Online learning is emerging as the key to lifelong learning for business school alumni. It is far more flexible, enabling people to continuously learn in their own time and at their own pace, rather than having to take time out of work and come back to campus.
A growing number of business schools are offering lifelong learning options for alumni of their Online MBA programs, whether that’s healthy discounts for open-enrolment executive education classes, or career coaching, the chance to audit MBA classes, or attend virtual conferences.
The need is clear: in an age of digital technology and robotics, an Online MBA degree can no longer last a lifetime. Because of automation, McKinsey expects that as many as 375 million people will need to switch occupations and acquire new skills by 2030.
In response to the rapid pace of change in business and society, business schools are buying into the “Netflixization of education”, creating subscription models that enable Online MBA alumni to dip in and out of education at various points in their career to upskill or reskill.
Here are the top 10 business schools that offer lifelong learning for alumni of Online MBA programs.
Michigan Ross launched an Online MBA program in 2019. All alumni gain access to the school’s “alumni advantage” program, including full-tuition scholarships for select executive education programs, as well as complementary online courses in a variety of subjects. Alumni can also attend free events with industry leaders to expand their network and deepen their knowledge. In addition, graduates can sit in on an MBA course to gain new insights and skills from faculty.View School Profile
Vlerick has put together a virtual education platform for Online MBA alumni to strengthen lifelong learning. It’s a subscription service similar to the Spotify model, with alumni paying to access to unlimited video content. This means they can continuously update their skills and knowledge throughout their working lives. The school also offers alumni a 10 percent discount on executive education for its alumni, including graduates of its highly ranked Online MBA program. They can also join professional clubs and attend a range of conferences and networking events.View School Profile
Hult runs an Online MBA program with optional electives in six campuses across the globe. The triple-accredited institution offers graduates many lifelong learning opportunities as well. This takes the form of global events, access to facilities and career development programs. Online MBA alumni can take one elective every year on any campus for life. But with limited places, alumni need to register their attendance in advance.View School Profile
Online MBA alumni from Rice Business benefit from a myriad of lifelong learning opportunities. They can, for example, join a thought leadership series, gaining insights from faculty and executives delivering guest lectures. Graduates also get a 20 percent discount on open-enrolment and custom executive education programs, which are tailored to the needs of their organization. There’s also the option to audit a class, for a small fee. Alumni also receive discounts on courses at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, for nonprofit managerial training, language programs, and other professional development options.View School Profile
Students who complete the Carlson Online MBA Program can gain access to events, conferences, workshops and research to continue their education and strengthen their networks. They also get 20 percent off enrolment in executive education courses. There’s also the University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative, which helps Online MBA graduates connect with employers throughout their careers.View School Profile
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business runs a highly-ranked Online MBA program. Alumni can join a lifelong learning network made up of graduates from more than 200 degree programs across the wider Northeastern University. The network puts on experiential learning opportunities, so alumni can visit companies such as Amazon or General Electric, where they gain industry insights while they network.View School Profile
Rutgers runs an exclusively Online MBA out of its regional campus in Camden, New Jersey. The university is home to the Rutgers Lifelong Learning Center, which offers a wide range of professional development and online learning opportunities for alumni. Members of the Rutgers Business School network also gain access to a 50 percent discount for executive education programs, and a free executive guest speaker series.View School Profile
Alumni of the Purdue Online MBA can access much lifelong learning, including bite-sized certificate programs built around continually evolving and in-demand skills around digital technology. There are more than 100 graduate-level certificates on offer, and more in the pipeline. Often, alumni who take these courses end up enrolling in full masters programs at the business school, which are offered at discount rates for graduates.View School Profile
UNC Kenan-Flagler offers substantial discounts for Online MBA alumni who can enrol in executive education courses, as well as coaching sessions. In 2020, the school expanded its lifelong learning platform to increase access to professional development programs for alumni.View School Profile
Alumni from the Online MBA at Smeal College of Business have plenty of lifelong learning activities to choose from. The alumni career services team, for example, puts on networking events and curated webinars and podcasts showcasing academic research and industry insights. Alumni can stream the events live and watch them back later.View School Profile