What Are The Differences Between The World’s Best Online MBA Programs?
Every year, the online MBA becomes an increasingly more attractive option for business school students. With the flexibility to pursue your degree at your own pace and the chance to choose the best MBA program for you without considering location, prospective MBAs can truly make the most of their degree. And though some may be worried about missing out on a traditional classroom experience and the community that comes with it, changing educational technology has made it easier than ever for students to play an important part in their school’s community—without getting out of your pajamas.
The new MetroMBA Online Metro has rounded up some of the best online MBA programs available to students. To help determine which program fits your needs, we take a look at what sets each program apart—and what might just make it the perfect MBA for you.
Fox School of Business — Temple University
The Online MBA Program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has the distinction of being ranked as the best online MBA in the country, and the best online MBA for veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Online MBA at Fox offers total flexibility for students, with the opportunity to complete the degree within anywhere from 20 months to six years. To help students feel connected with the Fox community, the program offers weekly live web conferencing sessions allowing students to stay connected to faculty and classmates, as well as providing one-and-one career coaching.
The Online MBA at Fox is structured around three required courses that help prepare students for the program, 36 credits that can be completed at the student’s own pace, and a final consulting capstone course that offers total business immersion. The Fox MBA has also been recognized for its benefits for frequent travelers or military members. About 17 percent of students in the most recent class had some form of military experience.
The Fox Online MBA offers a number of areas of study, ranging from HR Management, International Business, Real Estate, Statistical Science, and much more. After completing the program, students on average saw a $30,000-plus salary increase and a median salary of $105,000 three years after graduation.
Hough Graduate School of Business — University of Florida
Although online MBAs tend to be on the rise in recent years, the Hough Graduate School of Business was one of the first business schools to offer a fully accredited online degree—almost twenty years ago. Today, the Financial Times and U.S. News & World Report consistently rank the Hough Online MBA among the top programs in the country.
The Hough Online MBA is the perfect opportunity for students that travel extensively, may move while pursuing their degree, or have a number of weekend commitments. To ensure that students still get face-to-face time with the school’s faculty and classmates, students return to campus once every four months for periodic residencies, allowing them to stay in touch with the community.
The online degree at Hough can be completed in either a two-year or one-year format. Both degrees give students the chance to choose among four areas of focus for their degree: entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and international. The Hough Online MBA may also be perfect for students looking to immerse themselves in a global business education, as it offers students the chance at a Global Immersion Experience. Students have recently traveled to areas such as Argentina, United Arab Emirates, China, and Ireland.
Kelley School of Business — Indiana University
The Online MBA at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business is made up of 51 credit hours, 39 of which are required courses. The remaining credits can be used towards electives that will help students narrow the focus of their degree in an area such as Business law and ethics, economics, marketing, project management, operations, and more.
Each quarter, Kelley also offers an AGILE course—Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education—which frequently partner with top business schools around the globe. Students have recently traveled to such areas as India, Myanmar, South Africa, Botswana and Brazil.
The Kelley Online MBA also stands out because it offers students the chance to earn a dual degree online, pairing their MBA with an online MS in Business Analytics, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Strategic Management, or Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
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Kenan-Flagler Business School — University of North Carolina
The Online MBA at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, better known as the MBA@UNC, may take students anywhere from 18 to 36 months to complete and include nine core courses in foundational business fields, such as economics, introductory finance, business strategy, operations management, and more. Students may also choose from over 30 electives to focus their degree in a particular concentration such as entrepreneurship or management consulting.
The MBA@UNC also requires students to complete two in-person immersions, which may be completed domestically or—for students interested in global business—internationally. Through the Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR) and Doing Business In (DBI) program, students also have the chance to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school.
The MBA@UNC stands out thanks to its many post-graduate resources thanks to the Career & Leadership team. Replacing traditional on-campus recruiting, a Virtual Company Information Sessions allow executives from a variety of industries throughout the country to communicate with students about the hiring needs of their companies. Alumni can access these resources at any point after their graduation and can also take additional MBA courses as needed for their career development.
Tepper School of Business — Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business offers students a flexible online degree that is completed through a combination of online and on-site experiences throughout a 32 month period. Each week, students will have access to a 70-minute online course that allows them to virtually interact in real time. Throughout the year, they will also be required to attend six “Access Weekends,” held at the university’s various locations throughout the country. The Tepper Online MBA may be the program that provides the most opportunities for in-person contact with classmates and faculty, so students that are interested in more face time as part of their online program may be particularly interested in this degree.
Tepper students are provided with in-depth career coaching and recruitment opportunities. Students will also visit a number of major companies in the country, such as Google, Amazon, JP Morgan, and Microsoft. Within just three months of graduation, roughly 91 percent of students in the Tepper Online MBA program were offered a full-time role.
W.P. Carey School of Business — Arizona State University
The Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business online MBA degree is structured around just one course at a time, each five weeks long. Students are immersed in an inclusive online environment that allows them to interact with classmates through case-based projects.
Carey, in comparison to several other schools noted on this list, is also unique in its option of pursuing a concurrent online degree, such as a Master of Legal Studies, MSE in Electrical Engineering, or MS in Industrial Engineering.