Worldwide, Online MBA programs are on the rise. And it’s clear why: an MBA delivered through distance learning is attractive to many professionals who don’t want to stop working for a year or two in order to pursue a degree.
And the nature of the Online MBA is indeed global. A growing number of business schools are attracting many students, who hail from all over the world.
These Online MBA students tend to be older with more years of work experience than their counterparts on campus. This is reflected in the salary outcomes: while full-time students receive a bigger pay increase, the salary achieved can be far higher among online students. They are often accelerating a career rather than switching into a new industry.
While the early iterations of online learning have been criticized for lacking interactivity, business schools have invested heavily in improving their online learning platforms in recent years. Few would argue that it matches campus study, but with innovations such as virtual reality and holograms, we are getting close to replicating the buzz of a real classroom.
However, there may still be a trade-off between flexibility and networking opportunities, which are more abundant and fluent on campus.
See the Top 10 Online MBAs Worldwide below.
The Warwick Distance Learning MBA is ranked by the Financial Times as the best in the world. Warwick Business School, of the UK, has held this crown for the past few consecutive years. The success factor is the salary its alumni achieve three years after graduation: a whopping $204,799, a 40 percent increase over this period.View School Profile
US News and World ranks the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University as the best in America (tied with another institution). This reflects the school’s strong score for student excellence, with the caliber of the cohort being high. The program is also affordable, being far below the cost of the school’s residential MBA and some other online programs.View School Profile
According to the FT, the Isenberg School of Management, at the University of Massachusetts in the US, is the word’s third best Online MBA provider. Its alumni have the highest salary increase three years from graduation, 46 percent, for instance. And the school has the highest proportion of female faculty, at 46 percent. This is important in attracting talented female students.View School Profile
Kelley shares the top honors with the Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina, which came in joint first place in the US News league table. The school performed strongly on engagement with peers and professors, ranking first on that metric. One of the biggest criticisms of online learning is the apparent lack of interaction relative to campus study.View School Profile
Also ranked highly by US News was Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, in third place. It came first place for student excellence, for example. One unique aspect of Tepper’s Online MBA is that students can switch between formats (online and offline, full-time or part-time). This affords them maximum flexibility to fit study around their work and family commitments.
Imperial College Business School in London was ranked second globally in the Online MBA ranking from QS. The course focuses on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, which reflects the business school’s historic strengths, being part of a renowned science university. Imperial has also achieved “triple crown” accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, which ensures the highest quality of teaching and research.View School Profile
The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is ranked highly in some of the most important Online MBA rankings. The course was built to develop executives’ cross-cultural and digital collaboration skills, with a foundational education provided in analytics, virtual communication and remote team management. In addition to the standard MBA modules in strategy, marketing, operations et al.View School Profile
The University of Illinois Gies College of Business’ iMBA, offered in partnership with global learning platform Coursera, is a truly global: students pursuing the program hail from 90 countries, according to the school. With eight specializations, the program offers robust customization options, and the tuition fees are very affordable.View School Profile
In Sydney, the UNSW Business School puts on a well-respected Online MBA program, MBAX. Students can specialise in a stream, whether technology, social impact, change management, finance or healthcare. Students can also go on exchanges overseas to elite institutions such as London Business School or Yale School of Management, developing global, professional networks.View School Profile