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.
Online MBA Programs for You
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
The following sample list of schools provides an overview of the various online MBA programs available in Washington. By summarizing key program features and requirements, this list allows you to compare programs more quickly and to make more informed application decisions.
MBA students at accredited schools typically experience greater ease in getting financial aid, transferring credits to other schools, and attracting potential employers. Keep in mind that for institution-wide accreditation, regionally accredited schools carry a better reputation than nationally accredited schools.
Many Washington MBA programs also boast prestigious programmatic accreditation by business education experts such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Consult this MBA accreditation guide for more information about these standards and their importance.
Working professionals can earn an online MBA in Washington at CityU in Seattle. The program prepares learners for roles in organizations that require ethical and competent leadership. The program includes core classes in business management, communication and research, and law. Furthermore, students can choose an emphasis in topics including finance, human resource management, global marketing, and entrepreneurship.
Graduation requires completing 48-51 credits. Students learn how to create social connections to products and services and leverage business trends that emerge in evolving industries. Learners also study how best to use data to make informed decisions that reflect ethics and morals. Program graduates often go on to become business analysts, management consultants, and chief operating officers. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school but do not need to submit GMAT scores for admission.
A Christian institution located in Kirkland, NU offers one of the leading online MBA programs in Washington state. Earning this degree allows students to develop the skills and practical perspective employers desire. Not only do graduates strengthen their critical thinking skills, but they also understand why effective decision-making and action-oriented leadership drive business success. The program includes an optional international trip once per year.
While coursework examines topics like accounting and marketing, the university also offers concentrations in public safety administration and project management. Collaborative coursework coupled with small class sizes engage online learners. Students may enroll in one class at a time if they choose. Those with two years’ work experience and at least a 3.2 undergraduate GPA do not need to submit GMAT scores. This Washington state online MBA holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
The UW online MBA program program builds skills in business foundations while allowing learners to enhance their studies by enrolling in electives of their choice. Offered through the Foster School of Business, classes emphasize data-driven decision-making and evidence-based challenges, helping students identify ways to apply their lessons to the real world. Case study analysis builds students' problem-solving capabilities so they can accurately assess complexities and devise solutions to overcome them.
Delivered primarily online, the program requires an on-campus immersion experience over 3-5 days at the start of each quarter. Online coursework weds independent activities with virtual teamwork. It also includes interactive sessions with faculty and classmates. The two-year curriculum covers topics like financial reporting and analysis, leading organizations, and operations management. Elective classes examine concepts such as negotiations, organizational change, and international economic conditions. The university offers three start dates, and admits applicants based on professional experience, leadership potential, previous education, and intellectual ability.
WSU’s online MBA prepares students to successfully transition from the classroom to the boardroom as competent, knowledgeable business leaders. The program offers an international perspective that helps students strengthen their global competence, which today's world demands. The curriculum explores topics like managerial accounting, operations management, business law, and information systems. Those who wish to deepen their understanding of a specific area of study can concentrate in one of four emphasis areas, including hospitality business management and finance.
Offered through the Carson College of Business, this MBA also offers an international field study to help students understand global markets through a 10-day study abroad in Asia. In total, the program consists of 36 credits for those with an undergraduate degree in business. Students without a business background can enroll in up to 16 credits of the university’s foundational coursework. Students typically complete their degree in 22-29 months.
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.
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.