2019 Top Online MBA Concentrations

Compare AACSB online MBA programs to all

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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 our available programs, and get your free report today.

Improve Online Program Visibility and Lead Quality

The Online Degree Database helps universities improve online program visibility and lead quality. It is a unique, unbiased source of information about online degree programs shared for free with students shopping for online programs. Our data comes directly from university online program websites. Today, our database has nearly 5,000 degree programs from more than 950 universities. Some of the key details for each online program contained in the database include:

  • Degree name
  • Location – Region & State
  • Total tuition
  • Cost per credit
  • Concentrations
  • Accreditation
  • Prerequisite requirements
  • Admissions requirements
  • Rankings
  • Institutional details available through IPEDS can be appended to these data

As mentioned above, these data are sourced directly from university online program websites. Details are stored in a relational database with rankings and IPEDS data. We update all records several times a year and strive to include the universe of online programs from the most popular degrees in the U.S. today.  Prospective students who are researching their online degree options visit our website to shop for the best programs possible.

Let’s Level The Playing Field

Our website presents a student-friendly interactive tool that allows students searching for online degree programs to access our data — for free. Unlike other websites that target researching students to generate leads for online degree programs, our website never asks for student’s personal contact information. Students can access our available programs here to start their research on program options. They can select criteria like total tuition, location, or accreditation based on what’s most important to them. And they can generate an unlimited number of Free Reports that identify the universities offering online programs that fit their criteria.

Our Free Reports contain the university name, degree name, and hot links to a page with more information about the university and the program URL so that the student can go immediately to get more information on the programs of interest directly.  When a university decides to sponsor their online degree programs with us, we provide more program details to researching students in their Free Reports. This allows our sponsors to even further improve online program visibility to interested students.

When a university chooses to sponsor us, they are letting students know 1) that they are confident in the quality of their online programs, and 2) they want to provide students with the best information possible as they make one of the most expensive and important decisions in their lives.

And, importantly, when a university sponsors us, they have the option to provide us with a custom link for their online program URLs.  This link takes the shopping student to a page owned by the university where they may choose to leave their contact information for more information. Consider how this process would provide significantly higher quality leads than what may be currently available to purchase in the market. It’s a win-win for prospective students and for universities!

Our comprehensive database, interactive search tool, and Free Reports create greater efficiencies in the online program search for students looking for their best online degree options and universities with competitive online degree programs. For students, we provide free access to the most comprehensive details about online degree programs available — and, for universities, we generate greater visibility for their programs based on program characteristics, not on existing brand strength or size of marketing budget. Student’s do not care about the size of a university’s marketing budget, but they do care about an online program’s tuition, admissions requirements, concentrations offered, and delivery modality. Universities may also provide additional details about their institution and online programs on the dedicated University page on our website that is linked to the prospective student’s free report.

Improve Online Program Visibility

For the first six months of 2019, we had 2,221 visitors to our website who generated a total of 1,381 Free Reports.  Users clicked on a program URL in their Free Report a total of 626 times during this time, which means that we are currently sending pretty decent traffic to university online programs!

During the first six months of 2019, there were 16 universities that received 5 or more outclicks from our free reports, sending prospective students directly their online program’s landing page.

The online MBA, Master of Analytics, Master of Data Science, and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) are the most popular reports generated so far this year. It’s no surprise that these degrees are among the most popular searches by visitors to our website. As traffic continues to build, we see interest in other programs growing as well. Students who find us and generate Free Reports are definitely taking advantage of the depth and breadth of our data to ensure that they understand and research all of the online programs that meet their criteria. No other resource provides the universe of the most popular programs for their due-diligence shopping requirements.

There are 911 institutions that appeared in the first six months of 2019’s Free Reports.  The institutions receiving the most visibility (appeared the most frequently in Free Reports) include:  Southern New Hampshire University, American Public University System, Western Governor’s University, Bellevue University, Grantham University, Maryville University of St. Louis, University of Maryland Global Campus, UMass Lowell, National University and Grand Canyon University.  Top visibility public institutions include University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Drexel University, Wayne State College, Indiana University Bloomington, and Arizona State University.

University sponsors also have access to all of the proprietary data we collect on student shopping preferences by degree type, complete with bench-marking data on the traffic generated through our website.

The Online Degree Database Difference

As described above, the Online Degree Database is bringing new and important information to the market about online degree programs. For the first time, researching students can access these details with our easy-to-use tools that allow them to select online program options based on program characteristics that are most important to them.  Universities that fit the student’s profile appear, at no cost, in the Free Reports. And, the Free Reports contain a link to the university’s program website and a page on our website that provides more details about the university. Sponsoring universities may also find high quality leads coming their way!

Consider partnering with us by sponsoring the Online Degree Database!  Contact Michelle directly at michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com to learn more about how we can help you improve your online program visibility and direct prospective students your way.

Visit the Online Degree Database today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!