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MBA Programs For People Yearning To Work Online

May 11th, 2012


MBA programs provide degrees to students who intend to become elite professionals in the world of business or professional seeking mid-level career growth. Most of the time, students enroll in Masters of Business Administration programs with a particular concentration in mind. Concentrations allow students to focus their research and application to the specific areas in which they expect to work after graduation. People who hope to use their degree to innovate in the online space would be wise to choose a program that allows concentrations in internet entrepreneurship, new media marketing, or any other online-related area.

The most common MBA concentrations are finance, accounting, management, and economics. While these disciplines can certainly be used online, an MBA student who wants to focus specifically on online work might be better served looking for something a bit more specific. The e-commerce and information technology concentration offered by Rutgers University’s business school is one example. This course of study includes all of the essential aspects common to MBA programs, but focuses on the internet. One of the main goals of the program is to produce business professionals who are specifically trained to be competitive in online markets. Students learn to use internet-based resources to manage workforces, and study techniques for leveraging online marketing to reach consumers all over the world.

Not all programs are so broad. The Florida Institute of Technology, for instance, offers a more nuanced internet marketing concentration in its MBA program. Students here earn their business degree with a slant towards internet-related operations and management.

A number of online universities also offer MBA programs geared toward internet business and commerce. DeVry University is one of the biggest providers of these sorts of degrees. The e-commerce management concentration focuses on teaching students how to design, create, utilize, and manage online marketing, sales, and distribution channels. Another option offered by DeVry is network and communications management, which prepares students to manage global communications networks. Students may also choose to focus on information security, where they will learn ways to keep businesses and information infrastructures safe from hackers and viruses.

Most online universities do not offer as many internet-specific MBA concentrations as DeVry does, but there are a lot of options out there. Kaplan University, for instance, offers an information technology concentration for its online MBA.  Most online schools will also highlight internet strategies in their marketing and human resources programs.

One of the biggest problems with seeking an MBA specific to online business is that many of the most prestigious business schools do not offer internet-specific concentrations. In some circumstances, though, getting a regular MBA from a top school can be better than earning an online-specific degree from a lesser-ranked institution. It is almost always possible to select courses and design programs that highlight internet applications, no matter where you go to school. Name recognition is also something to consider. Depending on what you want to do, you might be better served attending the best school that admits you, regardless of whether you’re able to pursue an online-focused concentration there.

It may also be possible to pursue a short certificate program for ecommerce or online business separate from the MBA degree. Such certificate programs are commonly offered by online universities and community colleges, and can be a great supplement to an MBA with a more standard concentration.

As online markets continue to grow at a rapid rate, learning how to harness the internet for business purposes is often a savvy strategy.  Using your MBA experience to cultivate skills and interests specific to online business will make you extremely employable for some time to come.


Drew Hendricks is a social media and SEO enthusiast that spends his free time browsing the internet and playing frisbee golf.


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