RANKED: The World's 25 Best Online MBA Programs

Digital degrees have gained appeal among students and recruiters alike

The online MBA degree has soared in popularity as advances in technology have gained it appeal among students and recruiters alike.

Edtech, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, is increasing the connectivity and interactivity of online learning.

Many young managers are questioning the time, tuition and opportunity cost of attending a top MBA program, which can run into well over a hundred thousand dollars. Companies, meanwhile, enjoy the flexibility the online format affords their employees, who no longer have to drop out of work for up to two years to attend an elite business school.

As a result, the number of accredited b-schools offering fully online MBAs has grown significantly in recent years. AACSB reported a 37% increase in the number of its member schools offering online MBAs from 68 schools offering them in 2008 to 93 schools in 2012. 

So how do you decide which online MBA to get?

The Princeton Review has released its second annual ranking of the 25 b-schools offering the best online MBA programs, in partnership with Entrepreneur magazine.

They surveyed more than 90 business schools and more than 3,800 students enrolled in online MBA programs.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School secured the no 1 spot for the second year on the trot. Indiana University-Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business finished second, also for the second consecutive year. Temple University in Philadelphia, PA came in third.

The criteria focused on five core areas: academics, selectivity, faculty, technical platforms, and career outcomes.

“Each of our top 25 schools offers a first-rate online MBA program,” said Robert Franek, senior VP-publisher, The Princeton Review.

“For working professionals unable to move to a ‘brick and mortar’ campus for an MBA, these schools offer an opportunity to learn from some of the world's best b-school professors and earn the degree from anywhere in the world.”

Among students surveyed at the top 25 online MBA programs, 39% received a promotion while earning their online MBA. Additionally, they received a 23% average salary increase to about $105,000 in total average pay.

Here are the world's 25 top online mba programs:

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