According to statistics from the Babson Survey Research Group, 21.2% of Montana’s college students took at least some courses online in 2015, and that figure has grown slightly. In 2015, 1,181 graduate learners enrolled in distance courses through institutions such as Montana State University, University of Montana, and the University of Providence.
Prospective business students should strongly consider earning an online MBA in Montana. Montana’s economy continues to grow, and Projections Central expects an 8% increase in employment in the state from 2016-2026, faster than the national growth rate. Only 6.8% of Montana residents hold a master’s degree; MBA holders in the state may enjoy a distinct competitive advantage over job seekers with less education.
This page details selected online MBA programs in Montana and explores the state’s economy, largest employers, and potential career paths for business school graduates.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Montana
Montana’s top industries include healthcare, mining, agriculture and forestry, and leisure activities. After earning their online MBA, Montana residents can often relocate to the areas with the highest concentration of jobs: the northwestern and southwestern areas of the state and in the cities of Missoula, Billings, and Helena.
According to the 2018 Montana Economic Report, the state’s financial and business services sectors continue to grow, fueled by the expansion of technology companies in western Montana. The report indicates modest growth in mining for coal and oil. Despite drought and wildfires, agricultural industries drive the state’s economy. Tourists continue to visit the state’s parks and recreation areas, even with compromised air quality from wildfire smoke.
Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry projects the addition of 5,000 new jobs per year through 2025, with 1,000 of those new positions in healthcare. The growing healthcare industry needs MBA holders to fill positions as directors of operations, operations managers, and healthcare administrators. In addition, operations managers can also work in agriculture, oil and gas mining, and travel and hospitality.
After earning an online MBA, Montana graduates often find opportunities with the state’s leading employers, including the three listed above. Billings Clinic encompasses many segments of the growing healthcare industry and hires a variety of professionals with healthcare and business degrees. Aageson Farm represents the traditional Montana economy and seeks job candidates trained in agricultural operations. Mountain Home Air Force Base is a military facility; such federal government installations often hire civilians with MBAs for senior executive service positions.
Online MBA Programs for You
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
Careers for MBA Grads in Montana
Healthcare Director of Operations
Healthcare directors of operations fill high-level management positions in hospitals, outpatient care centers, private practices, long-term care facilities, and similar healthcare-focused environments. They may supervise employees, handle an organization’s finances, and participate in investor and board meetings. Since healthcare directors of operations need to create budgets and lead people, they often benefit from an MBA or a similar degree.
According to the BLS, medical and health services managers in Montana earn a mean salary of $96,180 per year.
Operations managers develop organizational policies, manage an organization’s daily workflow, create staff schedules, and manage finances. These professionals often take on general management responsibilities too broad to fall into a specific department such as purchasing or human resources. In the healthcare industry, operations managers may maintain the facility, communicate with medical employees, and improve efficiency in their workplace. They need strong analytical, leadership, and interpersonal skills, which they may build through a Montana online MBA.
A report from the University of Montana identifies healthcare as one of Montana’s growing industries in terms of overall worker earnings, making now a great time to become a healthcare administrator in the state. Sometimes called healthcare executives or health services managers, these professionals may run an entire healthcare facility or a specific department within a larger organization. They oversee administrative functions such as record-keeping, hiring, training, and legal compliance.
Agriculture, one of Montana’s most important industries, brought in 6% of the state’s gross domestic product in 2013, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Agricultural operations managers fill an essential role in this industry by running farms, ranches, nurseries, timber tracts, and similar agricultural firms. They may oversee an agricultural establishment’s financial or marketing operations.
The mean yearly salary for agricultural operations managers in the U.S. is $79,940. Projections Central expects that available positions for agricultural operations managers will decrease slightly in the long term.
These professionals serve as high-level civil service workers in the U.S. federal government. Members of the Senior Executive Service need top-notch executive skills, which they may build through an MBA and a career in business. They also need a commitment to public service. Senior Executive Service members occupy a rank just below top Presidential appointees and oversee activities in approximately 75 federal agencies.
An MBA builds the skills students need to take on a variety of management-related roles in many industries. However, by focusing their studies in a particular area such as project management, finance, or marketing, business students can prepare themselves for specialized career paths.
Business students in Montana should research the state’s major industries and choose courses that may help them land a job in a growing field. Since many of Montana’s largest employers operate in the healthcare industry, a concentration in healthcare administration may prove useful.
While most MBA programs feature similar coursework on finance, business strategy, accounting, and leadership, each Montana online MBA lists unique requirements and offerings. Programs may vary in terms of tuition cost, class format, elective choices, and concentrations. Read through the list of Montana MBA programs below to compare schools and find your ideal degree.
Keep in mind that you should only apply to accredited MBA programs, as accreditation indicates that a school or program meets academic standards set by an independent body.
Located in Missoula, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Montana offers the only online MBA in Montana with the flexibility working professionals need. The program offers specializations in sustainability and digital marketing, and students can earn certificates in entertainment management or entrepreneurship.
Students can complete the 32-credit curriculum in one year of full-time study. Part-time students may take up to five years to complete the curriculum. Students with bachelor's degrees from fields other than business must take an additional 15 credits of foundation courses. The school awards credit for independent study and internships. Students need to complete an integrated project during their final semester. The university may waive the GMAT requirement for applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from their bachelor's degree.
The University of Montana holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the business college holds program accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.