There is no denying in the fact that online MBA is gaining prominence on a global platform. Most of the prominent universities worldwide are offering online MBA programs. Online MBA is no longer taboo because recruiters are given preference to students who have obtained their MBA online.

A QS applicant research done in 2020 showed that more than 24% of applicants wanted to do an online MBA.

Likewise, a 2018 report by a Graduate Management Admission highlighted that 36% of online MBA programs had increased in admission to that of 24% for a full-time 2-year course.

According to the US Bureau of Statistics report, an MBA degree done regularly or online immensely increasing your chances of applying for more jobs. By 2022, jobs related to MBA stand to increase by 15%.

Is MBA And Other Management Programs Becoming More Technology Oriented?

This is a good sign for students or working professionals who are keen on enrolling in an online MBA program. In America, an MBA degree ranks the highest, with 25% of graduates registering for their masters.

Besides, completing an MBA degree gives you a head start in your career with hikes and promotion. Technology also has its fair share of play in enabling MBA aspirants to take up the degree through online mode.

Also Read – Is The Full-Time MBA Losing Out To Shorter, Flexible Programs? 

More than a decade ago, materials in the form of textbooks, copies, and CDs had to be sent from the university to the student’s home or office. It was cumbersome and challenging for those from rural or economically poor backgrounds.

With laptops, PCs, and smartphones, and the internet, online MBA programs have become more effective. Both the teachers and students are benefiting immensely through proper communication and instant contact.

The online MBA programs are suitable for students from the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa as well. Though America and Europe have prestigious universities for MBA, more than 18-21% of respondents prefer the online mode of education.

Like any system, there are pros and cons. Let us read them carefully.

Benefits of online MBA

Cost saving

Online MBA courses are relatively cheaper than doing them from a regular college. Enrolling into a college or university for an MBA program can be an expensive affair. You would be stunned to know that the IE Business School and Imperial College Business School offer online MBA programs at lower prices than regular colleges.

Both the schools are ranked high by QS, and their programs come close to $58,000 and $46,000 at IE. It is the same at Imperial, where the programs cost $82,000 and $66,000. The traditional course is also offered here for 1-year.

Few online MBA programs can be expensive, but that does not mean you cannot find affordable programs. Joining an online program means that you can still continue your employment as well as do your study.

You do not have to obtain a study loan as your online program is reasonably priced. You do not have to relocate, travel, or waste your resources like traditional courses require you to do. Besides, you do not need books, materials, and so on like a regular student.

Also Read – 7 Books Business Professors Think You Should Read


However, some have pointed out that online programs restrict students from normal communication with professors, teachers, and classmates. It may be true to a certain extent, but remember, you are a full-time working professional.

You will need to give your complete attention during the weekdays to your work and office matters. Hence, joining an online program won’t deprive you of any communication with your professors.

Many universities and colleges conduct events regularly so that you can meet your professors, classmates and get a feel of the campus life. Online MBA programs also enable you to meet international students, and you can discuss any topic under the sun.

Chat groups, forums, and online communities are also there, where you can communicate and meet up with students, professors, mentors, and business leaders as well. An online program encourages students actually to understand what they are learning with open book exams.


The flexibility of enrolling in an online MBA program is astounding. It usually takes you around 14-18 months to complete, thanks to flexible sessions that do not affect your work timings.

Usually, the classes are held from 6-9 pm. They are also held during the weekends, and you can have an interactive discussion with your professors and classmates as well. Besides, live sessions are conducted, the students are informed before that.

If you cannot attend the live sessions, then you can learn through recorded sessions, email, and message boards. Additionally, you can also enroll in several programs during your online program.

You can study whenever you want at any time of the day or night. You require a working laptop or PC and a fast internet connection.


You do not have to worry about your online MBA program’s teaching quality because your professors are highly educated and have relevant experience. Most professors work like you in colleges or universities.

You Don’t Have to Relocate

Relocating, traveling, and food issues are commonly faced by regular students who have to come down to college or university. That is not the case when doing your online MBA. You can join an online MBA program based in another continent without having to take a step outside.


As we have said, you can join an online MBA program from a reputed university. Due to the pandemic, online programs have become a craze among students. It is a win-win situation for both the professors and the students as well.

The online MBA program can give you a shot in the arm for prospective promotions and help you reach your career goals. It is a boon for those of you who are working because recruiters will understand that you are a hard-working and career-oriented individual.

You also learn about the latest in communication technology during your online classes. This immensely enhances your communication skills at your new workplace. Any MBA job role requires you to have sublime communication abilities.

A top executive of Fiat has been quoted as saying:

“People who do online programs have a wealth of experience, work full-time, and manage the demands of their position with the MBA. They display qualities that are important in people we hire—a strong work ethic and project management and critical-thinking skills.”

In a student satisfaction survey, participants were satisfied and marked 9.22 on their online programs. Some of the top programs scored better at 9.7 and 10.

Admission requirements

As a working professional, you stand to benefit immensely from joining an online MBA program. Many organizations are sponsoring candidates to enter and study in online MBA programs because it benefits their business line.

As an employee, you may need to prove to yourself that you will contribute to them based on your learning experience. Most universities do not require candidates with work experience to attend entrance exams like GMAT and GRE.

Disadvantages of Online MBA

Absence of the campus experience

Sadly, there are a few negatives of joining an online MBA program. We will read about them briefly. However, you can overcome then if you are dedicated, focused, and a career-oriented person.

  • You tend to miss out on the actual campus feeling when studying your program. Though events and occasional programs are held on campus, students attending from another country or continent cannot be expected to participate in it.
  • Unlike in online programs, a regular student can have a lasting relationship with his/her classmates and professors. This badly misses out in the online program.
  • The online program students will not be able to participate in job fairs, placements, and recruitments. Top schools have reputed companies come down at the end of the year. The alumni network is also excellent that can help students land lucrative job offers.
  • An online MBA program does not come with programs that are offered in regular classes. It can hamper the growth of online students.

Most of the online students are employed and are working professionals. Some of them might even be in their 30s or 40s. Their main aim to enroll in the online program is to benefit from a career perspective and may not feel the pinch of the drawbacks mentioned above.

Need for greater discipline

As an online MBA student, you may find yourself putting in more discipline in your studies. That is because a regular student can fully concentrate on his/her studies and projects. An online students will have to fulfill their work commitments, office meetings, attend conferences, and take care of personal things.

These can affect your studies more often than not. A report published by Columbia University finds that regular students will complete their programs within the stipulated time period when compared to online students.

Besides, you are going to study alone. At times, you may find the going tough with that last-minute preparation. Few students who need more attention in their studies are compelled to join a full-time program.

Experience criterion

Many top universities may hesitate to provide enrollment if your work experience does not meet their admission criteria. You may need to have worked as a manager or have 3-5 years minimum work experience for applying to an online MBA program.

So, if you are a recent graduate or an MBA aspirant with little or no work experience, then you might as well enroll in a regular course. You can convert this weakness into a strength by working for a few years and then registering for an online program.

Recruiter apathy

Few recruiters are particular about their employees having completed the MBA full-time. Hence, you will want to see that you enroll your online MBA program from a college accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

It is heartening to note that recruiters these days are giving importance to online programs. Besides, you want to ensure that the business school you have studied is not a fake or scam. Hence, proper research is required from the student before he/she joins the program.

Technology cost

The cost of ensuring that your laptop, PC, or internet connection works at all times is up to you. The costs may not be too much to burn a hole in your pocket. Unless you are from an underdeveloped country or your region has poor connectivity issues, then you may face problems when studying.

This cannot be termed as a significant issue because it is how you see it. There is always a solution if you look around. For example, you may have a cybercafé in your locality or computer center in the next town, where you can study online.

Go for it or not?

This is entirely going to be your call. When you have made up your mind to join an online MBA program because of better career prospects, then you must go for it. However, you might want to do your research and homework properly before enrolling in a college or university.

There are tons of MBA programs out there for you to choose from. That is why you may want to choose a program that suits your learning style, which will help you climb your career and meet your job prospects.


Best Online MBA Programs in The World

Here is a list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs in the World. They have been ranked by Financial Times, London. Though most of the programs are based in the USA, some are also found in European countries.

Financial Times Online MBA Ranking 2020

Rank in 2020Business schoolProgramme nameCountry
1Warwick Business SchoolWarwick Distance Learning MBAUK
2IE Business SchoolGlobal Online MBASpain
3University of Massachusetts Amherst: IsenbergIsenberg Online MBAUS
4University of North Carolina: Kenan-FlaglerMBA@UNCUS
5Indiana University: KelleyKelley Direct Online ProgramsUS
6University of Florida: WarringtonOnline MBAUS
7Durham University Business SchoolOnline MBAUK
8Northeastern University: D’Amore-McKimOnline MBAUS
9Politecnico di Milano School of ManagementInternational Flex MBAItaly
10University of Bradford School of ManagementMBA Distance LearningUK

Read More About Online MBA Rankings

Jobs & Salaries 

The scope for online MBA graduates stands to gain through promotions and increments after they have the MBA education under their belt. Close to 63% of online MBA degrees have experienced some form of an increase in their salaries and promotion job-wise.

Graduates from the Imperial College Business School in London are the highest achievers in this category. They reportedly received an increment change of $58,360, which is 57% higher than the $102,466 they reported when entering the online MBA program.

After completing an online MBA in the first year, they earn an average of $160,826. Likewise, students from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University were reported to have increased in change, of $57,728 to $149,773, an increase of 63%.

Besides new job roles and increments, completing an online MBA degree comes with added responsibility in the work area. Moreover, graduates experience an improvement in personal confidence and become members of an alumni network.

Top 10 Online MBA Programs For Salary Increases

Below are few business schools that reported online MBA student graduates receiving the highest salary increase during the 2019-2020 year.

RankSchoolPre MBA-SalaryPost MBA SalaryChangeAverage Work Experience
39Imperial College Business School$102,466$160,826$58,36010
2Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)$92,045$149,773$57,7286
9University of Washington (Foster)$112,933$155,167$42,2348
10Santa Clara University (Leavey)$91,417$129,472$38,05511
5University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)$113,745$149,429$35,68410
21University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Isenberg)$176,714$210,143$33,42911
11North Carolina State University (Jenkins)$81,273$113,182$31,9099
16Baylor University (Hankamer)$121,530$153,078$31,54812
1Indiana University (Kelley)$92,688$123,561$30,8739
17University of Florida$80,981$108,067$27,0866


Read More About Online MBA Salaries

ROI of Online MBA

Multiple factors reflect upon the Rate of Interest in pursuing an MBA course. The knowledge acquired by content students, salary offered after graduation, and the number of responsibilities and roles students takes after completion of their course.

Here is a list of some of the schools which top the list of 2020 Financial Times Global Online MBA Ranking. As per the ranking, Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom tops the parameters of highest ROI.

Rank in 2020Business schoolCountryProgram nameSalary today (US$)Salary increase (%)Value for money rankCareer progress rankAims achieved (%)
1Warwick Business SchoolUKWarwick Distance Learning MBA204799402180
2IE Business SchoolSpainGlobal Online MBA163788366676
3University of Massachusetts Amherst: IsenbergUSIsenberg Online MBA168046463483
4University of North Carolina: Kenan-FlaglerUSMBA@UNC1716652610779
5Indiana University: KelleyUSKelley Direct Online Programs148934307583
6University of Florida: WarringtonUSOnline MBA126535418983

Read More About ROI of Online MBA


Cost of an Online MBA

CostB-School/ UniversityRank
$10,880Rogers State University47
$100,883George Washington University4
$111,663University of Southern California (Marshall)3
$125,589University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)5
$141,320Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)2
$18,391University of North Dakota (Nistler)31
$19,650University of Massachusetts-Lowell33
$19,980Louisiana State University37
$20,947Oklahoma State University (Spears)44
$24,470Kennesaw State University45
$24,750University of South Florida (Muma)25
$25,212University of Tennessee at Chattanooga26
$27,764SUNY Oswego30
$28,800University of Wisconson MBA Consortium32
$30,821Creighton University (Heider)40
$31,200University of Nebraska-Lincoln24
$32,580University of Michigan-Dearborn42
$35,375Auburn University (Harbert)8
$35,983University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Isenberg)21
$36,785Ohio University36
$41,595Lehigh University6
$41,800University of Delaware (Lerner)34

Read More About Cost of Online MBA

Affordable Online MBA Courses

$10,880Rogers State University47
$18,391University of North Dakota (Nistler)31
$19,650University of Massachusetts-Lowell33
$19,980Louisiana State University37
$20,947Oklahoma State University (Spears)44
$24,470Kennesaw State University45
$24,750University of South Florida (Muma)25
$25,212University of Tennessee at Chattanooga26



Average GRE, GMAT & GPAs for Top Online MBA Programs of 2021

It is a known fact that the Graduate Management Admission Test is one of the most vital tests for getting admission into a reputed business school. Due to the pandemic, several MBA programs can be taken in different ways and are most likely to continue offering them.

Like full-time MBA programs, students must write the GMAT, the Graduate Record Exam, and other entrance exams. The online courses, too, expect students to do the same; however, it is secondary to other admissions factors.

The accepted GMAT scores from 42 business schools were taken this year. The average among them was 649.4. Likewise, the business schools that received more than 10% submissions from students saw an average GMAT score of 589.6.

Average GMAT Scores for Top Global Online MBA Ranking programs

SchoolAverage GMAT ScorePercentage of Students Reporting GMAT
Baylor University (Hankamer)6871.70%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)6777.00%
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)67183.00%
Creighton University (Heider)6704.00%
Indiana University (Kelley)65032.00%

Read More About Online MBA Admissions