It’s no secret that the business world is competitive. Sometimes you need more than ambition to get ahead. An advanced education can help you climb the corporate ladder, but you don’t want to drop everything, including your job, just to earn a degree. Your best choice may be to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree online. You’ll be in good company if you do. Online MBA programs have become so popular, according to CNBC, that “it could ultimately come at a cost to sprawling university campuses.”

What Makes Online MBA Programs So Popular?

There are a few reasons so many students are pursuing MBA degrees online, according to U.S. News & World Report. One reason is the ability to study at the school of their choice, no matter where they live and work. Distance learning means that students can choose a college based on its merits, reputation and value, without having to relocate or narrow down their options to include local institutions only.

It can be hard enough to balance your work life with your personal life – whether that includes family responsibilities or simply your own passions and hobbies – but adding school to the equation can be even more stressful. Online degree programs typical offer more flexibility than traditional on-campus MBA programs do, which means that students can study when it’s most convenient for them instead of compromising their work schedule to accommodate rigid class times.

Education can help you gain a competitive edge in the business world, but experience is equally important. Since distance learning students are still able to work their regular schedule, they’re not missing out on gaining valuable work experience – including the opportunity to manage projects and personnel.

How to Find the Right Online MBA Program

With so many online MBA programs out there, prospective students may have a tough time figuring out how to even start selecting the right program for them. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help them.

First of all, students need to make sure that any program they consider has attained regional accreditation. This means that the school overall meets high standards set by these accreditation agencies. Students should also look for programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

If you’re spending your hard-earned money to advance your education, you want to make sure that your degree will be respected. U.S. News & World Report published a list ranking the Best Online MBA Programs based on factors like admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student engagement and student services and technology.

You can advance your business career with an online MBA degree. All it takes is a little research to find the right program and the dedication to succeed independently in your online studies.