Top Executive MBA Programs Online

Updated March 30, 2022 | Tessa Cooper, BCR Staff Writers

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Executive MBA Programs Online

Business professionals can advance their education through executive MBA programs. These programs require multiple years of work experience. Their curricula supplement knowledge gained from professional experience.

Learners completing MBA programs online benefit from flexible scheduling. Distance learners can study part time and maintain full-time employment.

This guide highlights the benefits of attending executive MBA programs. The following sections explore typical tuition costs and common courses.

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Frequently Asked Questions About an Executive MBA

What is an executive MBA?

This graduate degree prepares students to make big-picture business decisions. Curricula explore various business disciplines from a leadership perspective.

What is the difference between an MBA and an executive MBA?

MBA programs require fewer years of business experience than executive MBA programs. Most MBA-seekers study full time. Learners often pursue an executive MBA on a part-time basis.

What are the qualifications for an executive MBA?

Applicants typically need at least five years of managerial experience. They must also hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get an Executive MBA Degree?

Now is an ideal time to earn an executive MBA degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for top executives to increase 8% from 2020-2030.

Online executive MBA programs allow learners to continue working. Professionals who plan to work while earning their degree can research asynchronous executive MBA programs. Students in asynchronous classes watch recorded lectures at their convenience.

Learners in online executive MBA programs often pay lower tuition rates than on-campus students. Online degree-seekers may also save money on expenses.

How Much Does an Executive MBA Cost?

The cost of attending MBA programs online depends on the school type, program length, and resident status.

According to the Education Data Initiative, a master's degree costs an average of $66,340. However, school type significantly impacts overall cost. The average cost of a master's degree is $54,500 at public schools and $81,100 at private institutions.

Some employers pay for employees' executive MBA programs since participants gain knowledge that benefits their company. Learners may need to agree to work for the company for a set number of years after graduation.

Additional Online Student Fees

Tuition is not the entire cost of earning a degree. Learners pursuing an online executive MBA should also budget for fees. Most schools charge technology and administration fees. Students may also pay fees for official transcript copies and graduation ceremonies. Some online schools waive campus fees for virtual learners.

Degree-seekers also pay for textbooks. This expense varies by semester. Learners can save money on textbooks by purchasing used books, renting textbooks, or choosing digital versions.

How Much Do Executive MBA Graduates Make?

Graduates of executive MBA programs often become managers and top executives. According to BLS data, managers earn a median salary of $109,760 per year. Top executives earn a median annual salary of $107,680.

Factors including geographic location impact earning potential. For example, chief executives in New York earn an average salary of $218,720 per year. The same workers in Tennessee earn an average of $167,020 per year.

Experience level also influences salary. According to Feb. 2022 Payscale data, business managers with less than one year of experience earn an average annual salary of $51,220. Business managers with more than 20 years of experience earn an average of $69,110 per year.

List of Careers and Salaries After Earning an MBA Executive Degree

Top Executive: A top executive leads an organization or a department within a company. They are typically responsible for a company or department's overall growth and success. These professionals also overlook financials and manage other team leads.

  • 2022 Median Pay: $107,680
  • Job Outlook 2020-30: 8%

Financial Manager: Financial managers assess and monitor financial needs and company trends. They also prepare financial statements. Financial managers supervise and lead team initiatives and review legal agreements.

  • 2022 Median Pay: $134,180
  • Job Outlook 2020-30: 17%

Human Resources Manager: These managers review and oversee employee benefits. They link a company's management with its employees. Human resource managers also resolve conflicts, sexual harassment claims, and other workplace problems.

  • 2022 Median Pay: $121,220
  • Job Outlook 2020-30: 9%

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager: Responsibilities for these managers often include researching market trends and creating marketing campaigns. Managers typically oversee a team of marketing specialists and may solidify advertising contracts.

  • 2022 Median Pay: $141,490
  • Job Outlook 2020-30: 10%

Courses in an Executive MBA Program

Online executive MBA programs cover various business branches. Degree-seekers build leadership skills.

Executive MBA students complete projects, often for their current employer. For example, a marketing class may require MBA students to create a strategic marketing plan for their company.

The number of required credits varies by program. Executive MBA programs with extra admission requirements may require as few as 20 credits.

Many online executive MBA programs feature the following courses. However, course availability varies by program.

  • Management Communication

    This class explores communication methods and leadership styles. Participants study communication theory to understand how backgrounds affect communication methods. Students discover the importance of communicating desired outcomes to employees. Learners also practice public speaking and business writing.
  • Economics

    This course covers principles of micro- and macroeconomics. Learners study the current economic climate and explore economic forecasting aspects. Coursework examines the stock market's impact on the economy. Students learn about local economies, the national economy, and the global economy.
  • Marketing Management and Strategy

    Students learn how to promote products and services to target audiences. They examine marketing tools, including social media and advertisements. Participants learn how to create strategic plans and delegate tasks. Coursework emphasizes collaboration with copywriters, photographers, and graphic designers.

Featured Online MBA Marketing Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

How to Become a Top Executive

Business professionals often aspire to top executive roles. After working for the same company for several years, people often pursue promotions to these positions.

Top executives need at least a bachelor's degree. However, many have a graduate degree. Completing an online executive MBA program can help people become more competitive for these positions.

Most applicants to executive MBA programs hold a business-related undergrad degree and internship experience. Candidates often have 5-10 years of professional business experience.

Many executive MBA degree-seekers work full time while studying. Graduates can apply for advanced positions with their current company or another employer.

Top Executive MBA Programs Online

#1 – Ball State University

Executive MBA Degree Program Online

Program Website Points: 30 Program Tuition: $603.00 per credit-hour Graduate applicants considering online executive MBA programs can earn their degree through the Miller College of Business at Ball State University. Course delivery provides maximum flexibility through 100% online learning or a customizable blended format. Students with an undergraduate business degree must complete 30-33 credits, while other students may need to complete a maximum of 51 credits, which includes concentration courses. Concentrations offered include a general MBA, entrepreneurship, finance, logistics and supply chain management, sales management, or health economics, policy, and administration. While students may take some courses asynchronously, most courses follow a synchronous format through a webcast.
#2 – Florida State University

Online Executive Master of Business Administration

Program Website Points: 29 Program Tuition: $750.00 per credit-hour At Florida State University, graduate students can receive a quality online executive MBA that compliments their schedule. Students may enroll full-time or part-time with no in-person requirements. Full-time students who wish to graduate quickly may also choose the accelerated program. All general MBA formats require 39 credit hours. Florida State University also offers multiple specializations solely for online students, which include management information systems, risk management, and financial planning. Other available specializations include business analytics and real estate. Students interested in law or social work may earn a joint degree, which require additional coursework and school fees.
#3 – Kansas State University

Executive MBA Degree Program Online

Program Website Points: 29 Program Tuition: $830.00 per credit-hour The College of Business Administration at Kansas State University strives to meet the needs of the working student by providing flexible course structure for their online executive MBA program. Kansas State University values a wholesome education. In addition to academic advisors, students have access to a career development program where students receive guidance from career coaches, executive mentors, and exposure to corporate partners for network building. The program requires 30-35 credit hours depending on undergraduate coursework. Students without a bachelor’s in a business related field must have completed economic, statistics, and business calculus undergraduate coursework at minimum.
#4 – University of Hawaii at Manoa Program Website Points: 28 Program Tuition: $47,040.00 total estimated program cost The Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa offers an online executive MBA program for students interested in earning an advanced degree. The University of Hawaii encourages engaged, hands-on learning. Therefore, their online MBA utilizes a cohort structure to foster a collaborative environment. Students also use videoconferencing technology to participate in live classes where students can ask their professors questions and work with classmates. With 48 credit hours, students can earn their degree in as little as 22 months. Additionally, students interested in healthcare can enroll into the healthcare management track. This track requires a culminating experience.
#5 – Auburn University

Online Executive Master of Business Administration

Program Website Points: 28 Program Tuition: $875.00 per credit-hour Auburn University offers an online executive MBA that does not require any prerequisites. Instead, Auburn provides foundational information for all students through self-paced coursework at the beginning of the program. Auburn also strives to accommodate students with varying personal and professional responsibilities. Therefore, beginning fall semester of 2019, students can begin their program on a rolling basis. Auburn’s online MBA consists of 13 courses, which students can complete in two and half years. While students may opt to complete the general track, Auburn offers three dual MBA degrees, which include a M.S. in information systems, industrial and systems engineering, and finance.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

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