Working professionals and some students choose distance-education programmes when it is not possible to join a regular management course at a formal college. In their quest for the ideal correspondence course, most of them sift through information regarding course content, faculty profiles, and future options. Once these are agreed upon, it is just a matter of completing the admission formalities and going ahead…or is it?
The attractive part about these courses is that they are a fraction of the cost of regular courses. Yet there is more to distance education—good and bad—what people really say to you.
First, the ‘good’ things…
- The word ‘distance’ in distance education has become redundant
With good connectivity and audio-visual equipment, it is possible to hold classes that can be accessed both in real time and later by students in remote areas. Even seminars or group discussion can be held this way, leading to better interpersonal skills. Several institutions also have mentors who are available for consultation at mutual convenient times.
- Distance education courses have flexibility
The idea of distance-education/correspondence courses is based out of a need to create an environment where additional skills/ knowledge could be acquired at one’s pace. This not only means that courses/classes are held in the evenings, but the student can run the course at his/her pace. These programmes allow students to complete their required credits earlier or do credits spread over more than two years.
And now for the ‘bad’ things…
- Most host institutions do not have valid accreditation
MBA courses are easy to formulate with borrowed course content and inexperienced faculty. Now, with advanced communication technology, professionally managed MBA programmes need investment in infrastructure and trained personnel to become full-fledged correspondence universities. Good infrastructure, knowledgeable faculty members, and competitive course content enable institutes to apply for accreditation by national or international bodies. Unfortunately, many places create attractive websites and offer nothing much otherwise.
- Most MBA courses are certification courses and do not confer a degree or a diploma
This is a continuation of the previous point. Most of the fly-by-night operators who run online MBA courses will not advertise that all the hard work will not fetch a degree/diploma. Somewhere in the fine print, there will be a promise of a certification, that’s it.
Choose your course and institute carefully. Get the most out of distance education.