In an increasingly competitive job market, many professionals ask the question: Should I get a master’s in business administration (MBA)? An MBA can open new job opportunities and help you advance in your career.
Benefits of getting your MBA include:
- Higher salary: The median salary for someone with an MBA degree is 75% higher than for someone with a bachelor’s degree. In some industries, the average starting salary is twice as high for MBA holders, according to a Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey.¹
- Job opportunities: Many businesses actively seek MBA candidates for open positions because they believe that these candidates possess the skills they need to move their businesses forward.²
- Versatile skills: MBAs offer a broad education in multiple areas of business, as well as “soft” skills like communication and leadership that are applicable in any industry and any position.
In GMAC surveys, 95% of respondents say that their MBA was a great investment.3 However, attending a graduate program is not cheap and at some schools, the price tag for the entire degree program can easily top $100,000.4 If cost is holding you back from pursuing this degree, these tips to find an affordable online MBA program can help.
What's the Cheapest Way to Get an MBA?
The cheapest possible way to get your MBA is to get a scholarship that will pay for your entire degree or work for a large employer that covers 100% of your tuition, books, equipment, and fees. Unfortunately, these are not realistic options for most people.
The next best option that is accessible to anyone is to get an MBA degree online. Affordable online MBA programs have been steadily growing in popularity over the last two decades. The COVID-19 pandemic and campus shutdowns accelerated an already growing trend, pushing applications for online MBA programs up over 43% in 2020.5
Online degrees that were once considered a very small niche of business graduate programs (and not entirely accepted by some in the MBA and business world as a quality degree), have now entered the mainstream. Institutions from Ivy League universities to state schools, and everything in between, are now offering their own hybrid or online MBA programs.
Another Financial Advantage of the Online MBA: Your Current Salary
Online MBAs typically have lower tuition costs than in-person programs. You also won’t be on the hook for some of the traditional campus fees associated with an in-person MBA. But there is another financial benefit to online MBAs that is sometimes overlooked. Since these degrees are flexible and allow you to take classes on your own time, you can keep your current job while you attend school.
Previously, MBA attendees would have to quit their job to go back to school for two years which meant living on student loans or part-time jobs and racking up additional debt. The other option was to find a part-time program available at night that they could fit into busy schedules of work, kids, and other activities.
A Look at The Most Affordable Online MBA Programs
U.S. News and World Report rank the best online MBA programs based on factors like cost, technology, engagement, graduation rates, and faculty credentials.⁶ The University of Kansas (KU) School of Business ranks in the top 20 for its online MBA program. It also ranks sixth on the list of top 20 programs for affordability with one of the lowest per-credit-hour costs for out-of-state students.
Things to Consider When Looking for an Affordable Online MBA Program
There are a few aspects to consider when calculating the affordability of an online MBA program. Tuition and fees are obviously on the list, but it’s not the only consideration. Additionally, it’s important to evaluate:
- Academic rigor: A “cheap” MBA from a program that doesn’t have very high academic standards is not worth your time and effort. It could even harm your job search if the program has a reputation as a poor-quality MBA.
- Faculty experience: Look for schools that hire qualified faculty with academic and real-world business experience.
- Time to complete: The length of a program can affect the cost, so find online MBA programs that you can complete in around two years to keep costs down.
- Accreditation: Accreditation from a respected accrediting body like the AACSB helps you evaluate MBA program quality.⁷
Where to Find an Affordable Online MBA
Finding an affordable MBA is easier than ever with online education as an option. You won’t need to move to a new state, commute to and from school, or pay for campus housing while you attend an online MBA program.
You can keep your current job while you work on your MBA degree on your own time. You can also look for programs outside of your immediate area to find the ones with the most affordable tuition rates and quality MBA curriculum to make your effort worthwhile. With an online MBA, there are no limitations on your education.
Change Your Career Outlook Today with an Online MBA.
Learn more about the online MBA program available at KU and find out how to enroll in an affordable business graduate degree program that can enhance your business career. Join the global network of Jayhawk business alumni who have studied with our expert faculty in small, immersive classes and gone on to thrive in successful careers. Advance on your path to KU by talking with an admissions advisor today.
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/market-research/corporate-recruiters-survey/
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from princetonreview.com/business-school-advice/why-get-an-mba-career-prospects
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/market-research/alumni-perspectives-survey.aspx?WT.svl=HPC2014alumni
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from investopedia.com/articles/professionaleducation/09/mba-real-costs.asp
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from ft.com/content/ee971fc7-9c90-4911-b5ea-6a00cc01c216
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings?mode=table
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from aacsb.edu/accreditation