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Recently we had the pleasure of discussing the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium with Jessica Franson, Distance Learning Coordinator.

University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium is ranked an impressive #8 nationally in our 2015 Online MBA Rankings. From your perspective, what differentiates University of Wisconsin from the other leading online MBA programs? 

Jessica Franson: Innovation, flexibility and affordability. 

In 2001, worldwide revenue for the pharmaceutical market was around $390.2 billion U.S. dollars. Ten years later, this figure stood at nearly one trillion U.S. dollars. In 2014, the market surpassed one trillion and hit $1057.2 trillion. This growth is expected to continue, making  pharmaceuticals one of the fastest growing, largest, and most lucrative industries in the world. With so much growth and need, it’s not surprising that most positions in this field command a sizable piece of the pie, with science, engineering, research and development, pharmacy, and management leading the pack. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people working in these fields rarely earn less than $100,000 annually (average), with managers and top executives averaging $156,590 and $163,210 per year, respectively.

We realize that there are a number of top business schools that offer generous financial aid packages that may cover anywhere from 50% to 80% of your annual costs. But even with all of this additional help, you may still have to come up with $25,000 to $35,000 or more on your own. Still not bad for a top B-school, but what if you could find a solid business school that offers lower tuition costs and a generous financial aid package, which could reduce your financial commitment to say, $10,000 or less?

The short answer is - the right time to get an MBA is “when you realize you need your MBA,” says Sandra Wellinghoff, director of the Blended Learning Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “Today students are waiting as much as 20 years to receive their master of business administration degree,” says Wellinghoff. “In fact, most wait until they have some work experience before aiming for an advanced degree.” Of course, there are other reasons why many students may choose to earn a degree later in life. 

The average cost for a two-year MBA exceeds $60,000, with top business schools costing $100,000 or more in tuition and fees. Though expensive, a person with a master's degree alone typically earns $400,000 more than someone who only holds a bachelor's degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while the expected median starting salary for MBA graduates in the U.S. was $100,000 in 2015, with top business schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton delivering the highest earnings over a 20-year period.

The Master of Business Administration—otherwise known as the MBA—has become the most popular master’s degree in the U.S. According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education, 189,300 students graduated with advanced degrees in business in 2013-2014. Business is the most popular degree path for undergraduates as well. The Department says that of the 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees conferred by Title IV postsecondary institutions in 2013–2014, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the field of business (361,000 or 19%).

Recently we had the pleasure of discussing Indiana University's online MBA program -officially called Kelley Direct Online- with Erin Kilbride Vincent, Director of Admissions and Student Services. 

Indiana University’s Kelley Direct Online has ranked #1 for consecutive years in our annual rankings of the top online MBA programs in the US. From your perspective, what differentiates Kelley from the other leading online MBA programs? 

If you haven’t heard yet, business is booming in China, with small businesses increasing by the millions. In fact, when a few simple changes in government regulations took place in March 2014 (at the hands of incoming President Xi Jinping), a Huffington Post article reported that more than 1.76 million companies registered for business. This amounted to an increase of 68 percent over the previous year. The tremendous growth of start-ups and the creation of an estimated 10.4 million jobs in 2014 alone have attracted plenty of foreign MBA students on the entrepreneurial track or otherwise. 

7 Really Cool MBAs

March 31, 2016

The MBA program appeared in the U.S. at the start of the 20th century. Back then, the program consisted of just a few accounting and bookkeeping courses. While accounting is still a part of the MBA core curriculum, programs have evolved in harmony with the rest of the world, and now include everything from Operations Management and Strategy to Global Economic Environment and Business Analytics. In addition to a continuously current core curriculum, many MBA programs offer innovative slates of electives that allow students to immerse in highly specialized topics that best reflect their interests. Others highlight concentrations or tracks (specific areas of specialization) that result in an even more focused MBA.

MBA programs have come a long way since appearing in the U.S. at the start of the 20th century. But what developed from a few accounting and bookkeeping courses is now one of the most complex and sought after degrees for aspiring business managers, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking for a higher salary and better career opportunities in the business world. And it’s not just the MBA these folks are after. When the first MBA program began, concentrations were non-existent. Today, MBA degree-seekers have some of the most innovative concentrations and focus areas from which to choose. Areas such as Sustainability, Global Leadership, e-Commerce, Sports Business, Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology Management are options and they best reflect the world’s ever-evolving business landscape. This means, graduates of these programs are better equipped to meet modern-day challenges in the business world. 

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