More Graduates Using Online MBAs To Pivot Careers

MBA careers

It used to be that if you were a professional looking to pivot to a new role or industry, you’d consider a full-time, residential MBA program. The career services and internship pipelines laid out well-worn paths to new career opportunities.

The online MBA, on the other hand, was more often viewed as an investment by employers in current employees and a way for individuals to move up within their current company or, at least, career path.

Those days are increasingly on the way out.

For the past four years, we’ve asked recent online MBA graduates from top programs if they changed employers as a result of the degree as part of our annual ranking of online MBA programs. The percentage of graduates answering in the affirmative has grown from 22.48% three years ago to 33% this year. Another 20% reported changing industries, and 47% reported changing job functions.

In this story, we take a deeper look at job mobility of potential pivoters in online MBA programs. For our 2024 ranking, we sent a survey to 9,080 Class of 2023 alumni at 51 ranked programs. We received 1,512 responses. (See 2024’s ranking of the best online MBA programs here.)

Scroll down or click through the following pages to see how many alumni at each school were able to make changes in:


You can also see how 2023 alumni rated their overall programs in this story, and how they rated the degree’s career impact here.

Kelley Direct Online MBA


This year, three schools had 60% of alumni report that they changed employers either during or shortly after graduation: American University’s Kogod Business School, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, and SUNY Oswego School of Business.

In all, half or more of alumni at seven schools switched employers because of their degree.

Did you change employers as a result of the program?

School Percent ‘Yes’
American University (Kogod) 60%
Rice University (Jones) 60%
SUNY Oswego 60%
Bryant University 50%
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 50%
University of Southern California (Marshall) 50%
University of Texas at Dallas 50%
University of Michigan (Ross) 48.57%
Southern Methodist University (Cox) 48.15%
University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 43.94%
Rogers State University 42.86%
University of Utah (Eccles) 42.86%
University of California, Davis 41.67%
University of South Florida (Muma) 41.67%
Pepperdine University (Graziadio) 41.38%
University of Washington (Foster) 41.18%
Florida International University 37.78%
University of Delaware (Lerner) 37.50%
Bowling Green 36.11%
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 35.71%
University of Maryland (Smith) 35.45%
Indiana University (Kelley) 35.43%
Baylor University (Hankamer) 33.33%
Clemson University 33.33%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 33.33%
Ohio University 31.43%
San Jose State University (Lucas) 31.25%
University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium 31.25%
Louisiana State University (Ourso) 30.95%
William & Mary (Mason) 30%
University of Cincinnati (Lindner) 29.41%
Creighton University (Heider) 27.78%
University of Florida (Warrington) 27.59%
University of Massachusetts-Lowell 25.86%
North Carolina State University (Jenkins) 25%
Santa Clara University (Leavey) 25%
University of North Texas 25%
Washington State University 24.05%
University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Isenberg) 23.91%
Auburn University (Harbert) 23.81%
Jack Welch Management Institute 22.99%
Syracuse University (Whitman) 22.22%
University of Iowa (Tippie) 22.08%
University of Nebraska 21.43%
University of Michigan-Dearborn 20%
Kennesaw State University 16.67%
University of Denver (Daniels) 15.38%
Drexel University (LeBow) 11.76%
Villanova University 11.76%
Hofstra University (Zarb) 11.11%
Lehigh University 9.09%

Click through the following pages for data on how alumni changed industries, job functions, and careers.

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