Top Online MBA Programs
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What is an Online MBA Program?
Online MBA programs are advanced business degrees. (MBA stands for Master of Business Administration.) These programs cover the discipline of running an organization.
MBA programs usually feature courses across all corners of business. You could study everything from finance and accounting to marketing and strategy. And, many programs let you choose a concentration in an area of interest.
Many Top Executives earn MBA degrees – especially if they work for large corporations. If you want to help businesses reach their goals, pursuing an online MBA could be a good start.
|MBA – Emphasis in Health Care Administration||MBA – Operations Management||Master of Business Administration (MBA)|
|This program applies business concepts to the healthcare field. Students learn to manage health systems and resources. And, they learn what it takes to run hospital departments, long-term care facilities, or clinics.||This program features a business core, plus concentration coursework in Operations Management. Students study concepts like quality management and logistics. You’ll even explore operations from a global perspective.||This flexible program helps students gain a strong foundation in advanced business. Study everything from marketing to economics, through a managerial lens. Optional concentrations include: Accountancy, Information Systems, and Marketing.|
Online MBA Programs
Online MBA programs may be designed to help students pursue diverse goals. Some candidates earn an MBA to focus on general business. Others delve into a concentration, like human resources or finance.
Some common MBA concentrations include:
- International Business
- Health Care Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Project Management
- Computer Information Systems
What most programs have in common is a business core. Your core courses aim to provide a foundation in the major aspects of businesses. This broad overview will help you understand how companies run. (And how they become profitable, of course!) That means exploring everything from how to market a product to serving in a leadership role.
A core MBA curriculum may include courses like:
- Fundamentals of Business. An introductory business course offers an overview of the business world. Expect to explore contemporary issues and case studies. And, you could practice skills like business analytics and strategy.
- Corporate Finance. Finance is a key pillar of business. A corporate finance course covers fundamental theories and practices. You’ll explore concepts like shareholder value and how financial markets work. And, you’ll learn finance vocabulary and techniques.
- Interested in potentially launching your own business venture? Even if the answer is no, you may still take this course. It usually dives into topics ranging from economics to management strategies.
- Corporate Communication. How you get your message across is essential for leadership. A business communications course covers speaking, listening, and writing. You could also learn communication strategies for different audiences.
- This course explores the theory and practice of marketing. You’ll study everything from consumer behavior to product development. And, you could learn about both domestic and global markets.
Executive MBA Programs
Traditional MBA programs may be open to students with diverse backgrounds and goals. Executive MBA programs, on the other hand, are aimed at people already in business.
Students may earn an EMBA when they are hoping to pursue enhanced managerial roles. Since they are designed for working students, EMBA programs may offer accelerated tracks.
And while traditional MBAs often cover a broad overview, EMBAs are different. They may focus more on applying business theories to your current workplace or interest area.
Featured Online Schools
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How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA Degree?
Online MBA programs generally take about two years to earn. Some accelerated programs may be earned in one year or less.
Program length usually depends on whether you study part time or full time. (Many MBA students work full time while pursuing the degree.)
MBA Programs That Could be Completed in 18 Months or Less
|School||Degree Level||# of Credits Required||Start Dates||Minimum Months to Complete|
|Colorado Christian University||MBA||39||Multiple||18 months|
|American Intercontinental University||MBA||48||Multiple||12 months|
|Emporia State University||MBA||36||N/A||12 months|
How Much Does an MBA Program Cost?
Per NCES, the average graduate tuition at public universities was $11,303 per year. (That’s according to the most recent data, from 2015-16.) Attending private and for-profit schools cost more, at $23,919 per year. Compare tuition for these schools with MBA programs:
|School||Degree Level||# of Credits Required||Cost Per Credit||Total Tuition Cost|
|Colorado Christian University||MBA||39||$583||$22,737|
|American Intercontinental University||MBA||48||$611||$29,328|
|Emporia State University||MBA||36||$350||$12,600|
Top Schools that offer MBA Degrees
NCES lists 2,912 institutions that have Business Administration, Management, & Operations programs. (Including MBA programs!) Those schools awarded 380,974 degrees to students in 2016 (the most recent data). Most of these degrees were at the Master’s level (44.4%).
|School||2016 Degrees awarded||2018/19 Graduate Tuition|
|University of Phoenix-Arizona||10,749||$16,752|
|University of Maryland-University College||3,441||$11,862 (out of state)|
|Western Governors University||3,253||$7,500|
|Southern New Hampshire University||2,767||$18,810|
|Columbia Southern University||2,750||$3,600|
|Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs||2,559||$13,409|
Choosing an Accredited MBA Program
Accreditation may be a stamp of quality for your MBA program. Pursuing an accredited MBA means your program must upholds standards set forth by an organization.
Three main organizations accredit MBA programs or business schools. These include:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB accredits business schools. They evaluate schools based on standards that follow three themes: engagement, innovation, and impact. And, they look at everything from academics to faculty and staff.
- The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP accredits Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral programs. That includes MBA programs. Their model of excellence features a set of standards programs must follow to earn accreditation.
- International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). IACBE accredits business education at all levels, including MBA programs. They evaluate everything from teaching quality to student outcomes.
Online MBA programs can hold accreditation, too. That said, not all programs hold a specific business accreditation. Always make sure your college or university is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
What Can You Do with an MBA?
Looking at the most recent census data, there are 10.9 million Business Administration, Management, & Operations degree-holders in the workforce. That count includes graduates of MBA programs.
The industry as a whole is growing. That’s partly due to globalization and the expanding economy. In fact, business and financial occupations are projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than average for all jobs. In total, about 773,800 new roles will be added. Prospects may be strongest for those with certain knowledge, like data analytics and market research.
Male and female degree-holders are almost evenly split in the field of business. But, slightly more graduates (51.4%) were male. The average age of a business graduate in the workforce is 43.7 years old.
Top Salaries by State for Chief Executives
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||1,880||$247,500|
Jobs with a Masters of Business Administration Degree
Chief Executives oversee entire organizations. They may provide big-picture direction and management. And, they often implement company wide policies. Chief Executives Officers are known as CEOs. But, there are other kinds of Chief Executives, like Chief Operating Officers (COOs) and even Mayors.
Median Salary: $189,600 per year
Job Growth Through 2026: -4%
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree
Financial Managers manage organizations’ overall financial health. That includes everything from planning investments to finding ways to cut costs. They may supervise employees who perform finance-related tasks. And, they may make financial recommendations to company leadership. The majority work in finance and insurance.
Median Salary: $127,990 per year
Job Growth Through 2026: 19% (Much faster than average)
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are a type of computer and information systems manager. They evaluate new technology that could help organizations reach their goals. And, they design and implement IT solutions. Some companies also have a Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this case, the CTO works under the CIO but has more technical knowledge.
Median Salary: $142,530 per year
Job Growth Through 2026: 12% (Faster than average)
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree