What Can You Do With an MBA in Alaska
Despite its status as the largest state in the US (over twice as big as Texas, ranked next in size), Alaska is one of the most sparsely populated; the state has a population of just 740,000, the third smallest in the country. However, Alaska is known as a state full of opportunities for adventure, and residents enjoy a unique lifestyle not accessible anywhere else in the U.S.
In many areas of Alaska, online education isn’t just convenient when it is offered - it’s necessary. The state is home to only ten colleges and universities, and students (particularly those living in a rural community) may not have in-person access to a main campus within a reasonable distance. This limits their choices and makes online learning the only way many prospective graduate students who want to earn their general MBA without needing to relocate can attend.
Why Consider an Online MBA?
There are many reasons why a student or professional would choose to apply for an online MBA from a school in Alaska after completing their undergraduate studies. A full-time or part-time advanced degree in business managenent, business analytics, international business, finance, innovation, or strategy opens the door for many professionals to earn higher salaries and climb corporate ladders that they might not otherwise be qualified to access.
Not all of the financial benefits will take place in the far off future. Students can save money in the short term by choosing to search for an online MBA program as many of these programs are less expensive than their traditional brick and mortar counterparts without any change in educational content, how courses are designed, time to completion, requirements, class size, faculty, AACSB accreditation, rankings, or skills you will be able to master. This becomes especially important when considering the fact that the cost of living may be high in some parts of Alaska due to the need to import goods into the state.
Financial considerations aside, location itself might be a great reason for students to choose an online MBA program in Alaska. Traveling to a college campus can be too great of a hurdle, especially in dangerous winter conditions. Many prospective students simply don’t have access to larger cities that provide admission to featured MBA programs, such as Anchorage or Fairbanks. Non-traditional students in particular might find themselves unable to put their personal responsibilities on hold to center their lives on their academic goals for a year or two; online MBA programs make it possible for them to plan and balance the present with the future.
Students Enrolled in Distance Learning Percentage
MBA Concentrations for Alaska Students
Choosing a specific concentration for your MBA program can put you ahead of the curve when it comes to finding a career in your chosen field. Businesses in Alaska have many unique needs when it comes to keeping operations running smoothly. Executives who have experience within the state may come into the company with a greater strategic understanding of what needs to happen in order for the business to thrive.
These two concentrations are examples of study focuses that can set students up for success in Alaska.
- Environmental Management
An MBA in Environmental Management puts the spotlight on the science of sustainability and responsibility within a business model. Students will learn how business and the environment currently affect one another, and may learn ways to minimize the real impact of corporate life and policy on the beautiful Alaskan landscape.
Due to the cost of shipping from the continental United States, much of Alaska’s economy is dependent on local businesses. Focusing on entrepreneurship can give students an overview of the knowledge required to the start businesses that will keep the state running in future years.
Why Accreditation is Important?
Prior to enrollment in any online MBA program, students should make sure that any university they’re considering has been accredited by a valid accreditation association. Look for schools that are either nationally or regionally accredited, with the latter being preferable. Despite sounding more prestigious, nationally accredited schools are typically for-profit, trade, or vocational schools.
For the best quality of education, look for online programs from schools that have been regionally accredited. Any course credit earned in these programs will be easier to transfer if needed in the future.
Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
Despite many residents being employed by nationwide staples, like retail stores, much of Alaska’s economy is driven by healthcare and social assistance services. Most of these organizations are based in metropolitan areas including Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, due to the greater need for human services in more densely populated regions. About 365,000 workers are employed by businesses in Alaska, with Anchorage leading as the main source of job offers in the state.
Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Yukon Kuskokwim Health||Healthcare||Bethel||3,365|
|State of Alaska||Public Services||Juneau||15,000|
|Bristol Bay Native||Financial||Anchorage||4,869|
An MBA earned from an online program can start you on the path to success. Companies in a wide range of industries employ business administrators to make sure operations run smoothly.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Alaska
Students who graduate with a master’s degree typically go on to earn income at a significantly higher level than their less educated counterparts. With an MBA comes the ability to draw a larger salary and higher position than you might otherwise have access to. Many MBA graduates are able to land six figure jobs upon graduation, with little problem finding their lucrative positions.
The table below should give you an idea of the salary potential that individuals with an MBA can expect to enjoy.
Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential
- Earnings with Associates - $60,000
- Earnings with Bachelors - $68,980
- Earnings with MBA - $100,000
Careers for Alaska MBA Grads
- Healthcare Executive
High ranking executives in the healthcare industry spend their careers ensuring that the patients under their organization’s care have the best possible experience in some of their most vulnerable times. In Alaska, healthcare executives earn a median salary of $96,540, and can expect to enjoy an expected 20 percent job growth.
- Director of Human Resources
HR managers oversee employee relations within the company or organization. They often act as a buffer between the business and its staff, and may handle responsibilities such as staffing, training, and issues of employee satisfaction.
- Chief Operating Officer
In most companies, the COO works to monitor and ensure the smooth running of operations within the organization. Their job is largely to make sure the company is running in an overall sustainable manner. The COO is second in command to the CEO in most major companies.
- Information Technology Manager
The IT manager is the go-to person overseeing the operation of computers and technological equipment within the company infrastructure. They may supervise teams of IT support staff to make sure tech resources remain up and running.
- Business Development Executive
Individuals in this position work toward increasing their company’s customer base. They may handle the issues that arise when promoting services or products, and are often responsible for raising funds and coming up with strategies to expand their organization.
Best MBA Programs in Alaska
How to Choose & FAQ's
When considering which program will be the best fit for you, there are several important factors to think about. Here are a few of the school characteristics that can help to determine whether a school’s online MBA program is right for you.
- Compare Each School’s Student Outcome Data
It can be helpful to see exactly how the schools you’re considering stack up against each other in terms of what happens to students following graduation from the MBA program. Data like graduation rate, student retention rate, average student debt after graduation, and overall student satisfaction can help you make the right decision for your future.
- Make Sure Classes Will Fit With Your Schedule
While many online MBA programs allow their students to complete coursework on their own terms, others may require students to be at their computer at certain times throughout the week. Make sure you’re not enrolling in any classes that you won’t feasibly be able to virtually attend. One of the perks of distance learning is the increased ability to take classes around your schedule; if that’s important to you, do the research to make sure you won’t be left out.
- Look At Partnerships With Local Businesses
Particularly in a largely rural state like Alaska, it’s important to make sure job opportunities will be available following graduation, as well as internship opportunities while you’re completing the program. Schools who have relationships with local businesses may be able to ease the stress of finding that perfect internship to finish your degree, or finding placement after graduation.
- Talk to Students and Recent Alumni
The alumni office at the school you may be considering can give you a list of alumni contacts upon request. Don’t hesitate to reach out to current and recent students of the school to find out what does and doesn’t work well within each program. This is the best way to find out what it’s really like for students taking each school’s online MBA program.
- Consider the Cost of Each Program
Get realistic with yourself about the costs you might encounter with each school’s program. Expenses like textbooks, living costs, technology fees, and administrative fees can add up quickly. Find out what you can expect to pay with each program, and choose one that will work reasonably within your budget.