Despite the reputation of online MBA programs as diploma mills, the right degree can help you achieve your career goals. Recruiters still may be more likely to hire someone who’s worn an MBA from Harvard or Wharton, but online learning provides an alternative for those who don’t live near campus.

If you’re considering an mba online, make sure your program offers the same support services and resources as in-person students. This includes student groups, tutoring and career placement services. It’s also important to find a program that allows you to complete coursework on your schedule, not someone else’s. The best online MBA programs offer flexible courses that you can log in and work through at your own pace.

Check out a school’s faculty and how many of them have experience in the classroom and the business world. Look for programs that balance faculty doing cutting-edge research with those who can impart practical knowledge and insights. In addition, check out the number of courses a program requires and whether you can choose a concentration to focus on your career interests.

Some schools offer online MBA programs that include an international immersion, such as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School’s trip to the Airbus headquarters in France or a visit with business leaders in Mumbai, U.S. News reported in 2013. If you’re interested in a similar opportunity, ask potential programs if they can arrange for an immersion on your schedule.

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