A virtual MBA may not make a recruiter’s heart race the way a Harvard or Wharton sheepskin does, but a top online program can give you the tools to take on management positions in your chosen field. Whether you’re interested in strategic leadership, human resources, or organizational change, choosing an MBA program that aligns with your career goals can help you achieve them.

The online format allows you to complete the degree at a pace that fits your lifestyle. Full-time students can expect to finish in about two years, while part-time students may graduate in up to four. The number of credits you need to complete your program will also factor into how long it takes.

While some people fear that employers will snub or even reject them for taking an mba online, studies have shown that employers trust and value the degree equally, regardless of where it’s earned. Plus, many programs, such as Franklin’s, let you mix and match traditional face-to-face classes with online courses so you can meet people in your field while juggling family or work commitments.

Another perk of online learning is that syllabi, reading lists, textbooks, assignments and announcements are usually available digitally, so you don’t have to worry about misplacing or losing important materials. Additionally, the interactive nature of an online class can encourage more participation and a deeper understanding of complex topics than traditional classroom discussions. This is because online formats are designed to promote a collaborative and interactive student experience, especially when they incorporate real-world case study challenges.