Whether you are seeking a new career in business or are simply eager to climb the ladder in an already established career, earning an MBA may make good career and financial sense. According to a 2013 research survey by The Graduate Management Admission Council, the median base starting salary for an MBA graduate is $95,000. Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) of 2016 MBA graduates had jobs immediately upon graduation, with hiring prospects expected to improve even more in coming years. This is good news for those starting their online MBA programs in 2017.
What Are The Best Online MBA Programs?
Advantages of Online MBA Programs
If you choose to attend a traditional, full-time MBA program, remember that the costs are greater than the sticker price of tuition. While you are working toward your degree, you lose at least two years of income, experience, visibility, and possible promotions in your industry ― not to mention the obvious compromises you might make in your personal and family life. Since it is such a costly commitment, more people are choosing to complete their MBAs online, and a number of accredited online MBA programs are now meeting a more diverse set of student needs.
The Variety of Online MBA Programs
The quality, status, and popularity of online MBAs continues to rise, with more highly ranked business schools offering online degrees every year. However, not all online business degrees are the same. Not only do online MBAs come in a variety of formats, but their quality and prestige vary widely as well. That is why it is important to make a thorough investigation of the different online MBA programs available before choosing one.
Online MBA Program Rankings
Our list of the top online MBA programs for 2017 is the place to begin your investigation. While no ranking is able to substitute for personal judgment about what is best for an individual student, we offer a well-researched and up-to-date listing of the best online MBA offerings. We’ve analyzed and ranked programs according to their perceived prestige (awards, online MBA rankings, reputation), academic quality, and affordability. You can find out more about each program’s costs and specialized offerings by filling out the contact forms in the links below.
MBA Career Outlook
Generally speaking, graduate degrees increase your earning and job prospects. Earning your MBA online should open many opportunities to you.
Salaries in Business Management
On average, MBAs earn between $45,000 and $150,000 annually, depending on specialization. Earnings vary greatly based on company and job location, with large companies representing the best earnings opportunities. Commonly held jobs and salaries include:
- Financial analyst: $81,760 annually
- Human resources specialist: $59,180 annually
- Market research analyst: $62,560 annually
Careers in Business Management
A career in business and MBA opens many career options to you within a growing field of study and work. While some jobs are more advanced variants of general business-related positions, such as IT project manager or senior financial analyst, other positions would be otherwise unattainable, such as CFO. Job outlooks for commonly held positions for MBA graduates are as follows:
- Marketing research analyst: 19% growth through 2024, which is much faster than average
- Human resources specialist: 5% growth through 2024, which is about average
- Financial analyst: 12% growth through 2024, which is significantly faster than average
Advanced Degrees and Certification
After you earn your MBA, there are further opportunities to specialize within your field of study. Certifications offer a declaration of dedication to your specialty as well as an opportunity to boost your qualifications. Of the available certifications for MBAs, 6-Sigma and SAP modules are probably the most well known for general business management. If you are interested in a job in finance, depending on what country you plan to work in, there are a number of required certifications specifically for securities.
As with any certification, post-graduate certifications generally have a positive impact on your job outlook and earnings potential; however, how much of an impact they make greatly varies from company to company and from specialization to specialization.
Professional Associations for MBA Holders
While many MBA graduates join professional associations based upon their specialization, there are MBA societies throughout the world. These groups primarily offer networking and continuing education to those with MBAs:
To determine the best online MBA programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 5 best online MBA programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.