Best Career Outcomes For Online MBAs

One of the most obvious sacrifices you make with an online MBA program is that you can’t expect the kind of career lift MBAs typically get when they graduate from two-year, full-time residential programs. Those on-campus MBAs get the benefit of having a parade of corporate recruiters come to their schools to hire them for internships and full-time jobs.

Most of those students are career switchers who 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. 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.

The best way to measure the career outcomes of online MBA graduates is to simply ask them to assess the programs they just completed. We did just that, receiving completed responses to surveys from 1,583 out of 8,381 alums we contacted, a response rate of 19%. We wanted to know how many students received a boost to their pay or gained increased responsibility at work as a direct result of the program they completed. Some even manage to leverage their online MBA to do a career switch. We ask alumni all these questions and more to determine which online MBA programs best deliver on the promise of enhancing one’s career.


  1. USC Marshall School of Business
  2. Rochester Institute of Technology Saunders College of Business
  3. Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business
  4. University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Foisie Business School
  6. Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  7. Auburn University Harbert College of Business
  8. North Carolina State University Poole College of Management
  9. Jack Welch Management Institute
  10. Ohio University College of Business


We also ask graduates if they achieved their primary and secondary goals for getting an online MBA in the first place. Those questions allow a graduate to define success for him or herself. Some students may just want to gain more confidence in 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.

We ask alumni for their level of satisfaction with a school-provided career coach or mentor, along with their assessment of the career services function at their school. And we even ask them to assess the quality of the alumni network they’ve joined.

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. Here are some of the key questions we ask alumni with their answers by school:


Did you receive a promotion at work as a direct result of your online MBA experience?

Did you get a pay raise at work as a direct result of your online MBA experience?

Did you change jobs as a result of the online MBA program?

How would you appraise the effectiveness of the program’s career advising effort?

Rate your level of satisfaction with your career coach or mentor in the online MBA program.

Rate your level of satisfaction with your new network in terms of how valuable it is to you.

Did you accomplish your primary reason for obtaining your online MBA degree?

Did you accomplish your secondary reason for obtaining an online MBA degree?

The 2020 Poets&Quants Online MBA Rankings Package

The Top Online MBA Programs In The U.S. In 2020

Online MBAs With The Best Student Satisfaction Scores

Online MBA Programs With The Best Career Outcomes

The Most & Least Expensive Online MBAs To Make Our 2020 Ranking

Acceptance Rates At The Leading Online MBA Programs

Average GMATs & GPAs At The Top Online MBA Programs

The 2020 Online MBA Ranking: How We Crunched The Numbers

If you're considering an online MBA,  connect with our partner schools - this takes less than 1 minute.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.