Online Executive MBA Degree


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Work constraints, family obligations and other commitments may make it difficult for busy professionals to attend a traditional MBA program, which takes full-time students about two years to complete. An online executive MBA degree program provides midcareer professionals with the analytical skills required to climb the corporate ladder and advance to an executive position.

Most online degree programs require students be working professionals with several years of management experience. Executive MBA students typically complete the degree part-time in about 18 months. Students will obtain management and strategic tools that they can implement in their current organizations immediately.

Course Work

Example courses
Managerial leadership and productivity
Information systems analysis
Management of innovation
Professional ethics and practice in business
International business management
Statistical analysis for managers
Managing technology, innovation and research

The emphasis of an online executive MBA program is on problem-solving, and students take core course work in management, team building, strategy, marketing and entrepreneurship. While in a traditional MBA program students learn the fundamentals of business, in an executive program students will learn how to apply business concepts into their organizations and become more effective leaders.  

While working within a cohort, students will complete group projects to gauge how to make effective and ethical decisions in the boardroom. Even though students complete course work online, they can take their studies offline by participating in business plan competitions, consulting training and international immersion experiences.  

Many schools also offer career services, leadership coaching and other online services to help students excel.

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Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Director of operations $88,000
Chief operations officer $111,000
Chief financial officer $127,000
President $165,000
Chief executive officer $168,000


Professionals who seek top executive positions will face tough competition, but an executive MBA degree can help applicants stand out. Twenty-seven of the top 100 CEOs have an MBA, according to a ranking of the world’s best chief executives published in the Harvard Business Review.  

For those who reach the top, the financial reward can be great, with chief executives earning a median salary of about $168,000, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

Alumni networks and professional associations such as the Executive MBA Council can help graduates facilitate connections and lead to job opportunities.

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