Of all the admissions questions we ask schools through the Best Online MBA Rankings surveys, perhaps the most important for applicants trying to find a good fit is the average years of work experience the most recent cohorts have underneath their belts. Maybe you want a program with seasoned professionals with more than a decade of work experience. Or maybe you want something more typical of a residential MBA program, with young professionals five or six years out of college. Or maybe you’re looking for something in between.
There’s something for everyone in this year’s online MBA rankings, which included a record 47 schools. The schools boasting incoming classes with the most work experience this year? It’s a three-way tie between George Washington University, Jack Welch Management Institute, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Each of those schools had classes enter during the 2019-2020 academic year with an average of 15 years of work experience. No other school came close, as the next highest school was Hofstra University with 11.8 average years work experience.
Generally speaking, online MBA programs enroll students with more work experience than full-time residential programs. Some 20 of the 47 schools submitting admissions data, for example, enrolled classes last academic year with at least a decade of work experience. Just nine schools enrolled classes with less than seven years of average work experience. Among all 47 schools, the average work experience was 9.08 years.
Still, there are some programs with younger professionals making up the majority of their student population. The University of Delaware enrolled a class with an average work experience of 5.56 years. American University was the other school with less than six years of work experience, enrolling a class with just 5.8 average years of work experience. Auburn University and Arizona State both had just six years of work experience. And the University of Florida had just 6.33 average years.
Check out the next page for a list of all 47 ranked schools and how this year’s data compares to last year’s.