Utah became the fastest-growing state in the nation in 2016, with a population now above three million. The state has five metropolitan areas, including Provo-Orem and St. George–two of the fastest growing cities in the country–Logan, Ogden-Clearfield, and Salt Lake City. While these cities store 41 universities and colleges, including 10 in the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), lots of people have settled throughout the countryside, leading many institutions to adopt online education. The state also boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the country, making Utah an attractive place for online learners to live and start their careers.
Utah’s higher education system keeps pace with its economic and population growth. In-state students have a wealth programs from which to choose, including online MBA programs in Utah. Four popular schools for online MBA Utah students are Western Governors University, the University of Utah, Southern Utah University, and Utah State University. Learners who decide to live in Utah after completing their MBA will enjoy the low cost of living, which is 5% lower than the national average.
Western Governors University’s online MBA takes as little as six months, and tuition is paid by time spent in class not by credit ($3,750 per six months). The University of Utah offers a two year MBA program that is considered one of the best in the world. Utah University in Cedar City and Utah State University in Logan have MBA programs that can be completed in one year. Western Governors University does not require GMAT test results for admission, while Utah State University requires a minimum score of 580. Still other programs require a minimum GMAT score of 550.
|Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education|
MBA Concentrations for Utah Students
A program concentration enables MBA students to channel their learning into specific areas, industries, or disciplines. For students in online MBA programs in Utah, the available concentrations match the state’s best-performing industries. By choosing one of these two concentrations, MBA students provide themselves with an advantage over their peers.
- Aerospace Management: Students learn aerospace management practices like aerospace contract and program management. This industry-specific training grants MBA graduates the ability to work with the government and commercial aerospace industry.
- Information Systems: A concentration in information systems allows business professionals to understand and work with information technology, systems security, and databases. Equipped with this concentration, business managers utilize information technology and/or deploy advanced technologies to improve an organization.
Accreditation in Utah
Accrediting agencies ensure that colleges and universities maintain high academic standards. Regional accrediting bodies govern all of the programs offered by schools while national accrediting bodies typically review only technical or vocational programs. In Utah, the important regional accreditor is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NWCCU is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authority in the Northwest region of the U.S. The national and international accreditors for online MBA programs in Utah are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
Utah is experiencing substantial growth in several important areas. The state has one of the top five strongest economies and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Major metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem host industries like education, healthcare, manufacturing, advanced composites, data centers, and aerospace. Additionally, the projected job growth in the state is 2.5%. For graduates of online MBA degree programs, Utah’s metropolitan areas bode well. Additionally, while Utah’s annual mean wage sits at more than $45,000, the mean wage for management positions rises to more than $93,000. Coupled with the low cost of living, educated professionals have good reason to seek out management jobs throughout Utah.
When choosing which state to earn your MBA in, it’s important to also look at the top employers in that state, as your potential job growth and opportunities can depend on the businesses and industries in your chosen state. There are many companies in Utah who hire MBA graduates; the chart below shows two of them.
Top Employers in Utah
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Intermountain Healthcare Medical Center||Healthcare||Salt Lake City||37,000|
|University of Utah||Education||Salt Lake City||15,000+|
Utah graduates with advanced degrees receive significant financial rewards. Professionals with an MBA degree earn close to 81% more than those with an associate degree in business. Advanced degrees now represent more than 16% of all degrees awarded in the state due to the rise in interest in management positions throughout the state.
|Average Salary by Degree|
Careers for MBAs in Utah
- Medical and Health Services Manager
Healthcare employers in Utah are some of the largest in the country. With the medical and health services manager profession projected to grow 20% over the next decade, MBA students have an optimal field into which they can enter. The median annual wage for this career is $100,000.
- Postsecondary Education Administrator
Job availability and industry size coupled with great earning potential ($90,000) make a postsecondary education administrator a viable option for MBA graduates.
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
Demand for this position is high. Digital media and data centers represent two of the five top industries in the state, and many other industries are seeking new ways of deploying advanced technologies.
- Financial Manager
The banking industry occupies a large piece of Utah’s economy, and the profession is projected to grow 19% nationally. MBA graduates with concentrations in finance can fill positions in this space to make more than $121,000 a year.
- Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers will be in high demand in Utah’s business-friendly environment. Compensation for HR managers hovers near $105,000 per year.
The following list contains the accredited online MBA degree programs in Utah. Because many online programs have an on-campus component, students should be aware of how close their school of choice is to their location.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
Southern Utah University
|Location Cedar City, UT||Tuition||Tuition $19,380||% Receiving Financial Aid 34%||Student Population 8,881||School Type Public||View School Profile|
University of Utah
|Location Salt Lake City, UT||Tuition||Tuition $58,800||% Receiving Financial Aid 34%||Student Population 31,592||School Type Public||View School Profile|
Western Governors University
|Location Salt Lake City, UT||Tuition||Tuition $13,000||% Receiving Financial Aid 59%||Student Population 70,504||School Type Private||
ConcentrationsView School Profile
|Location Murray, UT||Tuition||Tuition $29,160||% Receiving Financial Aid 80%||Student Population 1,125||School Type Private||View School Profile|
|Location Salt Lake City, UT||Tuition||Tuition $29,160||% Receiving Financial Aid 75%||Student Population 6,025||School Type Private||View School Profile|
There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Utah. 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.