Skip to: Navigation | Content | Sidebar | Footer

× Hit "Enter" to Search

Suggestions

Search for online MBA programs by state, concentration, or school name. Still researching? Try searching for information regarding the application process, career information, and demographics.

Search

Famed as the home state of four U.S. presidents (earning it the nickname “Land of Lincoln”), Illinois houses a population of nearly 13 million people, making it the fifth most populous state in the country. This expansive and largely flat midwestern state contains within its borders vast corn fields, forests, and plains, and even a small section of the shores of Lake Michigan. Illinois’s major cities include the sprawling metropolis of Chicago and Springfield, the state’s capital.

With nine public universities, 35 private colleges and universities, and 48 community colleges, Illinois provides ample educational opportunities for higher learning. Major universities include the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and University of Illinois — Urbana-Champaign. Many colleges and universities in Illinois offer online learning, making the state an ideal location for obtaining an online MBA.

Sponsored Schools

Online MBA programs in Illinois offer distance learners many advantages, including savings on tuition and fees, accelerated courses, and GMAT waivers. Costs for an online MBA in Illinois vary from school to school. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a reasonable two-year degree (considered one of the best online MBA programs in Illinois) for under $22,000, while Southern Illinois University’s 23-month MBA cost $36,000. Some educational institutions, such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, waive the admissions requirement for GMAT scores, which lowers additional testing fees for applicants. While most Illinois online MBA programs take two years to complete, some university and colleges offer accelerated eight-week courses.

With nine public universities, 35 private colleges and universities, and 48 community colleges, Illinois provides ample educational opportunities for higher learning.

An educational institution’s location also influences costs and potential savings. Typically, campuses close to urban areas like Chicago require a higher cost of living than rural settings. Living costs in Chicago remain 20% higher than the national average. However, cost of living remains attractive in the city of Springfield, where it ranks 10% lower than the national average. While online programs provide the flexibility to study anywhere, anytime, some schools require distance learners to attend proctored exams and some classes on campus. Distance learners should consider any additional transportation costs for programs requiring campus visits.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education
Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Illinois, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Illinois Students

Online MBA programs in Illinois offer distance learners the ability to focus on a particular area of study or concentration. Some common concentrations for an online MBA include finance, marketing, and management. Adding a concentration to an online MBA in Illinois provides the distance learner with an advantage when applying for a job, especially with large industries in the state. The following two concentrations, business data analytics and supply chain management, offer degree candidates an employment advantage in the state after graduation. Both concentrations provide training for industries with the highest employment numbers in Illinois, including management, production, and sales.

 

  • Business Data Analytics: Ideal for students looking to develop decision-making skills, this concentration prepares future business leaders for a variety of fields. Business data analytics focuses on using data to develop new markets and attract customers.
  • Supply Chain Management: This concentration teaches learners how to evaluate product and service costs, evaluate market trends, and how to coordinate operations. While the concentration focuses on training for a career in supply chain management, learners can apply core business practices they survey to other careers.

Accreditation in Illinois

Colleges and universities may hold different types of accreditation. Regional accreditation means the educational institution received a review from one of six regionally accrediting agencies in the country. A college or university receives national accreditation when the institution meets educational standards set by one of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s sponsored agencies.

In Illinois, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools presides as the state’s regional accreditation agency. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) also provides a list of accredited online MBA programs. An advanced degree from an accredited educational institution offers learners career advantages and a higher income potential.

The industries of manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality lead the way for creating new jobs and opportunities for graduates in Illinois. In Chicago, tourism remains a key financial boost for the state, while the auto industry continues to help the region’s manufacturing industry. Professional and business services, especially financial companies in Chicago, also provide job opportunities.

While the unemployment rate in Illinois had risen slightly before the date of this article’s composition, the rate remains relatively low at 5%. While manufacturing remained the top industry in Illinois from 1990 to 2007, the industry only comprises 13% of the state’s economy today. Overall economic growth in Illinois continues to slow due to drops in the state’s labor force, population, and manufacturing production. With the exception of educational jobs, Chicago continues to serve as the ideal area in the state for employment opportunities after graduation. Management, business and financial operations, and healthcare industries serve as the largest employers in the state.

Top Employers in Illinois

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Walgreens Retail Deerfield 23,000
State Farm Insurance Insurance Bloomington 14,090

When deciding upon a future career and degree program, potential salary amounts help degree candidates see the benefits of an MBA. The following section discusses potential income for MBA degree candidates, and how much MBA program graduates can expect to earn annually.

If a six-figure-salary immediately after graduate sounds attractive, learners need look no further than an MBA degree. On average, a majority of MBA degree candidates receive full-time employment just three months after graduation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Earning an MBA results in a higher salary than graduating with any other degree in business, as seen in the database comparing Illinois average salaries below. In Illinois, a graduate with an MBA earns nearly twice more than an employee with an associate degree. An MBA also places the graduate on track for a management position since many MBA programs include courses and concentrations in leadership or management.

Average Salary by Degree

Careers for MBAs in Illinois

Financial Managers

Financial managers develop goals and financial strategies for organizations. The job outlook for financial managers remains much higher than other occupations at 19% in the United States, according to the BLS. In Illinois, the BLS expects employment for financial managers to grow 4.6% with an an annual mean wage of $127,710.

Marketing manager

This management career work with firms and agencies to promote products and messages. The BLS projects the overall employment of marketing managers to grow nine percent in less than 10 years. Comprising the second largest occupation in the state, marketing managers earn a mean annual wage of $122,030 in Illinois.

Sales Manager

Sales managers analyze data and lead sales teams. The management industry, which features the second highest employment numbers in the state, includes sales management. On average, sales managers earn more than six figures in the United States. In Illinois, the BLS anticipates a 1.1% rise in employment for sales occupations.

General and Operations Managers

General and operations managers handle the day-to-day operations of an organization. In Illinois, organizations employ more than 121,000 general and operations managers, making this occupation one of the largest in the state. General managers receive an annual mean salary of $118,450 in Illinois.

Financial Analyst

Working in offices, financial analysts advise businesses and individuals on how to make successful financial investments. While the career requires a bachelor’s degree, financial analysts obtaining an MBA earn a higher salary and enjoy more job opportunities.

When choosing an online MBA Illinois program, distance learners face many options. While deciding factors often include program requirements and costs, accreditation also adds value to an online MBA Illinois program. Accreditation means the university or college offering the program meets professional standards. The list below features online MBA programs in Illinois. All of the schools named below hold accreditation.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Aurora University

Location Aurora, IL Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 5,423 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Concordia University - Chicago

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $24,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 5,239 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Eastern Illinois University

Location Charleston, IL Tuition Tuition $22,673 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,520 School Type Public Visit School Website

Governors State University

Location University Park, IL Tuition Tuition $14,616 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 5,938 School Type Public
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Greenville College

Location Greenville, IL Tuition Tuition $17,485 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 1,321 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Benedictine University

Location Lisle, IL Tuition Tuition $38,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 5,954 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location Champaign, IL Tuition Tuition $21,844 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population 45,842 School Type Public
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Judson University

Location Elgin, IL Tuition Tuition $25,350 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 1,274 School Type Private Visit School Website

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

Location Lake Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $38,588 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 401 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

McKendree University

Location Lebanon, IL Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 3,001 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

National Louis University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $30,459 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,384 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $41,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Olivet Nazarene University

Location Bourbonnais, IL Tuition Tuition $24,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 4,892 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Quincy University

Location Quincy, IL Tuition Tuition $15,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 1,293 School Type Private Visit School Website

Dominican University

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $45,080 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 3,696 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

University of St. Francis

Location Joliet, IL Tuition Tuition $28,728 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 3,957 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website

University of Illinois - Springfield

Location Springfield, IL Tuition Tuition $13,140 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population 5,402 School Type Public
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Location Carbondale, IL Tuition Tuition $36,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 17,292 School Type Public
Concentrations
Visit School Website

Western Illinois University

Location Macomb, IL Tuition Tuition $12,309 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 11,094 School Type Public Visit School Website

American InterContinental University

Location Schaumburg, IL Tuition Tuition $28,586 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 11,560 School Type Private
Concentrations
Visit School Website
Load 10 More Schools

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Illinois. 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.