Online MBA students tend to be older than full-time candidates and looking for a career acceleration: they enter the programs with relatively high pay and it generally surges higher still on graduation. The increase can be as high as nearly 50 percent after a few years and the actual salary achieved above $200,000 on average.
Online MBA candidates can typically hold down a full-time job while they study part-time, so they do not incur the opportunity cost of not working like their counterparts on full-time campus programs do. So online students keep earning even while learning, applying what they learn directly into the workplace, working towards a promotion.
Finance and banking are the most popular industries pursued after an Online MBA — sectors known to compensate their employees handsomely.
The best Online MBAs for salary growth are often those that are ranked highest by rankings publications like the Financial Times and US News & World Report. This reflects these publications’ rankings methodologies—which tend to prioritize salary increase—but may also raise the esteem of an institution in the eyes of corporate recruiters.
In some cases, Online MBA students also may have access to all the same career services as their counterparts on campus do. This coaching from industry experts can help with securing well-paid jobs. And as Online MBAs are cheaper than residential courses, the absolute return on investment from digital degrees can be far higher too.
Graduates of the University of Florida enjoy a 41 percent bump on pre-Online MBA pay three years from graduation, with average salaries reaching $126,535. This is lower than some peer schools that are also ranked highly for their Online MBAs, but Florida’s course is comparatively cheaper, raising the overall return on investment from the program.View School Profile
Politecnico di Milano School of Management in Milan, Italy, reports a hefty salary increase — 40 percent — and a sizable salary too: $144,316. The school scored third in the FT’s ranking for online interaction. As any MBA student will tell you, this is crucial for networking opportunities that can and do pay off in the job market.View School Profile
Spain’s IE Business School is second overall in the FT’s ranking of the world’s best Online MBA programs, and scores well on employability and pay too. The average alumni salary after three years is $163,788, which is a 36 percent increase on their pay before enrolling in the school’s Global Online MBA. The cohort is highly international and can open doors to lucrative careers around the world.View School Profile
The average starting salary for alumni from USC Marshall three months after completing the school’s Online MBA is $122,634. The business school taps into its parent university’s 390,000-strong global alumni network that can help graduates with securing high paying work. The school in California is also has the fifth-best Online MBA in the world, according to US News, which may help with brand recognition with corporate recruiters.View School Profile
Alumni at the University of Massachusetts have the highest salary increase in the FT’s Online MBA ranking three years from graduation: 46 percent. The average salary achieved three years finishing the Online MBA is $168,046. While that is may be lower than graduates from other Online MBA programs, many Isenberg students start from a lower base, so their salary growth is actually greater.View School Profile
The Tepper school is ranked third nationwide by US News. The average starting salary three months after graduation is $126,250 for alumni, which is a staggering ROI compared with the relatively low cost of the part-time course. Online MBA students at Tepper have access to all the same career resources as full-time candidates on campus. This includes career coaching from seasoned industry experts.View School Profile
Warwick Business School has been the top school in the FT’s ranking of Online MBA programs for the past three consecutive years. One key reason: the enormous salary that its graduates achieve three years after graduation: $204,799, a 40 percent increase over that period. The school also scores highest for career progression.View School Profile
UNC’s Online MBA program is ranked in joint first place in the US News ranking. Alumni of the course at the Kenan-Flagler school earn a weighty $171,665 three years out from graduation, but because they already began the course well compensated, the salary increase is a high but not astronomical 26 percent. The school ranked second in the FT list for the strength of its careers service, which helps students land jobs.View School Profile
Kenan-Flagler shares its pedestal atop the US News ranking with the Kelley School. The average salary increase after three years for Kelley alums is 30 percent, with the salary rising to $148,934. The school’s careers service is also considered the best by the FT. In addition, IU’s Online MBA program scores very highly for program delivery and online interaction.View School Profile
In the UK, the Bradford school’s Online MBA alums are enjoying a 34 percent increase on their pre-program pay. The average earned after three years is a considerable $128,524. The school’s Online MBA has been around for 50 years, so it has a large alumni network and established relationships with corporate recruiters. It has also achieved “triple crown” accreditation from three important awarding agencies.View School Profile