DE MBA: Durham or Bradford


Hello,

I am interested in pursuing an MBA via distance education and am hoping for some advice.

I am a Canadian mid-career professional with 18 years of experience, in a management position. I am interested in pursuing an MBA for the following reasons:

- I would like to round out my business knowledge. My educational background is in the social sciences and computer science. A well-rounded business program would help me in my day-to-day work.
- I would like to expand my network beyond my current geographic and professional area.
- I would like to increase my marketability given the current economic environment.

I would really appreciate any advice that members of this forum may have on the distance education programs offered by Durham and Bradford. Both programs appear to have well-rounded course offerings. They also appear to make good use of technology and offer opportunities for virtual networking. Finally, they are both within my budget.

I am interested in a program that allows me to draw upon my work experience, and that can be completed entirely by distance education.

Any advice and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Suhas.

Hello,

I am interested in pursuing an MBA via distance education and am hoping for some advice.

I am a Canadian mid-career professional with 18 years of experience, in a management position. I am interested in pursuing an MBA for the following reasons:

- I would like to round out my business knowledge. My educational background is in the social sciences and computer science. A well-rounded business program would help me in my day-to-day work.
- I would like to expand my network beyond my current geographic and professional area.
- I would like to increase my marketability given the current economic environment.

I would really appreciate any advice that members of this forum may have on the distance education programs offered by Durham and Bradford. Both programs appear to have well-rounded course offerings. They also appear to make good use of technology and offer opportunities for virtual networking. Finally, they are both within my budget.

I am interested in a program that allows me to draw upon my work experience, and that can be completed entirely by distance education.

Any advice and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Suhas.
quote
Duncan

I think the Bradford programme is better as an MBA: more applied and more integrated. If you search the board you can find a lot on the Durham programme: it's well described.

However, will either of those have a useful network or real brand equity in Canada?

I would have thought that the Massachussets or Michigan online MBAs would have been better accepted.

I think the Bradford programme is better as an MBA: more applied and more integrated. If you search the board you can find a lot on the Durham programme: it's well described.

However, will either of those have a useful network or real brand equity in Canada?

I would have thought that the Massachussets or Michigan online MBAs would have been better accepted.
quote

Thank you for your reply Duncan. You raise an interesting question about brand equity. My experience has been that British degrees seem to be fairly well recognized here, although this experience is largely specific to my own case -- I did an MSc at the London School of Economics 20 years ago right after my undergraduate degree, and that has been very helpful throughout my career. I have met a number of people throughout my career who have studied in the UK and this seems to serve as a differentiator. However, this is a very unscientific means of assessment....

I'm thinking that unless I complete a top-tier MBA (LBS, Harvard, etc), brand equity will likely not be a factor at this point in my career. In my case, leaving the workforce for any period of time to pursue such a program is not possible. I completely agree that if I were in my 20s or even early 30s, brand recognition would be foremost on my mind.

However, if you have interacted with students in my demographic on this and have found otherwise, I would certainly appreciate any advice that you may have.

I will look into the Michigan and Mass programs, thank you for mentioning these.

Cheers,

Suhas.

Thank you for your reply Duncan. You raise an interesting question about brand equity. My experience has been that British degrees seem to be fairly well recognized here, although this experience is largely specific to my own case -- I did an MSc at the London School of Economics 20 years ago right after my undergraduate degree, and that has been very helpful throughout my career. I have met a number of people throughout my career who have studied in the UK and this seems to serve as a differentiator. However, this is a very unscientific means of assessment....

I'm thinking that unless I complete a top-tier MBA (LBS, Harvard, etc), brand equity will likely not be a factor at this point in my career. In my case, leaving the workforce for any period of time to pursue such a program is not possible. I completely agree that if I were in my 20s or even early 30s, brand recognition would be foremost on my mind.

However, if you have interacted with students in my demographic on this and have found otherwise, I would certainly appreciate any advice that you may have.

I will look into the Michigan and Mass programs, thank you for mentioning these.

Cheers,

Suhas.
quote
Duncan

Well, the LSE is the world's leading school of social science. I'm not sure that Bradford would be well recognised, or Durham. So, perhaps they would be seen as generic universities?

The Michigan programme looks very good. I started my MBA ten years ago and, when I toy with the idea of a refresher course, that's the one I look at the most. It has an excellent integrated structure.

Are you too far from a Canadian university?

Well, the LSE is the world's leading school of social science. I'm not sure that Bradford would be well recognised, or Durham. So, perhaps they would be seen as generic universities?

The Michigan programme looks very good. I started my MBA ten years ago and, when I toy with the idea of a refresher course, that's the one I look at the most. It has an excellent integrated structure.

Are you too far from a Canadian university?
quote

You are right Duncan, the LSE does have more name brand recognition than Bradford or Durham.

I will take a close look at Michigan, thank you, I appreciate the suggestion.

There are two MBA programs where I live. My thinking was to use this as an opportunity to broaden my network and to add something unique to my resume.

Thank you again for your help Duncan, I do appreciate it.

Suhas.

You are right Duncan, the LSE does have more name brand recognition than Bradford or Durham.

I will take a close look at Michigan, thank you, I appreciate the suggestion.

There are two MBA programs where I live. My thinking was to use this as an opportunity to broaden my network and to add something unique to my resume.

Thank you again for your help Duncan, I do appreciate it.

Suhas.
quote
Duncan

A distance learning programme won't broaden your network too much: you get more powerful connections if you are present.

Programmes which blend regular presence on campus, like Warwick or Manchester (which has a campus in Miami), with distance learning are also worth looking at.

A distance learning programme won't broaden your network too much: you get more powerful connections if you are present.

Programmes which blend regular presence on campus, like Warwick or Manchester (which has a campus in Miami), with distance learning are also worth looking at.
quote
ralph

In terms of content and course delivery, they're pretty comparable programs. However, I would recommend the Durham program if you were able to take advantage of the on-campus residency sessions. I'd think that these would be rather significant for you, given how you are looking to expand your network.

Not to make you second-guess yourself, but I wonder, given your 18 years of experience, how much value an online MBA can really add your career. The average participant in the two programs you mentioned has about 11 or 12 years of work experience - so I think that you'd find yourself limited by their capacities, as well as by the impersonal nature of the bulk of the distance learning interactions.

Depending on where you are in Canada, you may want to consider an EMBA, which would give you a fairly general business curriculum, adapted for those with more experience. Look into Rotman, Queens, or Ivey - and Schulich offers a joint program with Kellogg that's pretty interesting.

In terms of content and course delivery, they're pretty comparable programs. However, I would recommend the Durham program if you were able to take advantage of the on-campus residency sessions. I'd think that these would be rather significant for you, given how you are looking to expand your network.

Not to make you second-guess yourself, but I wonder, given your 18 years of experience, how much value an online MBA can really add your career. The average participant in the two programs you mentioned has about 11 or 12 years of work experience - so I think that you'd find yourself limited by their capacities, as well as by the impersonal nature of the bulk of the distance learning interactions.

Depending on where you are in Canada, you may want to consider an EMBA, which would give you a fairly general business curriculum, adapted for those with more experience. Look into Rotman, Queens, or Ivey - and Schulich offers a joint program with Kellogg that's pretty interesting.
quote

Thank you Duncan and Ralph for your replies, I really do appreciate them.

Ralph the EMBA programs that you mentioned are all excellent, but unfortunately are out of my budget as I will be paying tuition on my own. The York-Kellogg program in particular is very intriguing.

I completely agree with your obeservation regarding the quality of interactions in an online environment. My understanding was that both Bradford and Durham place students in small (online) study groups. However, I don't have any information regarding the quality of interactions.

Thank you both again for your advice and observations, it is much appreciated.

Suhas.

Thank you Duncan and Ralph for your replies, I really do appreciate them.

Ralph the EMBA programs that you mentioned are all excellent, but unfortunately are out of my budget as I will be paying tuition on my own. The York-Kellogg program in particular is very intriguing.

I completely agree with your obeservation regarding the quality of interactions in an online environment. My understanding was that both Bradford and Durham place students in small (online) study groups. However, I don't have any information regarding the quality of interactions.

Thank you both again for your advice and observations, it is much appreciated.

Suhas.
quote
Jane

Hi! I am in the same boat as Suhas in the sense that I am trying to decide between Durham and Bradford and very much need some advice.

Just to give a background. I am from the Philippines, currently living here but will be moving to Switzerland in 1-2 years time. I am thinking of getting an MBA in the meantime before moving to boost my career chances when I get to Switzerland. I am thinking of getting an online MBA from Durham or Bradford as I think the MBAs offered here locally (1) might not be recognized/ school is unheard of in Switzerland, (2) might be too Asian in context and I need an European perspective and (3) the Durham and Bradford programs give me the flexibility that I need.

Actually I was leaning towards Durham as its triple accredited (just got an offer from them), but recently I have read some remarks saying its too academic and not practical enough.

Or is there a Swiss school that offers a good online MBA that you can recommend? I've read about the Swiss Management Center, would you know if they're good? I've heard that St. Gallen Uni and IMD are the best in Switzerland, but I would really like to start studying now as I currently have the time and they are quite expensive!

Would really appreciate any advice.

Thanks!
Jane

Hi! I am in the same boat as Suhas in the sense that I am trying to decide between Durham and Bradford and very much need some advice.

Just to give a background. I am from the Philippines, currently living here but will be moving to Switzerland in 1-2 years time. I am thinking of getting an MBA in the meantime before moving to boost my career chances when I get to Switzerland. I am thinking of getting an online MBA from Durham or Bradford as I think the MBAs offered here locally (1) might not be recognized/ school is unheard of in Switzerland, (2) might be too Asian in context and I need an European perspective and (3) the Durham and Bradford programs give me the flexibility that I need.

Actually I was leaning towards Durham as its triple accredited (just got an offer from them), but recently I have read some remarks saying its too academic and not practical enough.

Or is there a Swiss school that offers a good online MBA that you can recommend? I've read about the Swiss Management Center, would you know if they're good? I've heard that St. Gallen Uni and IMD are the best in Switzerland, but I would really like to start studying now as I currently have the time and they are quite expensive!

Would really appreciate any advice.

Thanks!
Jane
quote
Duncan

No, there's no good online MBA from Switzerland. Bradford has a slightly better MBA alumni network in Switzerland than Durham. Manchester has twice as many alumni there, and has study centres in Singapore and Shanghai which might work for you.

The MBA isn't well known in Switzerland. You might be better off taking a less costly MSc or MAS degree there after you arrive. Maybe spend the next year focussing on improving your French/German?

No, there's no good online MBA from Switzerland. Bradford has a slightly better MBA alumni network in Switzerland than Durham. Manchester has twice as many alumni there, and has study centres in Singapore and Shanghai which might work for you.

The MBA isn't well known in Switzerland. You might be better off taking a less costly MSc or MAS degree there after you arrive. Maybe spend the next year focussing on improving your French/German?
quote
Jane

Thank you very much Duncan for the advice!
I am currently enrolled in a German course and will look in to a MSc or MAS as you mentioned.

Cheers!
Jane

Thank you very much Duncan for the advice!
I am currently enrolled in a German course and will look in to a MSc or MAS as you mentioned.

Cheers!
Jane
quote
Duncan

The ETH is especially worthwhile researching.

The ETH is especially worthwhile researching.
quote
Jane

Was just checking out their website and looking at the courses offered.
Very interesting!

Thanks again!
Jane

Was just checking out their website and looking at the courses offered.
Very interesting!

Thanks again!
Jane
quote

Hello,

I just wanted to post an update. Duncan and Ralph, thank you very much for your advice. In the end, I decided that Warwick was the best choice for me, due to a combination of the quality of the program, and the blended format. I agree Duncan that doing a strictly distance program would not allow me to expand my network. The blended nature of the Warwick MBA should help me in this regard.

I applied to Warwick and received an offer of admission a couple of weeks ago. I start the program in January. I am thrilled with getting in and very excited to begin the program.

Jane, I wish you best of luck! I know that you are getting some great advice on this board, as did I.

If anybody is interested, I blogged about my reasons for choosing the Warwick DL MBA over two local options here:
https://deshpandemba.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/why-i-chose-the-warwick-dl-mba-over-local-face-to-face-programs/

Suhas.

Hello,

I just wanted to post an update. Duncan and Ralph, thank you very much for your advice. In the end, I decided that Warwick was the best choice for me, due to a combination of the quality of the program, and the blended format. I agree Duncan that doing a strictly distance program would not allow me to expand my network. The blended nature of the Warwick MBA should help me in this regard.

I applied to Warwick and received an offer of admission a couple of weeks ago. I start the program in January. I am thrilled with getting in and very excited to begin the program.

Jane, I wish you best of luck! I know that you are getting some great advice on this board, as did I.

If anybody is interested, I blogged about my reasons for choosing the Warwick DL MBA over two local options here:
https://deshpandemba.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/why-i-chose-the-warwick-dl-mba-over-local-face-to-face-programs/

Suhas.
quote
ralph

I applied to Warwick and received an offer of admission a couple of weeks ago. I start the program in January. I am thrilled with getting in and very excited to begin the program.

Congratulations. Be sure to check back in here and let us know how it's going!

<blockquote>I applied to Warwick and received an offer of admission a couple of weeks ago. I start the program in January. I am thrilled with getting in and very excited to begin the program.</blockquote>
Congratulations. Be sure to check back in here and let us know how it's going!
quote

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