Virginia Tech is launching its newest MBA program option, the Online MBA, in response to the changing needs of students and the workplace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The new format allowed us to combine some of the tried and true features of our established in-person MBA formats and online master of information technology to craft the best possible educational experience for students who value consistent interaction with their classmates and also want the flexibility of an online program,” said Parviz Ghandforoush, associate dean for graduate programs.
“We’ve sought to include the best aspects of our top-ranked Evening MBA, experiential-focused Executive MBA and hybrid Professional MBA, both in curriculum development and online delivery,” said Dana Hansson, director of MBA programs. “We’ve integrated feedback from students in all formats to determine how we can offer the best educational experience online.”
It’s this feedback that informed some of the unique features of the 22-month Online MBA that distinguish it from other online MBA offerings in the marketplace.
While fully online, delivery of the new program will be evenly split between synchronous and asynchronous experiences. “While students appreciate the flexibility of asynchronous learning, many shared with us that meeting synchronously best mirrors an on-campus experience. It allows students to participate actively in class discussions and study teams, develop working relationships with their peers and engage with Virginia Tech’s top-notch faculty,” Hansson said.
The program is cohort-based, which means that students complete their studies in lockstep and have the opportunity to build meaningful professional relationships with their classmates.
Students can choose to specialize their MBA in areas where Virginia Tech has significant expertise, such as cybersecurity, entrepreneurism, health information technology and business data analytics. The program also includes an option to study abroad through the international business specialization.
Online MBA students will also share the support and resources available to all Virginia Tech MBA students. Hansson said this includes access to an established MBA alumni mentoring program, personalized academic advising and membership in Virginia Tech’s vast alumni network.
“We’re excited to provide this new opportunity to professionals across the globe who want to further their careers and join our talented group of students and alumni who are proud to call themselves Hokies.”
Applications for the inaugural cohort are due May 1, with classes starting in July and graduation expected in May 2023.
Learn more at mba.vt.edu/online.
The ever-evolving “security threat landscape” and changes in user behavior and IT infrastructure require IT professionals to keep their knowledge up to date and stay on top of the latest trends and developments.
Earning a 100% online Master of Information Technology or graduate certificate with cybersecurity specialization from Virginia Tech can help individuals meet these heightened demands in a number of ways.
Ranked one of the top online master’s degree for cybersecurity by Cyberdegrees.org and one of the top four online graduate IT programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report, Virginia Tech’s VT-MIT program takes a unique approach to specialized education.
Core courses in areas such as information systems design, electronic commerce, software engineering and computer programming help students master technical expertise in a business context. After completing these core courses, degree students can choose to specialize in cybersecurity technologies, cybersecurity management or cybersecurity policy. Virginia Tech also offers these topic areas as standalone graduate certificates for those not pursuing the full degree.
Whether interested in running an in-house cybersecurity practice or exploring the legal and ethical concerns triggered by data breaches, students have the opportunity to tailor their education around their career ambitions.
Part of Virginia Tech’s core strength is its world-class cybersecurity research, supported by $15 million in research grants and contracts. Students can access six cybersecurity research centers, including the Ballston-based Hume Center for National Security and Technology.
The VT-MIT program’s 100% online format allows students to pursue higher education at their own by deciding their own course load each semester. Further enriching the student environment is the program’s openness to students with diverse backgrounds and interests, including business line leaders looking to improve their technology capabilities while leveraging their domain expertise.
Combating today’s cyber threats has never been more difficult — or more critical to business continuity. A Master of Information Technology degree with cybersecurity specialization or standalone graduate certificate from Virginia Tech can help leaders better understand the systemic nature of these threats and teach them strategies for dealing with an increasingly complex security landscape.
Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology with cybersecurity specializations at vtmit.vt.edu.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of modern-day life, from the way consumers buy their groceries to how employees connect to corporate systems. Learning is no exception.
Since the outbreak, online learning has become more central to people’s lives. And many plan to continue the trend: More than half of American adults who expect to need more education or training post-pandemic say they would do it online, according to an August 2020 survey by the Strada Education Network.
Yet not all online education is created equal — and IT pros looking to invest in a program should compare and contrast options carefully.
Whether pursuing a full-time master’s degree to deepen IT expertise or seeking a certificate to boost content knowledge in a specific area, there are many reasons why Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology program (VT-MIT) is a superior choice for IT leaders.
The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs report ranks Virginia Tech’s MIT degree the nation’s fourth best. The program blends coursework and offers twelve areas of specialized study for a diverse education.
Courses are taught by world-class faculty experienced in translating a robust academic experience to an effective online format. For nearly 20 years, the VT-MIT program has relied on a two-tiered system of master faculty and distance learning instructors who together deliver a superior online classroom experience that encourages peer-to-peer support, faculty-to-student mentoring and real-time engagement, making VT-MIT a leader in the online education space long before COVID-19 forced other programs to go virtual.
Students can also expect to reap these advantages:
- Increased Flexibility — Students can choose their own timeline and toggle between full- and part-time schedules, depending on employment status and current workload.
- Greater Convenience –– A combination of synchronous and asynchronous online classes allows students to learn anywhere, anytime — ideal for remote workers unsure of when they may return to the office.
- Enhanced Value — Students can earn a VT-MIT degree at a universal tuition rate (no residency required) from a well-respected public institution.
Today’s IT professionals must act fast to keep pace with a rapidly evolving IT environment. Experience and specialized IT skills are critical to making the right technology decisions, at the right time. With the flexibility of an online VT-MIT degree or graduate certificate, IT leaders can strike the perfect balance: earn a respected credential that will help them confront the technological challenges of the 21st century while accommodating new realities.
As the COVID-19 pandemic extends, many professionals are taking this time to prepare for the future by investing in graduate education. And there might not be a better time to do so.
Whether it’s the increased flexibility in classroom formats, frozen tuition rates, relaxed admission requirements, or reduced interest rates on student loans, there are plenty of reasons why students feel like this time period is a unique opportunity for them to build the skills and professional network they need to advance their career.
While fall classes have already started, there are still options for individuals who want to take advantage of graduate study opportunities before next year’s back-to-school season. Virginia Tech’s local Evening MBA program offers a spring entry term with classes starting January 19.
The Evening MBA is a top 20 nationally ranked program designed with maximum flexibility for working professionals.
Students choose their own course load each semester, so those dealing with job uncertainty or working parents with new childcare demands can find the right workload for them and even easily switch between full- and part-time status.
While classes typically take place in-person on weekday evenings at Virginia Tech’s conveniently located Falls Church center, the current environment shifted instruction mode to primarily online, with some classes still offering an in-person option.
The flexible program format contributed to what associate director of MBA recruiting Rebecca McGill described as a “significant increase in applications and enrollments for the fall term.” She added that many also chose this time to apply because they can “take advantage of relaxed GMAT/GRE test score requirements that have never been offered before.”
For spring applicants, the Evening MBA reduced the number of years of work experience required for a test score waiver from ten years to five.
McGill expects the increased application trend to continue for the spring term “as more and more individuals use this time to invest in themselves and their future.”
Applications for the spring semester are due December 1. Learn more at evening.mba.vt.edu.
Not everyone has the time or financial resources to commit to a full master’s degree program. Some may already have a master’s and are just looking for a narrow update on a current skillset. For these reasons, Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology program now offers IT professionals the option to earn a graduate certificate in 10 specialized IT subject areas.
“IT leaders can find a certificate that speaks exactly to their professional needs without having to commit several years to pursuing a master’s degree,” says Barbara Hoopes, Associate Professor of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech. In fact, students can earn a certificate in as little as 12 months as a part-time student.
Whether looking to simply enhance existing skills or prepare for a major career transition, students can expect to reap these rewards:
Enhanced Marketability — Both experienced and aspiring IT professionals can enhance their expertise through thoughtfully designed certificates that allow students to develop skills in areas where a current dearth of talent is driving competitive salaries and prime opportunities for career advancement.
Explore High-Demand Areas — Earning a certificate offers a relatively quick opportunity to explore a high-demand content area, like Cybersecurity, Business Data Analytics, or Health Information Technology, to boost marketability and stay abreast of IT trends. Employers can also use a certificate “to contribute to the skill sets and the knowledge base of employees without having to release them to earn a degree as a full-time student,” says Hoopes.
Greater Convenience — Exclusively online, a VT-MIT master’s degree or graduate certificate satisfies an increasing demand among IT workers for greater flexibility. Students can easily switch between full or part-time status and shift their course loads to match their personal and professional demands. An online VT-MIT degree or graduate certificate offers students the skills they need while at the same time balancing today’s personal, professional and academic demands.
Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology and graduate certificate options at vtmit.vt.edu.
In an uncertain economy, professionals may find that returning to school for an MBA can be a productive way to sharpen skills and add credentials while working to launch the next stage of their careers.
Virginia Tech’s Evening MBA program, based in the university’s Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, has attracted many new students this fall for several reasons, said MBA programs director Dana Hansson. These include its stellar reputation and top 20 national ranking; dedicated faculty, many with industry experience; extensive alumni network; and great value.
Those who majored in science, engineering and other nonbusiness disciplines as undergraduates — such as Ryan Feber, a 2003 Virginia Tech graduate in computer science, and Bryan Gassenmeyer, who earned a degree in industrial and systems engineering at Virginia Tech in 2006 — have found that not only is a prior business education not needed to enroll or excel in an MBA program, but that technical backgrounds can be a basis for diversifying or rounding out knowledge and skills for managing or leading change in today’s data economy.
Others like Cody Neder, a 2014 finance alumnus, and Alexis Monahan, a 2006 graduate in communications and psychology, have lauded the program for the business and management knowledge and skills they’ve gained and the rich contributions to their learning from faculty and classmates with diverse professional backgrounds.
And, because life circumstances can change, a program that offers flexibility and affordability — students can shift between full-time and part-time status and apply for paid graduate assistantships — are two more pluses.
Maryann Romero’s experience reflects both these benefits. A stay-at-home mom at the time with an undergraduate degree in communications and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University, Romero finished up in two-and-a-half years and credits the program for opening the door to a new career as a client insights analyst at a media analytics company.
Lastly, Virginia Tech’s caring and supportive community of faculty and staff left a lasting impression on Nicholle Clinton, who received a marketing degree in 2007 and currently expects to complete her MBA in December 2020. Clinton coped with a series of serious family illnesses and losses during her senior year as well as early in her MBA studies. She is grateful for the compassion and assistance she received during both periods from the teaching faculty and program staff.
Learn more about how Virginia Tech can support your career goals at mba.vt.edu.
For professionals on the rise, an MBA is a key credential. But while an MBA may help launch the next stage of a career, few are willing to put everything on hold to obtain one. Staying on top of course work while holding down a job and meeting personal obligations is challenging at best.
“Students nowadays aren’t willing to go to school to earn an MBA on a full-time basis and forego the economic benefits of a full-time job,” says Dr. Parviz Ghandforoush, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.
That’s one of the reasons why business schools like Pamplin have developed an alternative: hybrid MBA program options that combine the flexibility of online courses with the in-person interaction of a traditional MBA.
Online collaboration and discussion modules give students flexibility to access coursework whenever and wherever they are located. In-person class lectures offer hands-on learning, face-to-face discussions and substantive interaction with instructors and classmates.
According to Dana Hansson, Director of MBA Programs at Virginia Tech, the hybrid nature of the programs deliver flexibility and “a personal touch” that encourages students from various industries, work settings and management layers to pool their experiential knowledge.
An in-person element and cohort format create lasting relationships that can deliver significantly more value and meaning than any LinkedIn connection. Membership in an elite institution also promotes close professional relationships among peers throughout Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C., metro area.
With more than 100,000 alumni in the mid-Atlantic region alone, an MBA from Virginia Tech provides students with access to industry professionals and mentors, many of whom can connect graduates with opportunities for career advancement.
A part-time format means applicants can maintain a steady income while also furthering their career aspirations. As a public university, Virginia Tech also offers a high-value tuition rate.
The part-time Professional MBA and Executive MBA programs can each be completed in the same amount of time as a traditional full-time program, and less than a traditional part-time program.
Learn more at mba.vt.edu.
In today’s digital environment, organizations must collect vast volumes of data, analyze that data to retain high-value customers, predict trends, identify emerging markets, mitigate risk, drive innovation and more.
This means IT leaders must know how to gather and store information, combine data into meaningful clusters, mine it for compelling insights, and present it in a way that can help the business.
“Nowadays every company needs data-literate IT leaders who understand how to manipulate data, hear the voice of data, and translate insights into a competitive advantage for the business,” says Barbara Hoopes, Associate Professor of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech.
For those companies or individuals looking to deepen their data analytics skill set, Virginia Tech’s online Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) program provides an excellent foundation.
Not everyone has the time or financial resources to commit to a full master’s degree program, however. Some may already have a master’s and are just looking for a narrow update on a current skillset. For these reasons, the VT-MIT program also offers IT professionals the option to earn a graduate certificate in six specialized IT subject areas, including Business Analytics and Data Mining.
“IT leaders can find a certificate that speaks exactly to their professional needs without having to commit several years to pursuing a master’s degree,” says Hoopes. In fact, students can earn a certificate in as little as 12 months.
Whether looking to enhance existing skills or prepare for a major career transition, VT-MIT students can expect:
- Enhanced marketability as they develop skills where a current dearth of talent is driving competitive salaries and prime opportunities for career advancement.
- Greater convenience through exclusively online courses and a flexible schedule that allow for VT-MIT students to stay in the workforce while they earn a credential, shift their course loads at busier times for their business, and benefit from the experience of peers from across the globe.
- Rapid upskilling in high-demand areas through focused graduate certificate options. Employers often provide tuition reimbursement “to contribute to the skill sets and the knowledge base of employees without having to release them to earn a degree as a full-time student,” says Hoopes.
Data analytics can provide organizations with invaluable insights — but only if IT leaders know how to parlay data into insights that drive informed business decisions.
Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology and graduate certificate options at vtmit.vt.edu.
Virginia Tech’s forthcoming Innovation Campus continues to develop as the university works to deliver 750 master’s degree graduates annually by the end of the decade.
While the new campus will help cement the university’s regional footprint, Virginia Tech has been quietly providing graduate education opportunities in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area since 1969.
Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business has offered its MBA programs in this region for decades and more recently made the decision to narrow its focus to working professionals in urban centers across the commonwealth.
“What we did at Virginia Tech a few years ago was to say that we really want to focus on the working professional — someone who wants to enhance their career or make a change in the direction of their career, but not at the expense of continuing to be a business professional,” says Pamplin Dean Robert Sumichrast. That allows those students to come into the classroom, he adds, “and use what they’ve learned as part of the experience of the MBA program.”
Arlington is home to the Executive MBA program, an 18-month, cohort-based option for mid-career professionals. The curriculum is centered around experiential learning modules that provide students with hands-on experience in topics like business analytics and leadership and governance.
The No. 14 nationally-ranked Evening MBA program is based in Falls Church and designed to provide maximum flexibility. Students can change their course load each semester to balance work and other commitments. They also have the option to focus their degree in one of 10 specialization areas, including traditional business topics like finance and management, and some more niche areas like healthcare information technology.
The Professional MBA program is a 24-month hybrid option with once-per-month in-person classes that rotate between Richmond, Roanoke and Newport News.
Pamplin’s focus on working professionals extends beyond its MBA programs. The college also offers part-time formats for its Master of Science in Business Administration — Hospitality and Tourism Management and Ph.D. in Business — Executive Business Research at the Falls Church location.
A 100% online Master of Information Technology offered in collaboration with the College of Engineering is available to part-time students across the globe and can be earned as a dual degree with the Evening MBA program.
To learn more about Virginia Tech’s MBA programs, visit mba.vt.edu or register to attend an upcoming information session.
No matter what industry you work in, technology is constantly changing. Companies are searching for candidates with new skillsets and experience with emerging technologies.
At Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center, adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station, an administrative team manages more than 700 online graduate students looking to develop new skills and fill gaps on their resume.
Virginia Tech developed its #4 nationally-ranked Master of Information Technology program (VT-MIT) in 1999 in response to a request by the Commonwealth of Virginia to help meet the growing demand for employees in the information technology field.
Since then, the 100% online program has kept pace with changes in technology, in both course delivery and course options.
Working professionals from across the country are taking the online courses at their own pace and designing a degree that works for their individual goals, whether they are a seasoned IT professional or looking to shift into a tech career.
VT-MIT currently offers 11 areas of specialization, including analytics and business intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, health information technology and software development.
The program also offers six graduate certificate options for professionals that are not looking to pursue a full degree.
VT-MIT plans to continue adding new courses and graduate certificates that keep up with current trends in tech, particularly as the wider university takes on a central role in the cybersecurity ecosystem.
The university’s forthcoming Innovation Campus is expected to triple Virginia Tech’s footprint in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and become a magnet for leading tech talent, research and education.