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How to Get an MBA Degree

A Master of Business Administration degree is a milestone many graduate students achieve. After completing a four-year degree, some students choose the MBA path to broaden their horizons and increase their earning potential. MBA jobs are perfect for people who thrive when facing large responsibilities and challenges.

Compare MBA Programs And Schools

The first step is to compare the many options available. Risk management, accounting, technology, HR, information resources and global marketing are just a few examples of concentrations for MBA programs. Not all schools offer the same concentrations, and some schools have accelerated programs that allow students to finish in as little as 18 months. Some programs are online, some are in a classroom and some are a hybrid of both. The length of the program and whether to choose online or classroom courses are important considerations.

Choose A Focus And Apply

After choosing a desired focus, apply to several programs. Most programs require a minimum GPA and separate application from the initial enrollment application for the educational institution. Some may require references, background checks and other information. When selecting a school, students using federal loans should keep finances in mind. As a rule, most MBA programs cost about four times as much as the annual salary for an average MBA graduate.

Jobs For MBA Graduates

MBA graduates are in demand in many fields. They are often hired for administrative roles in large and small companies, and they may move up quickly to executive positions. Many people who stay in their field of work or with a company have the opportunity to become vice presidents, CEOs or other top company representatives.

Average Salary And Projected Job Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives average about $100,000 per year with just a four-year degree, so MBA graduates can expect to earn this much or more with some experience. Starting pay for MBA graduates ranges between $75,000 and $80,000. Depending on the company and the applied concentration MBA students choose, their salaries may be as much as $200,000 or more after years of experience. In the future, the BLS expects the need for MBAs and top executives to remain about average with all other fields of work. Projected job growth over the next several years is expected to stay above 10 percent and less than 15 percent.

Top Online MBA Programs

Rank School FT to PT
Faculty Ratio
Institution
Fin. Aid Rate
Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Accred.
Years
Default
Rate
Job Place. Rate
1 University of Florida

355 Tigert Hall,
Gainesville, Florida 32611-3115

(352) 392-3261

13.07 to 1 38% 44% 96% 85% 101 2% N/A
 
2 Misericordia University

301 Lake St,
Dallas, Pennsylvania 18612-1098

(570) 674-6400

0.52 to 1 100% 59% 86% 68% 79 0% 70%
 
3 Ball State University

2000 University Ave,
Muncie, Indiana 47306

(765) 289-1241

4.97 to 1 47% 61% 77% 57% 89 0% 60%
 
4 Dallas Baptist University

3000 Mountain Creek Parkway,
Dallas, Texas 75211-9299

(214) 333-7100

0.29 to 1 89% 41% 71% 54% 55 4% N/A
 
5 University of La Verne

1950 Third St,
La Verne, California 91750-4401

(909) 593-3511

0.51 to 1 95% 59% 86% 58% 57 5% N/A
 
6 Cornerstone University

1001 E Beltline Ave NE,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525-5897

(616) 949-5300

0.87 to 1 93% 71% 74% 45% 37 2% 61%
 
7 John Brown University

2000 W University St,
Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761

(479) 524-9500

1.17 to 1 96% 65% 84% 68% 52 2% 98%
 
8 DeSales University

2755 Station Avenue,
Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034-9568

(610) 282-1100

0.52 to 1 99% 72% 83% 68% 44 2% 60%
 
9 Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Lincoln Drive,
Carbondale, Illinois 62901-4512

(618) 453-2121

6.84 to 1 40% 51% 61% 48% 101 0% 75%
 
10 Murray State University

218 Wells Hall,
Murray, Kentucky 42071-3318

(270) 809-3011

2.25 to 1 66% 83% 70% 54% 86 6% N/A