Home Experience KU KU Online MBA Blog The Cost and Value of an Online MBA

The Cost and Value of an Online MBA

18 Oct
woman on sofa looking at MBA paperwork

Are you working in the business realm and looking for the best way to expand your career potential? Professionals with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can command a starting salary as high as $115,000. This is compared to new hires with undergraduate degrees, who typically earn approximately $65,000 upon graduation.1 But what does it cost to get an MBA and is it worth your time and money?

Keep reading to learn about the value of an MBA and what the cost is for an online versus in-person MBA. We also discuss what you should look for in an online MBA program.

The Value of an MBA

In addition to having greater earning potential, as an MBA graduate, you will acquire the knowledge and skills to advance in your career or even start your own business. Employers often require an MBA for management or leadership positions and having an MBA will make you more attractive to recruiters and will expand your career opportunities. 1 Business and financial employment is expected to grow by five percent between 2019 and 2029, which is greater than other industries.2

With an MBA, you’ll also have a “future-proof” skill set. The comprehensive curriculum of an MBA program teaches not just advanced data and technical skills but also soft skills like communications, strategic thinking, empathy, and emotional intelligence, which are expected to become increasingly important in the future marketplace.3

How Much is Online MBA Tuition?

If you are a business professional who wants to further your career with an advanced degree, one barrier to pursuing an MBA is likely the price tag. Tuition rates continue to rise for traditional in-person MBA programs, with most U.S. business schools charging between $100,000 and $162,000 for their two-year program.4 An online MBA program, in contrast, is typically a fraction of that cost. The price for an online MBA program is usually between $35,000 and $50,000. Online MBA programs at public universities are typically less expensive than at private colleges.5

Keep in mind that there may be other costs to an online MBA besides tuition, including textbooks, instructional support fees, technology fees, and student services fees.5 However, with an online program, you will be avoiding housing and transportation costs, and other various campus fees.

Why You Should Consider Getting Your MBA Online

There are many advantages to getting your MBA degree online, especially if you’re a working professional with a full-time job.6

Lower Cost

An online MBA course is typically less expensive than a traditional MBA program. The school doesn’t have to maintain facilities and pay for equipment costs. There are considerable savings for you, the student, in that you don’t have to pay for transportation, or room and board.6

Flexible Hours

Being able to take online classes when and where you want is a tremendous benefit if you’re working full time and if you have a family. You can structure your time as you need to, without having to take time off from work. Not having to commute saves a lot of time otherwise spent in traffic, and gives you more time for the important things, such as quality time with friends and family. Many online programs let you learn at your own pace. Others have set times for classes.6,7

No Need to Relocate—Unless You Want To

An online MBA program allows you to choose the best school for your goals and interests, without having to consider relocating or settling for a program just because it’s local. With a traditional MBA program, if the college you want to attend is in another state, you have to pack up and move and then either pay the out-of-state student cost or wait until you’re considered a resident. With an online program, there’s one flat rate, regardless of where you live. Also, you are no longer limited to schools in your region. And if you’re offered a great job opportunity elsewhere and want to relocate, or you wish to move for other reasons, instead of having to transfer schools, your education continues, seamlessly.6

Access to More Learning and Networking Resources

The advanced technology used in online programs provides more tools for enhanced learning experiences and interactivity with your professors and fellow students. You’ll also be able to get more assistance one-on-one with professors because you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and communicate outside of lectures. There are third-party tools to enhance studying and learning, as well as built-in communication and networking opportunities, such as breakout study and discussion groups.6

Many Available Accredited MBA Programs

There are many accredited online MBA programs from top-ranked schools, giving you a wide array of choices in curricula, professors, and specializations. Because of this, you can find the program that perfectly meets your career goals and personal interests.6

Better Balance with Personal and Professional Life

With an online MBA program, you don’t have to make impossible choices between spending time with your family, continuing your work, engaging in hobbies, or traveling to and attending in-person classes to advance your career. You have the freedom to create a more enjoyable life balance while improving your future potential.6

The need for flexibility has become especially important for many individuals due to the coronavirus pandemic, as professional and personal lives have undergone major disruptions. Online education meets the needs of busy lifestyles and unexpected challenges.

In today’s fast-moving world, an online MBA makes perfect sense.

What to Look for in an Online MBA Program

When comparing different online programs for your MBA degree, there are several important considerations before making your choice.

  1. Does an online degree fit your style of learning? Self-motivation is important with online education, especially if students aren’t required to participate in discussions or watch lectures. Are you an independent learner or do you require more structure and in-person interaction?
  2. Is the online program from an accredited school? Some of the best-known and most respected accrediting agencies are AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), IACBE (International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and ACBSP (the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs). They ensure that the program meets or exceeds quality requirements.
  3. How quickly do you want to complete your MBA? There are fast online MBA programs that can be completed in a year, but they will require more of your time. A part-time program may take several years to complete. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  4. How do the university’s online MBA programs compare to their traditional ones? Consider the curriculum, professors, program’s reputation, admission requirements, class sizes, and resources.

Other things to consider include the flexibility of the online program, if the program provides the opportunity to interact with peers and faculty, and if there are financial aid options. How are the career outcomes for graduates? Does the online program provide the same support services as the school’s in-person programs? And is there an active alumni community?7

Achieve your professional goals with an online MBA from The University of Kansas School of Business.

The KU School of Business online MBA program is designed for tomorrow’s global leaders. Our comprehensive online MBA program is from a well-recognized AACSB-accredited School of Business and is reasonably priced. It features a rigorous academic program taught by the same highly respected faculty as our on-campus business programs. Our online MBA equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s challenging business environment.

The KU School of Business online MBA is ranked the nation’s #20 Best Online MBA Program, and the #12 Best Online MBA Program for Veterans.8 Stand out from the crowd and realize your dreams with an online MBA from KU.