Having a good education puts residents of Arkansas in a good position to capitalize on its growing job market. While one in every five people in the state have a bachelor’s degree, even fewer people have a graduate degree. That means employers will be on the lookout for highly-educated employees. With over 1 million households, Arkansas contributes heavily to the U.S. economy, and students completing programs in the state can get good-paying jobs upon graduation.
Online MBA Arkansas degree programs attract students seeking leadership positions in business. Both the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University offer online MBA degrees that learners complete in about two years. The tuition price and flexibility of an online MBA are two reasons students should consider receiving their degree from one of these institutions. Learners can omit the cost of living on-campus and the drive to the classroom from the overall costs of receiving a graduate degree.
Students should, however, ensure that they live within a reasonable driving distance, as some online MBA programs in Arkansas require occasional attendance. For instance, the University of Arkansas requires an on-campus interaction one Saturday each month at its Fayetteville location.
Students should also determine whether GMAT scores are required for entrance into a program. As one of the best online MBA programs in Arkansas, Arkansas State University requires the GMAT for admission. The University of Arkansas, however, waives the requirement for applicants who enter with at least five years of work experience and a strong academic record.
|Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education|
MBA Concentrations for Arkansas Students
Pursuing your online MBA Arkansas degree includes selecting a concentration. In the case of Arkansas, specializing in supply chain management or innovation and entrepreneurship is ideal given the available positions for graduates. While a concentration in supply chain management readies you for manager positions throughout the country, a concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship helps you launch your own business.
- Supply Chain Management: Students learn to source and deliver goods, use technology in business, and purchase and move goods.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Students learn the benefits and risks of starting a business, study problem-solving methods, and practice building a product from the ground up.
Accreditation in Arkansas
Your search for online MBA programs in Arkansas should focus on accredited institutions. Educational authorities like the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) provide accreditation credentials to schools that exhibit academic excellence. Both ED and CHEA recognize six regional accreditation bodies, including the Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western Associations of College and Schools. Earning an advanced degree from an accredited school makes you more attractive to potential employers and demonstrates your understanding of business concepts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare and social assistance sectors boasted the most employees and ranked the highest among major industries in Arkansas in 2015. America’s aging population creates higher job demand in medical fields. In addition, the 2017 Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report projects a net gain of 4,466 jobs in goods-producing industries by 2018 and an employment increase in service-producing industries of 33,437 in that same year. The publication also highlights a 10,000 person increase in the labor force between 2015 and 2016 combined with an unemployment rate shrinking to 3.4% as of July 2017.
Top Employers in Arkansas
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
While your income depends on your career choice, company choice, and location, earning an online MBA in Arkansas gives job applicants a competitive advantage.
Earning an MBA demonstrates one’s depth of business knowledge. It tells employers that you possess the ability to think critically and communicate effectively with internal and external partners. It also demonstrates that you are capable of managing a business’ assets, employees, and products. Being a manager means that you earn a higher income and are a valuable member of a business.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Arkansas
- Administrative Service Manager
People in this position direct the operations of support services within an organization. Jobs in this career are expected to grow 10% by 2026, which is higher than the average 7% growth rate projected for all occupations.
- Compensation Benefits Manager
A compensation benefits manager plans, develops and leads programs that affect employee compensation. The 2016 median pay for this role was $116,240.
- Financial Manager
With a 2016 median salary of $121,750, a financial manager produces reports, guides investments, and oversees the general fiscal health of an organization. Jobs in this profession are expected to rise 19% by 2026.
- Training and Development Manager
These managers identify the kinds of professional development employees need in order to effectively execute a business’ objectives. Job growth projections stand at a 10% growth rate by 2026.
- Top Executive
Top executives are the leaders and strategic decision makers at a company. Execs have a median salary of $103,950 as of 2016, and growth in this position is expected to increase 8% by 2026.
The following list includes the accredited schools in Arkansas where you can earn your MBA. Explore which programs are available and review their requirements.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
University of Arkansas
|Location Fayetteville, AR||Tuition||Tuition $40,716||% Receiving Financial Aid 40%||Student Population 26,754||School Type Public||
Through its renowned Walton College of Business, the University of Arkansas provides an elite executive master of business administration program that focuses on five core study areas: supply chain management, finance, business analytics, retail, and entrepreneurship. Given the Walton College of Business's close alignment with major retailers, including Walmart, the University of Arkansas online MBA program places particular emphasis on practical aspects of the consumer goods industry. Students benefit from outstanding networking and career development opportunities. Each course in the program incorporates representatives of more than 30 well-known companies.
The program's learning model uses case studies and student projects with clear, direct, real-world application. While learners complete the majority of their coursework online, required face-to-face meetings take place one Saturday per month on UARK's Fayetteville campus. Most candidates complete their degree requirements in about 24 months. This executive online MBA also offers affordability, compared to programs at similar schools.
Arkansas State University
|Location Jonesboro, AR||Tuition||Tuition $20,130||% Receiving Financial Aid 53%||Student Population 13,410||School Type Public||
Arkansas State University offers a convenient and highly respected online master of business administration program designed to meet the needs of busy professionals who want to upgrade their educational credentials without giving up their current jobs. Students have the option of earning a concentration in finance or supply chain management in addition to completing the required 27 credits of core coursework. Core courses cover essential topics that help students build professional management, leadership, and decision-making skills. Candidates also take six credits of specialized classes, and in exceptional cases, the program's structure allows students to design their own individual study programs and substitute them in place of preconfigured electives.
The Arkansas State University online MBA program is one of only a few in the state with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Less than 5% of the world's business schools hold this coveted, internationally recognized endorsement.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
Arkansas Tech University
|Location Russellville, AR||Tuition||Tuition $10,620||% Receiving Financial Aid 45%||Student Population 12,054||School Type Public||
Students looking for an informatics-oriented approach to commerce education should consider the online master of business administration program at Arkansas Tech University. Consisting of 10 core courses delivered in three-hour, digitally accessed formats, this online Arkansas MBA program emphasizes managerial decision-making skills informed by the systematic and logical analysis of empirical data. Arkansas Tech displays a high level of investment in student success, as every candidate in the online program benefits from the hands-on assistance and guidance of an academic adviser.
Incoming students must exhibit existing proficiencies in topics like accounting, economics, business finance, and statistics to qualify for enrollment. Arkansas Tech accepts coursework completed at accredited institutions, certified professional experience, or a combination of the two. The school is also a recognized regional leader in educational affordability, delivering excellent rates of return on student investment.
View School Profile
|Location Searcy, AR||Tuition||Tuition $24,300||% Receiving Financial Aid 55%||Student Population 6,009||School Type Private||
Arkansas-based Harding University features a recently updated, fully online MBA program that integrates relevant business education with Christian principles. Students in this flexible program can complete their degrees in as little as 15 months while also enjoying the ability to extend the program duration up to seven years. Committed Christians lead all courses, giving students the opportunity to build and strengthen their faith while advancing their academic and professional interests.
Recognized as one of the best online MBAs in Arkansas, the Harding University program allows students to join cohorts, or learn on individualized timelines. This convenience extends to course launch times, which fall in January, May, and August. Harding University grants students access to master planning tools that deliver detailed scheduling overviews of all degree requirements, allowing learners to optimize their schedules around outside commitments. All students receive one-on-one access to dedicated academic advisers.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
John Brown University
|Location Siloam Springs, AR||Tuition||Tuition $18,480||% Receiving Financial Aid 51%||Student Population 2,781||School Type Private||
John Brown University features one of the most innovative online MBA programs in Arkansas. In addition to taking an internationally centered approach to business education, JBU's MBA program also encourages students to use their newfound management and leadership skills for the common good of society. With corporate citizenship becoming an increasingly important aspect of commerce in the age of social media, JBU graduates emerge ready to make a positive impact in the business world.
Experienced faculty members with high-level management experience at major companies, like Procter & Gamble, Saatchi, and Walmart, teach JBU's online MBA courses. Coursework emphasizes the importance of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to knowledge application. Students can earn a concentration in one of three areas: international business; market research and consumer insight; and design thinking and innovation. These specializations complement the development of core competencies in essential areas including accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, and strategic positioning.
View School Profile
Southern Arkansas University
|Location Magnolia, AR||Tuition||Tuition $9,960||% Receiving Financial Aid 48%||Student Population 4,095||School Type Public||
The Southern Arkansas University online master of business administration is one of only a few online MBAs in Arkansas accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program now offers an emphasis in social entrepreneurship, which prepares graduates to lead business ventures designed to make positive social impacts. This concentration joins existing agricultural commerce, supply chain management, and generalist MBA concentrations.
Incoming students do not need an existing bachelor's degree in business administration. Those with undergraduate credentials in other fields can complete a 24-credit program on foundational prerequisites.Through the MBA program, the SAU faculty emphasizes the ethical, environmental, and social impacts of business and commerce. Professors deliver course material with a global focus and help graduates become responsible members of the international business community. Applicants local to SAU's Magnolia, Arkansas campus also have the option to pursue in-class delivery options or a hybrid of traditional and online learning.
There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Arkansas. 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.