Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61

COVID Has Fueled A New Explosion In Online MBAs

Netflix isn’t the only beneficiary of the pandemic lockdown. While couch potatoes binge on The Queen’s Gambit and other shows, tens of thousands of ambitious professionals are turning toward online learning while in quarantine.

Eager to use their lockdown time productively, prospective students are applying to the top-ranked online MBA options in explosive numbers. At Indiana University’s Kelley Direct program, a $74,520 online MBA experience recently ranked first in the world by Poets&Quants, applications have soared by 64% over last year.

It’s the same story elsewhere. Even with the death of legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch in March, the online MBA program at the Jack Welch Management Institute has seen a remarkable 84% jump in applications to 5,321 this year from 3,103 a year earlier. Applications to the online MBA option at Washington State University’s Carson College of Business have jumped even more, 89% in the past year to 1,159 candidates from 614 a year earlier.

THE PANDEMIC IS FUELING A DESIRE BY MANY TO GAIN NEW SKILLS IN LOCKDOWN

Demand for the $22,000 online MBA at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois has caused the school to increase the number of annual intakes to five from just two this year. Now new students can start the iMBA in October, January, March, May and August, up from only August and January. “Applications are still going up,” says Brooke Elliott, the associate dean of online programs at Gies. And that is after a 75% increase to 3,272 candidates this past year. The boom was helped no doubt by the introduction of the new October cohort. The online MBA program has gone from zero to some 4,000 students in the program from 2016 to this fall.

The pandemic and the economic downturn are fueling a desire by many to gain new skills and credentials during the lockdown. But the increases also reflect the growing acceptance of online learning as a legitimate way to earn a degree as advances in technology have made virtual programming better than it has ever been.

The days when only for-profit colleges offered online education are over. Today, many of the world’s best business schools now boast online MBA programs that allow students to study and learn from anywhere in the world, stay in their jobs and apply what they learn in the classroom immediately at work.

ONLINE MBA GRADS REPORT PAY INCREASES AND PROMOTIONS DUE TO THEIR DEGREES

A new analysis of the career outcomes of online MBA graduates by Poets&Quants shows immediate benefits. Seven of every ten graduates of the online MBA program at the University of Maryland attribute their promotions at work directly to their education. Some 84% of the online MBA graduates at The College of William & Mary say they received pay increases at a direct benefit of their online MBA.

Poets&Quants found that many online programs, moreover, pave the way for graduates to gain substantial increases in their compensation. Online MBAs from Indiana University’s Kelley School reported an average boost of 33% in their pay, a hefty $30,873 increase over pre-MBA compensation of $92,688 to $123,561.

One of the biggest boosts came from Carnegie Mellon University’s hybrid online MBA program. Graduates reported a hefty 63% rise in their annual pay, a whopping $57,728 increase to $149,773, after completing the three-year-long MBA experience.

That’s certainly a more tangible benefit than one would get from the ephemeral enjoyment of binging a Netflix series during the pandemic.

The 2021 Poets&Quants Online MBA Rankings Package

THE BEST ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

HOW ONLINE MBA STUDENTS RATE THEIR EXPERIENCE

HOW ONLINE MBAS RATE THE IMPACT OF THE DEGREE ON THEIR CAREERS

ACCEPTANCE RATES FOR THE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

AVERAGE GMAT, GRE & GPAS FOR THE 2021 TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS 

AVERAGE WORK EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AT THE TOP 2021 ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

VIDEO: DEANS’ PANEL — A CONVERSATION WITH LEADERS OF THE TOP ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

PODCAST: MBA ALTERNATIVES: A BUSINESS CASUAL CONVERSATION ON THE PROS AND CONS OF MBA ALTERNATIVES FROM ONLINE MBAS TO PART-TIME MBAS AND EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS 

VIDEO: OUR BACKSTAGE WEBINAR SERIES ON THE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

THE METHODOLOGY BEHIND P&Q’S 2021 ONLINE MBA RANKING

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.