According to the Distance Education State Almanac of Alaska, 48.1% of Alaskan students enrolled in at least one online course in 2015, compared to the national average of 29.7%. Nearly half of all Alaskan students pursue their educations online because it allows them to access professional specializations not locally available in such a sparsely populated state.

Online learning lets you study where and when it is easiest for you, bending your educational pursuits around your personal and professional obligations. With an online MBA in Alaska, you can build professional credentials without leaving your job or community behind.

Online MBA Programs in Alaska

Now that students have a sense of all the benefits of completing an online MBA in Alaska, most are probably wondering what their options are for undertaking a program in their state. The good news is that Alaska has numerous options to help students find a perfect fit for their goals and aspirations. Review the list of fully-accredited schools below to find a degree tailored to your needs.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Location Fairbanks , AK Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 25 Student Population 8,638 Tuition $13,320 School Type Public

The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management features an online master of business administration program with two different concentrations. Students develop skills in core business topics while pursuing one of two disciplines: general management or capital markets. Those who opt for the general management concentration can complete their studies entirely over the internet; students in the online MBA program pay in-state tuition fees regardless of their location.

With rolling admissions, UAF's online MBA program offers ongoing enrollment dates. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a distinction held by only 5% of the world's business schools.

Applicants do not need a business degree to enroll. Those with undergraduate credentials in other fields must complete seven self-directed pre-MBA study modules to earn their prerequisite equivalents.

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Why Consider an Online MBA in Alaska?

Alaska hosts ten postsecondary institutions, three of which offer online MBA programs. While this is fewer than other states, these programs include multiple specializations that prepare students for the state's top industries.

The following tables list the most recent online educational data for Alaska. Distance learning has grown from 34.5% to 48.1% locally between 2012-2015, with a total of 13,553 students enrolled in some form of distance education in 2015. The benefits of online learning translate into flexible work hours and remote access, no matter where you live in the territory. Bear in mind these positive numbers as you weigh your educational options.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 13,553 1,531
Exclusively Distance 5,711 1,044
On-Campus 23,101 1,475
Source:Distance Learning State Almanac Alaska

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 2,323 10
Private not-for-profit 615 6
Public 28,393 1,515
Source: Distance Learning State Almanac Alaska

MBA Concentrations for Alaska Students

The general MBA serves many administrative positions, but for those interested in particular areas or industries, an MBA degree concentration will direct studies towards a specific career. The following three specializations match the top industries in Alaska: healthcare, industrial production, and aviation.

Identify where you want your degree to take you, whether it's financial consultation, human relations, or safety management, and find a concentration to match. A degree concentration like one of the ones below allows you to take on profession-specific problems from the outset of your career.

  • MBA in Healthcare Services Study the fundamentals of modern healthcare systems, insurance regulations, and state and national healthcare policy in this MBA. Learn to run a healthcare institution or department and you'll qualify for mid-level management positions upon graduation.
  • MBA in Supply Chain Management Learn to organize everything between a company's suppliers and buyers with this degree specialization. Think outside the box to identify transportation options, find fiscally beneficial deals and opportunities, and connect clients with companies in this logistical, communications-heavy profession.
  • MBA in Aviation Management In this specialization, you'll study flight safety, airport authority regulations, and emergency protocols, which will help you become an aviations manager. After graduation, you can pursue high-stakes safety jobs at one of Alaska's many airports, where you'll connect the local community with the wider world while protecting pilots and support staff.

Accreditation in Alaska

Finding an accredited institution is key when researching the best online MBA programs in Alaska. Accredited schools meet strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Schools can earn regional or national accreditation.

Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools are usually regionally accredited. Regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious because credits earned there are more likely to transfer than those earned from a nationally accredited school.

Alaska Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Since 2016, a statewide recession in Alaska has led to a decrease in jobs. Alaska's 2019 Labor Department report credits the downturn to a systematic shift away from the state's dependency on oil revenue. As a result, MBAs have the lead in restructuring local government, redirecting it toward new financial opportunities to build a cohesive administration. Beyond government concerns, MBAs also participate in major state industries, including healthcare, tourism, mining, and agriculture.

Healthcare is the biggest industry in Alaska. Ambulatory services, hospitals, elderly and disability assistance, rehabilitation, and mental healthcare all count among the top 25 job growth industries since 1990. Every healthcare service needs MBAs to manage administration and monitor fiscal growth while maintaining ethical and legal standards.

Tourism likewise counts among the major industries in Alaska. Food vendors have grown by 77% since 1990, traveller accommodations by 53%, and amusement and recreation industries by 170%. All of these industries need managerial and consulting professionals, which means MBA graduates.

The natural resources offered by the Alaskan wilderness are another major industry. Specialty trade contractors are on the rise; metal ore mining alone has jumped 164%. This abundance of resources, from the oil industry to mining, lumber, and agriculture, supplies a variety of professional positions for aspiring MBAs.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Fort Wainwright Army Base Fort Wainwright Military Base 6,100
Dutch Harbor Eau Claire Seafood, wholesale 5,000
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport International airport Seafood, wholesale 4,000

The Fort Wainwright Army Base employs management and financial analysts and database administrators, who use business frameworks and software systems knowledge to help employees organize and protect sensitive data. In the wholesale seafood business at UniSea, Inc, MBAs manage complex supply chains and climb into higher levels of management. Similarly, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport needs MBAs for operations management, control systems administration, and aviation management.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Alaska

The MBA marks a threshold in potential earnings. Without it, entry-level business salaries fall well below $100,000 per year. A study sponsored by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (detailed in the table below) shows a bachelor's degree warrants only about $55,000 starting salary in west-coast states, including Alaska, California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington. As the table demonstrates, average income earnings on the west coast approach $105,000 for those with a postsecondary degree. Holding an MBA leads to increased job stability with real earning potential.

Median Starting Base Salary Among US Employers, West US Region

MBA $105,000
Bachelor's Degree $55,000
Direct-From-Industry $90,000
Source: Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2018

Careers for MBA Grads in Alaska

Medical and Health Services Manager

Earning an average annual salary of $99,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers play a fundamental organizational and financial role in modern medical centers. Their duties include the evaluation of departmental or healthcare center efficiency, setting achievable goals with clear benchmarks, and working with staff and support services to transition the community into a positive fiscal situation.

Training and Development Manager

Training managers consult with companies to assess productivity or work full time in a company or institution to maintain systems standards. They average a $111,340 annual salary. They also develop training programs to increase community knowledge and integrate new employees, and review existing productivity programs to find new ways to improve the business.

Natural Sciences Manager

Natural sciences managers earn an average $123,860 annual salary. They liaise between top business administrators, scientists, and developmental researchers, helping with company strategies and ethics. They also monitor progress and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations regarding the use of natural resources.

Financial Manager

As a financial manager, you'll diagnose the health and stability of an institution, corporation, or government branch as a financial manager. You'll also review fiscal reports to gauge company strengths and weaknesses and study economic trends to best advise future moves. Financial managers average a $127,990 annual salary and need a strong foundation in tax law and field-specific regulations.

Human Resources Manager

Regardless of the professional field or location, all large-scale companies rely on human resources managers to organize and evaluate employees. Human resources managers identify the skills of company staff, coordinate specialized work, consult with managers about company progress, and handle staffing issues. As necessary, they also manage internal issues, like sexual harassment claims, disciplinary actions, and dissmissal procedures. They average a $113,300 annual salary.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Alaska

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

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