and rewarding from the perspective of doing something that will have greater benefits down the road.

To our pioneer class: Congratulations on your graduation, MBAs!

After comprehensive academic study, extensive case study discussions, and rigorous exams—they’ve done it.

After comprehensive academic study, extensive discourse in our case study discussions, and the completion of rigorous exams, they’ve done it—graduated from a new elite MBA program that’s the only mobile-first degree system.

Smartly’s MBA is aligned with curricula taught at the world’s most prestigious business schools, and our students are selected through an admission process modeled on those of top institutions. Graduates will enjoy the gains from their studies over a lifetime. Indeed, many already point to real world gains from the program.

We congratulate our pioneers on their accomplishment and wish them the very best in their endeavors! But enough of us and our excitement, let’s hear from our students themselves:

Smartly makes it easy for you to demystify the business world. It presents concepts and knowledge in ways that are applicable to any field and can help you have a greater understanding of the world around you. There is no reason not to use Smartly to better yourself. I can’t believe I went to two universities for undergraduate and graduate school, and never learned what Smartly offered.Erin Pellegrino (Cornell University ‘14, Harvard University ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly’s flipped classroom model was accessible to me everywhere I went, even if I only had 10 minutes. The format engaged me more than most classes I’ve taken in person. I’ve had the chance to get to know amazing classmates, and I feel better equipped to tackle real-world problems with the knowledge I’ve gained.Sachin Doshi (Duke University ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Finding out about Smartly and deciding to apply is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had taken the GMAT, done really well on it, and been considering applying to MBA programs but was wary of the time commitment and the student debt involved. And because I’d started and failed with multiple startups in the past and trying once again with another startup as a stubborn entrepreneur, a traditional MBA was simply too difficult of a choice. Thanks to Smartly, on top of having a degree, I now understand many of the business mistakes I had made in the past, how to assess my own strengths, and can see where I can improve my chances for success as an entrepreneur. If only Smartly had existed before I’d started my other companies… but then perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.Raphael Mun (Carnegie Mellon ‘08, Smartly Summer ‘16)

This MBA will put you at the forefront of business innovation because that’s exactly what it will be to employers.Chance Carpenter (Stanford University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

The Smartly program is an excellent tool for learning the skills needed to excel in business without attending a traditional university. After just a few courses, I already felt more confident at work and had a better understanding of company operations and business development. I would highly recommend Smartly to anyone looking to improve their skills in finance, accounting, marketing and management.Jennifer Argote (Dartmouth ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

As a single mother of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, working a full-time job and a part-time job on the side, this program has made the impossible possible for me. I don’t currently have the time or the money to go back to school, but Smartly’s flexibility has allowed me to achieve this great accomplishment without having to compromise my employment or sacrifice time with my family.Aleisha Matlock (Northwestern ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved Smartly! As an undergraduate engineering major with very little business knowledge, I found the coursework to be straightforward and do a great job of teaching application of the concepts. I have already found myself applying my knowledge every day in my current job!Katie Ernst (Duke University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the future of education; fast, effective and mobile. If a traditional MBA doesn’t fit your lifestyle, give Smartly a look.Ian Lee (University of North Carolina ‘12, Smartly Summer ‘16, Carnegie Mellon University ‘17)

Smartly was an amazing experience! The platform’s ability to deliver content in bite-sized, case study-based, at-your-own-pace approach really helped me engage with the material and take a lot away from this program. I know I’ll put the skills I learned here to use on the job. All that and a debt burden of $0!Pavel Gurevich (UC Berkeley ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved the Smartly program and recommended it to all my friends. I have never experienced interactive learning the way the Smartly program provides. I was able to understand concepts without reading hundreds of textbook pages. Highly recommended this to anybody who has an interest in learning and wants to take their career to the next level!Lindsey Allard (Dartmouth College ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly has given me the opportunity to not only work alongside incredibly talented classmates from around the country but also to solidify concepts in a tangible and meaningful way, wherever I am, all via smartphone. Thank you, Smartly!Brooke Gerstein (Cornell University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the Amazon Prime of MBAs. There’s no reason not to sign up for it. It’s free, the content is highly detailed and memorable, and you get to expand your network with people from top 10 schools. Coming from taking finance courses at Wharton, I found the content of the courses to be of similar caliber.Yash Jain (George Washington University ‘14, University of Pennsylvania ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Learn more about applying to Smartly’s MBA: https://smart.ly.
Learn more about hiring students from our program: https://smart.ly/hiring.

 

Quantic MBA Student Spotlight: Adrian De Smul

In the last few weeks before Smartly graduates its pioneer MBA class, we wanted to feature some of our outstanding students. Current Smartly student Adrian De Smul, who works at McKinsey and graduated from Princeton, tells us about his decision to join Smartly and plans for the future in the interview below. Browse, connect, and hire candidates like Adrian on the Smartly Talent Network.

Tell us about yourself.
I did my undergrad at Princeton in Mechanical Engineering and did a year abroad at Oxford. I ended up doing a lot of Computer Science. Most of my summers, I found more CS oriented gigs and enjoyed that a lot more so ended up doing a summer internship at McKinsey Digital as a full-stack developer. I joined full-time after I graduated and have been in the digital unit every since. I started off doing some front-end development but ended up switching over to a group that helps clients build agile teams to deliver software more effectively. I’ve learned not only how to deliver software differently but also how to put clients at the center of everything that you do.

What inspired you to do the Smartly MBA?
I thought it was a good change to strengthen my broader range of business skills. Especially, when you look at things like A/B testing and optimization and seeing how to get more statistical rigor in some of these user tests.Being more comfortable reading a balance sheet is not something I have to do very often but it’s nice to have that tool in my toolkit.

What have you enjoyed about Smartly?
The fact that you can do it at your own pace, I love. The fact that it works on your phone – it works everywhere. Each of the lessons is just fun – they never really feel like a chore (with the exception of the Accounting ones, which I’m hiding from). It’s easy and online – that’s what keeps me coming back. I also like the bit of gamification – it’s all broken down into very manageable submodules. You can get through a lesson in a few minutes and feel like it’s just done. You don’t have to get through a huge assignment or anything like that.

How has the Smartly coursework affected your day-to-day?
Right now, I’m working on something related to digital culture. We have a bunch of survey results that came back, and I’m able to look at them with a more critical and statistical eye. we have data based by industry, segmented in all these different ways, and there’s interesting statistical work that you can do when you have that much data. I think being able to look for survey results in a little bit deeper way is something I found interesting. The Marketing courses have also been interesting in the sense that I haven’t really gotten to use it for work yet, but it’s something that is very applicable and is not totally intuitive. The way that you can structure pricing, especially around sales and different marketing opportunities, we kind of skirt around those topics in conversation, but it’s nice to have the vocabulary to be able to talk more authoritatively about the marketing side of things.

What industries most interest you?
Part of the reason I did the Smartly MBA is that I really love EdTech. I wanted to see how Smartly was changing EdTech. That’s definitely one area. I’ve done a lot of work with McKinsey in banking and finance, so I think there’s still some cool ways of getting involved in FinTech that would be a lot of fun and would leverage my skill set really well.

What makes you a great job candidate?
For me, the experience that I’ve had in the past. And the Smartly MBA is yet another different thing that I’ve gotten the opportunity to do. I’ve gotten to work on four continents with a huge variety of teams, clients, and industries. I’ve done work ranging from product ownership to agile coaching to DevOps engineering for an engineering transformation, so it’s been a variety of skill sets, but all-around digital application development and building a great digital team.

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Would you like to find more candidates like Adrian? Sign up for the Smartly Talent Network to browse and connect with top talent for free.

The Quantic Master Plan: Elite to Open, and Everything in Between

We want to prove to the world that education can be effective and successful when free and online.

Smartly has the overarching mission to innovate in education, and in that spirit we recently launched a free online MBA degree. From time to time, people ask us: “Why are you starting with an ‘elite’ degree? Why be selective when you could open up the opportunity to those who have difficulty accessing education?” We do strongly believe in democratizing education, and this is a question we’ve thought about deeply.

We just can’t help but borrow a page from Elon Musk and Tesla here. Musk spelled out the playbook of starting with the powerful Roadster sports car to show the world that electric cars could actually rival high-end gasoline cars, and then scaling the business, working his way down the marginal cost curve and building more and more affordable cars.

We were inspired by the idea of proving a disruptive approach at the top and working step-by-step to spread the benefits to everyone. We want to prove to the world that education can be effective and successful when free and online. In that spirit, the MBA is our flagship program to demonstrate the power of Smartly to rival some of the best educational institutions in the world. We restricted the first cohort of our MBA program to students similar to those one would find at top brick & mortar programs to show parity in student outcomes. Keep in mind that we are doing this while offering the MBA for free! We are proving the disruptive power of Smartly at the top, all the while adding programs for more and more audiences, including programs that are open as well as free.

While our pedagogical plan is to branch deeper and deeper into additional degrees, certifications, and courses, we’re also going to continue innovating how education is funded. We are soon launching a hiring engine that pushes the cost of education to the companies hiring newly-skilled graduates. Beginning with our MBA students, companies can browse and hire top business talent, and the recruiting fees these companies pay fund the MBA program. Our interests are aligned with those of our graduates: we are only paid when they are achieving successful outcomes, and not with an upfront tuition. This benefits all parties: the student, the employers, and the government guaranteeing these loans (just maybe not the banks). As we add additional programs, we will continue to innovate different models of funding education with the belief that it can be free, open, and online. Smartly is not just another online university, but a whole new approach to education.