Boasting the 24th largest population in the country, Alabama is home to 4,863,300 individuals, 61 colleges and universities, and a host of major corporations. Since its admission to statehood in 1817, Alabama’s economy has shifted from agriculture to the manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and finance industries that sprouted up around major cities like Birmingham and Huntsville. As the economy has changed, educational institutions have risen to meet the demand for skilled employees by developing state-of-the-art curricula, facilities, and innovative distance learning programs. If you are looking to capitalize on current economic trends in Alabama, online MBA programs can be the ticket to new opportunities.
Alabama is home to some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, including Jacksonville State, Tuskegee, and Auburn. Institutions of higher learning have transformed the landscape of the state, particularly in major metropolitan areas such as Birmingham where the University of Alabama has become one of the city’s largest employers. Increasingly, however, the lure of low in-state tuition rates and the prestige of attending Alabama’s top universities is countered by high costs of living in campus areas and, for some, the burden of attending school while employed full-time. For many prospective graduate students in Alabama, online MBA programs offer a convenient, affordable alternative to a traditional master’s degree.
online MBA programs in Alabama offer the same quality instruction and rigorous academics expected from the state’s world-class institutions
Typically identical in content to their on-campus counterparts, online MBA programs in Alabama offer the same quality instruction and rigorous academics expected from the state’s world-class institutions. Unlike traditional MBA programs, web-based degrees can be completed from the convenience of home, making it easier to balance work, school, and personal obligations. Some online programs can be completed in half the time it takes to earn an MBA on-campus, and many have no GMAT requirement. Offering maximum convenience at an affordable price, distance education is becoming increasingly popular among Alabama graduate students.
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MBA Concentrations for Alabama Students
Most MBA programs offer several concentrations that allow students to develop specialized knowledge in a particular area. If you are earning your online MBA in Alabama, choosing a concentration aligned with the state’s leading industries can greatly increase your marketability. Alabama is home to numerous thriving industrial sectors, including aeronautics, agriculture, technology, and forestry. Below are two commonly offered MBA concentrations that would look great on any Alabama job candidate’s resume.
Concentrations for Alabama MBA Students
- Agri-Business Management: This concentration prepares MBA students for the unique economic and structural challenges of managing agri-business firms and consulting agencies. Coursework emphasizes sustainability and supply-demand issues.
- Cyber Security: In this critical field, students gain unique skills in areas like IT risk management and penetration testing that are necessary to protect businesses from cyberattacks and piracy.
Accreditation in Alabama
The best online MBA programs in Alabama are offered through accredited institutions. These schools have met the strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Depending on the accrediting body that assesses a school, it may be considered regionally or nationally accredited. Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits earned at a nationally accredited school are less likely to transfer than those from their regionally accredited counterparts. If you want to improve your career prospects with an online MBA, Alabama is home to many regionally accredited institutions.
Alabama has come a long way from its agricultural roots. While other regional economies have shifted to the service sector, the state has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s largest manufacturing hubs over the last two decades. In metropolitan areas such as Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, manufacturing and related industries are a significant source of employment, along with professional services and government. In the past year alone, Alabama’s notoriously high unemployment rate has fallen dramatically as demand for skilled labor and business professionals continues to increase.
With more than 60 major companies headquartered in the state, Alabama is profiting from its economic diversity. After earning an online MBA, Alabama graduates often find that major metropolitan areas like the Birmingham-Hoover region offer an array of employment opportunities. Below are two of the largest companies in Alabama, and how many workers they employ.
Alabama has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s largest manufacturing hubs over the last two decades.
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
Regardless of your interests or area of concentration, an MBA will provide you with the skills needed to excel in nearly any business or financial role. You won’t just improve your career prospects — an MBA can give your income a significant boost, as well.
While it is no secret that a college degree can significantly enhance your earning potential, an MBA offers more than just a higher salary. Required for many high-level positions in sales, finance, and related fields, an MBA demonstrates to potential employers that you have the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to excel in management. It can also open up a range of high-paying jobs unavailable to those with only a bachelor’s degree. MBA programs teach many broadly applicable skills that make degree-holders attractive to employers in multiple sectors. Just how much more can you make with an MBA? Let’s look at the numbers.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Alabama
- Healthcare Executive
With hospitals among the largest employers in Alabama and a massive national job growth rate of 20%, healthcare facility managers are in high demand. Not only is it challenging, this career path is also highly lucrative, with an annual median wage of $96,540.
- Operations Manager
Charged with overseeing an organization’s production and ensuring that all processes run according to standards, these managers are employed in Alabama’s manufacturing and service sectors to help organizations run more efficiently.
- Marketing Director
Like operations managers, marketing directors are employed in a wide range of fields in Alabama. They develop promotions and advertising campaigns for companies, organizations, and individuals, and can earn up to six figures.
- Financial Manager
Most Alabama companies, regardless of size, have a financial manager on the payroll to monitor investments and spending, develop budgets, and maintain records. Another career with six-figure salary potential, financial managers are also highly sought-after, with a national job growth rate of 19%.
- Market Research Analyst
Since local demographics and consumption habits change rapidly, the demand for market research analysts is expected to increase by as much as 23%. These experts examine purchasing and pricing trends in sales and services to help organizations develop business strategies.
Ready to take the plunge? We’ve done all the hard work for you! The following online MBA programs in Alabama are offered by accredited schools that are known not only for their academic quality, but also the flexibility you’ve come to expect from a web-based degree.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
University of Alabama at Birmingham
|Location Birmingham, AL||Tuition||Tuition $39,168||% Receiving Financial Aid 52%||Student Population 18,333||School Type Public||
With more than 20,000 enrolled students, UAB serves as the only public university in the state's largest city. UAB offers 162 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs both online and on campus. Within two years, students in the MBA program at UAB can earn their degree entirely online through the eLearning department.
MBA students can specialize their degree with a variety of concentrations, including finance and health services. Students complete a minimum of 35 credit hours, 39 if pursuing a specialization. Applicants with related work experience may qualify for a GMAT score waiver. The Alabama online MBA program at UAB holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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|Location Auburn, AL||Tuition||Tuition $34,125||% Receiving Financial Aid 35%||Student Population 27,287||School Type Public||
Originally founded in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, Auburn University now serves nearly 30,000 students pursuing degrees in 140 major areas. The school's home campus in Auburn spans more than 1,800 acres, but many students also take classes online through Auburn's distance-learning program. The online MBA program at Auburn consists of 13 required classes, with students often completing coursework in two years. The core curriculum includes courses in quantitative analysis, marketing and consumer theory, and organizational leadership.
Students may livestream campus classes or watch recordings on their own time. Program participants can also pursue a dual degree, earning a master of science in finance, industrial and systems engineering, or information systems. A three-day, on-campus residency takes place for online students the week before graduation. UAB holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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|Location Montgomery, AL||Tuition||Tuition $17,400||% Receiving Financial Aid 73%||Student Population 3,262||School Type Private||
Faulkner University, located in Montgomery, offers more than 70 different academic programs. With just over 3,000 enrolled students, the private, Christian liberal arts university maintains small class sizes, with an average of 10-15 students per class. In addition to courses and degrees offered at Faulkner's campuses, the university also offers 23 fully online degrees for distance learners. Students interested in Alabama online MBA programs can earn their degree at Faulkner within one year.
Faulkner's online MBA consists of 30 required credit hours and a comprehensive examination. The ten required courses include managerial economics, organizational behavior, and marketing management. Applicants must submit GMAT scores for admission. Those without scores may still enroll but must take the GMAT during the first semester to remain in the program. Faulkner University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Jacksonville State University
|Location Jacksonville, AL||Tuition||Tuition $11,460||% Receiving Financial Aid 68%||Student Population 8,314||School Type Public||
Students looking for Alabama online MBA programs can earn their degree at Jacksonville State University. Located in Jacksonville, JSU serves a student body of over 8,000 enrollees. Originally established in 1883, JSU now offers 45 different program options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The fully online MBA program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for completion. Those without a bachelor's degree in business or a related field may need to take up to 24 hours of foundational courses along with the master's curriculum. An adviser examines each student's transcripts to determine which classes the student needs to take to meet this requirement.
Students can pursue a concentration in accounting or follow the general MBA path. Applicants must submit GMAT scores with a minimum acceptable score of 400 for admission. The online MBA program at JSU holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the main campus holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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University of West Alabama
|Location Livingston, AL||Tuition||Tuition $14,157||% Receiving Financial Aid 67%||Student Population 4,032||School Type Public||
Located in the city of Livingston, the University of West Alabama serves students both at their home campus and online. Founded in 1835 as an all-female, church-based school, UWA now offers more than 50 programs to more than 2,000 online students. Learners seeking an Alabama online MBA can earn their degree at UWA in about one year. The fully accredited program offers eight concentration options, including accounting, finance, and sports management. Students complete a minimum of 33 credits, including 24 in the core curriculum and nine within their chosen concentration.
Courses take place in eight-week sessions and cover business law and ethics, marketing management, and economics. Students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate credit towards the degree. An admissions counselor guides applicants through each step of the application process. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs provides specialized accreditation for the MBA program at UWA, and the university itself holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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University of North Alabama
|Location Florence, AL||Tuition||Tuition $15,450||% Receiving Financial Aid 67%||Student Population 7,078||School Type Public||
Located just south of the Tennessee border in Florence, the University of North Alabama remains the state's oldest public, four-year university. The university serves more than 7,000 students in over 140 different majors and fields, and it offers a variety of degrees, programs, and courses entirely online -- including an Alabama online MBA program.
The University of North Alabama's online MBA program reviews the foundations of business and finance and explores advanced subject material through the executive MBA concentration. Students pursuing the executive track need at least five years of work experience. Those in the general MBA track can choose from nine concentration options, including healthcare management and global business. Students may also create their own degree path, selecting courses from multiple concentrations. Applicants to the general MBA must submit a minimum GMAT score of 450. The University of North Alabama holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
|Location Birmingham, AL||Tuition||Tuition $29,268||% Receiving Financial Aid 34%||Student Population 5,206||School Type Private||
Samford University's campus spans 247 acres in suburban Birmingham. With a long list of notable alumni -- including congressmen, governors, and Rhodes scholars -- Samford has provided students with a higher education since 1841. A Christian university, Samford enrolls over 5,000 students and boasts a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Learners looking for an accredited online MBA program in Alabama can earn their degree at Samford. The program requires 36-45 credit hours, depending on each student's previous academic experience and background. Pursuing a concentration adds an additional three credit hours. Coursework explores human resource management, finance, and accounting. Students can opt to pursue a joint degree, such as earning a master of accountancy alongside the MBA. Applicants must submit GMAT scores for admission, with 480 as the minimum acceptable score. GRE scores may also substitute for the GMAT. Samford University holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
|Location Troy, AL||Tuition||Tuition $15,314||% Receiving Financial Aid 65%||Student Population 17,765||School Type Public||
Troy State Normal School began as a teacher preparation institution in 1887. Now Troy University, the school offers a variety of majors and degrees both at its campuses around Alabama and online. Students can complete many of Troy's available degrees in as little as one year entirely online; at the Troy, Montgomery, Dothan, or Phenix campuses; or through a hybrid option with both on-campus and online coursework.
The Alabama online MBA program at Troy consists of 31 required credit hours. Some students may need to complete more credits, depending on their educational background and completed prerequisite requirements. The program emphasizes a general management concentration, with courses in international management, investments, and organizational development. The MBA program at Troy holds specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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University of Mobile
|Location Mobile, AL||Tuition||Tuition $14,250||% Receiving Financial Aid 76%||Student Population 1,480||School Type Private||
Rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best regional colleges in the south, the University of Mobile offers students a variety of programs, all integrated with the Christian faith. Situated just outside downtown Mobile, the university serves more than 1,600 students. With a small student body, classes maintain a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio that allows for more individualized attention.
Students can earn their MBA at the University of Mobile entirely online in one to two years. The program consists of 30 required credit hours, with coursework emphasizing Christian worldviews and ethics. Students complete a capstone project and courses in global business, data analysis, and social responsibility. Applicants with at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA may waive the GMAT score requirement for admission. Some students without a bachelor's in business may need to complete undergraduate prerequisite courses.The University of Mobile holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Alabama. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.
Compare student outcomes data
Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.
Estimate the expected costs of your programs
Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.
Check that classes will fit in with your schedule
Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.
Look for partnerships with local businesses
A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school’s business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.
Make sure the program is accredited
Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school’s website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).
Talk to current students and/or recent alumni
You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.