Return on investment (ROI) is a key priority for prospective Online MBA students. And because they earn while they learn, the overall cost of an Online MBA is lower than for the full-time degree (which usually requires that students take a year or two off work). Moreover, in terms of tuition, digital degrees tend to be a fraction of the price of their campus counterparts, because business schools have lower overheads like teaching facilities and faculty time, which can be dear.
What is more, online students, who are typically working senior managers, can apply what they learn directly in the workplace, strengthening their case for a promotion or a pay rise, and this is a key ROI indicator for an Online MBA program. At many business schools, the career support on offer for Online MBA students is the same as for candidates in on-campus MBAs. That includes virtual careers fairs, interview coaching, CV and cover letter screening. A global alumni network is also valuable when searching for a new job or a career change, which many Online MBA candidates pull off.
An Online MBA’s ROI can be calculated by looking at the cost of attendance versus the salary increase after graduation. But many students say the true value of an MBA is less tangible and includes new perspectives, a professional network and fresh knowledge and skills.
The Online MBA at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the cheaper options, with tuition fees for the iMBA being less than many other comparable Online MBAs. A survey in 2019 found that 53 percent of students had received a promotion, job offer or accepted a new position during the iMBA. Graduates saw their pay increase by an average of 20 percent through the course.View School Profile
At this UK business school, tuition fees are lower than some other Online MBAs in the UK. Little wonder, then, that University of Bradford School of Management is ranked as the best school when it comes to value for money by the Financial Times. That ROI metric is calculated according to alumni’s salary, fees and other costs associated with studying.View School Profile
Second in the FT’s value for money ranking is Warwick Business School, also of the UK. That is because Warwick alumni have the largest salary three years out of graduation among all the schools the FT ranked across the world, at over $200,000. The tuition fees at Warwick are relatively low as well. This means that the return on investment is quite good.View School Profile
Alumni from the University of Massachusetts Amherst: Isenberg tend to have lower average salaries after three years from graduation than the Warwick Online MBA graduates, but this is a larger increase since many students start the Amherst course on a lower corporate rung. The tuition fees are respectable.View School Profile
Durham University Business School, of the UK, also has relatively low tuition fees. According to a recent Financial Times Online MBA ranking, alumni boost their salary by 27 percent, on average, in three years. Career progress is relatively good, in terms of progression in the alumni’s seniority level at work and the size of the company that they work for today.View School Profile
The Online MBA from Oklahoma State University is much less than many other AACSB-accredited Online MBAs. The low tuition fees tend to pay off later in terms of return on investment. The Spears School of Business can be completed in as little as 12 months, speeding up the ROI even more. Oklahoma state residents get a big discount on tuition fees to boot.View School Profile
EADA Business School Barcelona puts on a respected Online MBA program that is reasonably priced. Unlike some other digital degrees, the course at EADA is highly international, with 68 percent of students coming from outside of Spain. That diversity adds to the strength of the alumni network, which is invaluable in a job search.View School Profile
Macquarie Business School is one of the highest ranked institutions in Australia. The tuition is relatively low, comparatively speaking, and graduates have good career outcomes (read: a strong ROI). The curriculum is focused on providing skills that are in high demand in the digital economy, leading on to well-paid jobs related to data, artificial intelligence and technology.View School Profile
The AACSB-accredited Iowa Online MBA Program has low tuition fees, ensuring a good ROI. The school has extensive career support and many students pull off a career pivot or leap up the ranks. The support on offer includes personal career coaching and leadership development courses.View School Profile
This historically affordable school runs an AACSB-accredited Online MBA that costs less than many new cars. An accelerated course, it can be completed in just 12 months, further boosting the ROI. The curriculum ensures solid employability for alumni. The MBA was designed with executives who sit on the school’s advisory board, ensuring graduates are ready for the job market and that the syllabus remains responsive to industry developments.View School Profile
Weighing up the Return on Investment from an Online MBA
Feb 09, 2021
There is an extreme valuation gap between Online MBAs. Prospective students should look beyond the headline figure to determine which program is right for them