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2023 Best Online Master's in Business Management Degrees

By Michael McCarthy | Updated 2/6/2023
2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Management Badge

Our rankings are based on alumni salary to showcase online master's degrees in business management that have the best long-term financial value. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for management occupations in the U.S. is $109,760 — the highest among all major occupational groups. For prospective students interested in expanding their leadership skills, a business management graduate degree can help them develop in-demand expertise that can be utilized across a wide range of industries. Coursework typically covers strategies for organizing a business, from overseeing innovation to successfully managing interpersonal dynamics.

2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Management Badge
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Online Management Master's Degrees You May Be Interested In

2023 Best Online Master's in Business Management Degrees

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 New York University 96 96 $148,198
# 2 #2 Duke University 95 $143,622
# 3 #3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 94 $135,965
# 4 #4 University of Washington - Seattle 93 $133,070
# 5 #5 Georgetown University 93 $131,589
# 6 #6 University of Southern California 92 $127,841
# 7 #7 Lehigh University 91 $122,676
# 8 #8 University of Arkansas 91 $122,450
# 9 #9 Northwestern University 90 $120,709
# 10 #10 Golden Gate University 90 $117,549

#1 New York University

  • Salary Score: 96
  • Median Starting Salary: $148,198
  • Locations: New York (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

New York University (NYU) is a large, private non-profit that offers five online master's in management programs, including HR management and development, management and systems, project management, quantitative management, and management of technology. The overall goal of these master's degrees is to train students to become strategic business professionals with specialized expertise in their area of study.

These leadership-focused programs may blend online work with some in-person requirements, but students can mostly learn asynchronously according to their personal schedule. NYU boasts an "award-winning" online platform that provides students with "the same quality of education as on-campus."

#2 Duke University

  • Salary Score: 95
  • Median Starting Salary: $143,622
  • Locations: Durham (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Duke University (DKU) is a medium-sized, non-profit institution that offers an online Master of Science in Quantitiatve Management: Business Analytics requiring 16 credits. The curriculum aims to provide students with a broad understanding of data science and digital technology in business. Some core classes for this major include Managerial Economics and Applied Probability and Statistics. Students must complete all program requirements to graduate, including an in-person residency launch experience and course modules. These can take 19 months to finish with a part-time schedule. Students may alternatively pursue an Accelerated Master of Science in Quantitative Management: Business Analytics, which focuses on advanced data science and analytics training. Graduates may go on to explore careers as a data scientist, business intelligence analyst, or big data engineer.

At DKU, students use Sakai to access their online coursework, which is a hybrid learning platform. Students have access to virtual career services and career coaching.

#3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Salary Score: 94
  • Median Starting Salary: $135,965
  • Locations: Chapel Hill (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC - Chapel Hill) is a large, public institution that offers an online Master of Business Administration through their Kenan-Flagler business school. Professors help prepare students to work in data-driven environments and make analytical decisions in their chosen industry. Students may also customize their curriculum. They have 25 electives to choose from, as well as five MBA concentrations: (1) entrepreneurship, (2) data analytics and decision making, (3) finance, (4) strategy and consulting, and (5) marketing.

At UNC - Chapel Hill, online students can study asynchronously, which is optimal for working professionals. However, students must attend two in-person summits, which are held in international cities and on campus.

#4 University of Washington - Seattle

  • Salary Score: 93
  • Median Starting Salary: $133,070
  • Locations: Seattle (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The University of Washington - Seattle (UW - Seattle) is a large, public institution that offers three master's programs in the field of business management, each with a unique industry emphasis: Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management, Master of Science in Computational Finance & Risk Management, and Master of Science in Construction Management. Students can receive specialized managerial training through one of these options, depending on their career goals.

At UW - Seattle, online courses are delivered in a structured, asynchronous format to allow some flexibility, and this is achieved through the web-based software, Canvas. This flexible digital format means that students can join from all over the world. The school encourages networking between continents, from Europe and Africa to South America. And all online students have access to the UW Libraries.

#5 Georgetown University

  • Salary Score: 93
  • Median Starting Salary: $131,589
  • Locations: Washington D.C.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Georgetown University is a private, non-profit institution with a Jesuit identity that offers five online Masters of Professional Studies in Management that feature distinct areas of interest: sports industry, technology, emergency and disaster, HR, and project management. Each program requires a different amount of credit hours — ranging from 30-33 — and may take anywhere from 2-5 years to finish. The curriculum differs depending on a student's focus, but the online experience is similar throughout.

At Georgetown, students use Canvas, an interactive online learning management system. This digital platform provides a discussion forum and contains the syllabi, course materials, assignments, grades, and assessments. Online coursework is asynchronous, meaning that students can work at their own pace.

#6 University of Southern California

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $127,841
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a large, private research institution that offers many diverse options for studying a Master's in Management. Students may choose a program from one of the following broad categories: business and accounting, communication, education and teaching, engineering, gerontology, health and medicine, library science, pharmacy, and professional studies. Within each of these groups are a host of niches that offer fully online and hybrid programs, including some with part-time and accelerated learning tracks. The breadth of options may be the most impressive on our rankings list. Explore the link provided above to learn more about the individual degree programs they offer.

#7 Lehigh University

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $122,676
  • Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Lehigh University is a private non-profit that offers an online graduate degree in Management Science and Engineering, which can be attained through a Master's of Engineering or a Master's of Science. These programs aim to impart knowledge about critical, technical, and managerial tasks that involve high-level decision-making and research.

Lehigh has been offering flexible online programs at the graduate level for the past 30 years. Their Office of Distance Education estimates that the average time to complete an online master's program is between 2.5 and 3 years. If students pursue a part-time schedule, it could potentially take longer. Either way, their site emphasizes that their online degree offers the same diploma that's awarded to their on-campus students.

#8 University of Arkansas

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $122,450
  • Locations: Fayetteville (AR)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Arkansas (UA) is a large, public institution that offers an online Executive Master of Business Administration requiring 38 credit hours. The curriculum focuses on leadership and management practices in business. Some core classes in this major include Quantitative Methods and Decision Making, Corporate Financial Management, and Marketing. To graduate, students must complete eight first-year classes and six second-year classes, which can take two years with a part-time schedule.

There are more specialized business management programs available as well, such as Master of Science in Engineering Management, Master of Science in Operations Management, and Professional Master of Information Systems with several concentrations that emphasize management in this industry. Graduates of these programs may go on to explore careers in business analytics, supply chain management, finance, and entrepreneurship.

At UA, students use Blackboard to access their coursework, which supports the hybrid online/in-person format and requires classroom attendance one Saturday per month. Online students have resources, such as online coaching and access to the student liaison office.

#9 Northwestern University

  • Salary Score: 90
  • Median Starting Salary: $120,709
  • Locations: Evanston (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Northwestern University is a private non-profit that offers an online Master's in Information Systems, with eight potential areas of specialization, including Information Systems Management and Project Management. Since information systems impact almost all industries, this advanced degree may offer a broad range of professional opportunities for growth. At Northwestern, online students can network online among peers and leading innovators in the field. Northwestern's online curriculum specifically focuses on the development and management of software projects. Some core classes include IT Strategy, Database Administration, and Information Security Management. To graduate, students must also complete a capstone project that provides them with experience developing large multi-tier information systems using Java.

#10 Golden Gate University

  • Salary Score: 90
  • Median Starting Salary: $117,549
  • Locations: San Francisco (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Golden Gate University (GGU) is a small non-profit that offers an online Master of Business Administration requiring 54 total units. The curriculum aims to provide students with leadership skills and business acumen. Some core classes for this major include Corporate Finance, Management and Leadership, and Information Technology. To graduate, students must complete business, strategic, and capstone courses, which can take two years with a full-time schedule.

There are other business management programs, such as Master of Science in Project Management, Master of Science in Leadership, and Master of Science in Business Analytics. Similarly, Master of Science in Information Technology Management explores business leadership skills in the IT sector. Graduates may go on to explore careers in business, marketing, IT, or finance.

At GGU, students use Moodle to access their online coursework through a hybrid learning experience. Online students have access to tutoring, wellness, and advising services.

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What Will I Learn in a Master's in Management Program?

Online master's degrees in management that are not online MBA programs tend to focus on leadership in a particular industry or function, such as engineering, project management, or supply chain management. Therefore, professors design these business education programs to do two things: increase students' general management knowledge and help them build the skills they need to lead employees in their subject area.

Most of the general management courses are similar across on-campus and online programs. These classes contain lessons on business strategy, adaptive decision-making, and financial management. The content-specific curriculum varies by program focus or concentration, so we've detailed coursework for some of the most common management graduate programs below.

Program Focus General Curriculum Common Courses
Business Analytics Teaches students how to use data to understand and solve business challenges
  • Data Structures
  • Data Visualization
  • Statistical Analysis
Engineering Management Aims to help experienced engineers learn practical skills for managing teams of fellow engineers
  • Economics for Engineering
  • Efficiency and Optimization
  • Strategic Management for Technology
Information Technology Management Seeks to give IT experts the business knowledge necessary to guide their departments and represent their needs to upper management
  • IT Transformation for Business
  • Software Development Management
  • Strategic Planning in Technology
Project Management Covers best practices for planning and completing cross-functional projects within time and budget constraints
  • Agile Teams
  • Communications and Collaboration for Managers
  • Project Planning

Careers With a Master's in Management

The intended outcome of a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in management program is career advancement by helping graduates secure a management position in their field. The potential career paths will vary based on a business program's focus area, but we list a few possibilities here. The following salary and job outlook data for business leaders come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Construction Manager

Annual Median Salary:  $98,890
Job Outlook: 8%

Construction managers plan and oversee construction projects. They need technical knowledge of construction practices alongside management know-how to effectively plan budgets and shepherd employees through complex processes.

Engineering Manager

Annual Median Salary:  $152,350
Job Outlook: 2%

Like construction managers, engineering managers must combine technical engineering knowledge with leadership skills such as motivation, communication, and strategic thinking. This is one of the highest-paid management fields.

Industrial Production Manager

Annual Median Salary:  $103,150
Job Outlook: 3%

Industrial production managers ensure that manufacturing facilities run smoothly. They plan production quotas, write and enforce safety policies, and purchase necessary materials.

Marketing Manager

Annual Median Salary:  $133,380
Job Outlook: 10%

Executives rely on marketing managers to identify who their employer should be targeting for sales. Marketing leaders need to understand their employer's products and services, along with market forces such as price elasticity of demand.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Annual Median Salary:  $101,340
Job Outlook: 28%

Healthcare facilities want to hire medical and health services managers with specialized knowledge because of the health, safety, and ethical considerations involved. This field is growing much faster than most occupations in the U.S. because the aging population is leading to a surge in healthcare requirements.

Choosing a Management Degree

There are many considerations when applying to a degree program, so it's helpful to focus on the factors you consider most important. Ask yourself the questions below to see whether they spark any ideas about what matters in your education.

Is this school regionally accredited?

Accreditation should be a top consideration. It means that an independent agency attests to the quality of a college's faculty, curricula, and services. Enrollment in an accredited college or university is required to qualify for federal financial aid. It may also be required for you to transfer credits to another institution.

Is the school's management program accredited?

Academic programs can also earn programmatic accreditation from agencies that focus on specific majors. For management, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits both traditional and online degrees, meaning that ACBSP's stamp of approval testifies to a program's quality.

What's the true cost of this degree?

Colleges all charge different rates for tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board for in-person learners. To calculate the total cost, add these expenses together for each school you're considering, then top it off with another $1,100-$1,300, which is the Department of Education's estimate for yearly textbook costs. Keep in mind that cost doesn't equal quality and that more affordable programs may lead to better returns on your investment.

Would I prefer online or on-campus study?

Some colleges only offer one option, so committing to study either online or in person may limit your list of possible schools.

Does this program have an internship requirement?

Internships can provide an opportunity to use your knowledge and management skills in the real world. This experience may give you practical situations to reference when you interview for jobs, which most hiring managers find helpful.

What's the Difference Between an MBA and a Master's in Management?

The MA and MS management programs have many overlapping characteristics with the practically oriented Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, with some exceptions. Some management master's degree programs are similar to the MBA in that they include a general array of business classes such as marketing, management, accounting, and finance. Others concentrate more on a particular management area, such as leadership, management science, or project management.

While master's in management programs have typically been more common in Europe, these degrees have become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the last few years. Master's in business management degrees tend to take less time to complete, have lower program costs, and attract students with fewer years of work experience, making them more accessible than many MBA programs.

MBA degree programs are often structured in cohorts, meaning each group of incoming students takes all of the same classes together. Cohort programs can be beneficial for students seeking a sense of community and networking opportunities. On the other hand, these students might find the curricula of Master in Management programs preferable since they tend to focus more on group projects, while MBA programs tend to focus more on reviewing case studies. Many management programs also require capstone projects, where students analyze and solve a specific business problem.

FAQs About Master's in Management Degrees

What Can I Do With a Business Management Degree?

One of the best qualities of a business management degree is its versatility. The concepts, theories, and practical experience you acquire while earning your degree will help prepare you for managerial roles in virtually any type of organization — for-profit or non-profit, start-up or multinational — in any industry.

Is a Business Management Degree Worth It?

Yes, if you aspire to work as a mid- or high-level manager earning a lucrative salary, a master's in business management may be worth it. A graduate degree is likely to make you a more competitive job candidate. It lets employers know that you've acquired the type of advanced knowledge and skills that may help an organization perform at a higher level.

What's the Difference Between Business Administration and Business Management?

Business administrators typically focus on the day-to-day operations of a department or organization. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently. Business managers, on the other hand, focus on big-picture planning and strategy — abilities that are usually derived from prior management experience and education.

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