One thing we know about higher education is that college can be very expensive. However, a dollar amount isn’t always indicative of a good education. Case in point: some of the cheapest online MBA programs are also some of the best available.
Although cheaper, these online MBA programs don’t sacrifice quality. Sure, there are still some issues with online learning as it gains more traction, but you can expect online learning to become a significant force in higher education.
We will explore some of the most affordable MBA programs, including some of the cheapest online MBAs with no GMAT required, in more detail below. But first, let’s take a look at some MBA basics.
What Is an MBA?
A master of business administration (MBA) is a degree that exhibits you have a keen business sense and dedication to a wide array of business practices. Having an MBA can help you go far in your career, whether the degree is in business sustainability or supply chain management.
What Is the GMAT?
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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test designed to determine different skills. Think of your academic tests in the past, like ACTs and the SATs. The GMAT contains various writing, vocabulary, reading, and other quantitative skills to see if you qualify for an MBA program.
Do You Need to Take the GMAT?
It depends. Like the SAT and other standardized tests, the GMAT exhibits certain skills to schools reviewing your admission application. It’s standard practice to take the GMAT and submit your score with your application, but more schools are easing their requirements.
You’ll often see test-optional schools for undergraduate degrees — it’s starting to become a trend among schools of all types. These options allow those with lower test scores to increase their chances of being accepted to excellent schools. Remember: your test scores don’t define your intelligence or dedication to coursework.
The Most Affordable Accredited Online MBA Programs
Below are some of the most notable, cheapest online MBA programs with AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation.
Students enrolled in Oklahoma State University’s MBA programs are diverse as they accept people from all backgrounds. You can major in data science, economics, marketing analytics, and accounting, depending on the campus you choose.
Oklahoma State University’s policies on GMAT scores are strict, so while affordable, you will need GMAT scores for your application to reach admissions.
Overall, Oklahoma State University’s full program expenses are $15,559.50 and $19,818.15, according to your residence within Oklahoma. This cost is considerably less than a place like MIT Sloan, where an MBA program can cost upwards of $74,000.
Along with a cheaper price tag, there is, naturally, financial aid and scholarships available at Oklahoma State University.
University of North Carolina
You can easily earn one of the country’s most impressive MBA degrees at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler. UNC Kenan-Flagler has tailored its curriculum and faculty to reflect various diverse values, students, and programs.
Full-time MBA programs require about 21 months of full-time studies, but part-time students can complete the same amount of work within 36 months.
The University of North Carolina offers GMAT/GRE waivers, especially for the 2021 academic year. This option provides the perfect opportunity to apply for different MBA programs in finance, accounting, and data analytics.
Students need to take core courses like Financial Accounting, Ethics, Corporate, and Individual Responsibility. There are a staggering 125 electives to choose from after taking core courses.
Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, offers an MBA program that costs under $5,000.
There are a few ways to get into Cameron University. Its application process is relatively flexible, allowing applicants to join with a solid 3.0 GPA, along with other requirements. The standard requirement is possessing a decent GMAT score. However, if you didn’t take the test, or scored below expectations, have no fear.
The 33-credit program for full-time students contains all the pertinent classes for the budding business professional and includes some great core classes. Cameron University offers courses in statistics, healthcare management to data analytics, and data science.
Overall, this is easily the cheapest online MBA with no GMAT required.
Why Getting an MBA Is a Good Idea
Enrolling in an MBA program is a significant commitment, but the work is well worth it in the long term. Let’s see exactly why.
MBA Programs Offer Students Ways to Improve
MBAs offer promising opportunities to graduates in the business world, but there are a few ways that online MBAs can help students improve their chances of landing a job.
Networking and Alumni
You may have heard how essential networking is in the business world.
The value of networking is one of the most significant factors in finding great jobs and meeting your goals. Networking is all about building lasting relationships with those in your industry. How does something like business school help you do that?
Even the most inexpensive online MBA program allows you to connect with your classmates and professors. Being with students from all over the world increases your chances of finding employment further on.
This is especially true of solid MBAs in international business. Having contacts and relationships in different countries allows you to effectively build a robust and familiar network. This can give you a fantastic advantage while interviewing for a job.
Some online MBA programs let you save money while garnering future contacts in the business world, regardless of part-time or full-time class schedules.
Job Opportunities and Earning Potential
Having your MBA increases your earning potential. But before we delve into that, there is a crucial element you have to consider: alumni connections.
Patricia Keener, head of London Business School’s career center, states that “Alumni remember what it is like to be an MBA student, and are very happy to help.”
This simple dynamic of helping out fellow alumni can lead to terrific job opportunities.
Connecting with alumni isn’t difficult: many universities and institutions have dedicated alumni networks. Scoring a valuable internship or further networking opportunity is easy as meeting for coffee with a helpful alumnus.
Better Salaries with an MBA Degree
The most apparent benefit from possessing an MBA degree, online or otherwise, is the potential salary you could earn. Taking an example from some of the cheapest online MBA programs, let’s look at some notable positions and salaries you can score with an MBA.
Median Salary: $100,980 per year
Medical and health services managers direct, plan and implement changes and initiatives in a healthcare setting. Healthcare management can be a huge responsibility and doesn’t come without its share of stress. However, it is easily one of the most lucrative positions you can land with an online MBA if you can manage it.
Along with the fantastic salary, which can reach upwards of $189,000, the job outlook is stellar. Over the next decade, the healthcare management field will increase by 32%. This is an insanely large increase, much more significant than nearly every other occupation.
Median Salary: $93,509
Healthcare is an extremely profitable field. Every year, the pharmaceutical industry can net hundreds of billions of dollars.
Pharmaceuticals project manager focuses on developing and rolling out various healthcare products and initiatives. These professionals oversee the entire process, from inception to execution. They work alongside doctors, researchers, developers, and other health professionals to develop and deliver quality healthcare services.
This job is even more crucial now with the widespread rollout of various COVID-19 vaccines. This means that jobs like this will be in high demand for a while.
Median Salary: $83,857
Supply chain managers are individuals who oversee the entire process of planning, developing, transporting, and selling certain materials and products. This role is crucial for the day-to-day operations of everyday life.
Supply chain management has managers overseeing the nuanced and intricate process of transporting raw materials over large distances. This is a role that utilizes cross-functional teams and ever-changing technology to accomplish lofty goals.
How Online Courses Give You an Edge
It’s no secret that online classes have some considerable advantages over offline courses. Many students still prefer the benefits of effective face-to-face learning, but online learning is quickly catching up. Below are some of the benefits of earning your MBA online.
Asynchronous Courses vs Synchronous Courses
While there is no guarantee for all online MBA programs, many offer asynchronous coursework. What does this mean?
Asynchronous coursework is when courses, lectures, and other aspects of a class are on your own schedule. For example, a pre-taped lecture falls into asynchronous learning. It allows everyone, regardless of hectic schedules and outside world responsibilities, to learn and succeed in online MBA programs.
Again, each course is subject to a professor’s preference, but the overall majority of classes offer asynchronous materials and lectures.
Synchronous courses, meanwhile, take place in real-time. A professor can set a specific time to have a class meeting for discussions or lectures.
A benefit to synchronous learning is the ability to directly speak with professors and fellow classmates. This can build a sense of community and give students unused to online learning an easier way to acclimate to courses schedules.
It’s entirely dependent on your learning style and personal schedule that determines what works best for you. Do you value a helpful live discussion regarding your schoolwork, or do you prefer to go at your own pace?
Final Thoughts on Affordable Online MBA Programs
Finding an affordable online MBA program could be one of the smartest moves you make in your academic career. The benefits of merely entering into an MBA program, regardless of price, can increase your chances of landing a job with an excellent salary.
Affordable online MBA programs sans GMAT scores are becoming more common and offer a unique and useful opportunity for anyone eager to advance their careers and meet their goals.
See which online MBA program core courses work best with your academic and professional goals, how a good network can assist you, and what job position you are looking for.
Overall, applying to the cheapest online MBA offers students the chance to land lucrative jobs without the financial strain of a more traditional MBA offering. Whether you are an aspiring executive or someone who wants to get an MBA in sustainability, there’s something for everyone.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.