Boasting the 24th largest population in the country, Alabama is home to 4,863,300 individuals, 61 colleges and universities, and a host of major corporations. Since its admission to statehood in 1817, Alabama’s economy has shifted from agriculture to the manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and finance industries that sprouted up around major cities like Birmingham and Huntsville. As the economy has changed, educational institutions have risen to meet the demand for skilled employees by developing state-of-the-art curricula, facilities, and innovative distance learning programs. If you are looking to capitalize on current economic trends in Alabama, online MBA programs can be the ticket to new opportunities.

Alabama is home to some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, including Jacksonville State, Tuskegee, and Auburn. Institutions of higher learning have transformed the landscape of the state, particularly in major metropolitan areas such as Birmingham where the University of Alabama has become one of the city’s largest employers. Increasingly, however, the lure of low in-state tuition rates and the prestige of attending Alabama’s top universities is countered by high costs of living in campus areas and, for some, the burden of attending school while employed full-time. For many prospective graduate students in Alabama, online MBA programs offer a convenient, affordable alternative to a traditional master’s degree.

online MBA programs in Alabama offer the same quality instruction and rigorous academics expected from the state’s world-class institutions

Typically identical in content to their on-campus counterparts, online MBA programs in Alabama offer the same quality instruction and rigorous academics expected from the state’s world-class institutions. Unlike traditional MBA programs, web-based degrees can be completed from the convenience of home, making it easier to balance work, school, and personal obligations. Some online programs can be completed in half the time it takes to earn an MBA on-campus, and many have no GMAT requirement. Offering maximum convenience at an affordable price, distance education is becoming increasingly popular among Alabama graduate students.

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

MBA Concentrations for Alabama Students

Most MBA programs offer several concentrations that allow students to develop specialized knowledge in a particular area. If you are earning your online MBA in Alabama, choosing a concentration aligned with the state’s leading industries can greatly increase your marketability. Alabama is home to numerous thriving industrial sectors, including aeronautics, agriculture, technology, and forestry. Below are two commonly offered MBA concentrations that would look great on any Alabama job candidate’s resume.


Concentrations for Alabama MBA Students

  • Agri-Business Management: This concentration prepares MBA students for the unique economic and structural challenges of managing agri-business firms and consulting agencies. Coursework emphasizes sustainability and supply-demand issues.
  • Cyber Security: In this critical field, students gain unique skills in areas like IT risk management and penetration testing that are necessary to protect businesses from cyberattacks and piracy.

Accreditation in Alabama

The best online MBA programs in Alabama are offered through accredited institutions. These schools have met the strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Depending on the accrediting body that assesses a school, it may be considered regionally or nationally accredited. Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits earned at a nationally accredited school are less likely to transfer than those from their regionally accredited counterparts. If you want to improve your career prospects with an online MBA, Alabama is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

Alabama has come a long way from its agricultural roots. While other regional economies have shifted to the service sector, the state has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s largest manufacturing hubs over the last two decades. In metropolitan areas such as Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, manufacturing and related industries are a significant source of employment, along with professional services and government. In the past year alone, Alabama’s notoriously high unemployment rate has fallen dramatically as demand for skilled labor and business professionals continues to increase.

Alabama has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s largest manufacturing hubs over the last two decades.

With more than 60 major companies headquartered in the state, Alabama is profiting from its economic diversity. After earning an online MBA, Alabama graduates often find that major metropolitan areas like the Birmingham-Hoover region offer an array of employment opportunities. Below are two of the largest companies in Alabama, and how many workers they employ.

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Hibbett Sports Retail Birmingham 2,600
Toyota Manufacturing Huntsville 1,100

Regardless of your interests or area of concentration, an MBA will provide you with the skills needed to excel in nearly any business or financial role. You won’t just improve your career prospects — an MBA can give your income a significant boost, as well.

While it is no secret that a college degree can significantly enhance your earning potential, an MBA offers more than just a higher salary. Required for many high-level positions in sales, finance, and related fields, an MBA demonstrates to potential employers that you have the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to excel in management. It can also open up a range of high-paying jobs unavailable to those with only a bachelor’s degree. MBA programs teach many broadly applicable skills that make degree-holders attractive to employers in multiple sectors. Just how much more can you make with an MBA? Let’s look at the numbers.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in Alabama

Healthcare Executive

With hospitals among the largest employers in Alabama and a massive national job growth rate of 20%, healthcare facility managers are in high demand. Not only is it challenging, this career path is also highly lucrative, with an annual median wage of $96,540.

Operations Manager

Charged with overseeing an organization’s production and ensuring that all processes run according to standards, these managers are employed in Alabama’s manufacturing and service sectors to help organizations run more efficiently.

Marketing Director

Like operations managers, marketing directors are employed in a wide range of fields in Alabama. They develop promotions and advertising campaigns for companies, organizations, and individuals, and can earn up to six figures.

Financial Manager

Most Alabama companies, regardless of size, have a financial manager on the payroll to monitor investments and spending, develop budgets, and maintain records. Another career with six-figure salary potential, financial managers are also highly sought-after, with a national job growth rate of 19%.

Market Research Analyst

Since local demographics and consumption habits change rapidly, the demand for market research analysts is expected to increase by as much as 23%. These experts examine purchasing and pricing trends in sales and services to help organizations develop business strategies.

Ready to take the plunge? We’ve done all the hard work for you! The following online MBA programs in Alabama are offered by accredited schools that are known not only for their academic quality, but also the flexibility you’ve come to expect from a web-based degree.

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

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Location Birmingham, AL Tuition Tuition $39,168 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 18,333 School Type Public
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Auburn University

Location Auburn, AL Tuition Tuition $34,125 % Receiving Financial Aid 35% Student Population 27,287 School Type Public View School Profile

Faulkner University

Location Montgomery, AL Tuition Tuition $17,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population 3,262 School Type Private
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Jacksonville State University

Location Jacksonville, AL Tuition Tuition $11,460 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,314 School Type Public
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University of West Alabama

Location Livingston, AL Tuition Tuition $14,157 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 4,032 School Type Public
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University of North Alabama

Location Florence, AL Tuition Tuition $15,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 7,078 School Type Public
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Samford University

Location Birmingham, AL Tuition Tuition $29,268 % Receiving Financial Aid 34% Student Population 5,206 School Type Private
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Troy University

Location Troy, AL Tuition Tuition $15,314 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 17,765 School Type Public
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University of Mobile

Location Mobile, AL Tuition Tuition $14,250 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 1,480 School Type Private View School Profile

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

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States