MBA programs build the skills students need to move past entry-level roles, secure promotions, and advance into management positions. They also develop communications, business strategy, finance, and leadership abilities that can help graduates switch career paths or specialize their professions. This page explores the benefits of earning an online MBA in Alaska.
A 2018 study by The Chronicle of Higher Education found that only 7.6% of Alaska’s residents hold a master’s degree, less than in the U.S. as a whole. MBA-holders in the state may enjoy a significant competitive edge over individuals without advanced degrees. More students in Alaska are enrolling in online courses, as well. In 2015, nearly half of Alaska’s undergraduate and graduate students took some distance courses, up from 34.5% in 2012.
See below a list of distance MBA programs in Alaska, along with important information on Alaska’s largest employers and growing job fields.
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
Alaska’s Online MBA Programs
Read on for a list of accredited Alaska online MBA programs. Prospective students should only apply to accredited universities, since accreditation verifies that a school consistently offers a top-notch education. To learn more about MBA program accreditation, check out this guide.
Each MBA program in the U.S. offers its own set of courses, resources, specializations, and class formats. Read through the list below to compare programs and find your perfect school.
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.
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, MBA-holders take the lead in restructuring local government and redirecting it toward new financial opportunities to build a cohesive administration. Beyond government concerns, MBA graduates also participate in major state industries, including healthcare, tourism, mining, and agriculture.
Healthcare represents Alaska’s biggest industry. 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 MBA-holders to manage administration and monitor fiscal growth while maintaining ethical and legal standards.
Tourism also counts among Alaska’s major industries. Food vendors have grown by 77% since 1990, traveler accommodations by 53%, and amusement and recreation industries by 170%. All of these industries need managerial and consulting professionals — ideal roles for MBA graduates.
The Alaskan wilderness offers vast natural resources, representing 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 MBA-holders.
The Fort Wainwright Army Base employs management and financial analysts and database administrators who use their knowledge of business frameworks and software systems to help employees organize and protect sensitive data. In the wholesale seafood business at UniSea, Inc, MBA graduates manage complex supply chains and climb to higher levels of management. Similarly, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport needs MBA-holders for operations management, control systems administration, and aviation management.
Careers for MBA Grads in Alaska
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers oversee recruitment at their organizations. They work with human resources specialists to attract, interview, and hire new employees. They also advise upper management on strategies to best utilize their organizations’ human resources. These professionals may recommend new staffing policies or training programs. In addition, HR managers mediate workplace disputes and administer compensation and benefits programs. Senior-level HR managers may need MBAs to work in some companies.
With titles such as controller, treasurer, or finance officer, these professionals ensure their organizations’ financial success. They may coordinate investment activities, advise top executives on financial decisions, and track market trends. These professionals also analyze financial documents, identify cost-cutting measures, and supervise staff, such as financial and budget analysts. Financial managers serve in crucial roles across industries, and candidates often must hold MBAs.
Training and development managers work closely with HR managers and specialists to provide employee training programs. They evaluate organizations’ training needs, develop training programs, choose outside training materials, and supervise training and development specialists. Training and development managers also handle budgets and review results from training initiatives. Some training and development manager positions require master’s degrees in fields like business administration, human resources management, or organizational development.
Natural sciences managers primarily work in research and development, government, and manufacturing. Their duties vary depending on their organization, but natural sciences managers generally supervise research and development staff including chemists, biologists, and physicists. They manage budgets, procure equipment, and monitor projects. In manufacturing companies, they may oversee product testing and quality control.
Jobs for natural sciences managers in Alaska are declining, with Projections Central expecting a 5% decrease in positions from 2016-2026. Natural sciences managers in the state enjoy an annual mean income of around $106,000.
Sometimes called healthcare administrators or healthcare executives, medical and health services managers oversee operations in hospitals, private practices, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. They supervise employees, manage schedules, ensure their facilities remain well maintained, and keep records. Medical and health services managers often hold degrees in health administration, business administration, or a clinical field. They need a strong background in management, accounting, and health economics.
Alaska’s medical and health services managers earn a mean annual income of just over $99,000 per year. Projections Central expects positions for these managers to grow at a rapid rate of 20.9% over the next several years.
Some Alaska MBA programs feature rigid curricula, but others let students customize their coursework through concentration options. Concentrations allow learners to take core courses in finance, business, and strategy, while also delving into more specialized areas.
When choosing a specialization, students should consider their local job markets. Business students in Alaska might focus their studies on a subject that prepares them for work in one of the state’s major industries, such as seafood wholesaling, tourism, or healthcare.
Take a look at this page to learn a bit more about potential MBA specializations.