Business professionals considering a Master of Business Administration program might naturally wonder about the return on investment. With base salaries for MBAs at an all-time high, now may be the perfect time to get started on earning this in-demand degree.
Salaries in the finance/accounting industries are among the highest, making an MBA in finance a smart choice. Choosing an affordable program, such as the online MBA with a Concentration in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, can mean an even better return on investment.
Why Choose an Online MBA?
A 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey shows that U.S. employers plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting salary of $115,000 per year — more than double the wage for new hires with a bachelor’s degree. For MBA hires in finance and accounting, that number jumps to $125,000.
With the decision to earn an MBA made, the next question may be whether to go on campus or online. For working professionals, an online format can have advantages:
- Online MBA programs such as UW-Parkside’s can be completed in 12 months. A traditional full-time MBA program may take twice as long.
- The flexibility of an online format means students can continue gaining the work experience employers prefer — no need to put a career on pause or lose out on income.
- Online programs are typically more affordable than traditional full-time programs. Compare Parkside’s total tuition of $18,000 to $70,000 or more for full-time campus-based programs.
- Online MBAs offer multiple start dates, which can reduce the wait time.
- With online courses, students schedule coursework at whatever time works best for them. An online format also eliminates commuting costs.
UW-Parkside, part of the University of Wisconsin system of schools, ranks favorably against a sampling of other online MBA programs.
|MBA Program/School||Finance Concentration?||Credit Hours Required||Tuition Per Credit Hour||Student Fees||Time to Complete|
|UW-Parkside||Yes||30||$600||All fees included||As few as 12 months|
|University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium||No (finance electives offered)||30||$775||$56 application fee||21-36 months|
|Marquette University (MU)||No||33-39||$1,350||$50 application fee (waived if attend online info session)||24 months average, 18 months full time|
|St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMUMN)||Yes (Financial Services/Banking)||30||$665||$25 application fee||As few as 12 months|
|Walden University (for-profit school)||Yes (Corporate Finance)||30||$965||$210 tech fee per semester||12-30 months (based on three options for completion)|
As the chart shows, MBA students at UW-Parkside come out ahead on tuition. Nearby Marquette is more than double UW-Parkside’s $18,000. The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium is over $5,000 more than UW-Parkside.
In neighboring Minnesota, tuition at SMUMN is only slightly higher than at UW-Parkside. However, SMUMN does not hold the same accreditation. Additional cost-related factors:
- In-state vs. out-of-state tuition: Expenses at some schools can be higher for out-of-state students. However, UW-Parkside’s affordable MBA tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.
- Nonprofit vs. for-profit status: Most universities and colleges are nonprofit entities, but plenty of for-profit MBA programs are out there as well. For-profit programs are often more expensive than nonprofit, or public, schools. Based on the chart above, tuition at UW-Parkside, a public institution, beats the for-profit Walden by more than $10,000.
The costs above were sourced from university websites (December 2019).
Why Keep Accreditation in Mind?
Accreditation is a significant way to judge the quality of a school. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) is recognized as the highest standard in a business school education. UW-Parkside is one of only 856 business schools worldwide that has AACSB accreditation.
A career in financial management may not require an MBA. But as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s in business administration. And they are willing to pay much more for this degree. In fact, BLS reports that financial occupations have some of the highest wage premiums for workers with a master’s degree.
UW-Parkside’s online MBA with a finance concentration prepares business professionals with the advanced analytical abilities employers value. And with its affordable tuition, UW-Parkside’s online MBA makes it possible for students to earn the degree they need to advance their careers without piling on unreasonable debt.
As a general note, salaries included here are meant to be a guideline and are not guaranteed. Actual salaries will depend on location, company, experience and more.
Learn more about UW-Parkside’s online MBA program with a Concentration in Finance.