The state of Connecticut is situated in a corridor between Boston and New York, powerhouse states with large concentrations of financial institutions, business headquarters, and thriving industries. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3,576,452 people lived in Connecticut as of July 2016. 89.9% of these individuals (over the age of 25) had at least a high school diploma and 37.6% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The state’s most densely populated areas are in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, and Hartford. Although Connecticut was hit hard by the Great Recession, it has since rebounded thanks to contributions by the fields of finance and insurance; these are two of the most important industries in Connecticut, according to a May 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The areas of Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport contain the highest concentration of colleges and universities. The University of Connecticut in Storrs is the largest university in the state with more than 28,000 students. It is followed by Post University in Waterbury (with 15,000+ students), Central Connecticut State University in New Britain (with 14,000+ students), and Yale in New Haven (with 13,000+ students). Many Connecticut colleges, including Yale and Quinnipiac, offer online programming. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that there are approximately 30,000 learners in the state enrolled in at least one online course. Connecticut is an ideal place for distance learners pursuing an online MBA because of its high-quality education system and its location, which makes it easier for students to get internships and pursue permanent employment after graduating.
Connecticut residents generally benefit from lower tuition rates at in-state colleges compared to students from out of state. However, many online colleges offer the same tuition for all online learners, regardless of where they live. This, combined with the fact that distance learners do not pay for transportation, child care, and other expenses related to on-campus living, makes an online MBA a more affordable degree option. Students who choose to pursue an online MBA in Connecticut can attend smaller schools, such as the University of Hartford and Sacred Heart University, or larger institutions, such as the University of Connecticut or Quinnipiac.
Online learning provides increased flexibility. Some programs offer accelerated learning options, where students can earn their MBA more quickly.
Online learning provides increased flexibility. Some programs offer accelerated learning options, where students can earn their MBA more quickly. Other schools, such as the University of New Haven, have a “flex MBA option” that allows students to complete the program over an extended period of time, letting distance learners balance career, family, and educational responsibilities. Yale also offers online options, including a 22-month MBA for executives program, in which students can specialize in healthcare, sustainability, or asset management.
Many online MBA programs in Connecticut are delivered asynchronously, giving students the option to study from anywhere at their convenience. While most programs require applicants to submit their GMAT scores, this requirement can be waived depending on previous work or educational experiences. Some programs also employ a hybrid format where students complete some coursework on campus. Southern Connecticut State University, for instance, offers an 18-month, fast-track program that requires occasional on-campus visits. The cost of living for those enrolled in hybrid or on-campus programs in Connecticut varies depending on their location. For example, the cost of living in Hartford is 21% higher than the national average. Therefore, fully-online MBA programs in Connecticut likely represent a more affordable option.
|Number of Students Enrolled by Distance Education in Connecticut|
MBA Concentrations for Connecticut Students
The financial, professional and business services, and health services sectors are all important industries in Connecticut. Connecticut online MBA programs offer specializations that address the professional needs of companies within these sectors. For example, MBA graduates with a concentration in finance can find employment as financial analysts or investment bankers in Stamford, Bridgeport, Hartford, and Norwalk. Healthcare organizations, including hospitals, benefit from competent healthcare managers and financial officers with an MBA. The same is true for the many Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state (e.g., Aetna and Cigna).
Concentrations for Connecticut MBA Students
- Finance: Financial skills benefit workers in many industries in Connecticut. Students learn trends and foundational knowledge in finance, including investment analysis, international finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Career options include financial analyst, investment banker, and managerial positions.
- Healthcare Management: The healthcare sector needs more financial professionals versed in managing costs and developing revenue for medical practices. Students become knowledgeable about healthcare policies, legal affairs, financial management, decision-making, and information systems. Potential careers include healthcare manager and financial officer.
Accreditation in Connecticut
Postsecondary institutions in the United States prove that they offer a quality education by obtaining one of two levels of accreditation: national and regional. Reputable degree-granting colleges and universities in Connecticut pursue regional accreditation to verify the quality of their programming. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges is the accrediting agency for schools in states in the New England region, including Connecticut. Choosing a regionally-accredited institution is important; a degree, certificate, or coursework from a regionally-accredited school is guaranteed to meet Connecticut state standards. Additionally, regionally-accredited schools generally only accept transfer credits from other schools that have been regionally accredited. Alternatively, national accreditation is more common at for-profit institutions, trade schools, or religiously-affiliated colleges.
According to 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the fields of healthcare and social assistance are major employers in Connecticut. While Connecticut is still recovering from the Great Recession, which hit the state’s financial industries hard, September 2017 data from the Connecticut Department of Labor shows that four supersectors in the state saw job increases in September 2017: professional and business services, financial, information, and manufacturing. Connecticut has also recovered 90,700 jobs of the 119,100 jobs it lost between 2008 and 2010. The unemployment rate for Connecticut in September 2017 was 4.6%.
The unemployment rate for Connecticut in September 2017 was 4.6%.
The largest employer in the state is the education and health services sector, followed by transportation and public utilities, leisure and hospitality, and finance. The regions with the highest concentrations of employment are Bridgeport, Stamford, Hartford, and Norwalk, each of which is home to large financial institutions.
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|United Technologies||Technology, media, and financial services company||Hartford||26,200|
|The Hartford||Financial services and insurance companies||Hartford||11,900|
It is important to determine what level of education you want to pursue. In business, the MBA is the highest educational achievement and provides graduates with more job opportunities, higher earnings, transferrable skills across multiple industries, and the opportunity to choose a specialization.
As noted above, the level of education a professional attains is inextricably linked to their upward job mobility and salary. Individuals who want to ascend to managerial positions in the business field benefit from holding an advanced degree, such as an MBA, which employers value as a credential that validates an employee’s knowledge and competency. The average salary for someone holding an associate of business administration in Connecticut is $60,125. For those holding an MBA, the average compensation jumps more than 40% to $91,182.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Connecticut
- Medical and Health Service Managers
Healthcare executives or healthcare administrators run facilities, departments, or physician practices. This career is ideal for MBA graduates in Connecticut because the health services sector is the largest employer in the state. The BLS notes that this position requires a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and the median pay in 2016 was $96,540. The number of these positions is projected to grow 20% faster than the national average.
- Finance Managers
An MBA is basically a requirement in the field of finance, which is another important sector in Connecticut. The state is home to some of the top 20 health and life insurers as well as a hub for banking and asset management. Finance managers ensure the health of such organizations and receive generous compensation. The BLS notes that the 2016 average median pay for these workers was $121,750, and growth of this position is expected to be 21% faster than average.
- Management Analysts
Most MBA programs have management and management consulting tracks where students acquire managerial, strategic, and operations skillsets. Many organizations in Connecticut require these skillsets; therefore, graduates are well-placed to secure gainful employment. The BLS notes that the 2016 median pay for this profession was $81,330 per year and job growth is expected to be 12% faster than average.
- Sales Managers
A career in sales is ideal for MBA holders because the skillsets learned in this program are transferable to any industry. Individuals with a healthcare concentration can pursue jobs in the state’s growing biotechnology field or at one of the many pharmaceutical companies in Connecticut, including Bayer and Pfizer. The BLS notes that the annual median pay in 2016 for sales managers was $117,960, and this career is projected to grow 7% faster than the U.S. average.
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers/Directors
Much like sales, the need for professionals who can generate interest in the products and services that a company offers transcends sectors. Although many of the lower-level jobs in marketing do not require an MBA, advanced positions are competitive and an advanced degree can set you apart from your peers.
When looking for an MBA program, students should consider how much time and money they can spend pursuing a degree as well as which schools best meet their academic and career goals. Choosing a program that is accredited is also vital because it ensures that the school maintains high standards, as outlined by its regional accrediting body. The following is a list of accredited schools for individuals interested in earning an online MBA in Connecticut.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
Albertus Magnus College
|Location New Haven, CT||Tuition||Tuition $40,848||% Receiving Financial Aid 80%||Student Population 1,515||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
University of Bridgeport
|Location Bridgeport, CT||Tuition||Tuition $28,980||% Receiving Financial Aid 71%||Student Population 5,433||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
University of Hartford
|Location West Hartford, CT||Tuition||Tuition $35,445||% Receiving Financial Aid 69%||Student Population 6,912||School Type Private||
|Location Hamden, CT||Tuition||Tuition $42,550||% Receiving Financial Aid 61%||Student Population 9,654||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
|Location Waterbury, CT||Tuition||Tuition $26,280||% Receiving Financial Aid 83%||Student Population 7,429||School Type Private||
There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Connecticut. These include the 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.