You take your education seriously, so you want to make sure that you enroll in the best online MBA program possible. A degree from one of the top ranked MBA programs, after all, can be your ticket to career success. Those who hold a degree from an accredited master of Business Administration (MBA) program are likely to earn more over the course of their career than those who do not have the degree. Furthermore, a degree from one of the top ranked online MBA programs also gives you a better chance of not only earning a good salary but also greater odds that you will secure the job you want more than all others.
MBA Program Rankings
When you are considering a master’s degree in business administration, you should keep several things in mind about MBA programs. Rankings for these programs, in the first place, do not follow a universal standard. Different news outlets, professional associations, and so on all apply slightly different criteria for their online MBA program rankings. It is entirely possible, therefore, to find top ten lists for MBA programs that differ completely as to the schools that are included and their placement on the list.
Although the top lists differ for online MBA programs, rankings also follow some standards. To be considered one of the top ranked MBA programs at all, a good MBA program must be properly accredited. A program cannot make it into any list of top ranked online MBA programs unless the institution as a whole is accredited by a recognized accrediting body. Additionally, the best degrees will also come from business-specific accredited online MBA programs. Rankings take into account whether an MBA program has been certified by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB is the standard internationally recognized accrediting body for business schools, departments, and colleges, and the best online MBA program on any list of MBA program rankings will almost always be an AACSB-accredited school.
When you are looking at MBA programs, rankings are not your only consideration. You should always go beyond an MBA program ranking list and conduct your own research into possible programs. Here are some things you should consider that go beyond a simple list of the best online MBA program rankings:
• Cost and Placement — Many of the top ranked online MBA programs that are found across many lists of top ranked MBA programs have high attendance costs. However, these costs are not necessarily worth it if the MBA program does not markedly increase your odds of getting a job after graduation. The best online MBA program for you is not always the costliest program. After all, there are many highly rated online MBA degree programs that may not appear on a top 10 list even though their graduates do just as well in the job market as costlier, more highly ranked programs. Your consideration of cost should also consider the likelihood of getting federal assistance for college, as that will make your degree more affordable.
• Faculty Access and Involvement — The typical MBA program ranking criteria typically take the quality of the faculty into account. Programs with faculty who are recognized leaders in the field tend to be ranked more highly than those with faculty who are not as well known. Yet when you are considering different online MBA programs, you should consider more than just the scholarly reputation of the faculty. Sometimes, MBA program rankings do not give students an accurate idea of how easy it will be to contact and receive mentoring from faculty members. This is something you should look into carefully, as a highly ranked program may not do you much good if it is hard to get one-on-one attention from a faculty member.
• Specialization Possibilities — When it comes to online MBA programs, rankings often take into account the number of concentrations or specializations that are available to graduate students. Yet the sheer number of specialization or concentration possibilities is not necessarily sufficient to tell you whether or not you should attend a particular school. A great MBA program ranking will not do you much good if you cannot specialize in your area of interest. So make sure that the schools you are considering contain the specific field of interest that you want to pursue even if their online MBA program rankings are consistently high. This is true whether your area of interest is marketing, healthcare, or another field.
As far as the quality of MBA programs, rankings do not necessarily tell the whole story. If you keep the aforementioned suggestions in mind, however, you will get a more complete view of the MBA programs in which you are interested. This will make it easier to choose the best program for you and thereby enjoy all its benefits.