Over the last decade, technological advancements have transformed business and industry to a great extent. The needs of modern workplaces have also become more advanced. And more and more employers are now looking to hire talent in leadership and management roles. As a result, the market demand for online MBA courses has picked up in recent years.
So, if you want to advance your career with a business management degree, you can do so in a non-traditional way as well. The online mode offers flexibility to distant learners and working professionals to learn at their own pace. Most online MBAs are accredited by top institutes and attract faculty from globally renowned universities. The accreditation assures that the content and delivery of the program would meet academic and professional standards. Let’s look into some of the best online MBA courses.
Best Online MBA Courses
- MBA (Global), Deakin Business School (DBS): This two-year program with dual credentials from Australia’s DBS and IMT Ghaziabad has emerged as a popular choice among MBA aspirants. Deakin is also among the top 1 percent B-schools worldwide. The online course is supplemented with dedicated mentorship and offline networking opportunities.
- MBA, Liverpool Business School: Accredited by UK’s Liverpool Business School, this course includes a week-long immersion program at the university campus. The duration of the MBA course is 20 months, during which you get a career and mentorship support from industry leaders. Upon successful completion, you will also receive a PGP in Management credential from IMT Ghaziabad.
- MBA -BA, NMIMS Global Access School: This is a 15-month Executive MBA program with a specialization in Business Analytics. Designed specifically for working professionals, it offers a great way to balance work and study life. Moreover, it promises learning and exposure that is at par with on-campus MBA programs. Some of the course highlights include offline networking events, one-on-one mentor interactions, and a three-month industry-driven capstone project.
Why online MBA courses?
In today’s competitive job market, an undergraduate degree is not enough. Employers seek highly qualified and skilled candidates who can bring work teams and companies closer to their goals. A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that nearly 77 percent of US companies planned to hire MBA graduates in 2019. And that the Asia Pacific region has a rising demand for specialized business master’s graduates.
Completing an online MBA can also help you advance into a leadership role in your current organization. It can not only add to your knowledge and skill-set but also give you the confidence to make a career transition.
Hiring trends for MBA candidates
The GMAC report also revealed that for-profit public companies and Fortune Global 100 entities are among the top recruiters. MBA graduates not only find employment in large corporations but also bring their talent to smaller organizations, startups, and nonprofits. Leading industry sectors for MBA hiring include energy and utility, healthcare, and business consulting firms.
Online MBA degrees are designed to build your business acumen and help you excel as a manager and leader in your chosen career field. So, you can specialize in a subset of business within your program. These specializations could be information technology, supply chain management, marketing, economics, etc. While IT tops the list of desired expertise in Europe, marketing and economics dominate in Asia and the Pacific.
Trends in MBA job functions
Manufacturing and service industries typically hire MBAs to lead their marketing efforts. As for healthcare, business administration graduates tend to be employed in either marketing or finance roles. Going by the organization size, they generally work in strategy jobs in large companies and mostly fill sales and business development positions in smaller startups.
Starting salaries of MBAs in different sectors
New MBA hires can expect to earn starting salaries that are double the remuneration of their undergraduate counterparts. With an advanced business administration degree, you can enter a variety of fields – from consulting to consumer products and finance.
In 2019, the projected annual salary of MBA talent in consulting reached $135,000, which was closely followed by finance and accounting, with median earnings at $125,000. Products and services were poised at $105,000 against the $55,000 base salary for bachelor’s graduates. Company size and geographic location also have a bearing on the expected earnings. Learn more about the MBA salary in India.
Online MBA syllabus
Every online MBA course has its own curriculum with one common thread, i.e., all programs aim to equip graduates with some working knowledge of business and specific core competencies that allow them to succeed in the workplace. Here’s a snapshot of some master’s level business administration subjects and how they translate into the workplace.
- Financial modeling: Financial statement analysis; using quantitative models for financial decision-making; using Excel to forecast outcomes; conducting risk analysis, calculating the time value of money, cash flows, etc.
- Strategic marketing: Creating profiles of target customers; conducting a needs assessment of target customers; preparing go-to-market strategies for products and services; developing data-driven pricing and promotional plans.
- Corporate communications: Producing information in a way that is easy to understand by diverse business stakeholders; delivering the intended messages effectively using written, spoken, and mixed media
- Organizational behavior: Establishing productive relationships with colleagues and team members; leading cross-functional teams and managing subordinates; promoting the organization’s culture.
- Ethics and compliance: Maintaining regulatory compliance of projects; identifying ethical issues and suggesting solutions; mitigating risks by ensuring transparency.
What you can do with an online MBA
Now, let us see where all this working knowledge can take you. With an online MBA degree, you can choose to work across diverse economic sectors in a range of different roles. Below are some senior-level positions that can be within your reach with an advanced degree.
- Marketing Manager: As a marketing manager, you manage and overlook the advertising, marketing, and sales efforts of an organization. Alternatively, you can be put in charge of a particular product or service. Advertising agencies also require marketing managers to work with content creators and market research analysts. Reporting to company executives about the campaign success is also one of their job responsibilities.
- Communications Directors: These professionals direct the overall image of an organization by implementing different messaging strategies. They coordinate public relations, advertising, and social media activities by supervising news releases, organizing press conferences, and liaising with the media.
- Director of Business Operations: They plan and implement strategies to ensure efficacy and efficiency in business operations. The Director of Business Operations collaborates with top executives and fellow managers to maintain the standards related to the manufacturing of a product or service production and delivery.
- Chief Compliance Officers: They carry out reviews and audits to ensure the company’s regulatory and policy adherence. Chief compliance officers are also tasked with investigating possible misconduct and resolving compliance risks with appropriate measures.
To transition into specific roles, you may sometimes require additional credentials. Even when they are not legally required, employers in a few sectors expect appropriate licensure. For example, you must hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential to work as an auditor.
Lean Sigma, Project Management Professional, and Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) are other examples of professional certifications. While some of these credentials require you to appear for their own exams, certain online MBA programs allow learners to earn them while studying.
How to make your online MBA choice
Now that you know about what online MBA courses entail and their post-qualification career tracks let us help you select a program that is the right fit for you. You should assess your options in the light of factors like duration, accreditation, cost, and expected outcomes.
Most online MBA degrees have a duration of 12-20 months, whereas other programs may last for two years, like traditional MBAs. Executive MBAs allow you to complete your coursework part-time. Additionally, you should evaluate your options in terms of the per-week time commitments and check if any deadlines that clash with your present schedule.
So far as accreditation is concerned, your online MBA could be affiliated to international, national, or regional institutions. So, find out the name and status of its granting institution. Some programs may offer dual accreditation from an academic institution and an industry-related body. An institute’s rank can be seen as a reflection of its curricula, faculty, and student outcomes.
Now, let’s consider the cost factor. Pursuing an online postgraduate education would automatically eliminate your travel and accommodation-related expenses. Also, many B-schools charge a lower fee for online courses than their on-campus tuition rates. The total MBA costs may vary depending upon the institution. So, examine your alternatives accordingly. And don’t forget to compare the prices with the program outcomes. You can also contact recent alumni to get more clarity.
With this, we have covered the leading online MBA courses, their syllabi, and their relevance in today’s job market. We also discussed how a postgraduate degree in business administration could lead to higher salaries, more job responsibilities, and increased professional satisfaction. So, use this information to make your decision and move closer to your career goals!