What Can You Do With an MBA in Oklahoma
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance, management, or business in Oklahoma, you might be starting to search through various graduate school programs.
MBA graduates are in demand in just about every industry due to their combination of business know-how and real-world experience. Many graduates go on to find a job in accounting, finance, or the C-suites, as well as rising industries including information technology and systems, supply chain management, or healthcare administration.
Oklahoma is home to many growing industries across the board. Job prospects from aviation to energy, biotech, and healthcare are on the rise. And, with a large number of higher education institutions and graduate programs, there are plenty of options for Oklahoma workers, or those from all over the U.S., looking to advance their managerial careers or get started on an accelerated path through educational achievement.
However, working professionals can’t be expected to drop everything to return to college and studies and leave their life and community behind as they did for their undrgraduate degrees. As such, an online MBA presents a unique opportunity to advance your education, master the skills you will need, and continue to support yourself and your family and even maintain your social life, especially if you attend part-time.
Why Consider an Online MBA?
There are several reasons one might pursue an online MBA in Oklahoma. For one, an advanced business degree is one path to a higher salary and the skills needed to lead an organization. While not all Oklahoma employers have requirements that their employees have graduate degrees, those with an MBA gain full access to more opportunities, edging out their peers with only a bachelor’s.
That said, finding the time to return to class after being in the workforce can be a daunting prospect. MBA’s aren’t cheap—and taking off from work or home responsibilities might not be an option. As such, an online MBA presents the best of both worlds. Many business schools deliver the same access to admission, coursework, and quality programming to distance learners as their campus-based counterparts. And they include the added benefit of a flexible schedule and the ability to take each course at your own pace.
Programs vary from those that take about three years to complete to accelerated programs that get students through the program within just 12 months. You’ll also have the option to choose between an MBA concentration or a traditional MBA. Because there’s a broad range of MBA options to choose from, you’ll want to get as much info as possible before enrolling in a program.
For example, it might be smart to select a campus that’s close to home. While distance learning does imply an ability to learn from anywhere, there are some advantages to choosing a nearby school. For example, many programs provide face-to-face networking, mentorship, and other resources that will help you get a leg up in your career. Other require you to attend at least one in-person event each year. If you attend a school that’s particularly far away, this will drive up your total investment.
Below, we’ll look at some of the factors to consider when selecting an online MBA.
Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education
Typical MBA Concentrations
As with many degree options, some MBA programs give students the opportunity to select a concentration, while others provide a more general approach. With MBA concentrations, you’ll still take the main classes you’d expeect, like business administration, accounting, finance, and management. But, you’ll also take courses that allow you to dive deeper into a particular area. Available specializations vary across the country but can include project management, international business, human resources and human resource management, business analytics, operations management, law and legal studies, a professional MBA, and more.
In Oklahoma, the offered academic concentrations are designed to correlate to what is required by local industry. The energy industry based in the state is booming, as is healthcare. Other options like accounting or finance are also solid choices that will lay the groundwork for a successful career in Oklahoma or elsewhere. Below are some of the more popular concentrations you can apply for in Oklahoma.
Energy is a significant industry in Oklahoma, particularly oil and gas management. As such, it may well be a smart move to look into an energy-specific MBA, especially if you have some background in this industry. An energy concentration combines leadership and business coursework with content that offers a greater understanding of the energy industry.
Accounting is always in demand—every business needs an accountant on site, at least when tax season rolls around. Students with a completed MBA in accounting can work in a wide array of companies or start their own firm or consulting business.
Marketing MBAs focus on big-picture strategy and leadership skills. This program will provide a background in those skills, as well as how to maintain a positive public image, manage marketing teams, and come up with strategies that drive business growth.
- Healthcare Administration
Healthcare Administration MBAs are another popular option for students looking for a stable career. The healthcare sector is booming across the country and earning an MBA in this high demand sector can help you become a leader. Healthcare Administration MBAs combine business and management courses with a deeper dive into the study of the insurance market, health policy, budget planning, and organizational structures.
Finance MBAs focus on preparing students for leadership roles in the financial services sector and pave the way toward a career as a financial officer, analyst, venture capitalist, or banker. This concentration combines advanced financial principles with leadership and business classes, setting the foundation for a real range of career possibilities.
Accreditation in Oklahoma
Accreditation plays a considerable role in the quality of your education, and perhaps more importantly, whether or not future employers even recognize your degree. The process serves to show students and future employers that the degree and the associated coursework reflect a particular set of global, national, or regional standards that center on quality.
The best online MBA programs in Oklahoma will be accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is one of six regional accreditation organizations in the United States.
Regional accreditation is typically seen as more prestigious in some ways than national certification, which is often granted to vocational schools, for-profit colleges, or religious institutions. HLC accreditation, by contrast, focuses on more traditional institutions; public and private universities.
Additionally, schools with an accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) also meet certain quality expectations. This is a global accreditation awarded to business schools both online and off.
Accreditation affects the ease with which you can transfer credits and decides whether or not you have access to federal financial aid, so you don’t want to skip this step. Always check any school you’re considering for accreditation.
Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
Oklahoma is ranked third among states in terms of job opportunities at the management level, so it’s clear that an MBA can be a significant boon. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average mean wage for management professionals in Oklahoma can expect to earn roughly $103,000 per year, while executives can expect earnings well over the six-figure range.
Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Department of Defense||Government/Military||Oklahoma City||69,000|
|Oklahoma State University||Higher Education||Stillwater||7,000|
Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential
According to the BLS, the median income for Oklahoma MBA holders is around $67,550. It’s important to note that this number includes recent grads and seasoned professionals alike. Mid to late career professionals can expect to earn considerably more, especially in senior management roles.
- Earnings with Associates - $49,372
- Earnings with Bachelors - $56,140
- Earnings with MBA - $67,550
Careers for Oklahoma MBA Grads
- Management Consultant
Management consultants work with organizations to identify areas of improvement, as well as identify ways to grow and improve business performance.
The primary objective here is to help a company or organization become more competitive. This person must familiarize themselves with the client’s challenges and, from there, provide feedback, training, and a plan for success.
While you don’t necessarily need an MBA, this degree is a strong asset in this field, along with work experience. The role requires the ability to think strategically and conduct in-depth assessments, while also being a strong leader. You’ll need to build and maintain relationships, so others trust you.
- Energy Management
Energy management is the strategic evaluation of how energy is used. Most of this position involves planning for efficient use, as well as planning new projects and finding ways to improve on existing methods.
In this role, you’ll perform audits, evaluate energy use, and analyze consumption. Much of the day-to-day work is spent writing reports and reviewing plans, though they may visit job sites and oversee project implementation.
- Healthcare Administrator
In this role, the administrator must have a firm grasp on finance, management, and the inner workings of the medical facility. Administrators are responsible for budget planning, creating and implementing policies, managing staff scheduling, and evaluating the quality of care provided by the organization.
This person should have superior attention to detail and the ability to act as a liaison between executives, medical staff, the board, and the public.
- Financial Analyst
The financial analyst role requires a firm grasp on financial markets, reporting, and analytical skills. Here, you’ll gather data, look at past trends, and make recommendations for improvements. This person will spend much of their time doing research and identifying opportunities to make investments or cut costs.
Best MBA Programs in Oklahoma
Below, we’ve included a list of some of the best MBA programs in the state of Oklahoma. The list consists of a combination of public and private institutions, some of which provide specializations, accelerated programs, and executive track MBAs.
Here are our top picks:
|Oklahoma City University||Location
Oklahoma City, OK
|Oklahoma State University||Location
|University of Oklahoma||Location
|University of Tulsa||Location
|Oklahoma Christian University||Location
|Oklahoma Baptist University||Location
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Location
|Oral Roberts University||Location
|Southeastern Oklahoma State University||Location
|Southern Nazarene University||Location
|Northeastern State University||Location
|University of Central Oklahoma||Location
|Rogers State University||Location
|Mid-America Christian University||Location
Oklahoma City, OK
How to Choose & FAQ's
There are several things you’ll need to consider before settling on an Oklahoma-based MBA program. Prospective candidates will want to look at things like cost, accreditation, and any specialized concentrations.
Here are a few things you should think about before enrolling in an online MBA program:
- Consider the Costs
Figuring out how you’ll pay for your online MBA is one of the hardest parts of the process. See what financial aid options are available and look into any MBA scholarships. In some cases, you may be able to get your employer to reimburse the cost of your education if you choose to work there for a certain period after graduating.
Beyond seeking out resources available, compare the costs of each program. You’ll likely be on the hook for books and fees, as well as the cost of credit hours. Luckily, Oklahoma programs are relatively affordable compared to other states’ MBA programs. Still, you’re looking at a significant investment down the line.
- Make sure the classes work with your schedule.
If you’re looking at online MBA programs, chances are, you’re probably already planning on working full-time or don’t have a ton of flexibility in your schedule. For that reason, you’ll want to look at the time commitment involved with your MBA program, as well as whether the program is self-guided or not. Some programs require students to show up on campus for meetings, lectures, or events on occasion.
- Make sure the program is accredited.
Accreditation status is probably the most critical piece of information you should look for in a program. Sure, you should also make sure that the program is a good fit—and that the school provides the resources that will set you up for success.
But, even the perfect program won’t cut it if it’s not accredited.
HLC, AASCB, and ACBSP provide credentials to Oklahoma schools that signify that the program is top quality.
- Does the School Provide Professional Development?
Whether you’re looking to advance in your current role or move into a new one, an online MBA can provide the training to help you achieve your goals. However, the degree can only take you so far. If you’re a professional in the early stages of your career, programs that offer some training, recruiting opportunities, and access to an alumni network can make the difference between a modest salary increase and landing that dream job.
Established professionals should look for programs that provide some executive training workshops, business partnerships, and real-world business immersion.
- What concentrations are available?
If you’re considering a concentration instead of a traditional MBA, you’ll need to add this to your list of needs. Concentrations can help you deepen your knowledge in a core business area and can help you identify a few programs that work best with your career goals. While you can’t go wrong with a traditional MBA—which might even come with a bigger salary—a concentration like healthcare administration or energy management can go a long way in the Oklahoma job market.
- What resources are available?
In addition to looking at the coursework, the faculty, and the logistics of the whole thing, an online MBA program should also provide a specific set of resources to their students. Look for services like mentoring, one-on-one coaching, or recruiting opportunities. Additional resources include networking events, webinars and seminars, workshops, and career fairs.
Students should also conduct a great deal of research here, as some programs give more limited resources to online students compared to their on-campus counterparts. Look for clues like whether the faculty teaches both online and off, whether they provide career resources, networking opportunities, and so on, to all students.