What Can You Do With an MBA in Arizona
As online education continues to grow and mature, the opportunities to complete an MBA become richer and more viable. In years prior to this technological advancement, your only choice to attend classes designed to provide you with the full MBA experience was to travel to attend the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State, in Tempe, for instance. You can still do this, of course, if you’re interested in the campus community rather than just the degree and skills development offered.
However, the cost of a traditional MBA is often higher than its online cousin, and you will learn the same material. Traditional programs also require that you uproot from your home or your job, since an 8am class will probably interfere with your morning meetings. With an online education, you can meet all of your obligations while advancing your academic credentials past the undergraduate level. Further, if you work in an office in the real world and study concurrently, each will inform the other.
Why Consider an Online MBA?
You should consider gaining admission to an online MBA in Arizona if you want to advance your career in the region. That might seem like a simplistic statement, but is very true. It will be to your advantage to study in an Arizona institution if you have an interest in moving to or staying in that state. Arizona has a vibrant and growing economy and there is a lot the state has to offer you and your family in terms of recreation and general lifestyle.
Another reason to consider an online MBA in Arizona is that the state offers so many great schools. The W.P. Carey School of Business, for instance, is one of the top MBA programs in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Carey School at #4 for supply chain management and #10 for information systems. That puts them up in the rarefied air with many Ivy League institutions. What’s really great is that you can attend from anywhere in the world.
Arizona offers more institutions with top MBA programs as well, such as:
- Arizona State’s Thunderbird School of Global Management
- University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management
- Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business
- University of Phoenix
Each of these institutions offers online MBA programs with unique curriculums and student experiences. Just as there is an infinite number of unique websites, each online MBA program has its own character and flavor.
Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education
Popular MBA Concentrations in Arizona
MBA degrees often come in two parts. The first year is spent on business fundamentals that build on students' experience and undergraduate coursework. In the second year, MBA candidates select a concentration area and focus on that. This could be a specific industry, such as healthcare, or a subset of business such as marketing, finance, information technology, or supply chain management.
A concentration can be of vital importance because that choice can determine the future trajectory of every student's career. In fact, if an MBA holder wishes to later make a change in their focus area they will likely need to return to school for a graduate certificate in that area. It's important to realize that these concentration areas result in students becoming the master of that specific area, so making a switch will require new training to achieve as much in the working world.
Arizona MBA students often focus on industries and core areas that they can immediately apply in their state. Thus, it's very popular for Arizona MBA students to concentrate in areas such as healthcare, information technology, human resources, operations management, and supply chain management. Of course, Arizona MBA candidates also focus on areas that are always of high value such as entrepreneurship, leadership, and finance.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is a huge factor in higher education, perhaps especially at the MBA level. When an MBA degree program has business-specific accreditation, that means a lot. Employers who offer tuition reimbursement are more likely to fund tuition for an MBA with AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE accreditation. While a program with regional accreditation will be recognized in that region, it may have less clout in other parts of the nation, especially if it isn’t a well-known program. Thus, MBA students should seek out MBA programs with business-specific, national accreditation. These programs are bound to be more challenging, but they will pay rewards long into the future.
Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
Arizona MBA students should be aware of the top industries in their state. Currently, those are government, retail, healthcare, and finance. Within each of those, MBA students can find their special niche, as informed by their MBA concentration. Students entering into government might specialize in finance, leadership, organizational management, or human resources. Students interested in finance should focus on that field, perhaps informed by a specialization on international finance. Here is a list of the top employers for MBA students to peruse.
Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|State of Arizona||Government||Phoenix||49,800|
|Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.||Retail||Bentonville||34,300|
|City of Phoenix||Government||Phoenix||14,000|
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Arizona
As students increase their educational level, so do they gain new responsibilities and higher salaries. When they start with an associate degree and then rise through a bachelor’s degree and finally to a top MBA degree, professionals note the subsequent positive changes in their overall career outlooks. This trend may seem intuitive, but it's also borne out by the statistics. The following chart details the progression of increased income from associate degree through a graduate degree in business.
Careers for Arizona MBA Grads
- Supply Chain Manager:
Logisticians are increasingly in demand. Our global economy relies on them to find the most efficient routes for shipments both to and from Arizona and throughout the rest of the globe.
- Financial Analyst:
Professionals in this field keep an eye on Wall Street equities markets in addition to new opportunities for institutional placements. They might also keep an eye on other firms in their sector in case there's a good opportunity for a merger or acquisition.
- Marketing Manager:
MBA students who focus on marketing can rise through the ranks to become the head of their marketing departments. Marketing managers need to be astute with statistical analysis and also able to assess creative campaigns. Marketing is often considered to be one of the fun parts of business, but it is also a vital part of revenue generation.
- Human Resources Director:
Every firm is only as good as its people. HR directors see that every firm's staff is well-compensated, including the best possible benefits packages. HR directors also oversee periodic staff training sessions that may cover topics as varied as insider trading, sensitivity, and sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Government Agency Director:
Even the government needs professionals with an MBA. The head of a state or federal agency, or even a regional office, needs to have the sorts of leadership and organizational skills that only an MBA degree can confer.
- Chief Information Officer:
Information technology experts who wish to rise into upper management and then into the C-suites often need MBA credentials. MBA programs provide IT professionals with the core business and management knowledge they need, while offering tech-focused concentrations.
Best MBA Programs in Arizona
Business professionals in Arizona have a variety of options when it comes time to enroll in an MBA program. The state is home to a number of top-notch MBA degree programs that can be pursued on campus, online, and through a hybrid mix of the two. MBA programs are vital for the future of Arizona because firms in the state need to remain competitive with other US firms, not to mention overseas markets. The following list is the result of intensive educational research to determine the best MBA programs in Arizona.
|Arizona State University||Location
|Northern Arizona University||Location
|University of Arizona||Location
|Grand Canyon University||Location
How to Choose & FAQ’s
When it comes time to seek out an MBA program, a few factors need to be considered. Not only do students need to seek the best overall program but they also need the best MBA degree program for them and for their future career goals. Thus, a myriad of objective and subjective factors come into play when it comes time to apply to MBA programs. Some factors might include accreditation, whether the program offers online degrees, concentration choices, and expense.
Accreditation should probably top the list of important educational factors. Programs with national accreditation from agencies that specialize in business education should be every student's top pick. Look for accreditation from either the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Programs that have accreditations from agencies that are above and beyond the regional level generally have the best academic programs. Though opinions differ on which is the preferred accreditation, each is considered excellent and is definitely a qualifier for consideration.
Once the best-accredited schools have been narrowed down, students can look closer at how well each fits their lives. Those who wish to continue working may want to find an online MBA program or one that is otherwise flexible. There are many night and weekend programs that cater to working students as well as those with families.
Of perhaps equal importance is each program's concentration offerings. Students who are already on a set career path need MBA programs with concentrations that align with their path. There are also students with a more general business background who are ready to hone their skills to a specialized area. Many enter their MBA program without knowing where they wish to concentrate, but they find their true path in that all-important first year of an MBA education.
- Will I need to declare my concentration before I begin an MBA degree? While some students already know that they wish to pursue for their concentration, just as many declare their concentration after they've completed the first year of their MBA.
- Will an Online MBA be well-regarded by employers? Yes. Online degrees from accredited MBA programs are just as valid as any other.
- Can I use an MBA in my career in non-profit organizations? Yes, in fact there are MBA programs that offer concentrations in government or non-profit firms specifically.