With several growing industry sectors and 87 degree-granting higher education institutions, Washington offers a host of options for MBA students interested in marketing, information technology, healthcare, and other fast-growing career areas. The page below introduces you to Washington’s top distance learning MBA programs and advises you on school accreditation standards, career and salary opportunities, and MBA concentration options. This information will help you choose wisely and invest your time in the program that will best prepare you for leadership in one of Washington’s many exciting, cutting-edge business sectors.
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Washington
The top industries in Washington cover a variety of areas. The Seattle area is home to major international corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks, and Boeing maintains plants in both Everett and Renton. The Puget Sound has two major ports, while eastern and central Washington serve as home to the state’s major agricultural growing areas. Washington agricultural products include apples, grapes for winemaking, and hops used in beer production.
Washington’s GDP grew by 5.7% in 2018 — almost double the national average — and the state expects continued growth in the coming years. Earning an online MBA in Washington can help students take advantage of this growth and find jobs with leading corporations.
Earning an online MBA in Washington can help prepare you for a career at one of the above companies. An MBA provides technical business and management knowledge that transfers to many fields, including engineering, manufacturing, and software development. Employers also value the soft skills an MBA provides, such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Lastly, Washington online MBA programs can provide invaluable networking opportunities with fellow classmates, as well as with local companies that recruit employees from programs in the state.
Online MBA Programs for You
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
Careers for MBA Grads in Washington
In collaboration with advertisers, art directors, and budgeters, marketing managers create and implement marketing plans for attracting consumer interest in company goods or services. These managers often spend their days meeting with clients, generating pricing and media advertising choices, negotiating budgets and contracts, and overseeing marketing staff.
MBA courses in marketing, leadership, finance, and strategy prepare graduates well for marketing careers in Washington’s top industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects considerable growth for marketing jobs at the managerial level in Washington over the next several years. As of May 2018, Washington’s marketing managers made a mean salary of $155,580 — well above the national marketing manager salary mean of $147,240.
Financial managers manage organizational finances, creating plans and strategies to ensure that organizations meet short-term and long-term finance goals. Financial managers analyze market trends and company finances in search of new expansion and cost-cutting opportunities.
They also supervise finance staff, conduct financial monitoring and reporting, guide investment decisions, and advise executive management. MBA economics, accounting, and corporate finance coursework provides foundational knowledge for financial managers. National BLS data indicate that the scientific and technical services industries boast the highest wage for financial managers — good news for aspiring financial managers in Washington, where these industries are booming! The BLS also reports that as of May 2018, Washington’s 13,010 financial managers earned a mean salary of $136,480.
As directors of the human resources (HR) department, human resources managers protect the efficiency and integrity of the workplace environment by hiring top talent and addressing employee issues. Acting as an intermediary between management and employees, the HR manager also assists executives in strategic planning and guides HR staff in handling employee hiring, training, and benefits administration.
Through core courses in leadership, communication, and management, MBA programs cultivate skills and knowledge useful to aspiring HR managers. Washington MBA graduates with concentrations in human resources may anticipate lucrative and growing career prospects in this state. At a mean salary of $134,070 as of May 2018, earnings for Washington HR managers ranked above the national mean salary of $126,700.
Medical and health services managers direct services at a medical facility, department, or practice, where they create and implement goals and oversee daily operations. Medical and health service managers bear responsibility to boards for financial management, efficiency, quality improvement, and legal and regulatory compliance. Daily activities include hiring, recordkeeping, scheduling, and budgeting.
MBA programs with a health services concentration and core courses in leadership and communications benefit graduates pursuing management careers in global health, a growing industry in Washington. According to the BLS, Washington’s medical and health services managers earned an annual mean salary of $117,970 as of May 2018 — above the national median salary of $113,730 for this position.
Sales managers guide and supervise sales teams by providing sales plans, training, and data analysis. These professionals may also respond to customer preferences and complaints, determine pricing and sales goals, and manage budgeting. Sales managers rely heavily on knowledge gleaned from MBA marketing, leadership, and economics coursework. Given that all the state’s major companies and industries rely on selling products or services, Washington’s MBA graduates may pursue profitable job opportunities in many sectors. Washington’s sales managers earned an unusually high mean salary of $140,700 as of May 2018.
Although a general MBA may suit students unsure about their desired career path and industry context, many MBA programs feature concentrations that encourage industry or field specialization. Concentrations can render MBA graduates more attractive to potential employers.
Students planning careers as information systems managers, a lucrative career path in a growing industry sector in Washington, should consider pursuing an MBA concentration in information systems, technology, or security. Similarly, MBA graduates with a marketing concentration gain a competitive edge over general MBA candidates for Washington’s growing number of well-compensated marketing manager positions.
Read on to uncover the four best online MBA programs in Washington for 2021. Each school on our ranking holds national or regional accreditation, and some may also hold accreditation from additional relevant agencies. Accreditation, an independent evaluation process, recognizes colleges and universities meeting the most rigorous academic standards. The accrediting agencies that have endorsed the programs on our list of online MBAs in Washington include:
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Washington State University is a public land-grant research university located in the town of Pullman. Founded in 1890, the WSU campus is perched upon a hill with views of the scenic rolling topography below.
WSU has offered its online MBA program since 2010. The curriculum is taught by faculty with years of experience as instructors in a digital format. Students may pursue a general MBA or choose from four concentrations: finance, marketing, hospitality business management, or international business. WSU ranks in the top 20 online MBA programs, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2021 rankings.
Applying to WSU
Applicants must complete a graduate application and provide unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended. They should also submit a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae, one letter of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. The GMAT is required for admission but may be waived for qualified individuals.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: AACSB, NWCCU Tuition: $855/credit Required Credits: 36 credits Program Length: 22-29 months Delivery Format: 100% online
Students earning an online MBA at Northwest University learn from experienced faculty and engage in practical courses that provide real-world insight and skills. Students can participate in additional learning opportunities, such as a concentration in project management or a yearly international trip for credit.
Applying to NU
Interested applicants must complete an online application form and provide a current resume or CV, official college/university transcripts, academic history explanation essay, and two professional letters of recommendation. No GMAT is required for students with a GPA of at least 3.0.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: ACBSP, NWCCU Tuition: $898/credit Required Credits: 39 credits Program Length: 23 months Delivery Format: 100% online
The online MBA program at CityU offers several emphases, including accounting, human resource management, project management, and more. These emphases offer a focused curriculum that prepares students for industry certification exams.
Applying to CityU
CityU offers accredited online MBA programs and does not require the GMAT for applicants with substantial work experience. Applications are designed to be completed online in only 10 minutes.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: ACBSP, NWCCU Tuition: $540/credit Required Credits: 48-54 credits Delivery Format: Online, on campus, or hybrid
The University of Washington is a public research university in Seattle. Founded in 1861, it's one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. Today, the urban campus is home to highly competitive varsity sports teams and offers an array of degrees from departments in various colleges and schools.
The hybrid MBA program at UW is a blended-format MBA that combines flexible online learning with in-person experiences. These experiences include podcasts, virtual team simulations, and an optional international study tour. Taught by experienced faculty, this two-year program serves working professionals.
Applying to UW
Application requirements include at least three years of post-baccalaureate professional work experience and a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants must also submit two essays, a resume, three recommendations, an admissions exam (GMAT or GRE), unofficial transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, a nonrefundable application fee, and an interview.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: AACSB, NWCCU Tuition: $78,000/program Required Credits: 62 credits Program Length: 2 years Delivery Format: Hybrid