Let us first look at the advantages such a programme offers –
Time, Distance - out of the equation: You can pursue a programme from any remote location, without compromising on your time and energy. Also, while a regular MBA programme would have a fixed schedule, the distance programme offers the liberty of setting your own pace. These are the prime benefits of a distance MBA programme.
Work+Study: Another major benefit of the programme is the fact that you can continue your professional life while studying. This may be a boon to those who cannot afford to take a break from work due to financial commitments.
Inexpensive/Sponsored by employer: The distance programmes are several notches below a regular full-time course at any B-school. This may be applicable to those who cannot afford the fee of a full-time course. An employer may choose to upgrade the skill-set of their top employees and enroll them into these programmes, thereby helping in advancement of the employee's career.
The disadvantages however outweigh the advantages mentioned above -
No/little faculty interaction: Faculty play a pivotal role in the learning process at any stage of education, this holds true for MBA education as well. This lack of personal interaction with teachers may impede the progress for the students.
Requires utmost dedication: The distance MBA programme is suitable only for a person who has a lot of motivation to complete the course. The absence of a formal educational environment, together with the fact that the student almost always has another, more demanding task at hand such as work or the parallel formal education may make for excuses to not utilize the course that it is meant to be.
Lesser Industry Acceptance: The corporate world has a conspicuously different view on distance-MBA course vis-a-vis the full-time MBA course. While the course-content may be identical, the full-time enrollments at good B-schools go through a rigorous selection procedure before they could enter the campus, whereas it is not very difficult to get into a distance programme, even those offered by the elite B-schools. This may be one of the reasons why the industry is a bit tentative in accepting the distance-MBA variant at face-value.
To put it in a nut-shell, it is ALWAYS better to go for a full-time MBA programme. However, in the unavoidable situation, you may want to get enrolled in a distance programme offered by an elite institute - the top-10 in our Categorization list .