According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 87,500 managerial professionals worked in Kentucky as of May 2018. With the healthcare industry dominating the list of large employers in Kentucky, medical and health services professionals may find widespread opportunities for employment in the state. Similarly, strong manufacturing, extraction, and industrial sectors bode well for individuals with an MBA in Kentucky.
Online MBA programs in Kentucky provide opportunities to pursue career advancement and salary growth. Students complete foundational coursework in finance, business communications, and management while learning critical thinking and analytical skills applicable to leadership roles in business settings.
Flexible and convenient online classes allow learners to complete their MBA on a schedule that best meets their needs. Students can earn an accelerated online MBA in Kentucky in as few as 12-18 months, while part-time learners may complete their degree in 3-5 years.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Kentucky
Kentucky recently experienced a boom in job growth thanks to changes in federal laws. According to the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky, the state's economy is projected to grow by roughly 2-2.5% annually. Currently, Kentucky's growth relates directly to the health of the federal government.
The Kentucky Center for Statistics projects that office and administrative positions will be the biggest contributors to job growth in Kentucky through 2026. MBA graduates can explore many career roles, whether they aspire to work in human resources, finance, or another business field. Interestingly, no specific office or administrative jobs are projected to see massive growth. Instead, healthcare jobs continue to experience the fastest growth. The boom in the healthcare industry continues to drive Kentucky's employment growth. A specialization in health systems management can help MBA grads tap into this industry.
Online MBA graduates seeking a job in Kentucky may need to prepare to move to an urban area. Healthcare ranks among the biggest industries in Kentucky, and employment opportunities reside largely in urban areas such as Louisville and Lexington. Other top employers, such as the auto industry, maintain plants outside of the largest cities.
|Company||Location||Main Industry||Number of Employees|
|The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry||Lexington||Dental Schools||14,000|
|Humana Inc.||Louisville||Medical Insurance Carriers||10,000|
|Norton Hospital Behavioral||Louisville||Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals||10,000|
Source: Career One Stop
Earning an online MBA with a health systems concentration provides a clear path to these businesses. Individuals can also consider other business roles within the healthcare industry. For example, large businesses need human resource managers and financial managers. To find a job at a large business, students should consider their desired position and pick the online program that best fits their goals. While not every MBA graduate finds their desired role in healthcare, job opportunities abound.
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Careers for MBA Grads in Kentucky
Health Services Manager
According to the BLS, medical and health services managers -- also called healthcare administrators -- can expect 18% job growth in Kentucky through 2026, commensurate with the national figure. In 2018, health systems managers earned the highest median wages in Lexington, which serves as home to the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, the state's largest employer.
Health services managers oversee the business activities of hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They work closely with doctors, nurses, and comparable medical professionals to facilitate efficient, quality healthcare services. Health systems managers monitor budgets, train and supervise employees, and maintain compliance with laws and regulations as needed.
Financial managers coordinate financial activities in an office, branch, department, or entire business. They develop and implement short- and long-term financial strategies for an organization or entity, analyzing data to forecast the financial health of businesses. Financial managers work to maximize profits, functioning as advisors to executives.
The BLS projects a 19% increase in employment for financial managers through 2026. While the finance and insurance industries continue to employ the largest number of financial managers, their skills apply to manufacturing and industrial settings, as well. In 2018, financial managers in the Cincinnati, Ohio, metropolitan area earned the highest median salaries, a location occupied by major employers such as Toyota and Corporex Company.
Management analysts devise strategies for improving organizational efficacy and efficiency. Management analysts may work as outside consultants or within an organization, identifying strategies to cut costs and improve profits. Management analysts may specialize in an aspect of business such as information technology, inventory, or corporate restructuring.
In Kentucky, management analysts in the central part of the state rank fifth in employment levels among nonmetropolitan areas of the U.S. The BLS projects a 15% increase in job growth for management analysts in Kentucky through 2028. Management analysts work across industries, with construction and extraction industries paying the highest salaries to professional management analysts.
Top executives develop and guide an overall organizational mission. They may focus on one aspect of business such as technology, general operations, diversity, or finance. The skills of a top executive apply to healthcare, manufacturing, and government positions. Top executives may find the highest levels of employment in local government, with the largest annual mean wages in finance organizations.
CareerOneStop reports that Kentucky offers annual median salaries far above the national figure to top executives in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. With major employers such as Toyota, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and Corporex located in the region, top executives may find opportunities in corporations across many industrial sectors.
Market Research Analyst
According to the BLS, market research analysts can expect 20% job growth across the nation through 2028, with projections of comparable increases in Kentucky. Market research analysts study market trends, conditions, and changes to assess product and service viability. Market research analysts also contribute to marketing campaigns and strategies by administering surveys, questionnaires, and polls to assess consumer preference and demand.
With quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, market research analysts often work in scientific and technical services, corporations, and advertising. Manufacturing and extraction industries rank among the top paying industries for research analysts, represented in Kentucky by entities such as GE Oil & Gas, Ford Motor, and Toyota.
MBA Concentrations for Kentucky Students
An online MBA program in Kentucky prepares students for leadership roles through coursework in business fundamentals. Classes in finance, marketing, and organizational behavior build skills applicable to careers in fields such as accounting, human resources, and consulting.
Many MBA programs offer opportunities to further enhance professional knowledge and skills through specialized coursework. With healthcare entities such as Humana, Norton Hospital, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare among the top five largest employers in the state, an MBA concentration in healthcare management may provide an ideal course of study for Kentucky residents.
Additional MBA concentrations that meet the needs of business professionals in Kentucky include information technology, supply chain management, and criminal justice. To find out more about how an MBA specialization can enhance your degree, refer to the MBA Specializations hub.
Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States
Kentucky's Best Online MBA Programs
The colleges and universities listed below hold national or regional accreditation. When choosing an online MBA program in Kentucky, learners should take accreditation status into consideration. Accreditation can influence admission criteria, financial aid, and transfer options.
Alongside institutional accreditation, online MBA programs may maintain programmatic accreditation through a specialized, business-focused agency. This indicates that a department or degree meets the standards set by experts in business fields.
To find out more about programmatic accreditation for online MBA programs in Kentucky and the overall importance of accreditation, refer to the MBA Accreditation guide.
How to Choose a Quality MBA Program
A Christian institution, Campbellsville University offers a 36-credit online master's in business administration. Students select from among seven concentrations: accounting, church management, healthcare management, human resource management, international business, and information technology. Mandated courses for all specializations last eight weeks and include organizational theory, business ethics, and managerial finance. Full-time students can complete this Kentucky online MBA in two years.
To apply, candidates must hold a 2.5 GPA, submit scores for the GRE or GMAT, and provide recommendation letters, resumes, and personal essays. Students without a business background may need to complete a primer course at the discretion of the department.
This program is accredited through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Lindsey Wilson College offers two online MBA programs in Kentucky. Students can choose either a 36-credit, fully online general business emphasis program or a 37-credit curriculum with a lean systems emphasis. The latter blends online and face-to-face components. Students in both tracks complete classes that include quantitative decision making, managerial accounting, and marketing management. All students must pass the Educational Testing Service's MBA major field test to graduate.
The department does not require a bachelor's in business administration to enter the program, but applicants without accounting, statistics, and economics coursework may need to enroll in prerequisite classes or take exams to verify knowledge in these areas. Candidates should also supply three references, a statement of purpose, and resumes.
Lindsey Wilson College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Founded in 1847, Midway University offers an accelerated online master of business administration that students can complete in approximately one year. The general program requires 30 credits, while three-credit concentrations are available in equine management, sport management, healthcare administration, or tourism and event management. Core classes include business law, strategic management, and global business. Candidates without previous business coursework must also complete a foundational business class.
This online MBA program in Kentucky grants credit for experiences such as military training and workshops. Learners obtain this credit through portfolios, testing, and verification of experiences.
Midway University provides academic workshops and online tutoring, and the school's career services department provides students and alumni with opportunities such as resume development and interview preparation.
The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Morehead State University
Morehead State University offers a 30-credit master of business administration that prepares graduates to advance in their career. Candidates must complete 24 credits in core classes like managerial economics, accounting analysis for decision making, and marketing administration. Applicants without an undergraduate business degree may need to complete additional prerequisite courses at the program director's discretion.
The remaining six elective credits allow students to individually tailor their degrees. Topics include auditing applications, global information systems, and systems security. Candidates may also choose an MBA health systems management track, which requires six additional elective credits. Full-time students can complete their MBA within one year.
Students benefit from online tutoring and the career center's counseling and preparation tools, such as online mock interviews. The university also provides counseling services, dental care, and basic health treatments for learners.
Morehead State University's online MBA in Kentucky is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Murray State University offers an online MBA program in Kentucky. Students focus on business analytics, economic development, finance, global communications, health administration, human resource management, or marketing; they may also choose a general track. On-campus students may also select an accounting concentration. Most specializations require at least 30 credits, though the healthcare focus requires 33 credits.
Mandated coursework includes corporate finance and accounting for decision making and seminars in organizational behavior and strategic management. Candidates must also complete foundational prerequisite courses, such as microeconomics and business calculus. Full-time students can complete their degree in two years and enjoy access to a suite of services, including tutoring and writing assistance.
This program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
With campuses in Louisville, online, and across Kentucky, Sullivan University offers an 18-month online master of business administration. The program emphasizes communication, leadership, and analytical skills to prepare graduates for complex financial and tactical business concerns.
Students complete 48 credits in coursework such as operations strategy, advanced quantitative methods, and accounting theory for business environments. Candidates must also complete an integrative management capstone and can choose from six concentrations: public management, accounting, healthcare management, strategic human capital management, hospitality management, and conflict management.
Students may also pursue an MBA and a doctor of pharmacy, graduating within three years; however, candidates must earn admission into both programs.
This Kentucky MBA online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Thomas More College
Crestview Hills, KY
Thomas More College in Crestview Hills began in 1921 and now educates more than 2,000 learners. This Catholic institution delivers an online master of business administration that students can complete in as little as 18 months. The curriculum features 6-8 week courses in an accelerated format, and students complete a final project that combines theory, research, and the practical use of business knowledge. Faculty with decades of practical experience guide learners toward careers as financial managers, advertising executives, and senior marketing directors.
The college's Institute for Career Development and Graduate School Planning helps past and present learners locate career and internship opportunities. The center also allows learners to use an on-campus studio for interviews, videos, and virtual interaction with employers.
This online MBA program in Kentucky holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Program.
Founded in 1879 in Barbourville, Union College offers an online master of business administration that reflects the beliefs and values of the United Methodist Church. The 30-credit curriculum includes coursework in organizational finance, strategic decisions, and management information systems. Graduates know how to address business needs in various fields, communicate effectively, and think critically while leading organizations. Candidates can complete all program requirements in under two years; however, students without an undergraduate business degree may need to complete supplementary courses that lengthen the time to completion.
Students enjoy access to videos and journals from the school's library, tutoring and counseling services, and career workshops and fairs for employment guidance.
This online MBA in Kentucky boasts accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Established in 1798, UofL occupies three campuses in and around Louisville, Kentucky. UofL enrolls more than 21,000 students each year through 12 academic schools.
The online MBA at UofL requires 45 credit hours. Learners complete 36 credit hours of required core classes alongside nine credit hours of electives. The curriculum also includes one 10-day international trip.
During the first year of the cohort-based, sequential program, students study economics, statistics, and technology management alongside managerial finance and accounting. The second year of the program emphasizes global business, strategic and marketing management, and leadership and organizational behavior.
Students apply elective courses to one of the online business certificates offered at UofL or customize their MBA to meet personal and professional goals. The online finance management certificate focuses on buying, growing, and leading franchise teams, while the distilled spirits business certificate emphasizes financial, operations, and marketing principles associated with the distilled spirits industry.
Learners need a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA for admission. Applicants provide one letter of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, a resume, and personal statement for consideration. This Kentucky online MBA is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of the Cumberlands
Located in Williamsburg, the University of the Cumberlands offers a master of business administration online. This 36-credit program provides concentrations in accounting, business analytics, project management, strategic management, entrepreneurship, healthcare administration, and marketing. Core coursework includes classes in managerial accounting and organizational behavior, and the department administers a comprehensive assessment to students at the conclusion of a strategic decision-making course. To graduate, degree seekers must earn passing scores on all parts of this exam. Learners who do not complete the program within four years must apply for an extension.
Applicants without a bachelor's in business administration may need to take prerequisite courses before beginning this online MBA in Kentucky. Possible prerequisites include principles of finance and accounting. Students with previously earned graduate credits may transfer as many as six credits.
This Kentucky online MBA is accredited through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green offers a fully online, 33-credit master of business administration. Coursework includes advanced marketing, contemporary issues in business, applied microeconomic theory, and organizational theory.
To apply, students must demonstrate an understanding of business topics through prior coursework, foundation modules, or examinations. Candidates should also hold a 2.75 GPA. The department requires GMAT scores -- though they waive this requirement if a student holds either a qualifying GRE score or an undergraduate degree in business that boasts a 3.5 GPA and accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
WKU offers a variety of online resources, including a writing center, tutoring, career services, and library guides. Learners can also explore tips for delivering presentations, communicating virtually, and handling stress when preparing for examinations through the Student Resource Portal.
This Kentucky online MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
- Business Sustainability Certificate