An Online MBA program is an increasingly popular option for business school candidates, who value the flexibility of studying whenever and wherever they like.
Many AACSB-accredited Online MBA programs now offer the same level of career support as their campus counterparts. This includes on-campus recruiting and job postings from top employers, support from experienced career coaches, as well as access to workshops.
The technology that enables participants to learn from peers and professors has become much more interactive, too. This has addressed one of the most often cited concerns about Online MBAs: that they are passive.
And business schools are going to great lengths to provide in-person networking opportunities, which form the bonds that are so crucial to an MBA experience of any kind. Online students are often invited to campus throughout the duration of their course. Others can participate in optional global study trips, while in-person consultancy projects are also now commonplace.
Many business schools with highly-regarded full-time MBA programs have launched digital degrees.
But how to choose among all the offerings?
An AACSB accreditation is a good way to judge the quality of an Online MBA. The organization assesses, among other things, a school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications, contributions and programs. The quality stamp can be reassuring.
But it won’t be enough on its own to make an informed choice. So we’ve gone through the merits of the top ten Online MBA programs with AACSB accreditation, to help you decide.
The Spanish school has dominated the Financial Times’ respected ranking of Online MBAs for the past several years, and was ranked second place this year. IE’s graduates have the highest salary of all the Online MBA alumni ranked by the FT: $184,000. Given that most people pursue MBA degrees to advance their careers in terms of pay and promotion, IE is a safe bet. IE Business School first received AACSB accreditation in 2001.View School Profile
Kelley was ranked number four globally this year by the FT. It was also ranked joint second in America by US News, tied with Carnegie Mellon University’s business school. Kelley offers its Online MBA participants a good deal of flexibility: they can complete the course in between two-five years, which allows many students to continue working full-time jobs.View School Profile
Warwick was ranked top in the 2018 FT ranking of the best Online MBA programs for the first time ever. So the school is on the up. Warwick’s alumni had the biggest year-on-year salary bump, up $13,000 in 2018 compared with the previous cohort, to $183,000. Warwick is also ranked top for career progress and is joint first with Indiana’s Kelley School of Business for research. Warwick Business School received AACSB accreditation in 1999, making it the first UK-based business school to receive the honor.View School Profile
The Isenberg School of Management in Massachusetts is ranked third globally by the FT for its Online MBA. It scored particularly highly (number three) for its program delivery. Students can take up to two courses before they even apply to the course. When enrolled, they can pursue a specialized curriculum in business analytics, entrepreneurship, sport management and more. The school first received AACSB accreditation in 1991.View School Profile
AGSM is the highest ranked Australian business school in the FT’s Online MBA Ranking, and it does well in the value for money category, for which it is ranked sixth globally. Three years after graduation they make $124,308 USD, a 28 per cent increase on their pre-MBA pay. The school is also ranked sixth for international mobility. The school first received AACSB accreditation in 2013; its Online MBA—called “MBAx”—was launched in 2015.View School Profile
University of Florida’s Hough business school was tied for sixth place in the most recent US News Online MBA ranking. One standout feature of the school’s Online MBA program is the “Global Immersion Experiences” component, where students spend up to 10 days studying abroad, learning from a company’s business practices and unique environment. They also network and partake in cultural activities. Recent trips have taken place in Argentina, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and China.View School Profile
George Washington University’s AACSB-accredited Online MBA is highly regarded for its career services. Previously, candidates from all schools worried about lacking access to the recruiters and networks that can help them secure a job, or promotion. To help dispel this myth, the school uses Handshake, a career network and recruiting online platform. Students can easily search for jobs and internships, sign up for events and book sessions with a careers coach. All that may go a way to explaining why George Washington’s Online MBAs make serious money: $169,740 annually after three years.View School Profile
The one thing that differentiates Tepper’s AACSB-accredited Online MBA from many others is that it is blended — a mixture of online and offline learning. The school’s mixture of online learning technology with immersive weekend sessions on campus means students can network with professors and other students. Little wonder, then, that Tepper scored highly (fourth) in US News’s student engagement category.View School Profile
Arizona State University (Carey) places high emphasis on teamwork — giving it strong student interaction. While many Online MBA programs allow students to study at their own pace, independently, Carey’s online students study a lock-step core curriculum and a variety of electives. However, students can complete coursework and take exams whenever it is convenient for them during each five-week Online MBA course. The Carey School of Business received its initial AACSB accreditation in 1962; it initially launched its Online MBA in 2001.View School Profile
Marshall’s Online MBA is ranked sixth overall by US News. The school is characterized by its mixture of lock-step and self-taught teaching style. Students study a core curriculum that gives them a solid grounding in all essential business areas — strategy, marketing and the like. Students complete asynchronous content (pre-recorded lecture videos, team projects and discussion boards) at their own pace, but they meet as a class in two weekly live online class sessions. So it has the best of both worlds. USC’s AACSB-accredited Online MBA was launched in 2015.View School Profile