Degree Programs & Majors
Students seeking a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree are typically mature and focused. They’ll need to navigate many business degree options, identify core curriculum and choose specializations that map to their career goals. To streamline the process, the following guide sheds light on the major types of MBA degrees, specializations and career opportunities.
Online MBA Colleges
|School||Tuition||Acceptance Rate||Student Population||School Type||see Programs|
Studying for an On-campus or Online MBA Degree
The wide variety of fields that hire MBA graduates is matched by the myriad of business administration programs available in full-time, part-time, executive and online formats. The selection of accredited business schools, colleges and universities offering MBA programs allows students to enroll in a program that accommodates work, family and financial obligations. Below are the main options:
- Full-time MBAs: These typically take two years to complete, or less in accelerated degree programs.
- Part-time MBAs: These programs allow busy students to complete their online MBA degree in three or more years.
- Executive MBAs: These fast-paced programs enable senior managers to expand their skills and credentials to rise to executive roles. They typically last for one year or less.
- Online MBAs: Distance learning MBAs usually take two years to complete, or a year if offered in an accelerated format. Students set the pace for completion.
Studying for an Online MBA Degree
Because of their flexible schedules and 24/7 access, online MBA degree programs have risen in popularity among working professionals and students who cannot travel to a campus program. Distance learning programs typically offer fine-tuned curriculum on business theory and leadership that can be immediately utilized in the workplace. Some of the most popular MBA specializations include health care, marketing, finance, accounting, project management, entrepreneurship and human resources.
Online MBA schools provide students with full-time, part-time and executive study options. Distance learners have round-the-clock access to courses and research libraries. Class lectures may be delivered via streaming multimedia, Skype, conference calls, Adobe Connect or other communication tools. Depending on the program, online students also may use digital chat rooms, threaded emails and instant messaging to work with instructors and peers.
Online MBA Degree
An online master’s of business administration consists of 45 to 60 credits, though some programs allow students to waive certain courses based on prior educational background or work experience.
Designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze business trends and develop effective business strategies, an online MBA degree covers coursework in accounting, economics, ethics, marketing, strategic management, data analysis, financial reporting and leadership. Students can also specialize in a specific area, such as Internet marketing, health administration, financial management, international business or entrepreneurship. Most programs culminate in a capstone or thesis project.
Much of the coursework can be completed online, but some schools may require a certain number of in-person meetings for collaborative projects. Many online MBA programs are offered as a cohort, so students have the benefit of learning alongside the same group of peers from beginning to end. Online students communicate regularly with peers and instructors via Skype, email and live chat, ensuring that the online MBA degree matches the rigorous standards of the traditional on-campus program.
Name: BROOKE P.
Degree: MASTER’S OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
What has been the biggest benefit of distance learning at your college?
The biggest benefit of distance learning would be the ease of communication and scheduling. Last semester I was working full-time and attending school full-time, so finding time to attend class was quite a challenge. Being able to submit assignments within larger time frames and communicating to other students within my class at any time was of great value.
What role has technology played in your online program and courses?
Since most of the programs are online, we use several different technologies to assist in our learning experience. The most prominent of these would be Blackboard. It’s a central location for all schedules, assignments, emails and grades. Another would be ProctorU. This is a test proctoring site that uses live proctors to enforce honest testing and eliminates unfair advantages that may come into play for online settings.
How does your online program help prepare you for a career after graduation?
I truly feel that online programs simulate real-life experiences. Teachers and peers are always available to help just as they would be in the classroom, but the individual must take initiative to seek assistance. Email and conference calls are tools that are used heavily in online learning as well as in the work force. Most of the programs require a lot of motivation on the individual’s part to keep up with the work, without having an instructor or peers to remind them. I think these are values that are important to grasp but are difficult to learn.
Online MBA Degree Curriculum
MBA coursework varies by degree program, school and business specialization. Students should evaluate prospective schools with an eye toward their career objectives. Academic and career planning advisers can aid in the search for the appropriate school and degree. Here is a sampling of the kinds of courses offered in each of the online MBA degree specializations:
|Entrepreneurship||Focuses on the factors of launching a successful business, including tax laws, venture capital, business plans, human resources and marketing.|
|Supply Chain Management||Explores the inter-connectedness of strategic project planning, business analysis, change management and logistics.|
|Accounting for Managers||Reviews the principles of auditing and assessment, projections, taxation and reporting.|
|Technology Management||Provides an understanding the information backbone and systems that support enterprise-level transactions, with an emphasis on data security.|
Career Certifications after the Online MBA Degree
After completing their MBA, managers seeking career advancement may return to school to prepare for certification exams. Voluntary certifications, particularly in project management, highlight specialized skills in a specific business niche. Requirements vary by each certifying organization, and may include extensive management experience in addition to the completion of a graduate degree. Below are three popular management certifications:
- Project Management Professional (PMP). Management pros with 4,000 hours of direct experience can sit for this certification exam from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
- Certified Business Manager (CBM). Open to MBA grads with three years of professional management experience or graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in business that has four years of experience,this certification is Offered by the Association of Professionals in Business Management (APBM).
- Certified Management Consultant (CMC). Candidates for this credential from the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) must run their own consulting firm or be a member of one, with full-time experience tallying three years.
There are other professional certifications for MBA holders to explore, including:
- Certified Benefits Professional (CBP)
- Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
- Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
- Certified MBA (CMBA)
- Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Certified Marketing Executive (CME)
- Global Remuneration Professional (GRP)
- Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)