How Online MBA Classes and Skills Put Your Career Into Overdrive

Clemson University MBA Program
5 min readAug 13, 2020

The business world is an unpredictable space. We’re seeing how fragile organizations can be with the domino effect caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As an individual looking to dig your heels into the business world, you need to be prepared to prove your worth at a moment’s notice. One way you can do this is by furthering your education with an MBA.

Going back to school years after graduation can be challenging. But today, schools are making it easier than ever to transition back into academia. As the world shifts more and more online, so has education. Here’s what you can expect when you go back to school through technology-enhanced course design.

Types of Online MBA Classes

Not every online MBA curriculum uses the same naming conventions, but what they will offer is somewhat similar. Let’s use Clemson’s MBA Online 2020–21 class schedule as our example. Clemson’s program offers 3 types of online MBA classes:

  • Foundation Courses
  • Core Courses
  • Emphasis/Elective Courses

Foundation Courses are online MBA classes that help set the foundation of your business acumen. These classes are geared to help you understand basic principles like accounting, finance and business law. These courses will also introduce how to statistically analyze business operations and leverage marketing. Foundation classes are eligible to be waived based on prior undergraduate coursework.

Core Courses are what separate MBA grads from their peers with bachelor degrees. These online MBA classes focus on management and organizational leadership. These tangible online skills are only taught through MBA coursework or decades of experience. Online MBA core courses help accelerate your knowledge base of how businesses work and grow.

Core classes such as operations and financial management blend with courses about ethics and leadership, to help make MBA students well-rounded, better-educated leaders in their organizations. Core courses also include an MBA Seminar. For example, Clemson’s seminar this fall is about managing your career. MBA students will hear from industry professionals and also receive the tools they need to scale their careers to the C-suite.

Emphasis/Elective Courses are used similarly to what students experienced achieving their undergrad degree. Clemson allows for 3 elective online MBA classes for students to learn about another area of business that can be added to their skillset. Here are some examples of what Clemson MBA students can select as electives.

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
  • Health Services
  • Marketing Analysis
  • Services Science
  • Supply Chain and Information Management

Coursework is only one piece of the pie when seeking higher education. Along with learning lessons, philosophies and methodologies for becoming a better businessperson, an MBA also gives you the intangibles 21st-century executives are looking for in candidates.

Applicable Online MBA Skills

The education online MBA students receive pales in comparison to the lifelong skill set ingrained in students when they put themselves through the discipline needed for online coursework. Time management, technological literacy and effective online communication are just the tip of the iceberg for valuable online MBA skills.

If 2020 has taught us anything other than how to wear a facemask, it’s how we should be managing our time. Most online MBA students are already in the workforce and have been removed from their physical office. Many businesses were quick to learn that an office isn’t always necessary for their employees to get their jobs done. This work-from-home lifestyle has made people adapt to eating, sleeping and working under the same roof.

Look around you right now. How many distractions do you see? Did you find it hard to focus when this WFH transition happened? Now, imagine putting 2 to 3 hours aside every day for coursework. This isn’t meant to scare you. People are already doing this while balancing time with their families, friends and full-time work hours.

One of the most valuable intangible skills an online MBA teaches is discipline. This skill is developed and taught over hours of scheduling and creating lists for prioritization. And when your schooling is done, you’ll have a better understanding of how to leverage your time to make an impact at your organization.

With better time management comes more time to create strategies and tactics to perform your work better. Getting these new ideas across to your bosses and colleagues requires improving communication skills. What does this look like during the work-from-home era? It requires you to be digitally enabled so you can get your ideas implemented. Effective communication is always appreciated in organizations because it saves time and results in fewer internal, energy-draining Zoom meetings.

To receive your online MBA, you need to be an effective digital communicator. Communicating back and forth with professors, fellow students and subject matter experts is required to complete assignments and ultimately pass your courses. This skill is continuously developed when pursuing an online MBA.

Now that you know how online MBA classes and skills will turbocharge your career, let’s address the most common questions we get from students looking to pursue their MBA online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MBAs

What Can You Do with an Online MBA?

Any career you can chase with an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited MBA, you can do with an AACSB-accredited online MBA. Executives recognize AACSB degrees because it is the gold standard for business education. And with the future of in-person courses still up in the air due to the pandemic, online education is becoming a more viable option for working adults seeking an MBA.

Whether you want to pursue a finance-related career or be more involved with leadership and growth, an online MBA will give you the experience and skills needed to acquire a prosperous career.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online MBA?

An online MBA can take anywhere from 1 to 6 years. This really depends on how flexible the online MBA program’s curriculum is and how much time you can commit to courses while still balancing your career and personal life.

Clemson’s online MBA requires 49 credits. Some of these are eligible to be waived based on prior undergraduate or graduate coursework.

Is an Online MBA Degree Worth It?

Any sort of continuing education is going to come with an investment. But these degrees unlock opportunities sooner than people without the required education for more prominent positions. And according to some business schools across the US, salaries have increased by nearly 30% and 76% of online students received promotions directly related to receiving their MBA.

Online MBA classes and skills will get you ready to level-up in your career path. Learn more about online education and how you can accelerate your career on Clemson’s online MBA website.



Clemson University MBA Program

An innovative approach to advanced business topics with a curriculum designed to foster optimal student-teacher interaction and real-world business experiences.