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.
TOP TEN ONLINE MBAS OF 2020 FOR CAREER OUTCOMES
- USC Marshall School of Business
- Rochester Institute of Technology Saunders College of Business
- Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business
- University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Foisie Business School
- Indiana University Kelley School of Business
- Auburn University Harbert College of Business
- North Carolina State University Poole College of Management
- Jack Welch Management Institute
- Ohio University College of Business
MEASURING CAREER OUTCOMES IN ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS
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: