Online education has “matured significantly” over recent years, according to Professor Stephen Brammer, paving the way for advanced tertiary courses to be offered entirely online.
This comes in response to changes in the labour market and a shift in learner profiles.
Brammer, who is executive dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University, points to the MGSM Global MBA degree, being offered by Macquarie for the first time from next May. The degree is delivered through the online learning platform Coursera.
Built for professionals who want to future-proof and accelerate their careers from wherever they are located, the course is attracting enquiries from around the world.
Brammer says the course is particularly relevant for rising generations that are looking for ways to be empowered in their careers outside of the traditional corporate ladder.
“Flexibility is key,” he says. “Making an MBA degree available fully online aligns with digitalisation trends we see in all industries. Students can engage with each other and engage with their course materials whenever and wherever works best for them.”
The global MBA program will feature high-quality lectures and live webinars with faculty members, utilising interactive software for communications and collaboration between students and faculty. Six cross-disciplinary capabilities will be delivered: leading, strategising, analysing, influencing, adapting, and problem solving, allowing professionals to equip themselves with a broader set of adaptable skills.
The new degree has an innovative admissions model, based on the performance track, enabling students who attain high-performance in the open, for-credit courses to be admitted into the degree.
“The Global MBA sends a clear signal of disruption to the traditional business education market and brings the degree within reach of many learners that have previously been excluded from the MBA market,” Brammer says.
Challenges that once seemed insurmountable for online students – opportunities to interact and collaborate with other students, face-time with faculty members – have faded as the technology has advanced, Brammer says.
“Handheld smart devices mean that learners can carry their classroom with them wherever they go,” he says.
“In some ways, learners can connect much more readily with their faculty members and with each other through instant communication tools that form the basis of highly productive teams in industry.”