In This Article
Why Should I Pursue an Online MBA Program?
21 Best Online MBA Programs
How to Choose an Online MBA Program?
Having a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) is more than a resume-booster that sets someone ahead in our fast-paced business world. It also provides professionals with the critical skills they need to find success in entrepreneurship or any business industry.
No matter if you are currently employed or fresh out of an undergrad program, earning an MBA online can give you the career boost you need to find success.
Many top executives of leading companies credit their MBA program as being the cornerstone of their work and success. According to U.S. News and World Report, around 40% of Fortune 500 CEOs have an MBA degree on their resume, making it the most sought after degree for business executives.
That being said, a lot of working adults simply do not have the time and money to put into a Master’s of Business Administration. They see the benefits of getting the degree but find the hurdles of earning it too great.
Many top schools have created exceptional online MBA programs to make their MBA degree more accessible to anyone.
Why Should I Pursue an Online MBA Program?
Gain Professional Skills
Perhaps you dream of becoming a Fortune 500 executive or starting your own business in a field you are passionate about? An online MBA program through a top online school will help get you there.
By choosing to enroll in an online master's program, you are taking the steps to develop better professional skills. This makes you immensely more competitive in the job market.
Some of the skills learned during an MBA program are:
Increase Chances of Getting Hired
The business skills you develop also don’t go unnoticed. In a survey of corporate recruiters done at the heart of the pandemic, recruiters expressed confidence in the ability of business schools to foster strategic thinking, communication skills, and versatility within their graduates.
In fact, in the same survey of nearly 1,000 corporate recruiters, 89% stated intent to hire new MBA graduates for their company in 2021. This demonstrates the immediate value of top MBA programs to the vast majority of corporations.
Grow Your Network
Networking is an immensely valuable asset to any MBA program. Due to the nature of online MBA programs, business professionals live and work all over the world in a variety of fields after earning their MBA. MBA programs take pride in their extensive networks of alumni, and even teach networking to their students as part of their program.
In a LinkedIn survey, almost 80% of professionals directly credit networking as a major part of their career success.
Study With Flexibility
When deciding to enter an MBA program online, you are also giving yourself options like being able to continue working either full time or part time. You can then maintain your family obligations and create a schedule that works for you.
This way you can plan school around your life.
For those needing a business degree before earning their MBA, look into Outlier’s Business Foundation. In this program, you can earn a semester of transferable credit hours at a fraction of the cost of most universities.
This way you can enter college ready for the rigors of a bachelor's in business and graduate prepared for the GMAT—ensuring entrance into a top MBA program.
So, whether you are going back to college at 30 or continuing your education after your bachelor’s degree, these 21 online MBA programs are worth it. These are the rankings of the 21 best online MBA programs in the world.
21 Best Online MBA Programs
The following list of online MBA business programs was created by looking at the MBA online engagement, faculty qualifications, and student surveys.
These programs are AACSB accredited MBA programs that are known for being the best online business schools out there according to the U.S. News & World Report.
1. Indiana University - Bloomington
The Kelley School of Business at IU prides itself on providing the same quality instruction to its online students as those in person.
Online MBA students learn from the high-quality core faculty, and all online courses are recorded and archived for student flexibility. Students earning the accredited online MBA all report being employed full-time while enrolled.
Students have two to four years to complete the program which is made up of 50% elective coursework. This gives students the flexibility to focus on areas of business administration that they find most interesting and relevant to their career goals.
2. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
The UNC Kenen-Flagler Business School gives students the option to take all of their MBA courses online or do a hybrid model including weekend and evening courses.
Students enrolled in the online or hybrid MBA formats have 18 to 36 months to complete the program and earn their degree. UNC offers flexibility to its online MBA students, knowing that 100% are already employed full-time.
Students create a career plan with their advisor that’s tailored to their career objectives, ensuring that each student is working toward their specific needs.
The courses students choose to take online are both synchronous and asynchronous. This allows students the chance to interact with their professors through an innovative online platform once a week while doing their coursework on their own time.
3. University of Southern California
Being a student in the Marshall School of Business at USC means earning an MBA degree that is well-rounded.
The lock-step curriculum ensures each student learns about all areas of business through six themes. Two to four core faculty members teach the themes over five semesters.
With most of the work being asynchronous, students can work at their own pace and then meet in two live classes per week with faculty.
4. Carnegie Mellon University
The Tepper School of Business sets a standard in providing a hybrid MBA program that is equal in quality to that of their on-campus program.
The hybrid MBA program allows students to continue to work while in school and encourages students to use the skills they are learning in projects at their current job.
This STEM-designated MBA program combines leadership skills that use data to drive business innovation.
5. University of Florida
The University of Florida has tailored its Warrington School of Business to create top-notch leaders to emerge through the MBA program.
Students in the online program work with dedicated career coaches to assure readiness and help prepare them for a successful career in administration.
UF is committed to diversity both in instructional methodology and networking. While enrolled in the Warrington School of Business, students engage in experiential learning and Global Immersion Experiences.
6. University of Washington
The team-based MBA program in the Foster School of Business at UW gives students access to a tight-knit network of professional business leaders. Having this network can lend itself to strong letters of recommendation for career advancement.
The UW MBA program was designed specifically for working professionals in the middle years of their careers and looking for industry advancement. All students receive one-on-one executive coaching while in the program.
Students will complete most work through online classes while attending quarterly in-person sessions and coaching engagements that fit their schedules.
7. Arizona State University
With enrollment starting each semester, business professionals entering the Carey School of Business can begin their career development when they are ready.
ASU’s Master’s in Business Administration is 100% online and customizable to fit each student. The program is set up for each course to be completed in five weeks and done one at a time.
For students who have the opportunity to complete the in-person model of their MBA program, they have the option to attend any of their courses in real-time.
8. University of Arizona
With all the students enrolled in the school’s Eller School of Business being working professionals, students can complete the program when they can.
The carousel format offers students eight-week sessions that have six different start dates throughout the year. With this format, students can complete the program in less than two years or up to four years. Focusing on areas such as project management and supply chain management one at a time.
The faculty who teach the program are the same instructors as those who teach the in-person and evening courses in the Eller School of Business.
9. Rochester Institute of Technology
With our interconnected world today, the Saunders School of Business gives its students the skills to manage international organizations.
Working with a small cohort of seasoned professionals, students enrolled in the online MBA degree program will build powerful relationships. Each student in the program works with a professional coach while learning the skills of international business administration and deeply studying supply chain issues.
The final step in the program is an extensive client capstone project for real application in the student’s career.
10. University of Texas - Dallas
The Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas - Dallas gives students the feel of a synchronous course load in an asynchronous curriculum.
With a professional recording studio, students learn from the program’s key on-campus faculty through high-quality video presentations that they can watch on their own time.
If taking courses in person is of interest, students can take any classes they wish on the UT - Dallas campus.
11. University of Wisconsin
With an abundance of electives available to students, the online MBA program at the University of Wisconsin allows students to tailor their program to their specific needs.
The program has five core courses built around business cycle models encompassing several disciplines. These core courses are taught by specific faculty due to their knowledge in that field.
Outside of core courses, students take 10 elective courses that are of particular interest to their desired degree program, each taught by core campus faculty.
12. University of Maryland - College Park
At the Smith School of Business, students start the program by doing an in-person residency program. This short residency is a cornerstone of the program to create strong relationships with a cohort of working professionals pursuing an MBA.
Students in the online MBA program have weekly live classes that give them the chance to connect with peers and core faculty. This is in addition to all other asynchronous coursework to build student competencies.
At the end of the online MBA program, students meet for one more in-person residency to complete and present a capstone simulation and network with faculty that have many years of work experience.
13. University of Massachusetts - Amherst
As one of the first online MBA programs in the U.S., the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst knows what it takes to create successful business leaders.
The program not only prides itself on the long-standing quality of instruction but also its affordable pricing. To ensure students that the Isenberg MBA Program is right for them, students can try two classes before the application deadline.
As part of the online MBA program, students have access to core faculty and advising, which offers career support in helping students land their ideal position.
14. University of Mississippi
The online MBA program at the University of Mississippi grants resident tuition to all students enrolled. This gives students an affordable program with a wide range of networking potential.
The world-renowned faculty who teach the online MBA program provides a highly engaging and challenging curriculum to their students.
Online MBA students can take their classes in person during the 36 credit program if they choose, but are not required to visit the campus.
15. Pennsylvania State University
Penn State’s World Campus gives students a holistic approach to learning in their online MBA program. The Smeal College of Business offers students an online experience that focuses on integration, collaboration, and engagement.
Students start the program with an on-campus residency and then can continue their coursework in a synchronous or asynchronous format, depending on what works best for them.
The online MBA program gives students a personal selection of 20 concentration options to participate in at a pace that works best for each student.
16. University of Kansas
Enrolling in the online MBA program at the University of Kansas means starting an online program that is vastly different from many other programs.
The interactive digital experience students participate in is research-based and delivered in a state-of-the-art gamified format.
Nationally recognized faculty, who also teach on campus, teach all the courses. Students have the option to complete the MBA program exclusively online or in a hybrid format.
17. University of Pittsburgh
Flexibility is the cornerstone of the online MBA program through the Katz School of Business. Students may take on-campus or online courses at a pace that works for them. Both programs provide key business skills such as human resource management.
Students enroll in a cohort but tailor their course load to fit their unique working schedule. All students in the program pay the same tuition whether they are on campus or online, in state or out of state.
Students have three years to complete the MBA program and can decide on various electives offered in person and online that meet their specific needs.
Also, note this university accredits all Outlier courses.
18. University of Utah
A three-day, on-campus residency starts off the online MBA program at the Eccles School of Business at UU. Since the online program is available to students all over the world, this residency is a chance to build a powerful international network.
Students in the online MBA program will take asynchronous courses with high-quality video lectures and weekly live webinars with faculty and students around the world.
The coursework at UU is set toward a real-world application that gives students tools and ideas they can apply to their current work.
19. Villanova University
Offering an MBA degree that is grounded in creative problem-solving, the VU online MBA program creates well-rounded business leaders.
Students in the Villanova University program can choose between 5 specialty concentrations: financial management, marketing, data analytics, strategic management, and international business.
Within any of the concentrations, students can choose to study abroad to learn first-hand about the business and economy of another country while earning their MBA.
20. Ball State University
At Ball State University, online MBA students earn a high-quality degree at a low cost. For more than 30 years, the Miller School of Business has been offering its MBA program for online learning.
Ball State does not require an in-person residency during its program, but students do take coursework alongside on-campus students.
Instructional designers at Ball State University have created a unique learning experience for online MBA students, where the virtual world and the physical world come together through high-quality content.
21. North Carolina State University
The Poole School of Business offers online MBA students choice. Students working toward their MBA can accelerate their program and graduate with their degree in as little as 18 months or up to 6 years so they can maintain a high GPA.
Online MBA students may start in either semester and take as many online or in-person classes as they wish. There is no residency requirement for the online MBA, but students can attend an on-campus residency if they choose to.
North Carolina State University has recognized that we live in a technology-driven world and gives students the access and information to find success in a global marketplace.
How to Choose an Online MBA Program?
It can be quite a challenge to figure out which high-quality program is a good fit for you. Once you have decided to enroll in an online MBA program, you have taken a huge step towards bettering yourself and creating the kind of future you want.
Since most people in online MBA programs are working professionals, all the programs listed above will tailor to your scheduling needs. These programs will also help you develop a robust network of business professionals - from nonprofits to international organizations - to lean on for support throughout your career.
Having a Master’s of Business Administration will set you up well to practice decision-making skills by using business analytics and learn many other parts of operations management.
Of course, the cost is a huge concern when thinking about going back to school, but there is money available to help you achieve your goals. Looking into financial aid like grants and scholarships that will get you that MBA should be the first course of action.
Choosing to go back to school and get a master’s degree is a smart move in many cases, whether you are going to one of the best online colleges or not. Ultimately, becoming an MBA graduate is an investment in yourself that will likely pay off.
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