An online MBA is productive

5 key competencies you will develop in an online MBA

Written by Mariëlle Daemen & Hermina Kooyman, Maastricht School of Management

When considering taking an online MBA, compare the pros and cons of studying online versus studying on campus. One of the common concerns raised by prospective students is the perception of an online degree by prospective employers.

In fact, until recently, some employers may have questioned the value of an online qualification.

However, the growing popularity of online education has led many respected business schools and universities to offer accredited online MBA programs in addition to their on-campus programs.

As a result, employers are increasingly realizing that the online MBA not only provides students with the same value as the on-campus MBA, but also prepares them for the digital workforce by equipping them with important skills that are particularly common with an online program highlighted.

The successful completion of your MBA is in itself an enrichment for employers. While completing an online MBA, you will develop some key skills that are also highly valued in the workplace. Skills such as time management, self-motivation and self-discipline, but also the ability to work with virtual teams around the world, will help make your career future-proof.

The following five key competencies you will develop during an online MBA have been highlighted by employers as important to the new ways of working in the ever-evolving workplace.

1. Time management

If you google "Online MBA and Time Management" you will find a variety of articles featuring tips on managing time while studying your MBA online.

The fact is, procrastination is not an option when learning online.

While you have the flexibility to complete the study on your own schedule, you don't have the luxury of falling behind. Time is valuable and you will quickly see how precious time really is when you start combining work, family and social life with your online MBA.

One of the greatest skills you will learn during your online MBA is how to use your time carefully and productively to face the daily challenges of studying life - a huge benefit not just for completing your online MBA- Studies, but also for managing the daily workload in your job.

"One of the greatest skills you will learn during your online MBA is how to use your time carefully and productively."

2. Self-discipline

Time management and self-discipline go hand in hand.

The fact that you can stay focused and motivated on your studies even while at work is highly valued by an employer.

For an employer, self-discipline is a highly valued skill, as it is associated with responsibility, diligence and motivated traits - all skills that are extremely important for the change in the digitized workforce.

3. Find your internal motivators

People are motivated externally and internally.

Extrinsic motivators include competition and society, money, fame, and recognition, while internal motivators focus on complacency, personal achievement, and passion.

Intrinsic motivators are longer lasting and self-sustaining.

To successfully complete an online MBA, self-discipline and time management become much more obvious and feel less of a punishment when the student is internally motivated.

Finding this intrinsic motivator will also make you happier and more motivated at work. Studies have shown that people who work with internal motivators are more successful because they have more energy, focus, and are less likely to burn out.

4. Virtual teamwork

Several Harvard Business Reviews, the World Economic Forum's “The Future of Workplaces” report, Deloitte's “Digital Workplace” report and many others have confirmed that virtual teamwork is already beginning but will become an even greater reality in the near future.

The World Economic Forum recently reported that remote working (also known as teleworking, teleworking or working from home) is "one of the biggest drivers of change in the workplace".

The advancement of technology has made it possible for online MBA programs to incorporate teamwork and group assignments into the program through a virtual environment.

For example, the online MBA at the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) will develop the skills of virtual teamwork as students need to constantly exchange opinions and interact on the online platform.

An online MBA will be extremely valuable to employers going forward, knowing that you know how to work with people from all over the world in a virtual environment.

"The evolution of technology has made it possible for online MBA programs to incorporate teamwork and group assignments into the program through a virtual environment."

5. Multicultural diversity

The online MBA removes time, space and financial barriers and enables highly qualified people of all origins and nationalities to enter the online classroom.

In the past, online studies have involved solitary confinement without ever knowing your classmates.

With the rise of technology, online learning today can be a very multicultural and networked experience where you network online and discuss opinions with people from all over the world.

This combination of virtual and multicultural teamwork is extremely important.

According to the Financial Times article, the ability to work in a team, the ability to work with a wide variety of people, and the ability to build, maintain, and expand a network of people are three of the most important skills for employers. All of these skills are developed through the multicultural experience of an online MBA.


The Maastricht School of Management (MSM) is one of the most international business schools in the Netherlands with a large network of students, alumni and partners around the world. MSM offers internationally recognized MBA and Master in Management degrees. MSM's online MBA program is the fourth best online MBA program in the world according to CEO Magazine's 2018 Global MBA Ranking.