What Can You Do With an MBA in Alabama
Once a national hotspot for agricultural production, Alabama has become known as a prominent location for industries including manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and technology. Major cities like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Huntsville have emerged at the center of modern industries that require business savvy to operate.
As the skills required to succeed in Alabama’s primary sources of income have changed, so have the educational options that are available to students in and out of state. Graduate school is becoming much more common and online learning has been designed to be a a legitimate method of earning a college degree that will lead to a lucrative professional business career.
If you’re a prospective student looking to learn about the current part-time and full-time, online MBA programs available in Alabama and how you can gain admission, keep reading for more information. An online MBA from one of the many great schools located in the heart of Dixie may be just what you need to get your career started on the right track.
Why Consider an Online MBA?
Alabama is home to several of the south’s most popular schools, such as Auburn University, Tuskegee University, the University of Alabama, and the University of North Alabama. These colleges bring a lot to the state in terms of education and employment.
However, many of these universities are located in major metropolitan areas like Birmingham, where housing can be more expensive and difficult to come by than it is in small communities. Students may struggle with finding a healthy balance between working to pay for living expenses and going to school full-time to get their master level degree in general business administration, human resources, legal studies or law, management systems and policy, business analytics, or international business.
An online MBA may be a solution for many of these students. By taking course programs that have the same content, faculty, quality rankings, support, and opportunities as those offered in person, students can study and complete their MBAs on their own time, in the comfort of their own homes while living their life. Though many programs do have the same requirements, some online MBA programs even include the opportunity for students to finish their schooling in half the time as a traditional program. Students may even be able to skip the grueling GMAT exam, making this a strategic move for some.
Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education
Typical MBA Concentrations
Students who wish to focus their MBA studies on a particular concentration can opt to enter a specialized program. If you plan to stay and build your career in Alabama, it might be a good idea to search for a concentration that can easily be used in one or more of the state’s most prominent industries. This will greatly increase your marketability, and the likelihood of finding a well-paying job within your community upon graduating with your MBA.
Here are two examples of concentrations that might be worth considering for MBA students in Alabama.
- Agribusiness Management
Agricultural business doesn’t all take place in fields and barns. An MBA in agribusiness can prepare you to take care of the unique operational needs of agricultural businesses. The science of sustainability and balancing supply and demand are just a couple of the important topics students can expect to cover in this concentration.
- Supply Chain Management
Alabama is home to many manufacturing companies. An MBA in supply chain management can prepare students for careers as leaders in this sector. Students will learn about resource planning, production, information systems, dealing with change, and more.
Why Accreditation is Important?
When choosing an MBA program in Alabama, it’s vital to make sure the school you’re considering has been accredited by a valid accrediting institution. These organizations make sure schools meet certain academic and ethical standards, and ensure that students will leave with a high level of preparation for the next step in their education or career paths.
Most schools are accredited by either a national or regional institution. Nationally accredited schools are often for-profit colleges and vocational schools, and are considered to be less prestigious than their regionally accredited counterparts. Credits obtained at regionally accredited schools are frequently easier to submit for transfer than those earned at nationally accredited universities, as you may have learned when you earned your undergraduate degree.
Alabama is home to many schools with regional accreditation. You can be confident that whatever your MBA goals, there’s an accredited online program in Alabama to help you reach them. AACSB accreditation sets apart the best business schools in the world.
Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
Alabama has grown to become much more than the agricultural hotspot of years past. In the last several decades, the state has developed into one of the most important locations in our national manufacturing sector.
Cities such as Tuscaloosa have burst on the scene as a great source of employment opportunity in the manufacturing field. Unemployment rates have fallen statewide as the need for manufacturing employees in office and factory positions continues to rise.
Below are examples of top companies in Alabama that employ MBA graduates.
Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Russell Brands||Manufacturing||Alexander City||4,500|
Whatever industry you choose to work in, an online MBA can help you meet your goals. Businesses across the state of Alabama employ qualified business administrators to make sure their organizations operate smoothly.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Alabama
It’s common knowledge that a graduate degree can significantly boost your future salary potential, but taking a good look at the numbers shows just how much of an impact an MBA can make on your future earnings. An MBA is a requirement for most of the highest paying jobs in a company’s upper echelon of managers, and can be the difference between a good salary and a great salary.
Not convinced? Take a look for yourself.
Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential
- Earnings with Associates - $47,701
- Earnings with Bachelors - $57,467
- Earnings with MBA - $68,183
Careers for Alabama MBA Grads
- Financial Manager
Financial managers typically handle such duties as reviewing their company’s financial reports, creating financial records, designing budgets, and overseeing most of their organization’s financial activity. In some top companies, financial managers may earn a salary upward of $100,000 per year.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts are responsible for audit and analysis of their company’s financial records for the sake of the organization’s future fiscal health. They may do this by looking at income statements, payroll records, cash flow statements, and similar documentation.
- Operations Manager
Operations managers are a key part of any manufacturing and distribution company. They oversee the large scale operation of the business, and make sure there are no breaks in the supply chain. The operations manager may be responsible for the daily goings-on involving purchasing, shipping, staffing, and related issues.
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Together with the Chief Operations Officer (COO), the CFO reports to the CEO and is responsible for maintaining the financial integrity of the business. They are in many cases the authority within the business relating to issues such as budget management, cost benefit analysis, securing funding, and stockholder financial issues.
- Marketing Director
Marketing directors are needed by a wide range of businesses in many different industries. They are responsible for promoting the products and services offered by their organization, as well as overseeing brand development.
Best MBA Programs in Alabama
If you’re ready to enroll in an online MBA program, we have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which schools you should apply to. MBA programs across the United States will vary from one college to the next and you will find that is the same even for MBA schools in Alabama. Some universities offering a Master of Business Administration will offer a general MBA experience and other colleges will offer specific specializations or concentrations. Our goal is to provide you some of the best MBA rankings in Alabama, with and without concentrations to help you choose the best option for you.
How to Choose & FAQ's
Not all MBA programs are created equal. Students need to know what to look at when deciding whether a school will be a good fit for them. Here are some of the main things to consider when researching online MBA options. Keep in mind some of these FAQs are designed to help you choose the best MBA program that fits your needs.
- Consider Schools in Your Area
Even if you’re taking all of your courses online, it may be worthwhile to consider universities within 100 miles of your home. Having easy access to campus is a feature that many students enjoy, and can make it easier to meet with professors, advisors, and other staff members. In addition, it may be easier to find job placement following graduation if your school has already established relationships with nearby businesses.
- Compare Student Outcomes Data
It’s important to consider data such as graduation rate, student retention, average debt upon graduation, and other factors that may impact your decision making. Many schools have this information readily available on their website; if your prospective school doesn’t, contact an admissions officer and make a request for data.
- Estimate the Anticipated Cost of Your Online MBA Program
You don’t want to be caught by surprise by the amount you will have to pay to earn your degree. Most colleges feature their tuition rates somewhere on their website. Be sure to factor in potential purchases relating to books, computer equipment, cost of living expenses, and any other expenses you may not otherwise consider. Grants and scholarships are available to help offset these costs for many students.
- Make Sure Classes Will Fit Your Schedule
Depending on your school, you may have flexibility when it comes to class times, or you may not. Some colleges and courses offer students the ability to complete coursework entirely on their own time, while others require students to log on at the same time for classes and meetings. Do you research, and make sure you don’t end up enrolling in a class that will conflict with your other obligations.
- Seek Partnerships With Local Businesses
Many MBA programs require students to complete a number of hours in an internship or capstone practicum toward the end of their degree. This gives students real world experience before sending them out into the job force. If you’re considering schools that already have established relationships with businesses nearby, you’ll have a leg up on experience when it comes time to find work after graduation.