Do you want to pursue an MBA but can't find the time? Maybe you don't feel like being out of a job for 2 years is worth the investment? Maybe all the online MBA programs you know seem too generic? Do you feel that you want a quality MBA without sacrificing your job, your family, or your earnings? This is a quick summary of the top ten online MBA programs based on rankings / reputation, structure, networking opportunities, gained skills, and tuition investment.
1. Instituto de Empresa (IE)
Location: Madrid, Spain
Program: Global MBA
Ranking *: # 11 by Financial Times, # 12 by The Wall Street Journal, # 6 by Forbes.
Description: IE offers an 18 months Global MBA program for English and Spanish speakers. The program allows students to connect to the virtual classroom from anywhere in the world. In addition to virtual lectures and videoconferences, students are required to participate in "blended sessions" in different cities including Madrid, London, New York, Santiago, Shanghai, and other cities.
Networking Opportunities: Students from 48 countries with background and expertise in a diverse variety of fields including financial markets, banking, marketing, and technology.
Gained Skills: Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Information Systems, Intercultural Skills.
Tuition Investment: EUR 33,000 (approx. $ 43,000 USD)
2. Thunderbird School of Global Management
Location: Arizona, USA
Program: Global MBA
Ranking: # 1 in International Programs by US News & World Report, # 1 in International Business by Financial Times, # 1 in International Business by The Wall Street Journal.
Description: Thunderbird offers a global MBA program where students participate through virtual classrooms and on-site seminars in the USA, China and Europe.
Networking Opportunities: Students have lived and worked in over 16 different countries with backgrounds in a wide variety of companies ranging from Coca Cola to Boeing to the US Department of Defense.
Gained Skills: Cross-Cultural Communications, Global Political Economy, Global Finance, Global Operations, Global Marketing, Global Negotiations, Global Leadership, Global Strategy.
Tuition Investment: $ 57,000 USD (includes on-site costs for international study trips except airfare)
3. Duke University
Location: North Carolina, USA
Program: Cross-Continental MBA
Ranking: # 11 by US News & World Report, # 23 by Financial Times, # 11 by BusinessWeek.
Description: The program lasts 20 months blending Internet-enabled distance learning with 9 one-week residential sessions that take place in North Carolina, Europe and Asia.
Networking Opportunities: Students from 23 countries average 3 to 9 years of experience and are currently employed full-time in a variety of industries.
Gained Skills: Finance, Accounting, Decision Models, Cross-Cultural Communications, Marketing, Strategy, Global Financial Management, Global Economics.
Tuition Investment: $ 93,450 USD
4. Manchester Business School
Location: Manchester, UK
Program: Distance Learning MBA
Ranking: # 22 by Financial Times, # 15 by MBA Career Guide Survey.
Description: This flexible 2 year program combines self-study with face-to-face workshops in one of six destinations worldwide – UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Malaysia and Jamaica.
Networking Opportunities: Students are located in over 90 countries worldwide and possess years of work experience in industries such as construction, engineering, and finance.
Gained Skills: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Managerial Economics, Quantitative Methods, Corporate Strategy.
Tuition Investment: £ 14,400 (approximately $ 28,383 USD)
5. Indiana University
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana – USA
Program: Master of Business Administration (Kelley Direct)
Ranking: # 23 by US News & World Report, # 65 by Financial Times, # 18 by BusinessWeek.
Description: This two-year program focuses on general administration, but can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students. The program is offered almost exclusively over the Web with two in-residence courses that last one week in Indiana.
Networking Opportunities: Students in the program come from almost every state in the USA as well as over 20 countries from around the world. Almost all students have several years of corporate or military experience.
Gained Skills: Accounting, Finance, Economics, Quantitative Analysis, Project Management, Strategic Marketing, Human Resources, Global Business, Business Law, Strategic Capabilities.
Tuition Investment: $ 42,000 USD
6. Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania – USA
Program: Penn State's Online MBA
Ranking: # 38 by US News & World Report, # 43 by Financial Times, US Second Tier Programs by BusinessWeek.
Description: This 2-year program combines online courses with 2 residency experiences – the first one at a US company (anywhere in the USA) and the second one at Penn State's University Park campus.
Networking Opportunities: Penn State iMBA students represent employers from 37 states and 5 countries.
Gained Skills: Finance, Accounting, Organizational Behavior and Change, Data Analysis, Decision Making, Marketing, Corporate Strategies, Global Operations, Global Management.
Tuition Investment: $ 49,000 USD
7. University of Florida
Location: Gainesville, Florida – USA
Program: Internet MBA
Ranking: # 41 by US News & World Report, # 13 by The Wall Street Journal.
Description: The Internet MBA program at the University of Florida provides students with two options: The Two Year MBA and the One Year MBA option. The Two Year MBA program starts in February, offers a 27-month curriculum and requires 8 weekend campus visits at the end of each term. The One Year MBA option is provided for students with a business degree and 2 to 7 years of work experience. It starts in January, offers a 16-month curriculum and requires 5 weekend campus visits at the end of each term.
Networking Opportunities: Students in these programs average 6 years of work experience in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, banking, and international trade.
Gained Skills: Personal Finance, Corporate Finance, Accounting, Marketing Management, Professional Writing, Operations Management, Entrepreneurship, E-Commerce, Brand Equity, Business Policy, Business Law.
Tuition Investment: $ 34,000 USD – One Year MBA option; $ 39,000 USD – Two Year MBA option.
8. Babson College
Location: Boston, Massachusetts – USA
Program: Fast Track MBA
Ranking: # 1 in Entrepreneurship by US News & World Report, # 1 in Entrepreneurship by Financial Times, # 49 Overall MBA by US News & World Report, # 89 Overall MBA by Financial Times.
Description: This 24-month program combines face-to-face learning, web-based learning, and field-based projects. Face-to-face instruction is based on two day sessions that are held at Babson or in Portland, Oregon approximately every six weeks – all day on Fridays and Saturdays.
Networking Opportunities: Students in this program average 10 years of work experience and come from almost every state in the US and approximately 10 countries.
Gained Skills: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Creativity, Human Behavior, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Ethics and Law.
Tuition Investment: $ 48,500 USD.
Website: 9. University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts – USA
Program: Online MBA
Ranking: # 56 by US News & World Report, # 2 (Best Overall Academic Experience) by Princeton Review.
Description: The entire 12-course program can be completed online and it usually lasts 2 years.
Networking Opportunities: Students in the program are from the 50 US States and 15 countries and have experience in a variety of industries.
Gained Skills: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, Business Data Analysis, Independent Research.
Tuition Investment: $ 24,790 USD.
10. The George Washington University
Location: Washington, DC – USA
Program: Healthcare MBA
Ranking: # 70 by US News & World Report, # 67 by Financial Times.
Description: The GWU Healthcare MBA is a new program created for professionals interested or involved in the healthcare industry. The core curriculum of the program consists of 12 courses and two interdisciplinary projects for a total of 48 credits and can be completed in 24 months.
Networking Opportunities: Groups consist of 15-20 professionals with experience in the healthcare field.
Gained Skills: World Economy, Public Policy and Strategic Management, Finance, Accounting, Healthcare Policy Analysis, Human Resource Dynamics, Statistics, Marketing, Operations Management, Personal Financial Advising.
Tuition Investment: $ 47,472 USD
* Rankings are based on regular MBA rankings.