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.
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).
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
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.
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