10 Best Value Online MBA Programs

Online learning is experiencing a boom in popularity, but which online MBA programs provide the best value for money?

Online learning is seeing a boom in popularity. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), applications to Online MBA programs rose by 43.5% in 2020.

Getting a strong return on your investment is an important factor when investing in an MBA. So, which online MBAs provide the best value for money?*

Here are the 10 best value online MBA programs, according to the Financial Times Online MBA Ranking.


10. Indiana University, Kelley 


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©KelleyDirect / via Facebook


Half of Kelley's Direct Online MBA Program focuses on a foundational core, with the other 50% made up of electives. 64% of students receive a promotion either while studying the online program or within six months of graduation. The school ranked fifth overall in the 2021 online MBA ranking. 


9. IE Business School


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© IEBusinessSchool / via Facebook


Based in Madrid, IE Business School’s online MBA program provides graduates with a 32% increase on their pre-MBA salary. The average alumni salary three years after graduating from the Global Online MBA is $164,578. 

IE ranks at second overall in the FT 2021 Online MBA ranking, repeating its impressive position from last year.


8. University of Florida, Warrington


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This US business school offers either a 16-month online MBA for those who have left undergraduate business education in the last seven years, or a 24-month program for all other candidates. The school was one of the first to offer a fully-accredited online MBA program in 1999. The average graduate earns $133,937 three months after completing the degree, an increase of 35%.


7. Imperial College Business School


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This London institution’s Global Online MBA costs $56,735 and is the third best online course overall in the UK, according to the FT 2021 ranking. Imperial’s online MBA comes in seventh overall for value for money.  The average graduate earns $184,899 three months after completing the degree, an increase of 19%.

The course can be completed in 21, 24, or 32 months and it offers a focus on leadership, strategy, marketing, and finance.  


6. University of Nebraska, Lincoln


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© UNLincoln / via Facebook


At $650 per credit hour, with a required 48 hours, this online course comes in at $31,200 and is ranked as the number one US school for value for money; the FT ranks them at 14th overall. The current salary for MBA grads three years after completing the degree sits at approximately $99,988, an increase of 28% on grads' pre-MBA salary.


5. AGSM at UNSW Business School


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The AGSM MBAX comes in at 10th overall in the FT’s Online MBA Ranking, and fifth for value for money. Grads earn on average $134,277 three years after completing their degree—an increase of 33% on their pre-MBA salary.


4. MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management


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© mip.politecnico.milano / via Facebook


Italian business school MIP Politecnico di Milano's International Flex MBA was designed and is delivered alongside Amazon, Microsoft, Moleskine, and Vodafone. The program has a focus on digital transformation, and MBAs on average see a salary increase of 45% after graduation, and a salary of $153,680.  


3. Durham University Business School


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The Online MBA at Durham has received rave reviews from its graduates, with one saying, ‘The Online MBA helped me break into a highly competitive industry shortly after graduation and I attribute my career success largely to the knowledge, skills, and work ethic I gained whilst an MBA student.’ 

Grads from the course earn on average $138,965 three years after graduation, an increase of 25% on their pre-MBA salary. The two-year, part-time course costs just over $16,500 per year.


2. Warwick Business School 


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Ranked as the number one online MBA course in the world in 2021, this course also boasts excellent value for money, coming in second place. 

The course costs $47,000 and graduates from the Warwick Distance Learning MBA can look forward to an average salary three years after graduation of $207,725, an average increase of 35%. They see strong career mobility and opportunities after graduation too—the school also sits top for career progression. 


1. University of Bradford School of Management 


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© BradfordManagement / via Facebook


The best value for money online MBA goes to the University of Bradford’s School of Management, which completes a UK top-three. 

This part-time, two-to-three-year program offers modules such as digital marketing, leadership for transformational change, and corporate finance. The course costs $25,695 for domestic candidates, and graduates see a salary increase of approximately 39% over the three years post-MBA. Alumni earn on average $147,697 three years after graduation. 


10 Best Value Online MBA Programs


There’s value to be had from an online MBA and judging from the top three value for money programs, the UK is leading the way. But with a mix of schools also from Europe, the US, and Australia, business school candidates have a wealth of options to choose from.  


Next Read: 

The Most Affordable Online MBA Programs


*The data in this article is sourced from the FT Online MBA Ranking 2021. The FT calculates value for money based on the average alumni salary three years after graduation, tuition fees, and other relevant costs. 

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