When looking to get a computer science MBA, one of the options of getting your degree is to get an online computer science MBA. While there are many different schools that offer the chance of getting a computer science MBA online, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining whether getting an online MBA would be a better option than getting one through a traditional school.
When you are looking to get your MBA degree online, one factor that needs to be considered is what type of networking options there are for you. One of the main advantages of going to a traditional school is that you will get to meet a lot of people in class, work on group assignments with other people, and go to networking events. This can be very helpful when it comes to building a network of people that could help you professionally in the future. If you are looking to go to an online school, you should see what types of networking options there are available to students to ensure that you will get to meet and get to know other people that are in your class.
That’s not to say that you can’t network while studying online. For example, you could suggest to your classmates that you all form an online community to network not only with each other but also with others in different communities. When well-established, these communities not only offer podcasts, training events, and forums, but they also host question-and-answer sessions and online meet-and-greet events so that members get to know one another.
The best thing you can do to build networking opportunities is to comment on and share others’ posts and media. If you’re vocal, then you’ll get noticed. It’s crucial to be informed and up-to-date on the key points relative to the field you’re studying. Once you’re noticed, you’re noticed. If what people notice is that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re abrasive as well as ill-informed, then that is what they’ll remember. It would be unlikely to recover from such a debacle.
When you meet people with whom you think it would be useful to network, be sure to talk them up with others. Part of networking is supporting each other. Selfishness seldom works when it comes to networking. If your classmate is good at something, then tell others. That classmate will remember that and will return the favor the next time something comes up in which you excel. The old expression about “washing backs” applies in networking.
Show some initiative. When you meet someone who can be helpful, but you don’t know this person, find out the person’s name and do a quick internet search for the person’s email address. When you send that person an email, it shows the requisite initiative. You have to say the right things, however. “Hi, how are you?” doesn’t cut it. Instead, research what that person does by looking at the company where the person works. Put some of the details you discover into your email and be sure to say that if you two were to work together on whichever project is applicable, then there would be benefit to both you and that person.
When you and your classmates create your online community, try to link it to as many social media as possible. Not everyone has a Twitter account. Some people don’t have WhatsApp or SnapChat either. If you want to reach as many people as possible, then you have to link to as many media as possible. It would also be useful for you to know your audience on each social medium. Facebook skews older these days. Instagram and SnapChat skew younger. You don’t want to use language and style that appeals to the wrong demographic. Study up on the preferences of each demographic and then use what you learn to create better networking opportunities.
You also don’t want just to connect with individuals. You’re going to be wanting a job when you graduate from your online program, so you’re also going to want to network with businesses as well as with the people who work at them. If you choose businesses that are close to you, then you can visit the businesses and meet the people who work there.
That also means that you can meet anyone from your class, or with whom you network through your classmates, in person as well. You can form better networking bonds face-to-face than you can through email or even a virtual meeting platform. Always take advantage of any networking opportunity. It could pay great dividends for the future of your career.
Access to Software Needed
When you are looking to get an online computer science MBA, another factor that needs to be considered is what type of computer software you will need. When going through a traditional MBA program for computer science, you will spend a lot of time in computer labs using complex software. While you will have to pay a fee to use this, it will be much cheaper than when compared to buying the software on your own. When you are going to school online, you may not have the same convenience or access to the software. It is important that you verify with the school whether they provide you with affordable access to all of the software and other resources that you may need in order to complete your degree.
Convenience and Cost
One of the reasons why many people decide to get a MBA online is that it is supposed to be more convenient and affordable. Before deciding whether or not you should go to a MBA school online, you should verify that it really is. You should get an understanding of when classes are held, how regimented the schedule is, and what the total costs will be. You should then compare this to traditional MBA schools to see how it compares overall. This will give you a good understanding of what the overall benefits are.
Of course, the convenience is self-evident. Students can “study in their pajamas.” They can attend lectures at their convenience because the professor will likely record them. Students who are working full-time and doing their computer science MBA part-time will be able to schedule their school time to fit their lives. The balance of school, life, and work is essential to success. When networking, students have flexible times, too, which is convenient not only for them but also for those with whom the students might network.
Obviously, students who study online do not need on-campus housing or meal plans. Other than that, however, the cost is very often not less than that of a traditional program. Tuition is virtually the same per credit even if the cost of books is slightly less because the students will get virtual books instead of hard copies. Sometimes, the schools charge tuition in lump sums, and sometimes they charge tuition per credit hour. Students who study part-time will usually have the charges by credit hour. Full-time students might be charged either way.
The fourth factor to consider when you are thinking of getting an online computer science degree is the reputation of the school in question. Most schools are stronger in some areas than others when it comes to computer science. The field itself is broadening all the time. A decade ago, e-commerce was a shadow of what it is today, for example, and modern computer science curricula must account for it while those in the past did not.
Carnegie Mellon University is an example of a school that excels in multiple areas, which is the chief reason that U.S. News and World Report ranks it No. 1 in the nation in computer science. It’s the top-rated school in information systems and No. 2 in both business analytics and production/operation. Additionally, it’s highly rated in enterprise management systems and supply chain logistics.
Both Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have similarly high rankings, with MIT being better in supply chain logistics and business analytics and Stanford being better in entrepreneurship and enterprise management systems. Stanford University also has the distinction of being the No. 1 business school in the country. The rest of the top 10 list is replete with excellent programs that combine computer science and business, and all of the members of the list have top-flight online study options.
For students who cannot afford the tuition out of pocket, there are financial aid options available to them. Like their undergraduate compatriots, they begin with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is also known as the FAFSA. Unlike undergraduates, they apply as independents and don’t include parental information on their forms. The kind of aid is the same, however: loans, scholarships, and grants. Loans must be repaid, but scholarships and grants do not. Students will usually be eligible for a combination of support from all three sources.
The Computer Science MBA Program Itself
At first glance, computer science and business administration seem like strange bedfellows. The image one conjures up when thinking of a computer scientist and a businessperson with an MBA couldn’t be more different: nerd in sci-fi T-shirt and sweat pants versus suave businessperson in an expensive suit. The reality is that the two have become inexorably intertwined in the 21st century. It’s impossible to run a business without the power and flexibility offered by computers because without them, it’s impossible to compete with those who have and use them.
Budding entrepreneurs will need to know how computers can help their businesses, and budding computer scientists will need to know how to apply their specialized skills to the world of business so that they can land jobs. Even old blue-chip companies have climbed aboard the technology train.
Most MBA programs require students to take either the Graduate Record Examinations or the Graduate Management Admission Test. Some might even require both, so it’s best if students check out their chosen program’s requirements. They will also likely require a statement of purpose and a slew of recommendations. Most will take students’ work experience into account when choosing students for acceptance into their programs.
These computer science MBA programs focus heavily on planning and implementing applications and software systems in regard to business. Different industries have different foci. For example, applying computer science to engineering is different than applying it to portfolio management.
The coursework for these degrees focuses on management of both people and data. This includes enterprise resource management at one end of the scale and small database management at the other. E-commerce has a market share of $862 billion in the U.S. In 2021. That’s 15% of the entire U.S. GNP of $5.563 trillion. That share is growing all the time, which means that the demand for computer scientists with MBAs will be growing as well. In fact, the growth rate of jobs in the field is more than 10% annually, which is substantially higher than all other fields.
When students want to pursue an MBA in computer science, they’re studying at the very forefront of what’s new. The training they receive in earning their MBA will also position them well should they want to study further and secure a doctorate in either field or both fields. Should students wish to become professors and help mold the next batch of business-savvy computer scientists, earning a doctorate would be mandatory.
With the job growth of this combined field exploding the way it is, there are myriad opportunities in all industries and levels of education. It’s truly uncharted territory, and successful students will blaze trails no one has yet trodden.
- 15 Fastest Online Master’s in Computer Science
- 50 Highest Paying Jobs in Computers & IT
- 30 Great Books on Data Science and Big Data
- 5 Cheapest Associate in Computer Science Degree Programs
- Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs
- Top 10 Computer Science Degrees Online
- Top 50 Bachelor’s in Computer Science Degree Programs
- 50 Fortune 500 Companies Offering Computer Science Internships
- 50 Great Cities for Studying Computers and Technology
- Top 10 Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs