2019 Top Online MBA Concentrations

Compare AACSB online MBA programs to all

2019 Top Online MBA Concentrations

Online Master of Business Administration programs exist in a highly competitive environment today! With over 535 direct competitors (as of August 2019), one way programs differentiate from each other is to add job-relevant or specialized business discipline concentrations.

Our database is the only source for details for all online MBA concentrations.  Importantly, our methodology includes capturing changes in these programs over time.

Our findings:

Thirty four percent of online MBAs offer a concentration in Healthcare Administration (N=184, up from 151 in 2018)

  • There are 102 (up from 82 in 2018) online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) programs in the U.S. Online MHA programs not only face significant competition from other MHA programs, but they also face competition from a large group of online MBA programs as well.

Thirty one percent of online MBAs offer Marketing / Marketing Management concentrations (N=165, up from 143 in 2018)

    • Only 13 online Master of Marketing programs are available in the market today (up from 12 in 2018). Is the market more interested in earning the MBA first and adding specialized marketing skills second? Additionally, there are 16 online MBAs that offer a concentration in the more specialized subjects of Social / Digital Media Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Internet Marketing, and Media Management.

And another 31% of online MBAs offer Finance as a concentration (N=165, up from 140 in 2018)

    • There are 43 online Master of Finance programs in the market today (up from 39 in 2018). These programs also face significant competition from online MBA programs that offer a Finance concentration.

Other Top Online MBA Concentrations

And, additional top concentrations, Accounting, Human Resources / HR Management, and Management, occur in slightly lower proportions (24%, 24%, and 23% of all online MBAs in 2019, respectively).

  • The Accounting concentration is usually designed to offer the courses necessary for undergraduate Accounting majors to complete their CPA exams. Most websites clearly articulate this benefit to prospective students.
  • Human Resources concentration counts capture only the general HR concentration advertised on program websites. Additional HR-related concentrations we see in our data include Organizational Behavior and Leadership.
  • The Management concentration is offered frequently. Some online MBA programs differentiate their management concentrations by industry. For example, they offer Sport Management, Hospitality Management, or Information Technology Management concentrations to expand their audiences.
  • It’s very interesting to note that 24% of online MBA programs currently do not offer ANY concentrations to prospective students (down from 27% in 2018).

Emerging Concentrations

Because the job market is changing, savvy programs add new job-relevant concentrations. The fastest growing concentrations from 2018 to 2019 are:

  • Business Analytics, offered by 13% of programs (up from 6% in 2018)
  • Cybersecurity, offered by 4% of programs (up from 2% in 2018)
  • Entrepreneurship, offered by 12% of programs (up from 6% in 2018)

But programs are relatively slow to change — we see only a few concentrations declining in number during the year:

  • Public Administration, 4% of programs in 2019 (down from 8% in 2018)
  • Economics and Energy concentrations, 1% of programs in 2019 (down from 2% in 2018)

Top Concentrations at AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs

Compare AACSB online MBA programs to all
Here is the comparison of concentrations offered by AACSB-accredited online MBAs to all online MBA programs

Do AACSB-accredited programs have a different approach? Marketing (35%), Finance (34%), and Healthcare Administration (23%) are the most common concentrations offered by online MBAs at AACSB-Accredited schools. Twenty-eight percent of AACSB-accredited online MBAs do not offer any concentrations with their online MBA programs (versus 24% of all online MBAs).

What does this say about the market? Online MBA programs, especially those without a prestigious brand asset like AACSB-accreditation, use  concentrations more aggressively to differentiate their programs. Leveraging every relevant program characteristic in an online MBA program is necessary given the highly competitive market for online MBAs.

What’s in a Name?

Finally, for online MBA programs, the name of the concentration game is ensuring that concentrations will add incremental enrollments to the program. This requires a careful balancing act between finding emerging markets of specialized skills and naming the concentration in a way that ensures it can be found searching online.

And, as we see here with the top online MBA concentrations, especially Healthcare Administration and Finance, these concentrations open up the competitive space and audience for a program. This allows the online MBA to directly compete for students with other high-demand master’s degrees (the MHA and Master of Finance) for prospective students.

To get even more information about online MBA competitors, and information about other highly sought-after online degree programs, visit our website today! Our unique, comprehensive database contains online degree program details for more than 5,000 online programs. If you make data-driven decisions regarding investments in online degree programs, there is no better source available in the market.

Universities, work with the Online Degree Database directly to access unique and relevant intelligence about the online degree market. Contact Michelle at michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com for more information.

Check out all of our available programs.

Why Hide Online Degree Tuition?

Online Degree Characteristic

Where Is The Online Degree Tuition?

I’ve spent a good deal of time researching online degree tuition and other key characteristics of online programs for competitive analyses. Our database of online degree program information (www.onlinedegreedatabase.com) currently holds details for nearly 5,000 online programs from more than 950 U.S. institutions. This makes it, by far, the most comprehensive information available about online degree programs in the U.S. market today.

We update the records in our database at least twice per year. Our updating process includes verifying:

  • the program website link (which we provide to students who download our free reports)
  • degree name
  • available concentrations
  • total credits
  • cost per credit (including in-state where appropriate)
  • prerequisite requirements
  • admissions requirements
  • plus several other key characteristics

The new 2019-2020 tuition is now posted on university websites for most programs. We are in the process of updating the online degree tuition and program characteristics for all of our records.  Our search for online program details replicates how a student would shop for an online program. This means that I’m in a unique position to offer some insights about online program website strengths and weaknesses.

In my experience, the greatest weakness is that online degree tuition, or the tuition / cost per credit of these programs, is often the most difficult item to find. And yet, it is one of the most important considerations for students who are shopping for an online program.

Biggest Website Weakness

There are often no references or links to tuition / cost information on the program websites. Only a few programs have clear, easy to find information about their tuition on their websites.

Many websites link to outdated tuition or to pages that no longer exist (the dreaded “404” error). In some cases, the tuition and fee information provided on the university website is so complicated that it is nearly impossible for an outsider (and prospective student) to interpret. For example: In-state vs. out-of-state costs. Multiple add-on fees with acronyms that make no sense to someone outside of the university. Different tuition for each school or division. Undergraduate vs. graduate tuition. Tuition rates for multiple campuses. Total tuition numbers without clarifying the number of credits each represents. Any or all of this information may or may not apply to an online program vs a campus-based program.

And, even in early July 2019, many programs still have the tuition tables for the previous academic year on their websites (too many with 2017-2018 also!). And many provide tuition data without referencing the academic year to which it applies.

Other Website Weaknesses

To make matters even worse, many websites demure their discussion of cost to information about how to ‘fund’ education costs. Here they introduce their process for helping students get loans and scholarships.

As a consumer, I always get a little worried when someone offers me financing options before I even know the total cost. And online students say they are experiencing buyer’s remorse. This is largely because they did not complete enough research on tuition and fees before enrolling in their online program.

Most university online program websites also lack:

  • complete application deadline information for programs, so there is no way to know how many opportunities a student has during the year to enter the program
  • a thorough discussion of the curriculum, including course descriptions and course sequence
  • prerequisite requirements

It’s time for online program websites to step up to this challenge. Students will move on to other online program websites if they can’t get the information they need on yours.

Website Strengths

There are improvements in the overall level of relevant details provided by most online program websites. More programs are providing meaningful details and improving the usability of their sites:

  • details for all online programs offered are located in the same area of the website
  • online program pages include a “summary” area near the top that includes cost per credit (which includes tuition and fees), total credits, available concentrations, and the time required to complete the program
  • prerequisite and admissions requirements are clearly identified
  • application fees and the application process are also clear for applicants

There are definitely more online program websites with improved content this year vs. the previous three years. But there are also many more online programs in the market, as competition continues to intensify.

The Online Degree Database Difference

Gathering detailed online degree program information takes hours, if not weeks, of time scanning university websites. This is why the Online Degree Database exists.

And, we collect details from university websites for the universe of most popular online master’s degrees like the MBA, MPA, MPH, MHA, MSW, MSN and more. And we’ve significantly increased the number of online information systems master’s degrees and bachelor’s degree programs since last year.

Even more important, our interactive tool allows prospective students to work with the database details to find the best online programs using criteria that are important to them. Plus, we give prospective students helpful information on thinking through what program characteristics are most important. And we offer tips for how to talk with online program advisers for the most popular master’s degrees.

Visit our website today to see what we have to offer. Let us web-surf university program websites for you! With our data, you can complete the due-diligence research a purchase this important deserves!

If you work at a university, let the Online Degree Database help you find your most competitive price and program characteristics. Contact michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com for more information on our market intelligence reports today!

 

2018 Fastest Growing MBA Programs

Click here now to research online Master of Business Administration degrees!

2018 Fastest Growing MBA Programs

In life, there are winners and losers. When it comes to popular master’s degrees, the same is true. For twenty years, the MBA has been the degree of choice for ladder-climbing and glass-ceiling breaking professionals. More MBA’s are granted every year than any other master’s degree, by a large margin.  Have all MBA programs experienced strong growth in the number of graduates over time? Which are the fastest growing MBA programs, and why are they growing?

The chart above shows MBA graduate numbers using the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics. These top performing universities have experienced significant growth over the past five years (2012 to 2016), growing 15% or more, on average each year.

Four MBA Programs Stand Out From The Rest

Among MBA programs that granted more than 600 degrees in 2016, there are four that stand out in terms of growth in the number of graduates: American Public University, Liberty University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Western Governors University.  These programs were also the top growth performers in 2015. The MBA programs at these universities experienced the fastest average annual growth from 2012 to 2016 among all universities reporting MBA graduates these years.

The top growth performer in 2016 is Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA, which  grew 59% on average each year from 2012 to 2016. Last year, Western Governor’s program was the top performer, with a 69% average annual growth rate from 2011 to 2015.

The table below shows the growth rate for MBA programs that granted more than 600 degrees in 2016, and had an average annual growth rate higher than 4% from 2012 to 2016:

Growing Online MBA Programs
In a mature market, there are some winners and some losers among Online MBA Programs

In the table, there are an additional five MBA programs that also show positive MBA graduation growth over the past five years. These growing MBA programs are at UNC Chapel Hill, UT Austin, Grand Canyon, Cornell, and Saint Leo. The five year trends for these programs also indicate consistent growth.

Why is this important? When a degree program enjoys sustained growth, particularly in a category that is highly crowded with competitors, it’s safe to assume that they are doing something right.  Prospective students are taking notice.

These MBA Programs Know What Matters Most

Southern New Hampshire University’s and Western Governors University’s MBA programs experienced the fastest average growth per year from 2012 to 2016 (59% and 49%, respectively).  Here are the details of their programs:

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, not-for-profit, institution with:

  • 100% online program; no GMAT requirement
  • total tuition is $22,572 (no increase in 2017)
  • students may choose from over twenty concentrations
  • professionally accredited by ACBSP
  • students that do not have an undergraduate degree in business will need to complete five foundation courses prior to beginning the program (which adds an additional 15 credits to the 36 credit program)
  • complete details are found at: http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/masters/mba-online

Western Governors University is a private, not-for-profit, institution located in Utah.  Their MBA program is:

  • 100% online; no GMAT requirement
  • general track takes 34 credits to complete (may complete courses at your own pace – pay set fee per semester)
  • offer concentrations in Leadership, Health Care Administration, and Information Technology Management
  • concentrations add an additional 2 credits to the overall program requirements.
  • students who complete their degree in two years can expect to pay approximately $15,000 for their degree
  • uses a competency-based learning approach that allows students to use their existing skills and knowledge to accelerate their degree program
  • see their website for complete details: http://www.wgu.edu/business/master_business_administration_degree#

Additional fast-growing MBA programs (>14% average annual growth)

Liberty University is a private, not-for-profit, institution located in in Virginia. The program is:

  • 100% online; no GMAT
  • total tuition is $27,675
  • concentrations in Accounting, Criminal Justice Administration, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Human Resource Management, International Business, Leadership, Management, Marketing, Project Management, Public Administration, Public Relations, Supply Chain Management, and more
  • professionally accredited by ACBSP

American Public University is also a private, for-profit, institution.  It is located in West Virginia. Their MBA program is:

  • 100% online; no GMAT
  • concentrations in: Accounting, Finance, Business Analytics, Marketing, Health Care Administration, Public Administration, Information Technology Management, Sports Management, International Business
  • and they offer two very unique concentrations in Government Contracting and Acquisition, and Homeland Security Resource Allocation
  • total tuition is $13,650 (no increase in 2017)
  • professionally accredited by ACBSP
  • students that do not have an undergraduate degree in business must complete three prerequisite courses prior to beginning the program

Why Are The Fastest Growing MBA Programs Growing So Quickly?

Common characteristics across the four fastest growing MBA programs include:

  • 100% online
  • job-relevant concentrations
  • no standardized test requirement (no GMAT) for admission
  • low tuition (under $30K)

Do Your Homework

If you are looking at online MBAs or other professional master’s degrees online, get the details on programs (like what you see above) through OnlineDegreeDatabase.com.  We collect information directly from university program websites. We save you potentially hundreds of hours of effort and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision possible quickly and easily.

Use our Decision Guide to determine what’s most important to you about an online master’s program. If you are looking for programs that have any of these characteristics:

  • low cost degree online programs
  • online programs in your local area
  • only professionally accredited online programs
  • 100% online programs
  • no GMAT / GRE score required online program, or
  • accelerated online programs that allow you to finish your degree quickly…

then, the easy-to-use tools at onlinedegreedatabase.com help you find the online programs that meet your needs.  Use them to create your own, personalized, short-list to begin your final shopping. Then use our 10 Question Guide to speak to enrollment advisors at programs on your short list to get the answers you need to make your final, best, choice.

Save hours, even weeks, of time during your search. And be sure that you’ve looked at the universe of available programs to get to the best ones for you.

Universities, work with the Online Degree Database directly to access unique and relevant intelligence about the online degree market. Contact us at michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com for more information.

Get your Free Report today!