An online MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree is the golden ticket professionals most often need to propel their careers in business. Online MBA programs provide the business skills and practical knowledge needed to compete in today’s business world.
Online MBA programs provide a rigorous business curriculum that prepares graduates to enter the business world with confidence. Graduates of online MBA programs are able to effectively communicate, make important business decisions, and confidently lead employees.
No matter what type of business you intend to manage, an MBA provides a solid foundation in leadership and business principles that prepare you for success in public, private, and non-profit companies in any business field.
Having an MBA gives you legitimacy in the business world and is a gold star on any resume. Hiring managers respect an MBA and job applicants with an MBA on their resume automatically go to the top of the pile.
Earning an MBA is an investment in time and money that pays off quickly upon graduation. Having an MBA shows HR and hiring managers that you are serious about your career and makes you employable in any business setting.
What Is An MBA?
MBA is an abbreviation for Master of Business Administration. A master’s degree in business administration is a broad education that prepares an individual to lead in many business settings. A general MBA provides a well-rounded education in business management and leadership and prepares graduates with the skills and knowledge to enter any field of business.
The core MBA curriculum includes classes in finance, law, and accounting in addition to courses in leadership, communication, critical thought, and business management. In addition, most MBA students choose a concentration such as Entrepreneurism, Marketing, Corporate Finance, or one of many others.
If a student knows what field of business they intend to go into upon graduation, they may choose a concentration and earn a specialized MBA. Adult working students seeking to advance within their field would choose a concentration related to those desirable advanced positions.
Online MBA Programs
In today’s world of uncertainty, many aspects of business and life, in general, have shifted to online models. While working remotely is new for many, the concept of earning a degree online is not new. There are many highly respected online MBA programs available that provide the same high-quality education as their brick and mortar counterparts.
Accredited online MBA programs allow students the flexibility to study from home or from absolutely anywhere they may travel, as long as there is a reliable internet connection. Getting an MBA degree online also provides savings over the cost of a traditional MBA program. Completing coursework online eliminates the expense of on-campus housing, meals, parking, travel, and incidentals.
Today’s online MBA programs are designed to allow students to collaborate, communicate directly with professors, and access classroom resources remotely. Lectures are provided online in video format and assignments are completed in a streamlined digital format.
There is no difference in the quality of education received online vs. in person and there are specific advantages to attending an online MBA program. Aside from the cost savings, flexible learning at your own pace and from the comfort of your home can be less stressful and allow you to better focus on your studies.
Additionally, with more and more business interactions in the world occurring online, learning, and having the ability to adapt, function, and communicate effectively in an online setting is essential to business and professional growth.
How Long Does It Take To Get An MBA Degree Online?
Online MBA programs are usually comprised of 30 to 50 credits and typically require a capstone or research project to complete. Online MBA program students are typically enrolled in one to five courses per semester or term.
For working adults, online MBA programs are ideal because coursework can be completed on your own schedule. This feature of online degree programs is extremely valuable to students who have family obligations as well.
Online MBA programs can also typically be completed in less time than at a brick and mortar school because of the flexibility. There are also accelerated online MBA programs many students opt to complete their master’s degrees in the least amount of time possible.
You can choose to earn your MBA by attending a full-time or part-time online MBA program. There are also accelerated online MBA degree programs, professional and executive MBA programs to accommodate all students.
Full-Time Online MBA Programs
Full-time MBA programs are extremely rigorous and challenging. They require a student’s full attention and determination but can be completed in as little as two years. This is not recommended for working adults or anyone who is not able to dedicate a significant amount of distraction-free time each day to complete the coursework.
Accelerated Online MBA Programs
Accelerated online MBA programs are even more intense than full-time online MBA programs. An accelerated online MBA program can be completed in ten to fifteen months if the student is extremely driven and dedicates the entirety of their efforts to complete the program. This option allows students to earn an MBA quickly and save money, but only if they are able to focus on nothing outside coursework during this time.
- Check out our ranking of the fastest online MBA degrees.
Executive MBA Programs
Executive MBA programs are designed for working professionals and although coursework can be completed online, these programs usually require students to visit campus at least once.
Executive MBA degrees are typically part-time programs and the admissions process is stringent. Students are required to already be employed in a field of business and courses are designed to elevate current job performance.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Executive MBAs for more information.
Professional Online MBA Programs
Professional MBA programs typically require 3-5 years of work experience and feature more advanced coursework than traditional MBA programs, but less advanced than the coursework of an Executive MBA program.
Part-Time Online MBA Programs
Part-time online MBA programs allow much more flexibility but take longer to complete. Part-time online MBA students take fewer courses at one time, which allows them to also fulfill other responsibilities in their lives. While the timeframe to complete an MBA is not indefinite, most schools allow plenty of time to complete your degree, even if your progress is slow.
- Check out our ranking of the 50 Easiest Online MBA Programs.
Online MBA Program Requirements
While each college or university has its own specific requirements for admission into an online MBA program, a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business is typically a given. Most schools also require a minimum GPA, usually 2.0 or 3.0 and some require some work experience in a business field. Many online MBA programs do not require GMAT/GRE test scores, but there are some schools that may.
- We have ranked the best No-GMAT online MBA programs for your convenience.
Additionally, some online MBA programs require on-campus visits to attend orientation, seminars, or internships.
MBA Concentrations and Careers
In addition to the general core MBA curriculum, there are many specializations to choose from when pursuing an online MBA degree. MBA graduates are employed in many different fields and business positions.
The core MBA courses cover a wide range of general business and management topics. It is well-rounded but only covers the general concepts of many areas of business. It’s a very popular degree choice because if allows graduates to enter virtually any type of business setting.
MBA concentrations provide a more complete and in-depth education into a specific focus or area of specialty.
Here are a few popular MBA concentrations to consider when considering a master’s degree.
An MBA with a concentration in finance is the most popular choice among MBA candidates. Finance is the management of large amounts of money within a company, corporation, or government. An online MBA in finance prepares you for extremely important positions within any large company and gives you the opportunity for further advancement in your career.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Finance MBAs to learn more.
Getting an MBA in International Business or MBA in International Management gives you the foundation needed to land a top notch-job and advance your career in today’s ever-expanding global business market.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online International Management MBAs for more information.
A Business Analytics MBA prepares graduates for a career involving data translation and technology, or any business job that requires comprehensive reasoning skills.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Business Analytics MBA Degrees for more information.
Graduates with an MBA in Change Management are prepared to enact sustainable change that improves businesses and helps them reach new goals. Jobs for those with an MBA in change management often include identifying and solving problems.
- Visit our ranking of the The 10 Best Online Change Management MBA Degree Programs to learn more.
An MBA MBA in Strategic Management gives you the skills to confidently handle complex business situations and help solidify corporate relationships to allow rapid business growth in the right directions.
Supply Chain Management
An MBA in Supply Chain Management works behind the scenes of a business to make sure supplies and products are where they need to be, exactly when they need to be there. Jobs in supply chain management can include sourcing raw materials, developing production methods, distribution logistics, and overall cost and risk control.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Supply Chain MBAs to view the top programs for this MBA specialization.
With an MBA in Communications you can help define an organization and be instrumental in its success. Communications professionals are essential in business and are in high demand. Businesses must effectively communicate with the public, clients, other businesses, and also maintain efficient interoffice communication.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Communications MBAs for more information.
An MBA in Sustainability isn’t all about the environment, as many people assume. Sustainability pertains to our relationship with the planet, but also to sustainable relationships a business must have and the ability of a company to sustain itself through adversity.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Sustainability MBAs to learn more.
Graduates with an MBA in Cyber Security work to help protect companies from data breaches. While no business is immune to hacking, cybersecurity consultants spot weaknesses in security so that the risk is minimized. Cybersecurity professionals are in increasing demand as more and more business is being conducted online.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Cybersecurity MBAs for more information.
With an MBA in Entrepreneurship, you are ready to take on the business world as a business owner. With this degree, not only will you be able to secure funding, assess risk, and handle strategic operations for your own business, you are also qualified to manage and lead other companies.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Entrepreneurship MBAs for more information.
an MBA in Leadership prepares you to effectively lead in upper-level supervisory positions in businesses, organizations or in government. Great leaders inspire others to be their best.
- For more information, check out our ranking of The 10 Best Online Leadership Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs.
An MBA in Information Technology prepares you for a career involving innovation and problem solving. The best IT managers have a strong background in technology paired with great communication and managerial skills.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Information Technology MBAs today.
Management Information Systems
With an MBA in Management Information Systems you typically don’t focus on building software or technical systems. Instead, a management systems MBA finds ways to leverage information systems to reach organizational goals for the company.
- To learn more, check out our ranking of the best online management information systems MBA degree programs.
Law Enforcement and Security
A graduate with an MBA in Law Enforcement and Security can work in law enforcement, government, or in the private sector to provide physical and cybersecurity to protect business assets.
- To learn more, check out our ranking of the best online law enforcement and security MBA programs.
With an MBA in Non-Profit Management your work revolves around effectively and efficiently managing operations to benefit a charity. This includes creating an operating budget, sourcing revenue, public outreach, and managing employees.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Non-Profit Management MBAs.
With an MBA in Project Management you’ll manage teams, develop strategies, and organize tasks. Project managers are necessary for many types of business and are in high demand.
- Check out our ranking of the best online project management MBA degree programs for more information.
With an MBA in Human Resources you may work in recruitment and placement of managers, as a development and training specialist, a compensation specialist, an employee and labor relations supervisor, a health, safety and security specialist or another role within a company.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Human Resources MBAs to learn more.
With an MBA in Public Administration you will be tasked with the operation and execution of government policies or work for a non-elected official that regulates things such as transport, energy, commerce, and justice administration.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Public Administration MBA for more information.
Graduates with an MBA in Economics have developed powerful quantitative reasoning skills and are able to apply economic theory to practical business decisions and planning.
- Visit our ranking to the Best Online Economics MBAs for more information.
With an MBA in Marketing you will combine business skills, marketing principles, creativity, and a strategic mindset to market products, services, or even ideas.
- Visit our ranking of The 20 Best Online Marketing MBA Degree Programs for more information.
An MBA in Accounting is a very versatile degree. You may work as a public accountant or work in a corporation as a forensic accountant, auditor, or management accountant. Graduates with an MBA in accounting can also work in government.
- Don’t miss our ranking of The Best Online Accounting MBA Degree Programs.
- We have also ranked the best online Forensic Accounting MBA programs.
With a Risk Management MBA your job is to use scientific processes to quantify risk. Carefully managing risk can be the difference between success and failure in business.
With an MBA in Sports Management you may manage sports teams or work with sports organizations in marketing, merchandising, event management or statistics. Running fitness centers and sports facilities are just one aspect of a career in sports management.
- Check out our ranking of The 20 Best Online Sports Management MBA Degree Programs for more information.
An MBA in Social Media allows you to step into a new and growing field of business public relations and marketing online. Success in social media is about building relationships and engaging with audiences. The Wendy’s twitter page is a prime example.
- Visit our ranking of the Best Online Social Media MBAs.
The field of Agribusiness involves food science, crop yields, and sourcing of raw food products. Graduates with AgriBusiness MBA degrees help keep people around the world fed through farming.
- Check out our ranking of The 10 Best Online Masters in AgriBusiness for more information.
Hospitality is the art of welcoming guests and setting the stage for happy memories. Business executives with an MBA in Hospitality Management enjoy lucrative and influential careers that offer flexibility and growth within a massive industry that employs 1 in 10 people.
With an MBA in Innovation you have the opportunity to forge new and better products and ways of doing things that improve lives and create value.
- We have ranked The 20 Best Online Innovation MBA Degree Programs.
How Much Does an MBA Cost?
The cost of an MBA program varies and depends on the school you attend, the program you choose, and how long it takes you to complete the program. On average though, tuition for two years of education in an MBA program in the United States is around $120,000.
Getting an MBA is an investment in your career. Graduates have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder quickly and are typically paid much more than employees with only a bachelor’s degree.
Some employers will help employees pay for an MBA program because employees with MBA degrees are valuable to the company. Attending an MBA program online can also save money as there are no extra living expenses, parking fees, meal plans, or commutes.
How Much Does An MBA Graduate Earn?
Although there is a significant expense involved in getting an MBA, there is also a great ROI. Graduates with an MBA degree can typically recoup tuition costs fairly quickly.
With one year of experience, most MBA graduates can expect a salary of around $50,000. However, several years into a career most MBA executives earn over $100,000. The earning potential varies depending on the field of business and MBA specialization.
For example, MBAs in strategy often earn nearly $100,000 per year right out of school while graduates with an MBA in human resources usually start out at around $50,000 per year the first year after graduation.
Consulting MBAs and Non-Profit Management MBAs are two of the highest paying concentrations over the course of a career. Consulting MBAs have an average mid-career pay of $125,000 per year. Non-Profit Management MBAs have an average late-career pay of $125,000 per year.