Online MBA Degrees and Careers

Enrollment in online MBA programs is on the rise, and it has been over the past several years.

Earning Your MBA Degree Online

Enrollment in online MBA programs is on the rise, as it has been over the past several years. In general, getting your education online is becoming increasingly more common as schools across the country continue to add a number of online degree programs to their repertoire. Additionally, schools with a purely online platform, i.e. no campus at all, are becoming more prevalent and accepted as accredited institutions of higher education.

Earning an MBA online is quite similar to earning a degree in a more traditional setting, through a brick and mortar business school. To apply, you must have already earned your bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and your GPA must meet the minimum standards of the school you are planning to attend. In many cases, GPA requirements for a master's program fall somewhere around a 3.0.

Featured Online Programs

Program duration varies from school to school, as program requirements may differ. In general, MBA programs are usually designed to be completed in two years. That being said, online MBA students may find that they are able to earn their online degree in less time than those enrolled in an on-campus program, as online schools offer flexibility in how many courses they offer at a given time and allow students to access coursework at any time of day. Online schools also frequently offer part-time options if that fits students' schedules more suitably. Typically, online colleges are also less expensive that their brick and mortar counterparts. Firstly, tuition costs are often lower for a variety of reasons. For instance, some schools with a traditionally on-campus format may still charge an in-state vs. out-of-state tuition differential, but with purely online business schools, this is not an issue. Online programs typically also offer savings on textbooks and potential housing fees.

The Best Online MBA Degree Programs

Rank School Student to
Aid Rate
Description Cost Address School Logo Websites  

Johns Hopkins University

9 to 1 92% 97% 16% 37% 39% 1.8%

The business school at Johns Hopkins University offers a flexible, part-time online MBA program designed for working professionals; the average student in this program has 9.4 years of full-time work experience. Online learners pursuing this MBA online degree can customize the program to fit their individuals needs by choosing to complete the program entirely online or in a hybrid format. However, some business communication, negotiation, and leadership in organizations courses require in-person residencies at the Baltimore campus for one to three days. Courses are offered in eight-week terms, mostly asynchronously, with a few required synchronous real-time activities. Students can opt for specializations in financial business, healthcare management, or leading organizations. Consisting of 54 credits, most students complete this program in 2.5 years. With a large network of alumni and highly respected professionals, graduates of this program gain connections in multiple industries including financial services, the government, technology, and healthcare.

3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
Program Page

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

13 to 1 89% 97% 28% 44% 32% 1.6%

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers one of the best online MBA programs in the nation. With an average of 10.3 years of work experience, online learners in this rigorous program hail from more than 16 countries. Students at MBA@UNC can specialize in investment management and sustainable enterprise corporate finance, marketing, data analysis and decision making, management consulting, or entrepreneurship. UNC offers its MBA candidates the opportunity to participate in a global immersion program each quarter, where individuals spend a weekend in various cities around the world. This online MBA consists of 66 credits and can be completed in 18 to 36 months. Courses are offered through UNC's online learning platform, 2NC, where students have 24/7 access to coursework and materials, as well as a mobile app. Courses are offered synchronously with live classroom settings and interactive activities. Applications for admissions are accepted on a rolling basis, and admitted students can begin in January, April, July, or October.

103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Program Page

Lehigh University

10 to 1 88% 96% 34% 32% 44% 1.4%

Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University's college of business and economics offers a one-year, full-time, flexible online MBA designed for experienced professionals. This 36-credit online MBA degree begins with a mandatory, on-campus weekend orientation. At the end of the program, students complete a three-credit final capstone project, in which they participate in case discussions and a simulation. Prerequisites for the program include financial accounting, statistics, and principles of economics. Lehigh MBA students typically have an average GPA of 3.4 and eight years of work experience. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience; however, this does not necessarily have to be in a business-related function. GMAT/GRE scores may be waived if applicants have 10 years of full-time professional experience or a master’s degree with six years of full-time professional experience.

27 Memorial Drive West
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Program Page

Carnegie Mellon University

10 to 1 87% 96% 24% 30% 38% 1.1%

Carnegie Mellon offers a part-time online MBA designed for working professionals. The curriculum of this program focuses on strategic analytics and leadership development, and students receive leadership and communication coaching throughout the duration of the program. Classes include managerial economics, managing networks and organizations, corporate strategy, and interpersonal communication. Students also complete a capstone project in their second year of study. Online students participate in both synchronous, interactive sessions and asynchronous, self-paced coursework. Distance learners also attend "access weekends," which are held every two months for a total of six weekends each year; these provide ample opportunities for networking. Students typically earn their degrees in three years. This program’s low one-to-five student-to-teacher ratio sets it apart from many other schools and allows for increased attention from faculty. Online learners also receive recruiting support through a partnership with the Accelerate Leadership Center. Admitted students begin classes in September.

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Program Page

New York University

10 to 1 83% 92% 35% 32% 41% 3%

New York University’s school of business offers an executive-friendly, blended MBA program. Providing a collaborative learning environment and global experiences, students in NYU’s TRIUM MBA program participate in six modules over the course of 17 months. Within each module, students complete 1.5 to two weeks on site at varying locations, including in London, California, Paris, New York, and Shanghai. Modules cover topics such as the global political economy, technological disruption, entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance. Throughout the duration of the program, students participate in leadership development activities in the form of self-assessments, group work, and guest lectures. To graduate, online learners must complete the TRIUM capstone project, where they develop a business idea from inception to launch. Students in this online MBA degree program are an average of 40 years old and have 15 years of professional work experience. NYC partners with the London School of Economics and Political Science and the HEC Paris School of Management to host this program.

70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
Program Page

Maharishi University of Management

11 to 1 58% 72% 38% 87% 86% 5.4%

Located in Fairfield, Iowa, the Maharishi University of Management is a 501(C)3 nonprofit university that offers an online MBA for individuals interested in learning about sustainable business options. With a focus on helping the environment, while still maintaining profitability, the curriculum of this program includes coursework related to science and technology of consciousness. Students can participate in real-time synchronous web conferences or watch recordings at their convenience. The program consists of 60 credits and can be completed in three years. Notable classes include business process improvement, operations management, employee health and wellness, socially responsible investing, and mediation for dispute resolutions. Students also participate in one-credit creative intelligence modules each semester. With a unique focus on transcendental meditation, students in this program also learn how to reduce stress and clarify their thinking. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis.

1000 N 4th St
Fairfield, IA 52557
Program Page

University of Virginia-Main Campus

15 to 1 93% 97% 29% 41% 25% 2.3%

University of Virginia's business school offers two executive MBA online programs: an executive MBA (EMBA) and a global executive MBA (GEMBA). Both degrees feature 21-month lockstep programs, where all students begin and end the program at the same time. The programs commence in August and consist of 10 two-month quarters. Students typically take three or four classes per quarter. Approximately one-third of the coursework is delivered through distance learning; however, students must attend multiple on-site residences in either Charlottesville or the District of Columbia. EMBA students must attend at least one international residency in China, Europe, India, or South Africa, while GEMBA students must carry out all four international residencies. Distance learners in these executive MBA programs participate in action-oriented discussions, workshops, and leadership coaching. Applicants should have at least seven years of professional work experience and hold a managerial position. Students are required to work full-time during the course of their studies.

1827 University Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903-2628
Program Page

George Washington University

12 to 1 80% 93% 43% 28% 40% 1.5%

George Washington University’s business school offers a part-time, 55.5-credit MBA degree online. Students in this rigorous program gain expertise in the areas of social responsibility, ethical leadership, sustainability, and corporate citizenship. Distance learners can choose up to two concentrations from finance, consulting, project management, global management, government contracts, and information systems technology management. Students can also participate in a four-day, on-site “business in society” residency in the District of Columbia, which gives them the opportunity to visit the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Congress, and the World Bank. Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Students can participate in live, synchronous sessions or watch recorded versions asynchronously at their convenience. Students typically take six credit hours per semester, but they have the freedom to complete the program at their own pace. Semesters last for 14 weeks, and admitted students can begin in August, January, or May.

2121 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
Program Page

Babson College

14 to 1 90% 94% 26% 31% 37% 1.2%

Babson College offers an online MBA degree that has a few on-site components. The program commences with a week-long startup residency, where students participate in simulations and networking events and take a class in entrepreneurship and leadership. Throughout the duration of the program, Babson offers signature learning experiences, where students have the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge to complex problems. Notable classes in the curriculum include mergers and acquisitions, brand management, entrepreneurial finance, global strategic management, global marketing strategy, and product management. Online learners participate in synchronous, real-time webinars and conferences as well as asynchronous discussion boards. The program culminates with a final corporate entrepreneurship capstone project, in which students form teams to develop a business plan. Students can choose a concentration in business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, global management, or marketing. Incoming students have an average of 10 years of professional work experience.

231 Forest Street
Wellesley, MA 02457-0310
Program Page

American University

12 to 1 77% 89% 45% 25% 52% 3.6%

The District of Columbia’s oldest accredited business school, American University's school of business offers an MBA online degree program for domestic and global professionals. Students can choose one of six predesigned concentrations or create their own self-designed degree track. Predesigned options include finance, marketing, international business, consulting, business analytics, and cybersecurity. With a comprehensive curriculum, students take classes in forensic accounting, investment analysis, portfolio management, database and big data, and predictive analytics. Students must participate in two three- or four-day "business in capitals" immersions, where they have the opportunity to network with classmates, professors, and other business professionals. Individuals looking for an online MBA with no GMAT requirements will be happy to learn that there are no standardized test requirements for admission into American University. Students can begin this practice-based program in October, January, April, or July.

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016-8001
Program Page

University of St Francis

11 to 1 56% 81% 50% 28% 69% 3.6%

The University of St. Francis is a Catholic university located in Joliet, Illinois. USF's online MBA degree was recently redesigned and is offered through the university’s business and health administration college. Students in this program have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of concentrations, including accounting, business analytics, finance, health administration, human resources management, supply chain management, management, or training and development. The curriculum consists of 36 semester hours, and students typically earn their degrees in 12 to 18 months. There is also a rigorous, one-year option; students interested in this track must meet foundation prerequisites. Distance learners can transfer up to nine semesters hours of credit, and the program runs on trimesters. Applicants must have at least two years of full-time managerial experience or appropriate GMAT scores. Incoming students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer. Qualified students also have the opportunity to join the international honor society Delta Mu Delta.

500 N Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435-6188
Program Page

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

16 to 1 71% 93% 51% 42% 42% 3.6%

The online MBA at North Carolina State University is an AACSB-accredited program. Distance learners in this program do not declare a concentration; however, they do complete a six-credit "depth requirement" in a particular business area. Options for depth requirements include biosciences management, financial management, marketing management, innovation management, supply chain management, and technology entrepreneurship and commercialization. Students participate in two three-day residencies in Raleigh on NC State’s main campus. This MBA program is offered primarily asynchronously through the Moodle and Blackboard learning management systems. Students take online courses by accessing discussion boards, podcasts, and video presentations. The program consists of 40 credit hours. Students can choose an accelerated option and complete their degree in as few as 21 months. Alternatively, distance learners can opt for a slower-paced, flexible program where they have up to six years to graduate. Incoming students can begin classes in the fall or spring semesters.

2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
Program Page

Pepperdine University

12 to 1 81% 92% 35% 20% 44% 2.6%

Pepperdine University is a Christian university located in Malibu, California. The university's school of business and management offers an MBA degree online that is designed for working professionals. Students in this program can choose between four elective concentrations: finance, leadership and managing organizational change, marketing, or general management. Classes in these curricula include behavior in organizations; accounting information and control systems; prices, profit, and the market economy; quantitative analysis for business operations; and information and process systems. Students also take part in a one-credit personal and leadership development workshop. The MBA program consists of 52 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience; however, they do not need to have an undergraduate degree in business. Applicants with more than five years of full-time professional work experience may be able to waive GMAT requirements.

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263
Program Page

Marist College

16 to 1 80% 91% 38% 30% 56% 1.9%

Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, Marist College offers an MBA degree online through its school of management. This AACSB-accredited degree can be completed entirely online and boasts a comprehensive business curriculum that focuses on technological infrastructure, leadership and ethics, and business analytics. Online learners can choose a concentration in ethical leadership, financial management, or healthcare administration. There are no required on-site residencies in this program; however, students do have the option to participate in residency weekends in NYC. This flexible, 36-credit program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Students who opt for part-time study typically graduate in 2.5 years. The majority of core courses run for 15 weeks, while the elective and concentration classes run for eight weeks. Applicants who already hold an advanced degree do not need to submit GMAT scores. Admitted students can begin in August or January.

3399 North Rd
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Program Page

Villanova University

12 to 1 88% 94% 49% 21% 43% 1.8%

Villanova University’s business school offers one of the top online MBA programs in the country. Notable classes include performance measurement and reporting fundamentals, business operations in the 21st century, analyzing and leveraging data, and strategic marketing management. Concentrations include finance, marketing, and strategic management. Students must attend an on-site “leadership challenge” weekend residency at the beginning of the program. Midway through the program, students participate in a “social enterprise consulting” practicum. Students also complete a final capstone project, in which they have the option to travel abroad and complete a seven-day international immersion experience. The 48-credit program can be completed in two years. As a lockstep program, MBA students take 21 courses as a chort over the course of six semesters. Courses run for 16 weeks. Online coursework features synchronous and asynchronous elements. Students may transfer up to nine previously earned credits towards their MBA.

800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Program Page

Messiah College

13 to 1 76% 88% 79% 35% 64% 2.2%

A Christian school located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Messiah College offers a flexible MBA online degree. Classes in the curriculum include innovation and entrepreneurship, organizational effectiveness, social media strategy, global business and economic development, and best practices in leadership. Students can choose a concentration in digital marketing, management, organizational and strategic communications, social entrepreneurship, or strategic leadership. Individuals who have completed an ACEND-approved, nine-credit dietetic internship can also opt for a concentration in dietetics. Students in all concentrations complete a three-credit management capstone class. The program consists of 36 credits and can be finished in two years. Online coursework is delivered through the Canvas learning management system and consists of both asynchronous and synchronous components. These include live chats, real-time audio and video files, and discussion forums. Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree; however, there are no GMAT requirements.

One College Ave
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Program Page

Rowan University

17 to 1 72% 84% 43% 44% 57% 5.4%

Located in Glassboro, New Jersey, Rowan University offers one of the top part-time MBA online programs in the United States. The curriculum includes classes in marketing management, managerial decision-making tools, international business and society, corporate entrepreneurship and new venture development, and developing and leading high-performance organizations. Online courses are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. This accelerated program consists of 36 semester hours. Graduate students complete 12 eight-week courses, including nine required core courses and three electives. Students can complete the six-semester program in less than two years. Incoming students have an average GMAT score of 501 and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.25; however, students only need a minimum GMAT score of 450 and a GPA of 2.5 to apply. Admitted students can start in January, February, April, June, August, or October.

201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Program Page

Stevens Institute of Technology

14 to 1 78% 87% 77% 32% 76% 3.1%

Stevens Institute of Technology offers two online MBA programs designed specifically for individuals interested in the role of technology in business. MBA students can choose between five concentrations, all of which emphasize technology-focused management components. Concentrations include business intelligence and analytics, finance, information systems, marketing, and project management. The program consists of 48 credits. Curriculum includes economics for managers, global business and markets, managerial judgment and decision making, technology and innovation management, and discovering and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities. Students also participate in a field consulting program, in which they work in teams to assess an opportunity at a partner business. Applicants should have competitive GMAT or GRE scores. Candidates are not explicitly required to have work experience; however, it is highly recommended that they have at least two years of full-time professional experience. Applicants with more than five years of work experience may be interested in SIT’s executive MBA; however, this program requires eight on-site weekend classes per semester in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Castle Point On Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5991
Program Page

Cedarville University

13 to 1 72% 88% 74% 35% 51% 1.7%

Located in western Ohio, Cedarville University offers an online MBA degree for Christian professionals. Designed with the belief that professional work is a platform for ministry, this program offers graduate students three options for study: a generalist MBA, a concentration in operations management, or a concentration in healthcare administration. Core courses include executive financial management, information technology for competitive advantage, managerial data analytics, and organizational design and behavior. Students must also take a biblical and theological foundation course. Course activities include projects, simulations, and case studies. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and make a profession of faith. Online coursework is delivered through Moodle, Hoonuit, and Google Hangouts. Although an undergraduate degree in business is not required, students must complete certain prerequisites, including financial and managerial accounting, fundamentals of economics, and business statistics. Admitted students must participate in an online orientation.

251 N. Main Street
Cedarville, OH 45314-0601
Program Page

University of Florida

21 to 1 85% 96% 45% 49% 32% 3.5%

The University of Florida offers two MBA online programs: a 16-month option and a 27-month option. The 16-month, 32-credit program is an accelerated program designed for business professionals who earned an undergraduate degree in business within the last seven years. Alternatively, the 27-month, 48-credit degree is designed for business professionals with more than seven years of work experience; this option is open to individuals with an undergraduate degree in any major. Both programs include core classes in finance, marketing, management, operations, and economics. The two-year program allows students to choose an area of focus in entrepreneurship, finance, international business, or marketing. Two-year students also have the option to continue taking classes online in their sixth term, complete a one-week on-campus intensive, and participate in a global immersion experience where they take a one-week international study trip. Students in both programs must participate in quarterly weekend residencies as well as an on-campus orientation. Both programs are cohort based. Applicants must submit GMAT scores and have a minimum of two years’ full-time work experience. Admitted students can begin in January or August.

Gainesville, FL 32611
Program Page

Clarkson University

14 to 1 70% 89% 62% 16% 77% 2.7%

One of the best online MBA programs in the country, Clarkson University offers graduate students a business education on a part-time or full-time basis. With a comprehensive curriculum of 11 core courses and five electives, students in this 48-credit program are prepared to lead organizations across a variety of industries. Classes include decision analysis and supply chain modeling, business information systems, corporate ethical and social responsibility, and managerial economics. Students also complete a leadership and organizational behavior class, which is offered as an on-site intensive weekend course. The program ends with a capstone project in strategic management. To graduate, MBA students without professional business experience must complete 400 hours of employment in a business setting. Online learners can choose between asynchronous and synchronous learning options. Admitted students can begin at the start of any term.

8 Clarkson Ave
Potsdam, NY 13699
Program Page

Rochester Institute of Technology

13 to 1 63% 86% 57% 25% 61% 4.5%

The business college at the Rochester Institute of Technology offers an online executive MBA designed for working professionals who hold mid- to upper-level positions. RIT's program is cohort-based. Courses are offered in six-week terms, and students take two classes at a time. Online coursework is delivered synchronously through video and audio sessions. Classes include leadership development skills, statistical analysis for managers, strategic thinking, valuation and capital budgeting, and systems support for operations. Students also complete two consulting capstone projects during their final semester. Online learners must take a three-day, on-campus orientation prior to starting classes, as well as a seven- to 10-day international business and cultural education seminar. This 17-month, four-semester MBA online degree has two start dates each year in August and January. Applicants must have a minimum of six years of work experience; however, there are no GMAT or GRE requirements.

1 Lomb Memorial Dr
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
Program Page

Purdue University-Main Campus

12 to 1 70% 92% 59% 27% 36% 4.4%

Purdue University offers two options to individuals who want to earn an MBA degree online: a dual MBA with a master's of science in engineering (MSE-MBA) and a dual MBA with a master's of science in food and agribusiness (MS-MBA). Both programs are offered in conjunction with Indiana University's school of business. Designed for engineers, the 60-credit MSE-MBA is delivered in three segments: technical and engineering classes, bridge coursework, and MBA courses. This program commences with specialized engineering classes and coursework in economics, IT, and operations. It culminates with MBA courses that include organizational and strategy development, globalization, project management, and financial management. MSE-MBA students typically complete their degree in five years, including two one-week, on-campus immersion residences at IU in Bloomington, Indiana. Alternatively, the MS-MBA program begins in August and can be completed in 27 months. With five, one-week residences and a one-week international residency, students gain exposure to global business challenges and have the opportunity to expand their professional networks. Students also complete a six-credit final capstone research project.

Hovde Hall of Administration
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040
Program Page

Rutgers University-Camden

11 to 1 63% 82% 60% 10% 72% 4%

Rutgers University's online MBA is a top-ranked program offered by an accredited business school. Core coursework covers accounting for managerial decisions, financial statement analysis, corporate social responsibility, and leadership and managing human capital. Featuring small class sizes, students in this program enjoy personalized attention from professors as well as access to student coaches, advisors, and tutors. Distance learners have the option to customize their degree with a focused learning module in business analytics, digital marketing, or investments and private wealth management. This 33-credit program consists of 11 required courses, three electives, and four foundation courses. Students can pursue their degrees on a part-time or full-time basis. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, a minimum GPA of 2.9, and competitive GMAT, GRE, or LSAT scores. Admitted students can begin at the start of the fall, spring, or summer terms.

406 Penn
Camden, NJ 08102
Program Page

LeTourneau University

14 to 1 61% 83% 49% 42% 57% 7.5%

LeTourneau University is a Christian school that offers two options for students who want to earn a graduate business degree online: an MBA program and a professional MBA (PMBA) program. The online MBA program consists of 35 credits, in which students take classes such as leadership and ethics, organizational behavior, managerial economics, and managerial finance. Coursework is delivered consecutively and can be complete in two years. The professional MBA is a 36-credit program designed for working professionals who want to move into mid-level management positions. Students in this program choose a specialization in finance, human resources management, information systems management, or oil and gas management. They can also opt to pursue a general management degree. Students who take one course every seven weeks can earn their PMBA in two years. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 for the PMBA program and a GPA of 2.8 for the regular MBA program. Admitted students can choose from six start dates throughout the fall, spring, and summer terms.

2100 S Mobberly Ave
Longview, TX 75602
Program Page


Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

According to BLS and online MBA rankings, the following chart addresses potential salary differentials/varying earning potentials between professionals with a bachelor's degree vs. those with an MBA.

Occupation Number of People w/ Bachelor's Degree Number of People w/ Master's Degree Median Yearly Salary – Bachelor's Median Yearly Salary – Master's
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Sales Services Agents 113,110 32,865 $90,000 $170,000
Logisticians 33,098 8,239 $52,000 $84,000
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers 41,935 15,415 $62,000 $90,000
Financial Managers 400,770 182,678 $78,000 $110,000
Market research analysts and marketing specialists 114,105 49,705 $65,000 $90,000

Sources: PayScale and Bureau of Labor Statistics

MBA Salaries

On average, students who graduate with an MBA are more likely to earn more money both in starting salary and over the course of his or her lifetime in the field, over those with a bachelor's degree. Though some exceptions do exist, BLS reports that as of 2012, MBA holders can expect to earn an annual average of $12,000 more than those with bachelor's degrees in the same line of work.

If you earn your online degree from a top MBA program, you can expect not only a higher starting salary than your contemporaries with a bachelor's degree, but also to earn increasingly more over time. That is to say, while salaries of most employees rise over the course of their career, those who earn their degree from one of the best online MBA programs will see their salary rise at a higher growth percentage than those without a master's degree.

The findings in the chart summarize the top five fields in which MBA holders earn more on average than those with bachelor's of arts or bachelor's of science degrees. Perhaps more commonly in business than in other areas of study, graduates may find that their expected salary varies from field to field. In other words, someone working as a financial analyst could expect to earn more than a marketing manager due to fluctuating circumstances, such as supply in demand and job availability, amongst other factors.

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How an MBA Compares with Other Business Degrees

Degree Level Definition Possible Concentrations Median Annual Salary
Bachelor's A bachelor of arts or bachelor of sciences earned at an accredited 4-year institution. Accounting, General Management, Finance, Human Resources $60,000
Master's Master's in business administration. Marketing, Operations Management, Finance, Strategy $100,000
Doctorate PhD – prepares students for a career with an emphasis in research. Business Administration, Human Capital Management, General Management $140,000

*Salaries vary greatly in the business sector, depending on what concentration you choose to work in. The salaries above are national averages and may not reflect your chosen career path.

Sources: PayScale and Bureau of Labor Statistics

Types of MBA Careers

"Business" is a broad heading under which to consider employment and earning potential ranges as wide as this category suggests. Many positions in the field of business are available to those who have earned an associate or bachelor's degree, but the majority of those positions offer higher wages to candidates who have earned their MBA. By earning your MBA online, you will raise your potential for earning more throughout your lifetime. There are also careers that require a minimum of a master's degree to be considered for employment; for example, to be an economist or research surveyor, you must have earned your MBA but, with this qualification, can expect to earn a median yearly salary of $101,150 or $54,470, respectively.

Earning your MBA online can open doors to an array of potential professions, including:

General Management

Working in the field of management, you can expect to be in charge of an organization or group of people. It will be your responsibility to ensure that an office or place of business runs smoothly, that all tasks are completed on time, and that all expectations are met. Potential careers include construction manager, administrative services manager, and education administrator.


Getting your online MBA with a finance concentration prepares you to work with money and the management thereof. In finance, it is your job to keep track of accounts and the money involved in your place of business. Possible finance careers involve accounting and appraisals (i.e. real estate appraisement), as well as many other options.


For those who choose to focus on marketing, it is your job to promote your company and make the image of your business accessible to the average person. Getting your online MBA in marketing can lead to positions in advertising, promotions management, and marketing management.


Entrepreneurship may also be offered as a series of classes rather than a full concentration for the duration of a program. This type of coursework is geared toward preparing you to begin your own business or to work as an investor.

International Business

Especially in today's world, there is a growing necessity for individuals with international business savvy. With increased trade from country to country, it is crucial to ensure that relations between countries and companies remain on a level playing field, and one way to do this is to be familiar in the inner workings of business between nations. International business majors can expect to pursue careers as financial analysts, foreign affairs officers, and trade specialists.

Supply Chain Management

A supply chain management MBA will allow students to become leaders in increasingly globally-driven business environments. Students will gain analytical skills in order for them to successfully cut costs and improve current processes. Supply chain managers are responsible for the logistics of the business, from obtaining raw materials to delivering products to the end user.

Nonprofit Management

Working at a nonprofit means working at a place of business that does not make money, instead, these nonprofits receive funding from the government and through donations. These businesses still require a great deal of managing to ensure that they are able to remain open and operational. Positions in nonprofit employment may include program director, lead fundraiser, or outreach and communications manager.

Information Systems/Technology

With the increased reach of technology and informatics, careers in technology are expanding accordingly. MBA holders interested in the tech field can potentially work as computer network architects, database administrators, and information security analysts.

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MBA Certifications and Licensing


In seeking employment in business, in addition to earning your MBA online, you may find that pursuing a specific certification may help further marketability and expand your knowledge in the field. For example, earning a certification in business management can help you learn about human resource, financial, and legal issues as they pertain to management in a place of business. Certifications in most majors, including business, are available through some of the best online MBA programs at community colleges and extension colleges/campuses of traditional four-year universities and online business schools. While these certification opportunities award associate degree students an opportunity to transfer into a four-year program, sufficiently educated professionals or MBA students may be able to obtain certification by taking a test, rather than undergoing further coursework.

MBA Scholarships

Many scholarship opportunities are offered to students in search of their MBA – earned online or on campus. The following are just some of the available MBA scholarships:

Hubshout Internet Marketing Scholarship

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The Hubshout Internet Marketing Scholarship is awarded twice a year to any student who has taken at least one year of upper-level education and displays passion for internet marketing.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 1 and November 1, annually
Paul Hagelbarger Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Paul Hagelbarger Memorial Scholarship Fund awards students on the basis of academic achievement and intent to work in public accounting in the state of Alaska.

  • Amount: $2,000+
  • Deadline: November 20
Wiley Scholarship Program

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Wiley, in partnership with the American Women's Society of Certified Public Accountants, will provide a free online review course for qualifying women who wish to prepare for their CPA, CMA, or CIA exams.

  • Amount: Free review course
  • Deadline: June 30
Walmart Associate Scholarship Program

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The Walmart Associate Scholarship Program is awarded to students enrolled in a higher education program, who also have been employed at Walmart either full-time or part-time for a minimum of six months prior to application.

  • Amount: $2,000 per year
  • Deadline: December 2, March 3, June 2, and December 3
Golden Key International Honour Society Graduate Scholar Award

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The Golden Key International Honour Society Graduate Scholar Award requires applicants to be either an undergraduate senior accepted into an MBA program or a student currently undertaking an MBA program. You must also be a member of the Golden Key Honour Society.

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: December 15
LawnStarter Lawntrepreneur Scholarship

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LawnStarter Lawntrepreneur Scholarship is open to students of all majors who currently own or are planning to establish a lawn care business.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: December 31
AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

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AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship is awarded to a student who is working toward a career in a business field. An applicant must also be a U.S. resident and a registered member of

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 30

Professional Organizations

College graduates are often unaware of the benefits available to them outside of the expected job opportunities that their field entails. One such benefit is professional association. These associations are particularly popular in the world of business, offering members a platform for networking as well as learning business standards such as codes of conduct and policy updates. By joining a professional association, you will likely be awarded access, communication, and networking opportunities with important people in your industry, as well as awarded internship opportunities and more.

Below are just some of the industry's most prominent professional associations:

  • American Bankers Association: This association was founded in 1875 and represents members from banks of all sizes.
  • American Society of Women Accountants: The ASWA provides opportunities to women in all fields of finance and accounting.
  • American Marketing Association: This group is the largest marketing association in North America; it provides crucial information to thousands of marketers each day.
  • American Management Association: The AMA provides valuable resources and training to business professionals to ensure they remain up to date in the field.
  • DECA: Founded in 1946, this nonprofit organization develops the business skills of college and high school students.
  • National Human Resources Association: The NHRA was founded to support the development of students and professionals in the field of human resources.
  • Social Media Club: This professional organization is designed to promote literacy across social media platforms.
  • Entrepreneur's Organization: This foundation is built on the notion of enhancing entrepreneurs' abilities to be successful by learning from one another's knowledge and experience.
  • National Association of Black Accountants: This group strives to promote opportunities for minorities in the fields of finance and accounting.
  • eMarketing Association: The eMA is the largest international association of eMarketing professionals in the world. This group provides resources and education to the online marketing community.

Internships for MBAs

Internships can be another useful way to enter the business world either before you graduate or while you are in the midst of a full-time job search. Internships provide invaluable networking opportunities as well as relevant experience in the field. Many are available via job searching/networking sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed. Additionally, you can find available internships via professional associations (as above), on campus, or in campus chat rooms.

The process of landing an internship is very similar to that of starting a career as a full-time employee; to apply, you will likely have to fill out an application, write an essay, and have reputable references. It may lend even greater value to your application to includes a letter of recommendation specifically from a professor, former boss, or member of a relevant professional association. Top online MBA programs frequently offer students resources for finding an internship that meets their expectations and goals.

Open Courseware

Students often find themselves in a place where they are either unsure which program is right for them, or are unable to choose between multiple top online MBA programs. Courseware provides students with the opportunity to take classes and tutorials before committing to a given program. Not only does courseware enable you to sample what a given course may be like, but it can also supplement your education even after enrollment in a program. Courseware is a grouping of educational material designed to provide students with additional learning resources. The following links lead to a variety of MBA courseware materials:

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