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Earning an Online MBA: Is It Worth It?

Online enrollment is on the rise at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Students in a variety of degree programs are eager to challenge themselves while maintaining full-time employment. Among management-minded individuals, online coursework can make all the difference between remaining professionally plateaued or gaining an edge via a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Abilene Christian University provides an alternate path to MBA enrollment. Although this challenging program requires a significant commitment, it’s an excellent opportunity for ambitious individuals ready to take the next step in their career.

Benefits of an Online MBA

It’s no secret that an online MBA can improve career prospects — but it can also prompt a considerable investment in time, effort, and tuition. If you’re like many prospective students, you worry about the potential cost and wonder whether all the work is worth it. Read on to learn more about the benefits of an online MBA, and how involvement in an accredited program could enhance your career.


Online coursework is just as challenging as traditional classroom-based learning. MBA students in all settings are expected to uphold a high standard of academia. With ACU’s online MBA program, much is expected of students before they even enroll. The program is limited to students with an undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as at least two years of full time, professional work experience. Additionally, students should have already mastered core concepts in basic classes such as statistics, economics, and financial accounting.

Develop Written Skills

While written communication is a critical element of any MBA program, it is particularly important for online MBA students, who converse primarily through the written word. In an increasingly digital world, written skills developed through MBA coursework can prove exceptionally valuable. Online MBA students continually develop and refine their ability to express complex ideas and improve organizational performance.

Problem Solving

According to a Financial Times poll of top recruiters, most demand that MBA graduates demonstrate the ability to solve complex problems. This skill is a priority for ACU’s online MBA program, where contemporary case studies and scenarios play a key role in courses such as International Business and Managerial Decision Making. Data-driven processes are emphasized, but MBA students also gain the tools needed to make difficult decisions while dealing with either incomplete or questionable data.

Joining a Dynamic Online Community

Feedback and insight from peers play a critical role in any graduate program. With an online MBA, however, it’s possible to build a uniquely dynamic community. Online programs attract working adults from a broad range of backgrounds — all with the shared goal of improving their business acumen.

An Emphasis on Innovation

Innovation is vital in all areas of the business world. It is also the central concept of one of ACU’s most important online MBA courses. Throughout the graduate program, students explore processes of design and development, all in the interest of improving organizational performance. ACU’s Innovation course includes a required capstone — the perfect opportunity to solidify and highlight new skills.

Career Prospects

Online MBA programs allow students to enjoy the best of both worlds: continue making a difference in the workforce while developing the skills and knowledge needed to climb the career ladder. Driven MBA students understand that newly-developed skills can lead to exciting job opportunities or significant salary increases.

Starting salary can vary considerably for MBA graduates, but it’s increasingly clear that both academic credentials and work experience play a role. According to a survey from PayScale, respondents with between one and four years of work experience earned an annual $60,541 upon graduating with their MBA. Meanwhile, those with over a decade of experience earned an impressive post-graduation salary of $98,800. With an online MBA, it’s possible to continue accumulating essential work experience to maximize that eventual MBA-related pay boost.

PayScale also explores differences in earnings among undergraduate and graduate degree holders in specific roles. For example, a finance director with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science can expect to earn $104,000, versus $137,000 for an MBA graduate. In marketing, the boost is nearly as extensive: from $56,400 to $70,100 for marketing specialists and a $30,000 salary increase for marketing directors.

Upon graduating with an MBA, a broad range of new career possibilities become available. While many graduates remain in their current industry or with their current company, others use this impressive credential to pursue new opportunities. Common positions held by online MBA graduates include:

  • Operations manager
  • Project manager
  • Management consultant
  • Marketing director
  • Sales manager
  • Chief executive officer

A 2018 Graduate Management Admission Council survey of nearly 11,000 MBA alumni reveals that graduates find themselves in a surprising variety of industries. Of those who graduated in 2016 and 2017, 23 percent found work at products and services companies, 18 percent entered the technology sector, and 13 percent work for consulting companies. Silicon Valley is an especially hot destination among MBA graduates who are eager to get in on today’s most influential tech firms.

No matter the field or desired position, it’s becoming increasingly clear that MBA credentials give ambitious professionals an edge — and that online learning can be a valuable tool in pursuit of that edge. In other words, an online MBA is absolutely worth it.

For more information on how ACU Online can help you pursue your business and career goals, contact us at 855.219.7300 or

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