Having a good education puts residents of Arkansas in a good position to capitalize on its growing job market. While one in every five people in the state have a bachelor’s degree, even fewer people have a graduate degree. That means employers will be on the lookout for highly-educated employees. With over 1 million households, Arkansas contributes heavily to the U.S. economy, and students completing programs in the state can get good-paying jobs upon graduation.
Online MBA Arkansas degree programs attract students seeking leadership positions in business. Both the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University offer online MBA degrees that learners complete in about two years. The tuition price and flexibility of an online MBA are two reasons students should consider receiving their degree from one of these institutions. Learners can omit the cost of living on-campus and the drive to the classroom from the overall costs of receiving a graduate degree.
Students should, however, ensure that they live within a reasonable driving distance, as some online MBA programs in Arkansas require occasional attendance. For instance, the University of Arkansas requires an on-campus interaction one Saturday each month at its Fayetteville location.
Students should also determine whether GMAT scores are required for entrance into a program. As one of the best online MBA programs in Arkansas, Arkansas State University requires the GMAT for admission. The University of Arkansas, however, waives the requirement for applicants who enter with at least five years of work experience and a strong academic record.
|Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education|
MBA Concentrations for Arkansas Students
Pursuing your online MBA Arkansas degree includes selecting a concentration. In the case of Arkansas, specializing in supply chain management or innovation and entrepreneurship is ideal given the available positions for graduates. While a concentration in supply chain management readies you for manager positions throughout the country, a concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship helps you launch your own business.
- Supply Chain Management: Students learn to source and deliver goods, use technology in business, and purchase and move goods.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Students learn the benefits and risks of starting a business, study problem-solving methods, and practice building a product from the ground up.
Accreditation in Arkansas
Your search for online MBA programs in Arkansas should focus on accredited institutions. Educational authorities like the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) provide accreditation credentials to schools that exhibit academic excellence. Both ED and CHEA recognize six regional accreditation bodies, including the Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western Associations of College and Schools. Earning an advanced degree from an accredited school makes you more attractive to potential employers and demonstrates your understanding of business concepts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare and social assistance sectors boasted the most employees and ranked the highest among major industries in Arkansas in 2015. America’s aging population creates higher job demand in medical fields. In addition, the 2017 Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report projects a net gain of 4,466 jobs in goods-producing industries by 2018 and an employment increase in service-producing industries of 33,437 in that same year. The publication also highlights a 10,000 person increase in the labor force between 2015 and 2016 combined with an unemployment rate shrinking to 3.4% as of July 2017.
Top Employers in Arkansas
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
While your income depends on your career choice, company choice, and location, earning an online MBA in Arkansas gives job applicants a competitive advantage.
Earning an MBA demonstrates one’s depth of business knowledge. It tells employers that you possess the ability to think critically and communicate effectively with internal and external partners. It also demonstrates that you are capable of managing a business’ assets, employees, and products. Being a manager means that you earn a higher income and are a valuable member of a business.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Arkansas
- Administrative Service Manager
People in this position direct the operations of support services within an organization. Jobs in this career are expected to grow 10% by 2026, which is higher than the average 7% growth rate projected for all occupations.
- Compensation Benefits Manager
A compensation benefits manager plans, develops and leads programs that affect employee compensation. The 2016 median pay for this role was $116,240.
- Financial Manager
With a 2016 median salary of $121,750, a financial manager produces reports, guides investments, and oversees the general fiscal health of an organization. Jobs in this profession are expected to rise 19% by 2026.
- Training and Development Manager
These managers identify the kinds of professional development employees need in order to effectively execute a business’ objectives. Job growth projections stand at a 10% growth rate by 2026.
- Top Executive
Top executives are the leaders and strategic decision makers at a company. Execs have a median salary of $103,950 as of 2016, and growth in this position is expected to increase 8% by 2026.
The following list includes the accredited schools in Arkansas where you can earn your MBA. Explore which programs are available and review their requirements.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
University of Arkansas
|Location Fayetteville, AR||Tuition||Tuition $40,716||% Receiving Financial Aid 40%||Student Population 26,754||School Type Public||
Arkansas State University
|Location Jonesboro, AR||Tuition||Tuition $20,130||% Receiving Financial Aid 53%||Student Population 13,410||School Type Public||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
Arkansas Tech University
|Location Russellville, AR||Tuition||Tuition $10,620||% Receiving Financial Aid 45%||Student Population 12,054||School Type Public||Visit School Website|
|Location Searcy, AR||Tuition||Tuition $24,300||% Receiving Financial Aid 55%||Student Population 6,009||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
John Brown University
|Location Siloam Springs, AR||Tuition||Tuition $18,480||% Receiving Financial Aid 51%||Student Population 2,781||School Type Private||Visit School Website|
Southern Arkansas University
|Location Magnolia, AR||Tuition||Tuition $9,960||% Receiving Financial Aid 48%||Student Population 4,095||School Type Public||
There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Arkansas. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.
Compare student outcomes data
Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.
Estimate the expected costs of your programs
Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.
Check that classes will fit in with your schedule
Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.
Look for partnerships with local businesses
A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school’s business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.
Make sure the program is accredited
Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school’s website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).
Talk to current students and/or recent alumni
You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.