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Is an online MBA worth the investment?

6 Min Read

A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most well regarded postgraduate qualifications in the world. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), there were over 19,500 students from around the globe studying for an MBA in the UK in 2018/19,1 which accounts for a quarter of all postgraduate degrees studied in the UK.2

Many professionals who are keen to progress their careers look to an online MBA as a way to fast track themselves towards their goals. However, to achieve an MBA qualification requires a great deal of personal investment, time and determination.

So, is an online MBA worth it?

What are the benefits of an MBA?

Many students start their research into an MBA with one question; is an MBA worth it?

The benefits of an MBA are innumerable and the programme is designed to enable you to become a well-rounded and high-preforming business professional by enhancing your understanding of business theory, practice and leadership.

Research also shows that MBA graduates find the degree beneficial on a number of levels. A study conducted by GMAC (2018) reported that 79% of MBA alumni thought their degree was personally, professionally and financially rewarding. The research also showed that MBA graduates felt their MBA qualification had increased their earning power and prepared them for leadership positions.3

However, an MBA is not only about increasing earning potential. One of the biggest benefits of studying the postgraduate degree are the networking opportunities it offers. With an online MBA, you have the opportunity to build connections with a global network of experienced, likeminded peers who you can continue to call upon throughout your career.

“The opportunity to build a professional network is a big attraction for prospective MBA students who are planning their career” writes Amy Bell for the Financial Times. “Classmates and alumni networks have traditionally been invaluable resources, but now tech is also being used to help graduates find connections.”4

How will an MBA help my career?

81% of companies who took part in the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report (2018) planned to hire MBA graduates in the next year.5

As well as giving you credibility, MBA students also develop a range of transferable skills that employers find desirable. You will develop your confidence, critical thinking abilities and your time management skills. The holistic approach taken by an MBA also allows graduates to see the ‘big picture’ within an organisation.

“It is necessary to be able to conceptualise what organisations are doing, and how they are affected by certain circumstances or decisions. Employers are looking for people who can work towards the larger goals of a company, and make decisions that will have results focused on larger company goals” writes Penny Loretto for The Balance Careers.6

An MBA is also likely to increase your salary. Research conducted by the Forté Foundation has discovered that, on graduation, MBA students can expect to see a 35–45% increase in their salary. This figure jumps to a 55–65% pay increase five years after graduating.7

How does an online MBA compare to the campus equivalent?

Our Online MBA is taught by the same lecturers and experts as the campus programme.

As well as providing the highest levels of convenience and flexibility that 100% online learning offers, the University of Birmingham Online MBA programme is full of interactive elements, like video lectures and group activities, which bring the content to life.

Students study a mix of core and elective modules on the MBA programme, covering topics including strategy, accounting and finance, international business, marketing, economics and economic policy and business in Society, among others.

Rather than trying to replicate a campus-based setting online, the programme has been built from the ground up, drawing on the latest technology to create a truly unique and immersive student experience.

How do I choose the right online MBA course for me?

One of the biggest considerations for many students when selecting the right online MBA programme for them is the MBA rankings. MBA rankings allow you to compare MBA qualifications offered by universities around the world based on factors including faculty-student ratio, citations and employer reviews. QS Global Online MBA rankings have recently placed the University of Birmingham 17th in the world.8

It is also important to look for a course that is accredited. The Online MBA from the University of Birmingham, run by the globally recognised Birmingham Business School, was the world’s first 100% online AMBA-accredited MBA.

Choosing to study online also means that you are not limited by location and can choose the right course and university for you. Online study also enables you to fit your learning around your current job and commitments as well as introducing you to an international cohort of students from a range of professional backgrounds.

How much does an online MBA cost?

At the University of Birmingham the Online MBA cost is £21,600, which can be paid in full or in instalments. The fee is the same for UK and international students and is reviewed annually.

Who chooses to study an online MBA programme?

MBA’s attract a diverse range of professionals from many different career paths. Online courses also have a high proportion of international students – at the University of Birmingham 67% of the Online MBA students are studying overseas in more than 70 different countries.9

If you are ready to accelerate your career, studying our Online MBA can help you achieve your goals. Find out more by filling in our request for information form and our Admissions team will be in touch.


  1. HESA (2020) MBA students by domicile 2014/15 to 2018/19 (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 28.10.20]
  2. SHEPPARD, E (2020) The enduring pull of the MBA (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  3. STRAFINO, S (2019)  Graduate Management Education Trends and Insights from GMAC Research (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  4. BELL, A (2020) Why MBA networking matters (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  5. GMAC (2018) Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2018 (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  6. LORETTO, P (2019) The Top 12 Soft Skills Employers Seek (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  7. FORTE FOUNDATION (2018) Business and Management (Online) Available at: <,-A%20higher%20potential&text=When%20compared%20to%20pre%2DMBA,%2D65%25%20after%20five%20years.&text=of%20business%20%26%20management%20graduates%20are%20employed%20within%20six%20months%20of%20graduation> [Accessed 16.10.20]
  8. UNKNOWN (2020) University of Birmingham Online MBA ranked 17th in the world according to QS World University rankings. University of Birmingham [online] Available at: [Accessed 22.04.2020]
  9. Updated 11th February 2020. Country names categorised using information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [online] Available at: [Accessed 11.02.2020]

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