Best Kentucky MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Kentucky MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Kentucky


If you want consideration for the best jobs – and highest salaries – in business, an MBA is a necessity. If you are already working as a full-time professional, traveling for your job, and/or caring for a family, finding the time required to add a conventional master of business administration (MBA) academic program, even part-time, to your schedule may prove difficult or impossible. An online MBA is designed to offer you the flexibility to pursue your graduate degree at your own pace, from whichever college you choose, without attending courses on campus, and without sacrificing learning or faculty quality or course content.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


If you plan to continue living and working in Kentucky after receiving your MBA, having a degree from a Kentucky university is an advantage. These schools focus their MBA studies on businesses and industries in the state, so what you learn as you study for your advanced degree will help you in your future career in the Bluegrass State. Not to mention the fact that many alumni from these schools still live and hold positions in the state, which means you may have a chance to meet them as part of the main program or in later events.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Besides a basic masters’ degree in business administration, some online MBA programs offered by Kentucky universities also have strategic career concentrations students can choose between. Rather than becoming a generalist, as with a standard MBA, you become a specialist. In-demand concentrations can increase the student’s potential earning power. There are plenty of possible specializations for professionals, including business economics, public policy, social media marketing, marketing management, and more.

Admission requirements vary, but online MBA concentrations currently available in Kentucky include:

  • Finance
    Every company needs managers with financial expertise. A finance concentration allows students to develop expertise in technical finance (fintech) as well as master other skills necessary to be hired in the financial or related industries.
  • Health Systems Management
    This concentration prepares those planning a career in health services for leadership roles in hospitals, other medical organizations, or businesses engaged in healthcare services or products.
  • Human Resources Management
    HR managers are as responsible for a company’s success – or failure – as anyone. Management, employees, and company or office culture are all related to HR management expertise. Companies want the best possible people working in HR, and having a concentration in HR management on your resume is a significant asset.
  • Information Technology
    The core of this concentration focuses on how IT can make businesses function effectively and maintain a competitive edge. They may also have an additional role in security and maintaining staff access to private information and their ability to connect with each other.
  • International Business
    Business is increasingly connected worldwide. With this MBA concentration, students will have the credentials to search for work in globalized companies anywhere in the world.

Accreditation in Kentucky


Next, you’ll want to look for online MBA programs in Kentucky that are accredited, specifically business programs credited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). This is considered the gold standard for business schools and is viewed as such by corporate employers.

The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) is recognized by the Council on Higher Education as an accreditation organization. In Kentucky, schools are also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

This is important because it will allow you to apply for federal aid to pay your tuition and fees. It will also give you the ability to transfer credits hours and scores you earn if you need to switch to a new school for any reason, be it site location, class calendar offered, or choosing a new specialization.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


Kentucky’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. Top agricultural products include thoroughbred racehorses, beef cattle, tobacco, and soybeans. Manufacturing is led by motor vehicles and equipment, followed by chemicals and machinery. The mining industry includes coal, natural gas, and petroleum production.

The state’s leading service industries include healthcare, hotels, law firms, and wholesale and retail trade. Between 2016 and 2026, management occupations are poised to grow substantially. Healthcare jobs will experience double-digit percentage growth, and health occupations are expected to make up nearly 10% of all jobs in the state by 2026.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Ft. Campbell City Offices Government Ft. Campbell 23,227
Cincinnati International Airport Transportation Hebron 11,000
Humana, Inc. Healthcare Louisville 10,000
UK Chandler Hospital Healthcare Lexington 10,000
Toyota Motor Mfg. Kentucky, Inc. Automobiles Georgetown 6,974

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $43,044
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $53,051
  • Earnings with MBA - $67,541

Careers for Kentucky MBA Grads


  • Business Analyst
    Often working in IT or project management, business analysts combine business and technological knowhow to implement problem solving solutions.
  • Business Development Manager
    This job involves identifying business opportunities, evaluating the business current state, and working to drive the business to its full potential.
  • Director
    This position involves supervising a company or a particular area of a company.
  • Operations Manager
    This individual oversees goods and services production, and is charged with making this aspect of the organization run as smoothly as possible.
  • Program Manager
    In this role, a person oversees a company’s external and internal programs.
  • Senior Financial Analyst
    The senior financial analyst not only uses data to make investment recommendations, but builds on industry relationships and meets with clients.

Best MBA Programs in Kentucky


If you are looking to get an MBA degree and you want to know who has the best MBA programs in Kentucky our list can help narrow down your choices. We have ranked the best master of business administration colleges based on comprehensive data from NCES, Payscale and BLS with our own formula to help future MBA students.

Thomas More University Location
Crestview Hills, KY
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$9,387
Retention %
59%
Graduation %
54%
Avg. Grad Salary
$74,880
University of Kentucky Location
Lexington, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • New Business Venture
Tuition
$13,765
Retention %
85%
Graduation %
66%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,248
Murray State University Location
Murray, KY
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$9,114
Retention %
79%
Graduation %
55%
Avg. Grad Salary
$62,469
University of Louisville Location
Louisville, KY
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$13,520
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
59%
Avg. Grad Salary
$65,599
Bellarmine University Location
Louisville, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Analytics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Innovation
Tuition
$11,734
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
66%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,224
Northern Kentucky University Location
Highland Heights, KY
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$11,034
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
46%
Avg. Grad Salary
$64,597
Western Kentucky University Location
Bowling Green, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Sustainability Certificate
Tuition
$12,140
Retention %
73%
Graduation %
48%
Avg. Grad Salary
$57,987
Morehead State University Location
Morehead, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Health Systems Management
Tuition
$10,260
Retention %
73%
Graduation %
46%
Avg. Grad Salary
$57,532
Kentucky Wesleyan College Location
Owensboro, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
Tuition
N/A
Retention %
69%
Graduation %
45%
Avg. Grad Salary
$75,423
Spalding University Location
Louisville, KY
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$12,825
Retention %
70%
Graduation %
40%
Avg. Grad Salary
$67,178
Midway University Location
Midway, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Equine Studies
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Sports Management
  • Tourism (Hospitality) And Event Management
Tuition
$6,240
Retention %
69%
Graduation %
44%
Avg. Grad Salary
$62,165
Campbellsville University Location
Campbellsville, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Church Management
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
Tuition
$12,240
Retention %
68%
Graduation %
36%
Avg. Grad Salary
$53,274
University of the Cumberlands Location
Williamsburg, KY
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Executive MBA
Tuition
$5,670
Retention %
69%
Graduation %
44%
Avg. Grad Salary
$57,995

How to Choose & FAQ's


Choosing the right online MBA program in Kentucky is a personal decision that should center around your career goals and requirements. When making a decision, take every aspect of the MBA programs you’re interested in into account and figure out the strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your needs. The right online MBA program for you may not prove to be the right program for a colleague, and vice versa. If you have questions, contact the school directly for answers, or you may want to visit if the degree will require some time spent on the school’s campus.

  • Concentration
    If you want to focus your career in a specific field, look for an online MBA program offering that concentration. Perhaps a concentration was not part of your original educational plan, but you realize you are interested in a certain career path or it is a concentration valued greatly by your employer. If you are interested in only a general MBA, you have more options when it comes to deciding on an online program. If you want to pursue a concentration, compare the programs offered by different schools to see how they measure up. Many of these programs will require slightly more than the year needed to complete a regular MBA.
  • Experiences Available
    Even though you are not attending a brick and mortar school, that does not mean online MBA programs do not provide numerous opportunities to gain experience through internships or group projects. Employers want to know about the type of projects you did while obtaining your MBA. Find out what sort of projects you can expect to be required while you’re an MBA student and what types of experiences you will likely receive. Keep in mind that an online program can make it a bit more difficult to be a part of group projects than a standard program, but that just means working harder at communication. If a program doesn’t offer the kind of opportunities you seek, keep looking until you find one that does.
  • Perform Due Diligence
    An online MBA program may take up two years of your life or more. That’s why it is crucial to perform your due diligence when deciding on an MBA program. Make sure the online school has proper accreditation. What sort of technology is used in their program, and is it state-of-the-art? Does the program offer rolling admission, so you can apply and start when it is convenient for you, or is the admissions process more structured? Are there long breaks between semesters, or can you work almost continuously on your MBA, allowing you to finish the degree more quickly?
  • Tuition Costs
    In a perfect world, the cost of an MBA wouldn’t weigh that heavily. You can expect to earn enough money after receiving your degree to pay off student loans relatively quickly. That is certainly a possibility, but in the real world, tuition and the availability of financial aid, may rule out some schools. If your employer is paying for your MBA, you must adhere to any tuition limits imposed, unless you can supplement the overage yourself. Fortunately, online tuition is generally more affordable than conventional MBA tuition, and you do not have to factor in transportation costs when you are taking classes online.
  • Work Experience
    Most MBA programs are geared for those with work experience, and often require a specific number of years of such experience to qualify for the program. If you do not have sufficient work experience, you can either decide to wait to pursue an MBA or find a program that accepts the number of years you currently have under your belt. For example, if one program requires five years of experience and you have only three years, if you don’t want to wait another two years your choice of programs has been narrowed to those who will accept three years of experience.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources