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From the time fully-online degrees became a realistic proposition (around the mid-1990s), business programs have been prime for the web treatment. It’s not surprising; most aspects of business education, such as case studies, economic and financial analysis, and management theory, can be easily translated into an online medium.

That is certainly true of the MBA; as a highly technical program, filled with spreadsheets, statistics, and accounting, much MBA coursework is very internet-ready. Plus, because MBA programs require extensive job experience, online MBA students don’t really need the personal mentoring and networking that are part of an on-campus program – they have already built their connections.

But what about the Master’s in Management? This newer degree type may be a little more of a mystery, and while online MIM programs have been common, deciding whether online or on-campus makes more sense takes some analysis.

[Are you still trying to decide between an MBA or Management degree? Well, we’ve delved into that FAQ already, so you may want to check out that article too.]

Who is the Master’s in Management For?

The Master’s in Management degree was designed for two categories of student. The first category is the recent business graduate who lacks the professional work experience most MBA programs require for admission. They may want a business master’s degree, but the MBA is shut out for them.

The second category includes working professionals who have a bachelor’s degree in something other than business. If they want to change careers to a business field, or earn management credentials, the MBA is closed to them too, because most MBAs require a business undergraduate degree.

Who Benefits from Online MIM Programs?

Since they were first created, fully online degree programs have been a boon for working adults, and that’s still the case with the Master’s in Management. Many mid-career professionals find themselves managing other employees, even though management may not have been their original goal. Others find that their ability to earn promotion and advancement in their field would require moving into management, but they lack the credentials.

For them, an online MIM may be a smart choice. While an online program will not offer the same degree of development in people skills, the working adult who is already in some kind of professional career doesn’t need it – they’re already doing it. What they need is new ideas they can carry into their current jobs, and the credentials to prove their authority.

Who Benefits from On-Campus MIM Programs?

For the new college graduate – the younger student who does not have work experience – on-campus programs offers a lot of advantages over online. While new graduates may have a solid undergraduate education, enthusiasm, and a raft of new ideas, what they don’t have is the professionalization that only real-world work experience provides.

For that reason, on-campus programs are useful. Face-to-face mentorship, interaction with classmates in collaborative projects, and other network-building practices that are built into on-campus courses. While working professionals have the opportunity to try out the ideas they learn in an MIM program in the real workplace, on-campus programs give full-time students a way to run their ideas by a classroom of like-minded peers.