Earning an online MBA is your ticket into the world of business. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the gold standard for many employers.
The fact is, today’s world is digitizing, globalizing, and interconnecting more each day. When you work for a company or start your own business, you need the skills and knowledge to think, communicate, and act decisively. This is why the MBA is the standard. Graduates with an MBA have completed a rigorous graduate program, and employers recognize this accomplishment. Colleges across the fruited plain offer programs that understand our world and the skills necessary to succeed.
What is an MBA?
We often hear the term “MBA” thrown around, but what does it really mean? And more importantly, what can earning an MBA do for your career path?
The conventional MBA (Master of Business Administration) includes a business core that teaches principles of leadership, communication, finance, accounting, law, and operational management. This broad-based approach means knowledge and skills are transferable to public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Though the MBA is sometimes criticized for not being specialized, most schools understand this and offer concentrations. Concentrations build on the MBA core with advanced training in specific areas such as Marketing Analytics, Strategic Management, and Financial Psychology & Behavioral Finance. Research suggests that the fastest-growing MBA’s are Health Services Manager, Marketing Manager, Human Resources Director/Manager, and Risk & Insurance Manager.
What Can You Expect from an MBA Degree?
Well, that answer has much to do with the specific curriculum you choose. No two MBA programs are alike. Some are two-year programs while others are 4-year fill-time programs.
As I mentioned earlier, MBA programs are generalist degrees that cover a wide range of business principles, from finance and economics to marketing and accounting. Whichever program you select, you’ll study real-world scenarios to gain exposure to an array of business functions. In the end, you’ll walk away with a set of business and management skills that are valued in a wide array of industries and career tracks.
What is an Online MBA?
An online MBA is an online program with the same quality, if not better, than a traditional on-campus program. Online programs are often faster than their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts due to accelerated options and asynchronous delivery.
Online learning allows you to work at your own pace from anywhere conveniently. This means that while earning an online degree, you can keep your job and family obligations intact. The fact that you can continue working while taking classes also demonstrates a learning advantage. Since most business knowledge is a kind of know-how, your theoretical learning takes on more meaning while you can relate it to actual real-world issues and situations.
What is the job outlook for those with an Online MBA?
MBA graduates are in high demand in today’s competitive job market. Employment opportunities for graduates of MBA programs are expected to grow 9.2 percent over the next decade, and 86 percent of companies across the globe reported plans to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), three in four start-up companies plan to hire employees with an MBA and more than half of employers plan to increase salaries of MBAs at or above the inflation rate. Business graduates with MBAs earn more than those without.
How much money can I make with an MBA?
The average salary of an MBA graduate varies according to many factors. Compensation can depend on your gender (males earn an average salary of $93,000 while females earn $75,000), the state you live in, and specializations. According to Payscale, HR managers earn an average early-career salary of $66,000 while those with a concentration in Strategy, earn an average early-career salary of $127,000. GMAC’s annual survey reports the base salary of an MBA grad was $105,000. When taken in sum, an online MBA offers outstanding opportunities for high-paying and personally satisfying jobs.
All that being said, it’s an excellent time to earn an MBA online!
So, what are you waiting for?
What is your Methodology?
Every potential student has different priorities while looking for an online MBA program. Our desire is to find the schools that are best for you. We started by listing all of the online MBA programs we could find and gathered data points that correspond to the school’s reputation, cost, success rate, and ROI. Data was collected from payscale.com, National Center for Education Statistics, and school websites. The following is a list of criteria and how the scores were calculated:
- Cost of the program: 40%
- Reputation: 40%
- Average Mid-Career Salary: 10%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 10%
Flex MBA Program – Online or On-Campus
The Flex MBA program at Lehigh University is available both on-campus or online. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), this MBA is a superior option for the average working individual who is looking for a schedule with maximum flexibility. The part-time pacing utilizes the ClassroomLIVE experience which is a major contributing factor to the program’s success. This unique platform allows you to control the pace, perfect for working around work schedules and family life day-to-day. Students are also able to “flex” between attending online classes or more traditional on-campus classes.
Students have the opportunity to benefit from both the on-campus experience of meeting with their colleagues and professors, as well as the ability to complete classes and work online when necessary. This complete flexibility, not to mention convenience, offers a unique advantage that not many programs have. Lehigh also offers the VENTUREseries, which is an Executive Certificate program and MBA Track focused exclusively on hands-on learning, leadership, entrepreneurship, and utilizing one’s creativity for problem-solving. With affordable, high-quality options from a business school which is nationally ranked, Lehigh University deserves the spot at #1.
About Lehigh University
Founded in 1865, Lehigh University is located in quaint Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Only 85 miles from New York City, students benefit from the close proximity to this major U.S. city. The University offers rigorous academic programs to approximately 7,000 students. Lehigh is considered a “Hidden Ivy” in the Northeastern United States.
- Location: Bethlehem, PA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 27.7%
- Retention Rate: 94%
- Graduation Rate: 87%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
“Earning an MBA is a prerequisite for career advancement.” At Creighton University, the MBA program is delivered with online flexibility and convenience at a very good price. In fact, if you want to combine on-campus with online learning, you can do that in the way that fits your life. CU’s Heider College of Business is experienced and respected with connections to Fortune 500 companies and nationally-recognized faculty. The Online MBA is AACSB-accredited as well, putting it in the top two percent of schools in the world. Graduates report an average annual salary that is 20 percent higher than the median annual salary for MBA graduates across the nation.
If you’re looking for concentration options there is Finance, Leadership, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Accounting, Financial Psychology & Behavioral Finance, or Personal Financial Planning. CU’s Heider College also offers nine dual degree options. Admission to the program is simple and there are five start times throughout the year. Requirements include a 3.0 GPA, bachelor’s degree, work experience, and you are not required to submit your GRE/GMAT unless the other requirements are not met. You can complete the 33-credit program in about two years.
About Creighton University
Creighton University is a private Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition. There is a distinct Jesuit focus on social justice and the search for truth that is part of Creighton culture. The mid- to large-sized university serves nearly 10,000 undergraduates and graduates and offers over 150 degree options.
- Location: Omaha, NE
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 50.8%
- Retention Rate: 89%
- Graduation Rate: 81%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
You can complete an MBA, the industry standard for the business world in two and a half years at Auburn University. The Online MBA program is designed for busy working professionals. The program can be completed on your schedule and pace. In addition to the conventional MBA, you can opt to earn a Dual Degree; an MBA and MS in Information Systems, Industrial and Systems Engineering, or Finance. As for the curriculum, the classes are highly relevant and created with our complex global and digital economy in mind. The curriculum is 13 total classes (nine core and four electives).
Auburn utilizes CANVAS as a digital learning platform. CANVAS allows you to video conference, attend seminars and lectures, and collaborate with teachers and other MBA students in the program. Classes include Quantitative Analysis, Integrated Business Project & Case Analysis, Marketing and Consumer Theory, and more. There is a final capstone project required as well. Auburn accepts up to six transfer credits. Overall, there is no doubt Auburn’s Online MBA is effective. It is also affordable with a program cost of $34,125 leading to a fantastic ROI. Admission is competitive and only 40-50 students are accepted each year so now is the time to go for it!
About Auburn University
Auburn University is located in Auburn, Alabama. The school is well-known for its football program and active student life with over 300 student organizations. The most popular majors at Auburn include Business, Engineering, and Communication.
- Location: Auburn, Alabama
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 19.5%
- Retention Rate: 90%
- Graduation Rate: 78%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin’s MBA Consortium began in 2008. Since then 550 graduates have completed the program and a great many now lead successful careers. The advantage of the UW Consortium is the sharing of experience and expertise with four schools with AACSB accreditation: Eau Claire, Parkside, Oshkosh, and La Crosse. This fact also speaks to quality as there are only two percent of business schools in the world that have earned AACSB accreditation. In addition, UW was ranked #9 by U.S. News and World Report for “Best Online MBA Programs.”
The 100-percent online MBA curriculum covers core knowledge in finance, marketing, business law, and more. Learning outcomes are for students to gain the ability to identify as well as evaluate market opportunities, obtain competitive advantages as well as sustain them, and increase the ability to have effective communication within organizations. The key to success and a distinction of a UW’s MBA is the instruction from a team of excellent teachers with much of the learning being experiential and hands-on. If you’re looking for quality combined with convenience, you’ve also found that.
UW’s MBA can be completed in two and a half years with absolutely no campus visits. A GRE/GMAT score is not required for admission.
About the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a large university and one of eleven comprehensive universities in the UW System. UW-Eau Claire offers a liberal arts education to over 10,000 students.
- Location: Eau Claire, WI
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 7%
- Retention Rate: 81%
- Graduation Rate: 67%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 23 to 1
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
The Isenberg School of Business at UMass-Amherst offers an online MBA that combines quality, price, and convenience for working men and women. Knowing the program is AACSB-accredited right up front means the quality is in the top two percent of business schools. Add to the assured quality the fact that you can earn your MBA part-time or full-time either through a blended or 100-percent online format. You can specialize in one of five areas, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Marketing, and Sport Management. The Auburn curriculum is fully-integrated and synced with our global, fast-moving, digitizing economy.
A distinction of an Isenburg education is the incredible industry connections and partnerships as well as the quality of the 1200 students in the program. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, 3-5 years of business experience, and a GMAT/GRE score (waivers are possible). When taken together, the most important factors of price, quality, and convenience converge at UMass-Amherst.
About the University of Massachusetts – Amherst
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is a large public research university. UMass-Amherst offers 31,000 students top-notch academics combined with a diverse and active student life. The University is noted for science, business, and psychology and offers over 200 total programs from undergraduate to graduate levels.
- Location: Amherst, MA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 22.9%
- Retention Rate: 91%
- Graduation Rate: 80%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Ball State University
Ball State University’s Online MBA program is affordable and respected. The price is the fourth cheapest on our list with a program cost of $21,560. In terms of program details, BSU’s Online MBA is 30 credits. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree in business, you can enter the program but you’ll need to fulfill more credits, potentially up to 51. The MBA program comes with your choice of six concentrations: General MBA, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Economics, Policy, and Administration, Sales Management, or Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
The entire program is quality from “head to toe.” The teachers are experts, the curriculum is AACSB-accredited, and the online delivery uses state-of-the-art technology. Courses in the core curriculum include Entrepreneurial Leadership, Information Systems, Marketing Management, and Global Strategic Management. Students generally take about two years to complete the program. You can enroll part-time or full-time and can choose to mix and match online and on-campus learning if you desire. Admission requirements include a GMAT/GRE test score. Also worth mentioning is that Graduate Assistantships are available.
About Ball State University
Ball State University was founded 101 years ago as Indiana State Normal School by a donation to the State by the Ball brothers (of the Ball Corporation). BSU is now a large public research university. The school is recognized with a Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Location: Muncie, IN
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 21%
- Retention Rate: 78%
- Graduation Rate: 63%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
University of Mississippi
The Ole Miss Online MBA is perfectly positioned for working professionals. The entirely online program is delivered asynchronously and takes about two years (including summer terms). Right up front, it’s clear Ole Miss is seeking help men and women reach their goals. They offer a generous transfer policy that grants up to 15 credits, and the program cost is among the lowest on our list at $29,160. The 36-credit curriculum is AACSB-accredited putting the school among the best of the best in terms of business schools in the world. The Online MBA program philosophy is built on forming managers to lead with skill and character.
Core curriculum includes MBA-level finance, management, marketing, accounting, and more. You are also required to complete the Strategic Management Capstone. Admission requires a GRE/GMAT scores (no waivers). You are also required to complete Principles of Accounting and Business Finance, or their equivalents as prerequisites.
About the University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi is a large public research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss is an R-1: Doctoral Universities and is organized into 15 academic divisions. This includes a nationally recognized medical center and schools of accountancy, law, and pharmacy.
- Location: Oxford, MI
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 19%
- Retention Rate: 85%
- Graduation Rate: 64%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Florida State University
The College of Business at Florida State University offers a convenient and high-quality online MBA. Their program includes concentration options in Business Analytics, Management Information Systems, Real Estate, or Risk Management and Insurance (with two tracks). The online MBA is AACSB-accredited and is 39 credits. The structure of the curriculum includes core classes and 12 credits of electives, which make up your concentration. Classes include Financial Reporting and Managerial Control, The Legal & Ethical Environment of Business, Operations Management, and Strategy and Business Policy.
The program certainly works as indicated by 90 percent of graduates who recommend the program to others. U.S. News and World Report recognizes the program as one of the best in several categories. Another notable fact is that you can take the program as either a part- or full-time student. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, GMAT/GRE scores, and an entrance exam among other conventional requirements. Waivers are possible. All in all, the degree is accessible, flexible, affordable, and has a great reputation.
About Florida State University
Florida State University was founded in 1851. The educational experience and deep tradition mean FSU knows how to teach. Today FSU servers over 40,000 students hundreds of academic options. FSU has a 93 percent retention rate, a statistic used to indicate student satisfaction and success.
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 20.1%
- Retention Rate: 93%
- Graduation Rate: 83%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
University of Florida
The Warrington School of Business at the University of Florida offers a high-quality and 100-percent online MBA. The online MBA program at UF is not as flexible as others on our list, but there are still options. The first option is a 20-21 month MBA that is full-time and rigorous. The other option is part-time (16 months) and hybrid. Both programs are delivered asynchronously and offer the ability to complete courses where and when you’d like. Since the Warrington School of Business was a pioneer when it comes to offering an online MBA (in 1999) there is a rich experience and track record of success. The U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the program as one of the best.
The program structure includes a core, a Global Immersion Experience (GIE), and an Experiential Learning component. The GIE counts as two credits and includes online and on-campus visits in preparation for a week- to ten-day international learning experience. Courses include Organizational Behavior, Brand Management, Entrepreneurship & Venture Finance, and Corporate Finance to name a few.
About the University of Florida
The University of Florida is literally a world unto itself. It is huge! As a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university research is very important and UF is nationally recognized in several areas. The most popular majors at UF are Engineering, Business, and Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
- Location:Gainesville, FL
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 33%
- Retention Rate: 97%
- Graduation Rate: 90%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
Penn State University
Accredited, online, reputed—this is the online MBA at Penn State.
The online MBA is AACSB-accredited and is offered with 14 concentrations to choose from. Concentrations include Business Analytics, Marketing Analytics, and Strategic Leadership to list only three. The program does require an on-campus visit for orientation (five days); besides that, the program is entirely online. The Penn State experience includes a curriculum taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program. The overarching philosophy focuses on business strategies, strategic leadership, collaborative teamwork, and utilizes an interactive approach to the curriculum called ICE—Integration, Collaboration, and Engagement.
The curriculum includes a traditional and robust MBA core (39 credits), where you gain the principles and practices essential to modern management, the concentration (nine credits), and the optional Global Immersion Experience. GMAT/GRE scores are required but waivers are possible.
About Penn State University
Penn State University is a Public Ivy and known for academic excellence. Penn State operates 24 campuses, a teaching hospital, and a thriving online World Campus. The retention rate, often a sign of success, is 93 percent.
- Location: University Park, PA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 13.3%
- Retention Rate: 93%
- Graduation Rate: 85%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Washington State University
Washington State University offers the best online MBA in the Pacific Northwest. The entirely online program can be pursued part- or full-time and can be completed on your time according to your schedule.
The program duration is from two to two and a half years. The philosophy at WSU for their MBA is decidedly international. The AACSB-accredited program demonstrates the gold-standard of quality at WSU. In addition to courses integrating internationally-experienced faculty and content, the program features an optional International Experience on four continents.
At a practical level, you’ll experience the best an MBA offers in terms of theory and practice with cross-cultural fluency. U.S. News and World Report rank the MBA program among the top in the nation. Added to the incredible quality is the choice of four concentrations: Marketing, Finance, Hospitality Management, and International Business.
Coursework prepares you to excel in any business leadership role. The fact is, the MBA is now the industry standard for employers to know you’re hireable. Please note that a GMAT score is not required for admission.
About Washington State University
Washington State University is a research university located in Pullman, Washington. The School’s history and experience go back to 1890. WSU offers 96 academic majors for undergraduates, 80 master’s degree programs, and 64 doctoral degree programs.
- Location: Pullman, WA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 17.4%
- Retention Rate: 79%
- Graduation Rate: 59%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
Fitchburg State University
If the price is the key factor for deciding which online MBA to pursue, you need to look at Fitchburg State University.
The $12,510 program cost is the second-lowest on our list! In addition, the FSU degree can be completed quickly, in as little as one year. There are ten total classes in the 30-credit online MBA program. You can choose a concentration in Management, Accounting or Human Resources Management. FSU is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Coursework includes fundamental and advanced concepts in finance, accounting, business law, and marketing.
Classes in the core (18 credits) include Organizational Behavior and Development, Management Information Systems, Corporate Finance, and Strategic Management. Concentration courses are nine credits and you also take one elective. Overall, the program effectively prepares graduates for a variety of positions such as a consultant, CEO, or management in a public, private, or non-profit organization. Admission requires a bachelor’s, a minimum GPA of 2.8, but no GMAT/GRE scores.
About Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg State University is a public liberal arts university located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. FSU is a mid-sized university offering 7500 total students over 50 academic programs. The top three majors are Visual and Performing Arts, Business, and Biology.
- Location: Fitchburg, MA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 41.8%
- Retention Rate: 73%
- Graduation Rate: 61%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Master of Business Administration Online
Villanova School of Business (VSB) offers an MBA in a flexible, convenient format. The difference of a VSB online MBA is the community, robust curriculum, elite faculty and quality of an established, highly ranked on-campus program. The AACSB-accredited program can be completed in six semesters (two years) and is delivered mostly asynchronously. There is a residency requirement to note in this program. There is a mandatory on-campus weekend Leadership Challenge class which is to be completed during the first two semesters of enrollment in the program.
The curriculum includes five component areas: Foundations, Fundamentals, VSB Pillars, Electives, and a Capstone for a total of 48 credits. With such a comprehensive approach and robust credit requirements, you will be more than ready with the skills and knowledge to lead on day one of any organization. Please note, the capstone is nine credits and includes an optional seven-day international immersion called the Global Practicum. Admission includes work experience and GMAT/GRE scores.
About Villanova University
“Truth, Unity, Charity” is the motto of Villanova University. The private research university was founded by Catholic Augustinian friars in 1842. VU now offers an “academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.”
- Location: Villanova, PA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 36.6%
- Retention Rate: 96%
- Graduation Rate: 91%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
Kennesaw State University
The Coles College of Business MBA is an option that won’t break the bank and gives you the ability to lead any organization. The online program started in 2001 as a way to bring the very successful Coles on-campus MBA to a digital learning platform. Kennesaw’s WebMBA boasts high retention, strong student satisfaction, and great graduation rates. The part-time program is delivered in a team-based learning style and is fully online after a two-day orientation to kick off the program. A distinct advantage of the cohort model is student-to-student collaborative relationships. These lead to more learning and often extend beyond the program into professional life.
The AACSB-accredited WebMBA curriculum consists of standard MBA principles and skills and can be completed in about two years. Knowing the accreditation, and that the WebMBA ranked #21 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for “Best Online MBA Programs,” assures you of the quality of the program. You are not required to submit your GRE/GMAT scores for admission.
About Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University started as a junior college. KSU is now a large, four-year, public research university offering over 150 programs on two campuses. Kennesaw’s online learning and offerings have grown and developed to become noteworthy. KSU offers 70 online degrees, certifications, and endorsement programs.
- Location: Kennesaw, GA
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 8%
- Retention Rate: 79%
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
University of Arizona
In just a bit more than one year you can earn an online MBA from the University of Arizona. The Online MBA is offered through the Eller College of Business. This means you benefit from a business education tradition stretching back to 1916. In regards to the curriculum, the program is 45 credits and is delivered entirely online. Students who are motivated and focused can complete the program in only 14 months. The asynchronous format means you can take classes, listen to lectures, and have online discussions anywhere and anytime. On top of that flexibility, you can begin the program at any one of six convenient start times.
There are also six concentrations: Entrepreneurship, Health Care, Finance, Management and Organizations, Management Information Systems, and Marketing. All teaching is by on-campus faculty and held to the highest standards. The quality is also spot on. The Eller Online MBA was ranked #15 by U.S. News and World Report for “Best Online MBAs.” Admission requirements include a GMAT/GRE score.
About the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona’s seal is fittingly emblazoned with the word “Sursum” or “Upwards.” UA is a research university with two medical schools a $600 million annual research expenditure. The most popular majors are Business, Biology, and Health-related professions.
- Location: Tucson, AZ
- Percentage of Graduate Students: 22%
- Retention Rate: 81%
- Graduation Rate: 64%
- Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
What is an online MBA program?
There are now a slew of amazing online MBA options to choose from. If you’re looking for a public or private, large or small school to receive your business education online, odds are, there’s something out there for you. When it comes to our list, we uncovered the best online MBAs in terms of price, quality, flexibility, convenience, and respectability.
You can expect all the programs on this list to be accredited, some with both regional and national, and even international accreditation. Online MBAs are degrees designed for the working professional or family man or woman who doesn’t want to change their lifestyle.
The online experience allows you to take the same classes, usually taught by the same faculty, as on-campus MBAs. You can decide the pace for the most part. Do you want full- or part-time? Are you looking to complete the program in one year or does that matter? Options abound to fit your needs.
Online MBA programs generally range from 30 to 50 credits and include a capstone experience. If you’re looking for an MBA with a specific concentration, most schools on the list offer multiple options. Examples include Strategy Management, Finance, Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and Technology Management, to name a few. Some online MBAs have on-campus requirements as part of the program. For example, on this list, some require a residency for orientation, and then the rest of the program is entirely online. These can be a big leg up in terms of networking. As for admission requirements, most require a bachelor’s (some require a business undergraduate degree), a minimum GPA ranging from 2.0 to 3.0, a minimum work experience, and GMAT or GRE test scores, though many do not.
What are some specific differences I should be aware of with an online MBA?
Every year more options and innovations appear in the online MBA world. Here’s a snapshot of some key differences. First of all, not all MBAs are 100 percent online. Some are hybrids, and the percentage of the actual online learning varies. For example, some schools require a five-day residency one time at the beginning of the program.
This makes their program 95 percent online. Others require a residency every semester. This is something you need to reflect on. Residency requirements may add a cost, though some schools cover at least some of the cost. Residencies often offer unparalleled collaboration, experience with other grad students, alumni, and networking with professionals. You’ll need to weigh the cost and benefits of residency requirements to see if it’s right for you.
Most of the programs we ranked are 100 percent online, and we’ve noted any residency requirements.
There are essentially two delivery methods for online learning. Asynchronous learning works at the student’s pace, and typically there are no specific times for classes or lectures and due dates are often within the semester time frame instead of a more rigid schedule.
Synchronous learning, however, typically has specific login times for classes and is more explicit about due dates and projects. Some programs are completely asynchronous, and the most flexible, but many are mixed.
You may also come across an accelerated online MBA. These degrees are for business undergraduates, move very quickly, and are demanding—they take about a year. Executive online MBAs are designed for those in higher management positions, such as mid- to senior-level. It is often required to have on-campus and face-to-face learning events. Lastly, there is an increasing number of online MBA programs that offer international immersion experiences.
What is the average salary of an MBA grad?
The average salary of an MBA graduate is tricky. There are so many factors that make salaries vary: experience, concentration type, location, gender, and more. Before we get to the salary, it’s important to note that MBA graduates are in great demand.
MBA training is broad and can be applied in many different settings. Employment opportunities for graduates of MBA programs are expected to grow 9.2 percent over the next decade, and 86 percent of companies across the globe reported that they anticipate hiring recent MBA graduates. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), three in four start-up companies plan to hire MBAs.
Now, when it comes to salary, there are a lot of ways to look at it. First, it’s generally true that you make more as your experience increases. GMACs annual survey reports the median starting salary for business school graduates is $105,000. Males earn an average salary of $93,000, while females earn $75,000. Some concentrations may have a better ROI than others: According to Payscale, Strategy Management (and associated jobs) had the best salary with an average of $127,000 per year. Technology Management came in second with an average of $113,000. Human resource managers were the lowest, with an average salary of $66,000. All in all, an online MBA offers outstanding opportunities in a wide array of applications that, if you’re smart in your choice of college, can be a good investment.
Is an online MBA worth it?
Yes, an MBA can certainly be worth it if you do your research.
Congrats on being here in the FAQ section! The fact is more and more schools are offering an online MBA because they work where it counts—for the employer and employee. Perhaps the most important advantage of an online MBA is, for most people and programs, that you don’t have to quit your job. This means you can keep earning money (and experience), earn your degree online, and leverage your education for a promotion or to land the job you’ve always wanted. It can also be argued that earning your degree while working actually increases your learning because you’re connecting theory with practice every day.
Anyway, what do the numbers say? Is an online MBA worth it?
According to an article in Forbes,, it can be worth it if you do your homework. It was stated that “Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business…online graduates are reporting average salary increases of 29% over their pre-MBA pay.” It went on to say that “At UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, 76% percent of online students have received promotions or started new jobs while in the program.” So, with the right job and program cost, it can be financially worth it. Program costs do vary a good deal from the low end of our list at $12,000 all the way to $60,000, though some schools charge over $120,000. A few other factors to consider is potentially earning scholarships or company pay options.
What are some jobs available with an online MBA?
An online MBA prepares you for management in a variety of applications and organizations. This broad-based approach means a wide spectrum of jobs. The MBA traditional core includes fundamental theory and skills in finance, accounting, marketing, data analytics, and organizational leadership. These can lead to positions in public, private, and nonprofits and cover many levels of management up to a CEO. In addition, earning an MBA means you have something more to offer at your current job, and hence, are in a position for a promotion. Here are some jobs you’ll be ready to excel at:
- Human Resource Manager
- Personal Financial Consultant
- Accountant, Auditor
- Marketing Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Operations Manager
- Information Security Analyst
- IT Manager, Management Analyst
- Marketing Analyst
- Brand Manager
- Network Systems Analyst
- Public Relations Manager
- Technology Management.
Salaries for these positions range from $80,000 to $150,000. Salaries are largely dependant on experience as well as many other factors. However, and it should be noted, online MBAs help you keep your job and build experience while you earn your degree. Again, if you are currently employed and seek to remain so while you earn your MBA, it can definitely be worth it. GMAC’s annual survey of MBA grads showed that 90 percent of alumni reported increased earning power. Ninety-five percent said their MBA experience was good to outstanding, and an impressive 93 percent recommend the MBA to others.
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