With nearly 84,000 managerial professionals, Iowa provides high levels of employment for general and operations managers, financial managers, and healthcare administrators. An online MBA in Iowa prepares entry-level workers in these fields to advance into leadership roles, boosting their earning potential and career growth.
In contrast to traditional programs, online MBAs allow students to complete coursework on a flexible, convenient basis. Accelerated MBA degrees last from 12-18 months, while part-time students can earn an MBA over the course of several years.
Online MBA programs in Iowa blend coursework in organizational management, economics, and financial fundamentals with advanced and elective classes to build expertise in subsets of business. Degree concentrations in areas such as supply chain management, healthcare, and public administration further benefit learners pursuing careers in those fields.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Iowa
While Iowa’s economy and GDP continue to grow quickly, its population has not kept pace. The state saw the lowest population growth since 1900, and its GDP has grown faster than most states in recent years. This abundance of jobs and lack of professionals means that candidates with MBAs can find plenty of opportunities in Iowa’s diverse economy. To attract more college-educated workers, companies and cities in Iowa continue making significant strides toward increasing employees’ quality of life.
The most in-demand jobs include financial specialists, health practitioners, medical secretaries, private detectives, and veterinarians. Some of the highest-paying jobs with increasing demand in Iowa include those for accountants and auditors, actuaries, administrative law judges, advertising and promotion managers, and agricultural engineers. Depending on their professional backgrounds and specializations, graduates with online MBAs in Iowa can fill these positions.
Most of Iowa’s economic growth happens in its cities, but a significant portion of the state’s GDP comes from rural areas. Metropolitan areas make up 80-90% of most states’ economies, but urban areas are composed of just 66% of Iowa’s economy. Candidates with MBAs can find work anywhere in the state, including with the employers shown below.
An online MBA in Iowa can help candidates land jobs at these major employers. The medical college includes a hospital, for example, which needs medical services managers to keep things running. Furthermore, Principal Financial Group hires finance experts and managers to help clients find the financial services they need. Other major employers in Iowa include the aircraft parts manufacturer Rockwell Collins, Blank Children’s Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, and CRST International.
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Careers for MBA Grads in Iowa
An online MBA in Iowa prepares advertising managers to develop and maintain advertising budgets, supervise advertising employees, and communicate effectively with colleagues and consumers alike.
Expected to see moderate growth from 2018-2028, advertising managers in Iowa earn the highest salaries in the Des Moines metropolitan area. Des Moines, Iowa, also ranks sixth among urban locations in the United States for the highest numbers of advertising managers.
Advertising managers generate interest in products by developing campaigns that engage clients and consumers. Advertising managers work closely with promotions and marketing colleagues to plan and coordinate programs to increase the sales of goods and services.
Charged with planning and directing record-keeping, information management, office support, and comparable administrative services, administrative service managers can expect 14% growth from 2018-2028 in Iowa. This doubles national projections, indicating strong employment options in the state.
Administrative services managers work across industries. Local government tops the list of industries employing high numbers of administrative services managers. This bodes well in Iowa, where Iowa City ranks second among the state’s top employers. Medical and surgical hospitals, colleges and universities, and management companies fall within the top five employers, as well — all industries that utilize administrative services managers.
Computer and information systems managers oversee electronic data collection and processing, information systems security, and other computer-related activities within an organization. They work with executives to determine short- and long-term computer needs while supervising other information technology professionals.
In Iowa, computer and information systems managers can expect an estimated 14% increase in employment from 2018-2028. The Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines, Iowa, offered the highest median wages for computer and information systems managers in 2018, exceeding the state’s median wage of $123,450 by roughly $8,000.
Industrial production managers coordinate activities and resources in manufacturing in line with cost, quality, and quantity guidelines. Industrial production managers possess knowledge about production processes, quality control, and techniques for maximizing output. They also boast strong skills in administration, customer service, and communication — all key components of an MBA program.
With large companies like Collins Aerospace, Pella Corporation, and John Deere ranking among the top employers in Iowa, the state is in need of industrial production managers. These professionals can expect a 6% growth rate in employment from 2018-2028 — 5% above the national projection.
Agricultural managers oversee operations at farms, ranches, nurseries, and similar settings. They coordinate planting, harvesting, and distribution. Agricultural managers supervise workers, often hiring and training them, and allocate resources as needed.
Online MBA programs in Iowa build knowledge of business practices and principles in finance, marketing, leadership, and communication. MBA programs also build critical thinking and analytical skills, which apply to management careers in healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.
Many MBA degrees allow students to pursue concentrations relating to their personal and professional goals. In Iowa, an MBA with a specialization in healthcare management would greatly benefit individuals seeking employment at major organizations like the University of Iowa or Mercy Medical Group. Likewise, a supply chain management or logistics concentration would serve employees at John Deere, Winnebago Industries, or Pella Corporation.
To learn more about MBA concentrations and the opportunities they provide, please visit the MBA specialization hub.
Iowa’s Online MBA Programs
The schools listed below hold national or regional accreditation. When choosing an online MBA, prospective students should also consider institutional accreditation, which can impact financial aid and transfer options.
Alongside institutional accreditation, online MBAs in Iowa may maintain programmatic accreditation. Granted through a specialized agency or organization, programmatic accreditation uses high educational standards to assess the academic quality of a program or department. To find out more about the importance of accreditation and the bodies that accredit business programs, visit the MBA accreditation guide.
Of all the online MBA programs in Iowa, only the Maharishi University of Management offers an online MBA in sustainable business. This degree reflects the environmentalism advocated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the university's founder. The program stresses the skills and knowledge graduates need to support businesses with environmentally sustainable practices. The program begins with two courses in environmental business. After that, students continue the synchronous curriculum by taking evening courses held entirely online. The university records all lectures so students can view them when convenient. Students commit approximately 15 hours per week to the program. Full-time students can earn their degrees in 18 months.
Applicants may apply up to 18 transfer credits toward this Iowa MBA online degree. The university exempts new students who majored in business as undergraduates from up to seven foundational courses if they earned a B grade or higher. All students pay the same tuition rate.
The online master of business administration program at Saint Ambrose University appeals to prospective students who want to earn their degrees as quickly as possible; full-time students can graduate in just one year, while the majority of part-time students graduate in less than two years. The synchronous core curriculum offers courses in social responsibility and human behavior in organizations. MBA students choose from one of five concentrations that include international management and marketing management.
Saint Ambrose grants standardized test waivers to applicants with advanced degrees or those with at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA. Transfer students may apply up to nine outside credits toward their Saint Ambrose Iowa online MBA. All new students consult with a tuition planner to create an individualized financing plan. Saint Ambrose uses the Yellow Ribbon Program to ensure that active military personnel and veterans receive their full 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.
At Upper Iowa University, students enrolled in the online master of business administration program benefit from a flexible, asynchronous curriculum. Students select from five concentrations, including accounting and organizational development. Students must complete 36 credits to graduate. Upper Iowa offers every course during the fall, spring, and summer terms for full-time students who plan to graduate in one year. The program concludes with a capstone experience wherein students complete a research paper and present their findings to peers and professors.
New students can begin the program at one of six points throughout the year. Upper Iowa considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis; the university also grants credit to new students with extensive professional experience. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. Part-time students pay the same for their degrees as full-time students. Upper Iowa awards multiple scholarships to online students.