Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Kellogg | Mr. Operator
GMAT 740, GPA 4.17/4.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Transition
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. STEM Minor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Sustainability PM
GRE 335, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Productivity Focused
GMAT 700, GPA 3.6
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Tech Engineer
GRE 310, GPA 4.0
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Finance Nerd
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Marketing
GRE 327, GPA 3.8
Darden | Mr. Financial World
GMAT 730, GPA 7.8
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Wharton | Mr. Global Perspective
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Ms. Marketing Supe Latina
GMAT 720-740 (anticipated), GPA 3.1 (last two years 3.4)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Solutions
GRE 313, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. Valuation Specialist
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Commercial Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Schoolmaster
GMAT 710 (to re-take), GPA 3.5 (Converted from UK)
Wharton | Ms. Atypical Applicant
GRE 314, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. Passion Projects
GMAT 730, GPA 3.15
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Yale | Mr. Army Logistics
GRE 310, GPA 3.72
Stanford GSB | Mr. Clown
GMAT 740, GPA 3.85
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78

Online MBAs Give Their Schools High Marks

career, ideas, startups, entrepreneurs

If you’re thinking about getting an online MBA and wondering what you can expect from the experience, ask recent graduates. That’s exactly what we did in putting together a new 2020 ranking of the best online MBA programs in the U.S.

We just completed the most exhaustive study of online MBA student satisfaction ever made. This year alone, a record 1,583 online graduates responded. In the past three years, more than 3,100 online MBA graduates have completed Poets&Quantsstudent satisfaction surveys.

All in all, graduates of these online programs are pretty happy with the results. Here are some of our key findings:

+ Nearly 40% (exactly 38.7%) of the graduates said they received a promotion at work as a direct result of their participation in an online MBA experience.

+ More than half (52.8%) said they gained an increase in pay as a direct result of their online MBA.

+ Almost a third (30.4%) of the graduates were able to leverage their online MBA degrees to switch employers.


In many cases, of course, students aren’t just looking to get a raise or increased responsibility at work. They just want to build on their existing skills, gain the business basics they never learned, or increase their self-confidence on the job.

There are lots of reasons why someone might get an online MBA. So we also asked graduates to tell us whether they achieved their primary goal in getting the degree, without defining a specific objective, and 88% answered in the affirmative. Another 84% of the respondents said they were able to achieve their secondary objectives in getting an online MBA (for career results by school, see Best Career Outcomes for Online MBAs).

One major concern expressed by many applicants to online MBA programs is whether they will be able to create real connections with their fellow classmates and faculty in a program where there is little, if any, face to face interaction. Yet, even here, our findings were surprisingly positive:

On a scale of one to ten, with ten indicating complete satisfaction, online MBA graduates rated their opportunities to create connections with their fellow students an 8.16. That’s darn good for a long-distance learning program.

The average score for their satisfaction in creating good connections with faculty was a bit lower but still impressive given the inherent limitations of an online learning environment: 7.97.

One big reason why many enroll in MBA programs is for the network they gain upon graduation. So how do the alumni networks of online MBA programs match up?

Asked to rate their satisfaction with their school’s alumni network in terms of “encouragement, support and career opportunities,” online MBA graduates seem less enthusiastic with an average score of 7.5. That was among the lowest scores recorded in the survey. The lowest score (7.35), by the way, was given to student satisfaction with international immersion trips.

On the other hand, 79.0% of the graduates said they were able to create a network of contacts as a result of taking an online MBA program.

Overall, the latest crop of graduates is giving pretty good marks to their programs. (see Online MBAs With The Best Satisfaction Scores for individual school results). No doubt, that’s why enrollment in online MBA options is growing, even while full-time, residential MBAs are in the decline.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.