Identifying and rating the top online MBA programs is something like a cottage industry in the print media. Magazines such as Forbes, Business Week, US News & World Report, and newspapers like the Financial Times (London) feature their latest rankings and commentary in at least one entire dedicated issue every year. These issues are “evergreen” material because those results will be republished in hundreds, if not thousands, of other print and online sources for years to come. A Google search for “top online mba programs 2008” will still pull up more than 300,000 results pages MBA課程.
For the most part these ranking systems tend to feature the same names within the top 50 or so top online MBA programs although the position of any individual program can vary dramatically from survey to survey, and from year to year. The ranking criteria include elements like number of enrolled students, demographics of enrolled students (geographic diversity seems a plus), accreditations awarded, and a subjective evaluation of the credentials of the teaching staff.
Forbes Magazine takes the most edifying approach in that it at least attempts to place a value added twist to its ranking system. The basic concept is that Forbes surveys MBA graduates five years after graduation and assesses the return on investment of the degree to those individuals. With the low end of costs for the degree at $30,000 per annum for the most often mentioned surveyed schools, the Forbes approach seems to have some merit. US Bureau of Labor statistics suggest that an MBA degree holder will earn, on average, about 60% more in lifetime compensation than a four-year degree holder will earn in the same industry.
It’s easy enough to understand the popularity of the many ranking systems and why so many prestigious publications have tossed their entries into the fray. The Masters of Business Administration degree is perhaps the most globally recognized and accepted academic award. Sound business management principles are universal, which makes the MBA degree unique and transportable across borders, cultures and languages.