You can pretty much divide the people who pursue MBA degrees into two categories: career switchers and career enhancers. The former want the most popular business credential on their resume to help switch industries, disciplines or geographies. The latter simply want to accelerate their existing careers, in the short term with their current employer and potentially in the long-term with another company.
Career switchers are almost always better getting a two-year MBA experience that allows for a summer internship, a tryout of sorts, that is often essential to reinvent your professional self. Those residential programs have a parade of world-class employers coming to campus to recruit students. An online degree, on the other hand, is more suited to the career enhancer, someone who wants increased responsibility, more money, or the basic skills learned in an MBA to make you more effective at work.
So which online MBA programs best deliver on the promise of enhancing one’s career? Here are the top ten based on alumni responses to career-related questions in our recently fielded survey of online MBA graduates in the past two years:
Top Ten Online MBA Programs Of 2019 For Career Outcomes
- USC Marshall School of Business, $99,692
- Hofstra University Zarb College of Business, $63,435
- University of Texas-Dallas Jindal School of Management, $94,261
- Auburn University Harbert College of Business, $34,125
- Lehigh University College of Business & Economics, $42,300
- University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, $124,345
- Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business
- Indiana University Kelley School of Business, $67,830
- Jack Welch Management Institute, $42,800
- Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, $132,000
What metrics were used to come up with our ranking on career outcomes? We used the answers to key questions posed to alumni of the programs in the past two years. More than 1,200 graduates completed the surveys. For just this portion of our overall ranking of the best online MBA programs, we put roughly a 36% weight on the percentage of alums who said they reached their primary goal for entering the online MBA program.
That question allows a graduate to define success for him or herself. Some students may just want to gain more confidence with the business basics. Others might want to gain a promotion or a pay raise or even use the online experience to transition into a new job. Also weighted about 36% was the average of two questions regarding a school-provided career coach or mentor, along with their assessment of the career services function at their school. Next, we put a 27% weight on the percentage of students who said they received a salary raise or a promotion as a result of the program.
We’re also providing all that data and more so you can parse the results in a way that is more important to you. You can take the data to create your own customized ranking or simply use the questions we are asking to benchmark other programs in your consideration set.