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Earning an online MBA in Illinois opens many doors for graduates interested in leadership positions within the state's various growing industries. Boasting 34 Fortune 500 companies and the nation's fifth largest GDP, Illinois offers MBA graduates many promising career opportunities. Distance education, an increasingly popular choice for higher education in Illinois and across the U.S., allows Illinois residents to pursue MBAs and advance their careers without having to relocate or relinquish their current job.
The information provided here guides you in choosing an accredited online MBA program in Illinois. You can also gain insight regarding the best careers, salaries, employers, and industries for Illinois MBA graduates.
Best Online MBA Programs in Illinois
The list of schools below introduces you to the best online MBA programs in Illinois, helping you to quickly assess key program features such as available concentrations and accreditation status.
As you research schools offering online MBA programs in Illinois, make sure to confirm that the schools offer a high-quality education by verifying that they hold proper accreditation. Credits and degrees from accredited institutions garner more respect and increase the likelihood of successful transfer credits. The best online MBA programs in Illinois boast institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and/or other regional accrediting agencies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Meanwhile, many high quality Illinois online MBA programs also hold programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Consult this MBA accreditation guide to better understand the significance of MBA accreditation standards.
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Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Illinois
Illinois' diverse industries give the state's MBA graduates several potential career options. The three largest employers in Illinois are the University of Illinois, Shire, and Allstate Insurance Company, each located in or near the city of Chicago.
Students may consider careers as operations research analysts, software developers, management analysts, financial planners, or marketing research analysts, as data indicates these are some of the fastest-growing occupations in Illinois. Online MBA programs teach core business concepts and develop the critical thinking, analytical, and leadership skills students need to excel in these positions. Students must understand Illinois' job market trends to ensure that they select an in-demand career and earn a pertinent degree.
Illinois is still recovering from the Great Recession, which caused stagnant wages and job loss. The rising cost of living and increasing crime rates may further impact Illinois' population and workforce. However, job growth should increase modestly in the coming years by about 0.9%. Some experts say incoming tech companies, along with a resurgence of manufacturing in the suburbs of Chicago, may create more profitable jobs and attract new residents.
|Number of Employees
|State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company
Source: Career One Stop
An online MBA may benefit graduates seeking jobs in any of the top industries in Illinois, since all types of organizations must function efficiently and operate strategically to remain competitive. Students should research available positions at the top employers to determine their requirements and preferences.
Careers for MBA Grads in Illinois
Hospital administrators create goals, implement plans, and oversee operations at hospital facilities. Hospital administrators also monitor budgeting and staff, often performing human resource functions including hiring, training, payroll, and disciplinary action. Hospital administrator positions require considerable healthcare experience as well as a degree.
Earning an online MBA in healthcare management gets you on your way toward lucrative medical and health services leadership positions, which garnered a mean annual salary of $121,900 for Illinois residents as of May 2018. Illinois online MBA coursework on financial management and communications can prepare aspiring hospital administrators for hospital budgeting and liaison duties. Students specializing in healthcare information management may anticipate many opportunities for this in-demand career in Illinois.
The coursework included in an online MBA in finance and accounting serves financial managers well as they create, monitor, and report on company and departmental budgets. These managers may also employ knowledge gained in MBA leadership and communications courses to enhance their roles in hiring, training, and performance evaluations of finance employees.
Virtually every organization employs a financial manager, including leading Illinois employers such as University of Illinois. Companies in growing Illinois industries such as agribusiness or transportation also rely on financial management for their success. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Illinois employed over 40,000 financial managers as of May 2018 at a mean salary of $144,680.
Operations managers oversee company divisions involved in production, such as manufacturing or purchasing departments. These managers ensure that operations remain safe and on budget while still producing high quality products that meet customer expectations. Operations manager positions generally require an MBA and relevant work experience.
Pursuing an MBA in operations management, which usually includes courses on budget management, strategic planning, and process improvement, offers ideal preparation for this career. According to the BLS, the 122,790 operations managers working in Illinois as of May 2018 earned a mean salary of $125,990, which ranks quite a bit higher than operations manager salaries in surrounding states.
Marketing Research Analyst
Projected to grow 22% by 2026, Illinois marketing research analyst positions attract students with aptitude in data gathering and analysis. Working with a variety of teams, market research analysts use surveys, assessments, and many other research methods to gather data.
After analyzing relevant market data, these professionals create reports and recommendations based on this data. Illinois' cutting-edge energy, manufacturing, and biotechnology businesses rely heavily on marketing research analysts, who earned a $61,670 mean annual salary as of May 2018. An Illinois MBA in marketing, including coursework on business research methods and marketing management, contributes to a solid foundation in marketing research knowledge.
Employed by insurance companies and tasked with risk assessment, compliance monitoring, and insurance premium analysis, insurance underwriters analyze data and make recommendations regarding policy applications and other decisions. Many insurance companies also expect underwriters to identify potential customers who fit the companies' risk profiles.
Although insurance underwriting does not necessarily require a master's degree, an Illinois MBA with a concentration in risk management may offer aspiring insurance underwriters in the state a considerable advantage. According to the BLS, Illinois employed 5,780 (19%) of the nation's 110,400 insurance underwriters as of May 2018, and they earned a mean salary of $75,690 annually.
MBA Concentrations for Illinois Students
As you plan your career, selecting an MBA program that encourages concentration on a specific industry or skillset can give you a head start. While a general MBA provides core coursework in leadership, communication, and other business fundamentals, an MBA concentration allows you to also acquire specific knowledge and skills necessary for success in one of Illinois' thriving industries, such as energy, life sciences and biotechnics, advanced manufacturing, or transportation distribution and logistics. Apart from considering concentrations within these industries, MBA students aspiring to study in Illinois can also explore accelerated MBA programs. These programs provide a fast-paced curriculum, allowing students to obtain their degrees in a shorter duration.
Consult this MBA specializations guide for help choosing from relevant concentrations such as environmental management, healthcare management, international business, or supply chain management.
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