Coronavirus accelerates switch to online MBAs
In a span of a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in pretty much all sectors of livelihood. The majority of the population worldwide is working from home, and those who cannot do so are often found risking their lives outdoors. This pandemic is a problem none of us were prepared for.
The education sector in India and worldwide has been severely affected as most universities are not conducting all of their classes online. The provision of proper education through distance learning has become a challenging task for colleges, universities, and educators on a global level.
The admission processes of most universities have either been halted or delayed. Many exams have been postponed. Moreover, the end of this pandemic still seems somewhat far away. In such trying times, the future of full-time education is treading unknown territory.
Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is an extremely popular postgraduate degree worldwide. Numerous people opt for an MBA with specialization in several different streams, including Marketing, Human Resources, International Business, Business Analytics, Information Technology, and so on. It is predicted that the corona virus crisis will result in a boom in the EdTech sector.
How is COVID-19 affecting MBA students?
Like many other schools, business schools offering MBA programs have also shifted their operations online. Students are participating in classes through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. Most business schools had opted for online classes as soon as the pandemic and lockdown began to affect the school lives of students and teachers.
Although technology has made virtual learning possible for students, experts feel that some aspects of MBA programs are rooted in networking and face-to-face communication. These values may be overshadowed during virtual learning, thereby deterring students from learning essential skills. Students are worried about their prospects, which natural given the circumstances.
However, it is always imperative for humans to adapt to their ever-changing environment. This is particularly crucial in these uncertain times. Students can learn different ways to cultivate various skills that will be essential for the future landscape of their careers. Above all, students must be perceptive and stay hopeful of their future and remember that we are all in this together.
How are business schools battling COVID-19?
The pandemic has brought many challenges to the business schools as well. The sudden shift to the new online learning format has been demanding for everyone involved, that is, not only the teachers and students but the administrators at schools.
Videoconferencing tools, such as Zoom, have definitely made the work a lot easier. However, ensuring that all students and projects are provided equal attention and relevant resources has been a difficult task for schools. Many schools cannot immediately transfer their learning and educational resources online without any external help.
In such cases, recognized providers, such as Coursera and edX, are offering free access to universities affected by the lockdowns. For students, who are about to graduate, schools have either postponed graduation ceremonies or declared that they will be conducted online.
Many students and administrators are wondering whether students should be provided reimbursements for this shift to a low-cost learning format. This question is particularly pertinent to MBA as student clubs, campus environment, and networking and communication are arguably more important for holistic learning.
On the other hand, in terms of admissions, many schools have eased up on requirements, such as the provision of GRE and GMAT scores, application deadlines, and application fees. As face-to-face contact is next to impossible, business schools have been conducting group discussions and personal interviews online and providing virtual campus tours.
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