Located in the heart of the United States, Nebraska is home to nearly 2 million people and is characterized by vast, rolling hills and treeless prairie. Higher education is centered in Nebraska’s major metropolitan areas, with several universities located in Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney. There are numerous private and public institutions throughout the state that offer both traditional and online degrees, including a suite of online MBA options. For individuals who are entrepreneurial and eager to take advantage of Nebraska’s booming rural economy, an online MBA can open doors to management-level positions in any number of the state’s thriving industries.
There are many online MBA programs in Nebraska, each with their own unique advantages. Both the Lincoln and Kearney branches of the University of Nebraska offer online and blended MBA programs. Two additional public schools, Wayne State and Chadron State, offer online MBAs alongside private university programs at Bellevue, Midland, and Creighton.
Programs vary in length and requirements. The University of Nebraska at Kearney requires the completion of 33 credit hours to complete the online MBA, while the Lincoln campus requires 48 credit hours. Standardized test scores are not required by all schools. For example, neither Chadron State College nor Bellevue University require the GMAT, while the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Midland University do require the exam.
Tuition at public and private institutions is comparable, regardless of residency status. While online programs allow students to live outside of urban centers, some programs do have in-person components that make it necessary to live close to campus. Many cities, including Lincoln, are well below the national average in terms of cost of living expenses.
|Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education|
MBA Concentrations for Nebraska Students
With major economic activity in the areas of financial services, transportation, and agriculture, the state needs MBA graduates with specialized skills. Fortunately, online MBA programs in Nebraska come with a variety of concentration options, including accounting, finance, and entrepreneurship. Students can also specialize in a variety of management subfields, including project management, supply chain management, human resource management, and international management.
- Accounting: An accounting concentration includes classes in auditing, forensic accounting, and project accounting. Advanced coursework is also available in financial and cost accounting. Students who complete this concentration are prepared for careers in financial management, tax consulting, and fraud examination.
- International Management: This concentration teaches students the ins and outs of international business, finance, and regulations. With an increasingly globalized economy, an international management concentration prepares MBA graduates to work on projects that cross geographical boundaries.
Accreditation in Nebraska
Many institutions of higher learning in Nebraska are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Regional accreditation is voluntary but allows for the regulation and maintenance of educational standards. National accreditation is typically reserved for vocational schools and, while important, is not as highly coveted as regional accreditation.
There are also accrediting bodies that are specific to business schools. For example, online MBAs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Kearney are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, while Bellevue University’s online MBA program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. An advanced degree from an accredited school is viewed favorably by most employers, who are more likely to hire graduates with a degree from a well-respected program.
Healthcare and social assistance is the dominant industry in Nebraska. Finance, insurance, and real estate are also large industries, accounting for over 16% of Nebraska’s GDP and 3.4% of the state’s growth in 2016. Government jobs, while declining, account for over 12% of Nebraska’s GDP. Natural gas, animal products, and agricultural commodities are among the state’s top exports and strongly contribute to the state’s GDP growth.
Unemployment in Nebraska is the lowest in the nation at 2.8%. Nebraska’s trade competitiveness and healthy employment mean the economy is likely to remain stable or grow in the coming years. This is especially true of the state’s commercial hubs of Lincoln and Omaha, both of which boast some of the lowest rates of joblessness in the country.
Top Employers in Nebraska
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Berkshire Hathaway||Multinational Holding Company||Omaha||367,700|
|University of Nebraska System||University System||Lincoln||13,122|
Employment opportunities in Nebraska continue to grow, and with a higher level of education, job prospects and earning potential increase. Earning an online MBA in Nebraska equips you with skills that can be applied to a variety of industries including healthcare, finance, and real estate — all top-level employers in the state.
As is true in many fields, an advanced degree opens up job opportunities and boosts earning potential. The average salary of an associate-level business professional in Nebraska is more than $30,000 less than that of a master’s degree holder. An MBA can also help you advance to management-level positions that allow you to supervise major projects and oversee other employees while, at the same time, earning more money.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Nebraska
- Financial Manager
Financial managers prepare financial reports, coordinate investments, and manage the financial health of their company or department. They often work at insurance companies and banks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that financial manager positions will grow 19% between 2016 and 2026. Financial managers in Omaha, Nebraska, earn a median salary of $70,290.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts offer financial advice to individuals and businesses based on an assessment of stocks, bonds, and other investment opportunities. BLS projects that financial analyst positions will grow 11% between 2014 to 2024. While they have a national median salary of $81,760, the median salary for financial analysts in Lincoln, Nebraska, is $48,133.
Auditors prepare financial records and ensure the accuracy of data for a variety of purposes, including tax filing. With a growing economy, more auditors will be needed to help businesses manage financial operations, which is why BLS projects that auditor positions will grow 10% between 2016 and 2026. Auditors in Omaha, Nebraska, earn a median salary of $49,920 per year.
- Personal Financial Advisor
A personal financial advisor works with individuals on investments, savings, taxes, and estate planning and helps clients with other personal financial concerns that might arise. There is an expected 14% growth in personal finance advisor positions between 2014 and 2024. On a national level, a personal financial advisor earns a median salary of $90,530 per year.
- Financial Service Sales Agent
A financial service sales agent, as with commodity and securities sales agents, makes connections between buyers and sellers in financial markets. They work with individuals and companies to conduct trades. BLS projects that there will be a 10% growth in commodity, securities, and financial service sales agents between 2014 and 2024. Nationally, these professionals earn a median salary of $67,310 per year.
If you plan to earn an online MBA in Nebraska, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Aside from accreditation, you should make sure that the program you are considering offers concentrations and coursework that align with your goals and interests. To help you in your search, the list below outlines the best, accredited online MBA programs in Nebraska.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
|Location Bellevue, NE||Tuition||Tuition $20,340||% Receiving Financial Aid 44%||Student Population 9,760||School Type Private||
Chadron State College
|Location Chadron, NE||Tuition||Tuition $11,700||% Receiving Financial Aid 55%||Student Population 2,993||School Type Public||Visit School Website|
|Location Omaha, NE||Tuition||Tuition $36,300||% Receiving Financial Aid 68%||Student Population 8,435||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
|Location Omaha, NE||Tuition||Tuition $30,198||% Receiving Financial Aid 84%||Student Population 1,000||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsVisit School Website
University of Nebraska
|Location Lincoln, NE||Tuition||Tuition $30,240||% Receiving Financial Aid 39%||Student Population 25,260||School Type Public||
There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Nebraska. 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.