With an estimated population of 39,250,017 as of 2016, California is by far the most populous state in the United States. When it comes to higher education, California’s system is also the largest in the nation and enrolls over 2 million students. This public system is made up of three segments: the University of California schools, the California State University schools, and the California Community Colleges. In addition, students in the state benefit from over 150 private nonprofit institutions and about 200 for-profit schools. This vast network of higher learning institutions provides students with nearly any type of degree, including an array of options for those who want to get their online MBA in California.

As a leader in higher education, California is home to many schools with online MBA programs. There are several factors you should consider when determining the best online MBA programs in California. Cost is one important consideration for nearly every student who wants to further their education. California online MBA programs are generally less expensive than their on-campus counterparts, not necessarily because tuition is lower, but because students are spared many of the additional fees associated with on-campus education. You will also want to be certain you are getting a quality education, regardless of cost. Be sure the schools you are considering are properly accredited and include the courses, concentrations, and curriculum you need to advance your career goals after graduation.

One of the most valuable benefits of distance education is that students can complete their studies anytime, anywhere

California online MBA programs are located all over the state. One of the most valuable benefits of distance education is that students can complete their studies anytime, anywhere. However, some programs may have on-campus requirements that prohibit enrollment for students who do not live in close proximity to school. Many business schools require applicants to submit their scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Other schools are moving away from this requirement in favor of alternative criteria, including work experience or demonstrable skills that can help a student be successful in an MBA program. Students who would rather not take the GMAT may be inclined to choose a school that waives this requirement.



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

MBA Concentrations for California Students

Students in online MBA programs in California can choose from many degree concentrations. If you intend to remain in California, you can take advantage of specializations that prepare you for employment in one of the state’s major industries. As a hub for world-class healthcare and technology firms, California provides employment to vast numbers of professionals in these fields. Students enrolled in online MBA programs in California can select a degree concentration in healthcare management or information technology in order to prepare them for employment in these prominent industries.

 

Concentrations for California MBA Students

  • Healthcare Management: MBA in healthcare management programs teach students about the principles of marketing, finance, business, and management as applied to healthcare system and organizations. Graduates are prepared for careers as directors or administrators of hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient care centers.
  • Information Technology: An MBA in information technology provides students with knowledge in subject matters related to business such as economics, international business, and corporate financial strategy. Students also learn about information security, systems analysis, and IT management. Graduates of these programs can become entrepreneurs, IT directors, and chief technology officers.

Accreditation in California

Accreditation means that a school’s program has met certain criteria for academic quality set by an approved agency. National accreditation agencies typically cover trade and vocational schools and may not apply standards as rigorous as those held by regional accreditation bodies. In order to avoid any obstacles when it comes to transferring credits or applying for jobs, students may favor regional accreditation status when choosing a college or university.

According to U.S. News & World Report, accreditation standards are generally as demanding for online schools as they are for traditional institutions. Students who wish to attend an accredited online MBA program in California should look for evidence that the school has been approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

An advanced degree from an accredited program opens doors for further study or lucrative employment. The following sections will provide information that graduates from MBA programs need to begin making decisions about their future careers.

The largest industries by employment in the state of California are trade, transportation, and utilities along with education and health services. These industries encompass tech companies, retailers, as well as hospitals and other healthcare providers. Many occupations within these industries are projected to experience major growth in the coming years, such as operations research analysts, home health aides, and nurse practitioners. California is projected to add 2,585,500 total jobs in the period from 2014 to 2024.

California is projected to add 2,585,500 total jobs in the period from 2014 to 2024.

Growth in these industries should be encouraging for students who are interested in earning their online MBA in California. This degree, specifically with a concentration in either information technology or healthcare management, provides the education and training necessary for graduates to enter these fields as competitive employees.

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
HP, Inc. Information Technology Palo Alto, CA 287,000
Wells Fargo & Company Banking San Francisco, CA 264,700

In most fields, a higher-level degree translates to an increased salary. For graduates from California online MBA programs, their career paths are no exception. The following sections detail some potential careers these graduates qualify for and the types of salaries they might command.

According to PayScale, degree holders with an MBA in California earn an average salary of $20,891 more than those with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and $32,208 more than those with an associate degree in business administration. In addition to an increased average salary, MBA holders can move quickly into management positions compared to their counterparts with associate or bachelor’s degrees. Therefore, in order to maximize their salary potential and increase their attractiveness for management positions to employers, it is wise for many students to pursue an online MBA in California.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in California

Medical and Health Services Manager

A medical and health services manager coordinates medical and health services for a specific clinical department, entire facility, or group of physicians. Median pay is $96,540 per year and these positions are projected to grow by 20% in the period between 2016 and 2026.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

A computer and information systems manager is responsible for directing the computer-related activities of an organization, including implementing systems to help the company reach its information technology goals. Computer and information systems managers earn a median annual salary of $135,800 and positions are projected to grow by 12% in the period from 2016 to 2026.

Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst specializes in the fusion of business and information technology knowledge in pursuit of maximizing efficiency in a company or organization’s computer systems and procedures. They command a median annual salary of $87,220, and the number of available positions is projected to grow by 9% in the period from 2016 to 2026.

Human Resources Manager

A human resources manager serves as a link between an organization’s management structure and its employees by overseeing administrative functions such as recruitment, hiring, and strategic planning. Human resources managers earn an annual median salary of $106,910 and a growth rate of 9% is projected for jobs in the period from 2016 to 2026.

Top Executive

A top executive is responsible for directing and coordinating the activities related to operations at a particular company or organization. They are usually in charge of making high-level decisions with regard to corporate strategy. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $103,950 and job growth is projected to be at 8% for the period between 2016 and 2026.

With the presence of massive employers in the fields of healthcare and information technology, California online MBA programs impart the skills and knowledge necessary for students to secure employment in these and many other industries. The following is a list of accredited online MBA programs in California.

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

Ashford University

Location San Diego, CA Tuition Tuition $27,594 % Receiving Financial Aid 84% Student Population 42,452 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Azusa Pacific University

Location Azusa, CA Tuition Tuition $26,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 9,975 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Brandman University

Location Irvine, CA Tuition Tuition $23,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 8,004 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

California Baptist University

Location Riverside, CA Tuition Tuition $24,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 8,541 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

California College San Diego

Location San Diego, CA Tuition Tuition $29,160 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 931 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

California InterContinental University

Location Irvine, CA Tuition Tuition $16,020 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 473 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

California Lutheran University

Location Thousand Oaks, CA Tuition Tuition $36,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 4,126 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

California State University - Dominguez Hills

Location Carson, CA Tuition Tuition $16,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 14,635 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

California State University - Fresno

Location Fresno, CA Tuition Tuition $24,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 33% Student Population 24,136 School Type Public View School Profile

California State University - Monterey Bay

Location Seaside, CA Tuition Tuition $41,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 7,102 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

California State University - San Bernardino

Location San Bernardino, CA Tuition Tuition $36,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 20,024 School Type Public View School Profile

California State University - Stanislaus

Location Turlock, CA Tuition Tuition $24,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 9,282 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Golden Gate University - San Francisco

Location San Francisco, CA Tuition Tuition $54,810 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 2,735 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

John F. Kennedy University

Location Pleasant Hill, CA Tuition Tuition $31,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 93% Student Population 1,111 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Marymount California University

Location Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Tuition Tuition $27,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 1,099 School Type Private View School Profile

National University

Location La Jolla, CA Tuition Tuition $26,208 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 17,488 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Naval Postgraduate School

Location Monterey, CA Tuition Tuition $34,000 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 2,665 School Type Public
Concentrations
View School Profile

Notre Dame de Namur University

Location Belmont, CA Tuition Tuition $32,256 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 1,855 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Pepperdine University

Location Malibu, CA Tuition Tuition $89,180 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 7,632 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Point Loma Nazarene University

Location San Diego, CA Tuition Tuition $34,650 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 3,663 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

Saint Mary's College of California

Location Moraga, CA Tuition Tuition $67,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 4,030 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

The Master's College and Seminary

Location Santa Clarita, CA Tuition Tuition $16,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 1,713 School Type Private View School Profile

Touro University Worldwide

Location Los Alamitos, CA Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 13% Student Population 880 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

United States University

Location San Diego, CA Tuition Tuition $15,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population 365 School Type Private View School Profile

University of California, Los Angeles

Location Los Angeles, CA Tuition Tuition $122,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 33% Student Population 41,908 School Type Public View School Profile

University of La Verne

Location La Verne, CA Tuition Tuition $27,390 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,334 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

University of Redlands

Location Redlands, CA Tuition Tuition $29,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 5,071 School Type Private
Concentrations
View School Profile

University of Southern California

Location Los Angeles, CA Tuition Tuition $95,603 % Receiving Financial Aid 37% Student Population 43,401 School Type Private View School Profile

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