Dr. Ken Miller Discusses the Online MBA Program

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UAB Collat School of Business. Knowledge that will change your world. Online Master of Business Administration Program.Ken Miller:

UAB is an urban university with a global reputation. First class MBA program and we’ve simply tried to make it even better. The MBA is a generalist degree. We don’t require a business background, we don’t require that you had a business degree. It is a generalist degree that is formulated to teach you how to run a business, not just work there. If you approach it from that perspective, you’ll note that we have a tremendous opportunity with the degree to go in any industry. Any industry would respect that possibility. Engineers make infinitely more money if they have an MBA because the company sees them as someone who’s not only good at what they do, but they could run the place. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish. The opportunities are endless and it gives you leverage in your chosen field, not just an industry specific.

The program is competitive, it’s accredited, dually accredited actually, AACSB and SACS and I would remind people it matters where you go to school. If your highly regarded degree has worth, then you have leverage. Clearly, you’re here to learn something, and that’s the more important thing. If you have a deficiency in business courses or business experience, it’s not an issue. Our faculty understands that the class will be broadly diverse in terms of student backgrounds and skills and they address it in those disciplines in business accordingly.

This is a part-time, professional, MBA program. It’s designed face-to-face for people to take classes in the evening and it’s the same academic rigor that’s transferred to the online opportunity. We can accommodate a broad range from an executive who’s well up in his field, to a rising middle manager, to a student fresh out of an undergraduate experience. The degree, again, is tailored to appeal to all of those people. It’s never a bad time to invest in yourself and that’s what you’re doing with an MBA program, you’re investing in yourself for a multitude of reasons. It’s also a good time because industry continues to put high value on an accredited MBA and accredited is very important.

They ask for quantitative skills, they expect that, but today, even more so, they’re looking for soft skills. Human resources, ethics, critical thinking and we provide that in our curriculum. We make a major effort to make sure that’s embedded in our curriculum. Another major change besides the need for soft skills is the focus is the focus on business as a global endeavor. It is truly a global exercise today regardless of where or what your business it. We make sure that there is a segment of international focus in every course in our curriculum. From accounting to finance to management to marketing, business is global and all of those disciplines are global as well.

The online interaction is a prerequisite, an absolute must and it’s easily accomplished with the technology that we have at UAB. The technology is a trend, it’s not a fad and we respect that and treat it accordingly. It also broadens the marketplace and allows students to access our programs and our products where before, they might not have been able to get a degree at all. We’ve also created a cohort opportunity in that we have no prerequisites so that these students who enter, will enter as a group and more or less go through in sync and get to know each other online. Half the value of an MBA program is the networking that takes place.

The academic rigor from face-to-face to online transfers at UAB because I require the same faculty to teach online that teach that course face-to-face. They know the course intimately and they know what they’re trying to accomplish, what the learning outcome should be, and if you’ve got the same faculty that teach face-to-face teaching you online, you’re essentially getting the same product. That’s probably the most important thing we do. It’s a win-win for everybody and the good news is our faculty are highly regarded in academic circles and they have business experience.

An MBA degree gives you leverage in an industry and your chosen field. When I say chosen field, that means that it is a generalist degree and it’s not limited to a specific industry. It teaches you how to run a business. It’s a deep dive into all of the disciplines, but it’s a generalist outcome. I would recommend that this is a real opportunity. The university is a Carnegie tier one research university. That gives us a global brand, if you will, and our faculty are highly qualified. The students that they will become part of a cohort with will also be a very good learning experience for them. If you choose to come to UAB and accomplish the MBA online, two words of encouragement. Be sure to communicate with your cohort, your students, learn from each other, and then secondly, be sure to engage your faculty. They will engage back. All of that is a learning experience. Invest in yourself and take advantage of it.