For career advancement and personal growth, upgrading knowledge is very important. It not only enables a working executive to get a fresh perspective about the latest academic concepts and tools, but also their application and relevance in his/her sphere of operations.
For working professionals, cost and time are both critical factors and one option they can definitely explore are the distance learning courses.
Distance education is cost effective and enables you to get an M.B.A degree while studying from home.
You are required to read, think and express your thoughts on your own, while making your own deadlines. The flexibility of timing, the ability to study while pursuing your career gives you the option of a rewarding learning experience.
You need to be computer literate and willing to learn the new software, tools and applications. The fast growth in the use of computers and the internet has revolutionized the delivery of education through distance learning.
This option is particularly useful for executives working in rural and semi urban centers where full time or even part time studies may not be feasible.
Distance learning in the higher education sector contributes to about 24% of the total enrollment in India and the Government has plans to take to the level of 40% by the end of 2012.
The most popular courses are offered by the central Open University, Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU). Each state also has an open university, besides of course the different Business Schools now offering Post Graduate Diploma courses.
Some Business schools have started full fledges centers for distance learning, having the following salient features:-
1. Classes via the internet
2. Online sessions with the faculty on a regular frequency
3. Lectures from the faculty members in audio visual format
4. Interactive e-learning modules
5. Dedicated call centers and e-communication centers
6. User friendly web portals
7. Online assignments and examinations
In addition to the two year Post Graduate Diploma Programs in Business Administration, with specializations in Marketing / Finance /HR /Operations etc., there are special options available for Banking and Finance, Insurance, International Relations and many other functions.
One year diploma programs are also offered in such disciplines as:-
1. Human Relations
2. Retail Management
3. Marketing Management
4. Supply Chain Management
5. Business and Corporate Law
6. Insurance Management
7. Customer Relations Management
8. Export and Export management
9. Banking and Finance
Short term six months certificate courses in some specialized disciplines are also offered by the Open Universities and some Business Schools.
The best option is to enroll for a full fledged two years M.B.A program so that you can get an overall perspective about all the functional areas of management.
You can then opt for specialization in your function of choice after completing the compulsory courses.
If however you can not go in for a two year program or want to opt for a specialized shorter term course, ample choices are today available.