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In 2016, the University of Indianapolis (UIndy) became the first institution in the region to develop an MBA with a concentration in Data Analytics. The school was also the first to offer the MBA with a Supply Chain major. Like Supply Chain (when it was first offered), Data Analytics is now one of the most in demand skill sets, with more jobs to fill than talent. This makes the new addition to UIndy’s MBA program a significant one. 

Recently we had the pleasure of discussing West Virginia University's Hybrid Online MBA with Nichole Grossman Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment at West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics.

West Virginia University's Online MBA Program is ranked in the top 20 nationally in our 2015 Online MBA Rankings. From your perspective, what differentiates West Virginia University from the other leading online MBA programs?  

Can you imagine earning an MBA in just one year and enjoying a median 5-year gain of $100K or more? What if this accelerated MBA was also a lot less expensive than a two-year MBA or even a one-year MBA in the U.S.? Well, you can stop dreaming and head to Europe. One-year MBAs have been popular in Europe for decades and according to Fortune, costs for the program have plummeted thanks to a strong U.S. dollar.

So you’ve climbed the corporate ladder for the last 10 years and you finally see yourself as the successful businessperson you always wanted to be. The problem is you still have this nagging feeling that this isn’t it for you. You’re convinced that you can reach an even higher level at your firm of you just work a little harder. You’re right. Further advancement is just one reason seasoned professionals make the decision to earn an executive MBA (EMBA). 

In a U.S. News Education article titled “3 Kinds of Professionals Who Can Benefit From an EMBA,” reporter Delece Smith-Barrow writes, “while an MBA often appeals to people wanting to switch industries, an executive MBA can attract those who simply want to switch offices. Graduating from middle manager to a C-suite position – such as CEO or COO – within their current company is a common goal among EMBA students, experts say.” Before we talk about some of the most elite EMBA programs to consider, let’s take a quick look at how they work. 

So, you finally decided that it’s time to ‘up your game’ and you think the way to go about it is to get an MBA. Most MBA graduates would agree that this is definitely a good move if you want to advance your career faster and earn more. While an MBA offers the highest return on investment (ROI) of just about any business program, tuition costs have to be paid upfront. Unless the program is free, this can place a serious financial strain on students until they land that big promotion or bump in pay. Fortunately, there are a number of funding options from private and federal sources that can help students pay for their MBA and minimize debt. Some of the best options are institutional scholarships and fellowships, outside scholarships, employer sponsorship/tuition assistance, private loans, and federal loans. 

Recently we had the pleasure of discussing Washington State University's Online MBA with Cheryl Oliver, Assistant Dean of Online and Graduate Programs at the WSU Carson College of Business.

Washington State’s Online MBA Program is ranked an impressive #11 nationally in our 2015 Online MBA Rankings. From your perspective, what differentiates Washington State from the other leading online MBA programs?  

CHERYL OLIVER: Washington State University has made a concerted effort to create a unique, online learning environment for our online MBA students.

With a population of over 1.3 billion, China is the world’s largest country and the second-largest economy. Rapid economic and social development in China has led to the country’s current position as a vital and powerful player in the global economy. Business schools around the world recognize that population growth and development in China will continue, so many have partnered with schools to provide both U.S. and foreign students with a larger network, and to produce management talent that understands the complexities and risks of doing business abroad. 

In 1908, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration established the world's first MBA program. The programs first-year curriculum was based on Frederick Winslow Taylor's scientific management. In the decades that followed, other prestigious schools took the MBA to the next level. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business introduced the first Executive MBA (EMBA) in 1943 and in 1946, the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University introduced the first MBA to focus on global management. Between 1950 and 1963, MBA programs made their way to Canada (the first outside of the U.S.), Pakistan (in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania), Europe, and Korea. 

Some 43.3 million Americans carry a staggering $1.26 trillion in student debt. Tuition costs are on the rise at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and even average schools now cost more than $100,000 for a four-year degree. Further, according to Bloomberg, the most selective MBA programs were set to increase tuition for the class of 2016 nearly four percent or more, “building on a 37 percent rise in the degree’s sticker price over the past six years. With living expenses and other add-ons, MBA students at top schools can easily clear $150,000 in costs by the time they graduate.”

If you’ve been putting off applying to an MBA program because you have a less than stellar GPA, don’t. Chances are there’s more to your academic career (and life) than your GPA. While a high GPA is definitely a plus when applying to MBA programs, it’s not the only thing admissions directors look for in an applicant.

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