Best Colorado MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Colorado MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Colorado


Whether you’re going to go full-time, part-time, or attend your classes online, a degree in management and business administration (MBA) in Colorado will take your life and career in new, exciting directions. When you have some free time, you can relax or get some heart-pounding exercise in the Rocky Mountains that are such a huge attraction in the state throughout the year. Go hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter.

Because the programs here are all accredited by one agency or another, you’re going to have the opportunity to work with world-class professors. Guest speakers will come in and give you intriguing glimpses of the executive world.

Should you need to look for a particular MBA experience (EMBA, Professional MBA, Health Administration MBA, One-Year MBA, or Executive MBA in Health Administration), you’ll find it. Just about any university’s MBA program will have several specific MBA offerings so you can pick what you need and apply to whichever college offers you the specific content you are looking for, whether it’s in international business, environmental policy creation, strategic innovation, risk management, dealing with change, and many other areas. If your career is in an outdoor-oriented business, at least one university offers an Outdoor Industry MBA. Colorado, with its abundant sunlight and differing climates, is the ideal location for this specialization.


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Why Consider an Online MBA?


You may already have a sharp mind and a general understanding of the corporate world. Maybe you’re happy where you work now, or you’re about to graduate from your undergraduate program. If you’ve worked in a managerial role for a few years, you may have realized that to advance any further you’ll likely need an advanced, master level degree. Or, if you’re getting ready to graduate with your BBA, you might already have plans to continue right into an MBA program.

Most Colorado MBA programs invite students from, not only the United States but a wide range of countries around the world. If you search the current MBA programs offered by universities and colleges in Colorado, you’ll find just as much value as other programs, sometimes for much less money. These programs are designed to expose you to challenging classroom conversations and scenarios. Your class projects will help you understand different ways of thinking about issues common to organizations based in the US and around the world. Even better, you’ll be able to complete your degree, graduate, and get to work in less than two years.

You may need to continue working full-time while you earn your MBA. Some Colorado MBA programs offer you the flexibility you need to do so, with full classes in the evenings or online MBA programs.

You may have started your career in a different field such as nursing, engineering, or social work. Several Colorado MBA programs accept MBA students from other educational disciplines, whether they have taken the main business courses or not. Requirements for entry may include a plan to take a prerequisite course or two, but you might also be able to request that your experience be taken into account.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


A general MBA suits you well if you’re going to work in a role where you’re responsible for a wide range of tasks. However, if you’re going to work in a job that requires that you have specialized knowledge, then you need to take specializations or concentration courses. Concentrations allow you to focus on one particular aspect of business on top of your core classes including marketing, information systems, or business analytics.

  • Bio-Innovation and Enterpreneurship
    This blends two business interests. Bio-innovation centers on identification, commercialization, and dissemination of new biological technologies, models, and concepts.
  • Enterpreneurship
    This specialization makes it easier for you to strike out on your own and start a business. If you want to make a real plan to start your own business and make it grow to the point that it competes with other companies, this concentration is for you. You’ll learn how to write a business plan for funding, about the legal issues that could slow or stop your business, you’ll learn about quality web development to allow you to develop a site and a presence on the internet, and you’ll learn how to communicate with venture capitalists should they approach you.
  • Project Managers
    These professionals are trusted with overseeing the property, personnel, and financial resources of their office and their employer’s larger projects. As a project manager, you need a high degree of personal integrity, so you make ethical decisions while you manage the projects assigned to you.
  • Advanced Accounting
    This degree takes you beyond the usual MBA accounting degree. The program focuses on tax accounting, international accounting, cost accounting, and accounting ethics. You’ll also learn accounting research and accounting information systems within a forensic framework. You’ll need a background in accounting to gain admission to one of these programs.
  • Leadership
    If you have a goal of leading from within a senior management position (COO or CEO), this concentration fits your needs. If you plan to own your own business, you may be able to make use of the Leadership concentration as well. Managers of for-profits and non-profits, law enforcement, and the military also benefit from this concentration.

Accreditation in Colorado


It’s only the best of the best MBA programs that apply for and receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This agency confers the highest standards of accreditation for business programs around the world, with less than 5% of 16,000 business schools earning this distinction.

Schools that are moving toward accreditation gather needed documentation and send in their initial application. Once this is approved, the school begins to work to meet the benchmarks so that it can be accredited. The AACSB returns to review each business school every five years to ensure that it has maintained the very high academic standards needed to keep its accreditation. It isn’t only the schools that work toward high standards of excellence—staff and faculty must make this commitment as well.

A business school with accreditation works to provide challenging and relevant curriculum and career opportunities for each of its students, whether they attend on campus or online. Accredited schools supply academic rigor, industry exposure, and experiential learning. They will also provide you with access to faculty with world renown, career advancement in specific and general disciplines, and networking opportunities with professionals in the industries you are interested in.

Career and Job Outlook for Gradutes


Managers and CEOs with MBAs do exceptionally well in Colorado. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations are represented very well in this state.

Management occupations maintain a bright outlook as general managers, operations managers, and marketing managers are all finding employment more frequently than are people in other occupations. Sales managers are doing even better. They are finding that job vacancies for their expertise are almost twice as high as those for the next closest occupations.

The annual mean wage for marketing and sales managers are well into six-figure territory. Marketing managers earn an annual mean wage of $161,970; sales managers are close behind at $156,280.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Summit Utilities, Inc. Utilities Littleton, Colorado 96
North Star Resource Group Financial Services Minneapolis, Minnesota 8,405
Spectrum Enterprise Fiber-based Technology Stamford, Connecticut 4,831
Flexential Data Solutions Charlotte, North Carolina 643

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $51,000
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $59,926
  • Earnings with MBA - $64,031

Careers for Colorado MBA Grads


  • Finance Manager II
    In this position, you report straightto the Director of Finance. You’ll work with other finance managers and analysts on financial planning, analysis, and reporting.

    You’ll need to work with cross-functional teams to make it easier for the Director of Finance to arrive at decisions. Your aim is to improve profitability through the entire organization. Your ability to develop and manage extremely complex financial analysis and business modeling will be highly prized. If you have a high degree of technical proficiency, this will help you in your position.

  • Strategy and Business Development
    You’ll be responsible for leading growth initiatives as you and your team look for new markets. As you find these markets, you’ll also develop market entry strategies. Expect to conduct qualitative and quantitative analyses of markets and products.

    You’ll also manage cross-functional teams to provide project deliverables on established timelines. You’ll also assess potential acquisition and investment options by looking at sourcing, developing financial deal models, and conducting preliminary commercial due diligence.

  • Senior Development and Operations Analyst—Seniors Housing
    In this position, you’re responsible for calculating IRR, NPV, and equity multiples. You’ll also take responsibility for building and presenting strong Excel models and help in the preparation of development project budgets and forms.

    You’ll evaluate Seniors Housing opportunities for development by creating Excel-based cash flow models. You’ll be charged with assisting in the underwriting and due diligence of each transaction, to include reading and interpreting leases, operating agreements, loan documents, JV partnership agreements, and researching market fundamentals.

  • Business Manager
    You will have primary responsibility for business and non-legal aspects of the company. You will report straight to the managing partners, holding overall responsibility for finance and accounting, human resources, technology, insurance, facilities, administrative personnel, operations, and marketing/business development initiatives.

    Some of these responsibilities are day-to-day while others are longer-term. You will actively participate in the development and implementation of strategies that support the continued growth and performance of the company.

  • Senior Director of Business Development
    You’re responsible for the identification and pursuit of new business opportunities. This will result in RFPs, contract award, and the achievement of assigned revenue goals. In this position, you report directly to the CEO. This position could eventually transition into a Vice Presidential/management team role.
  • Retail Financial Analyst
    This position requires someone who isn’t afraid to push boundaries. The Retail Finance Team builds leaders and drives the value of its services. You’ll be responsible for comprehensive financial planning, forecasting, and analysis. You’ll help the company to strategically align its resources with achievement of goals for the long- and short-term.

Best MBA Programs in Colorado


University of Colorado-Boulder Location
Boulder, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Executive MBA
Tuition
$13,873
Retention %
87%
Graduation %
69%
Avg. Grad Salary
$75,418
Regis University Location
Denver, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Health Industry Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management
Tuition
$15,826
Retention %
84%
Graduation %
64%
Avg. Grad Salary
$81,048
University of Colorado-Denver Location
Denver, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Enterprise Technology Management
  • Information Systems
  • Managing For Sustainability
Tuition
$6,786 (NCES 2019-2020)
Retention %
70%
Graduation %
52%
Avg. Grad Salary
$72,396
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Location
Fort Collins, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Executive MBA
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Accounting Ethics
  • Auditing
  • Business Intelligence
  • Project Management
  • Business Information Systems
Tuition
$13,258
Retention %
84%
Graduation %
70%
Avg. Grad Salary
$68,423
Colorado Technical University - Colorado Springs Campus Location
Colorado Springs, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Global Leadership
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Operations Supply Chain Management
  • Technology Management
Tuition
$14,898
Retention %
44%
Graduation %
26%
Avg. Grad Salary
$84,553
University of Denver Location
Denver, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Marketing
Tuition
$53,659
Retention %
85%
Graduation %
77%
Avg. Grad Salary
$69,640
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Location
Colorado Springs, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Innovation Management
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
Tuition
$14,656
Retention %
70%
Graduation %
45%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,743
Colorado Christian University Location
Lakewood, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Project Management
Tuition
$14,078
Retention %
83%
Graduation %
55%
Avg. Grad Salary
$61,427
Metropolitan State University of Denver Location
Denver, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Strategic Business
  • Accounting
Tuition
$12,093
Retention %
67%
Graduation %
28%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,958
Colorado College Location
Colorado Springs, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Systems-operations
Tuition
$51,153
Retention %
96%
Graduation %
83%
Avg. Grad Salary
$67,595
University of Northern Colorado Location
Greeley, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare
  • Human Resource Management
Tuition
$13,360
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
52%
Avg. Grad Salary
$64,286
Colorado State University-Pueblo Location
Pueblo, CO
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$5,651
Retention %
63%
Graduation %
36%
Avg. Grad Salary
$62,302
Colorado Mesa University Location
Grand Junction, CO
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$9,000
Retention %
74%
Graduation %
34%
Avg. Grad Salary
$63,359
Johnson & Wales University-Denver Location
Denver, CO
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Event Leadership
  • Executive Communication
  • Finance
  • Global Fashion Merchandising and Management
  • Hospitality
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Technology
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Project Management
  • Sport Leadership
Tuition
$13,734
Retention %
63%
Graduation %
52%
Avg. Grad Salary
$56,811
Adams State University Location
Alamosa, AL
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Leadership
  • Public Administration
  • Sports Management
Tuition
$4,590
Retention %
59%
Graduation %
30%
Avg. Grad Salary
$57,256
Western Colorado University Location
Gunnison, CO
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$16,048
Retention %
65%
Graduation %
51%
Avg. Grad Salary
$61,417

How to Choose & FAQ's


If you need to earn your MBA through an online program, you should look at the info for a variety of universities with various rankings that offer an online option. Online is the best option if you work full-time and you can’t leave your job for two years, have a family who needs you, or have community obligations that you can’t set to the side and knowing the differences between your options will help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right online MBA program is just as challenging as choosing a traditional one. Consider yourself your own best investment. As such, you need to think about the return on investment that an online MBA can give you. Once you graduate, your value to an employer increases.

If you’re worried that your MBA degree won’t be as valuable because it’s online, keep in mind that MBA distance education programs are made to offer success and value. Look closely at the tuition and added fees. Explore the financial aid you qualify for. Don’t forget to look for accreditations for the online programs you’re exploring.

  • Research your choices! Set aside what the program is famed for and look at how it can best serve your needs. You’re looking for a program that gives you the skills you need to advance in your career or offers the concentration you’re looking for. You also need a program that gives you the various kinds of support you need, networking opportunities, and the resources you’ll need for your studies. Now, look at the program’s reputation and ranking. How do they fit into what you imagine for yourself? Study every program extensively so you can make an educated choice.
  • Ask questions. Actively seek information about the schools that interest you. You can call and ask questions of staff, professors, or professionals you know who have graduated in the state. You can often contact graduates of the program through alumni groups. Check the graduation, employment rates, and average salaries of graduates of the program. This information is usually accessible through surveys conducted by the schools themselves and available on their website.
  • Once you know the programs you prefer, it’s time to apply. You may want to apply to more than one school. You’re going to look at a wide variety of MBA programs and colleges. Applying to more than one will give you a back-up in case you don’t get in somewhere. But don’t go overboard, application fees will start to add up and it will take time and effort to complete each and every application. It’s important to have narrowed your list down before you started applying.
  • Financial aid is an important consideration. Even if you’re planning to attend online, you will still have to contend with the costs of your education. On-campus work placement will not be available to online students, but all other financial aid is equally accessible no matter where you are taking your courses. Make sure you discuss all your options with the financial aid services at the school of your choosing. You don’t have to wait until you are accepted to start learning about what you can do to pay for your education.
  • If you already have a position in a company, be sure to discuss your education plans with your employer. They may offer some tuition aid or be willing to shift your work schedule to make it easier for you to complete your education. Companies want their employees to be well-educated and will love to hear that you are on your way to earning an MBA.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources


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