Arizona is currently one of the fastest growing states in the U.S.. Over 60% of Arizona’s nearly 6.5 million people live in Maricopa County. The state of Arizona boasts 33 regionally-accredited colleges and universities, including Arizona State University (ASU), the University of Arizona (UofA), Northern Arizona University (NAU), Grand Canyon University (GCU), and the University of Phoenix. Each of these universities are well known for their successful distance education programs. These highly regarded universities, in combination with a growing business sector, have driven increasing numbers of students to consider an online MBA in Arizona.
Consider an Online MBA in Arizona
Attending an online MBA program in Arizona can save you time and money. Arizona is home to Arizona State University (ASU), which is the nation’s largest public university, and the University of Phoenix (UoP), which is the country’s largest private university. These colleges, plus specialized institutions like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and faith-based colleges like GCU, offer accredited online MBAs. Online degrees range from 33 to 49 credits in length, and tuition for most online MBA programs in Arizona run between $500 to $600 per hour. Many Arizona institutions are transfer-friendly, meaning students can shorten their time to graduation and reduce tuition costs by transferring credits from their previous school. In addition, Grand Canyon University and the University of Phoenix do not require a GMAT score to apply
With the exception of NAU and UofA, most of the state’s colleges are based near the city of Phoenix. That said, many of Arizona’s online MBA programs do not require any on-campus time, meaning students can study from anywhere. Students living in the Phoenix area who prefer a hybrid program can choose to attend on-site classes at GCU and Arizona State. Another benefit is Phoenix’s cost of living, which is about 4% lower than the national.
MBA Concentrations for Students in Arizona
Online students can follow a standard MBA curriculum, or they can choose a specialization. Arizona’s online MBA programs offer many different concentrations, including electrical engineering, project management, healthcare management, finance, leadership, and sports business. The snow bird population that has retired to Arizona’s sunny, dry climate has spurred healthcare growth, while the state’s ample natural resources have kept Arizona’s engineering sector growing. These specializations are valuable for any future business person who plans to live and work in Arizona after graduation.
Arizona MBA Graduates Economy, Job, and Career Outlooks
The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity says the state’s unemployment rate stands at 4.7%. Phoenix, which is the state’s capital and most populous city, boasts an unemployment rate of 3.5%, falling well below the national average. A greater percentage of college graduates and master’s degree holders reside in Maricopa County, compared to the rest of the state.
Retail continues to lead the state’s industries in terms of overall employment. However, jobs in government, hospitality, construction, education, and healthcare are all showing strong growth. In Maricopa County, healthcare, mining, hospitality, and professional services employ large numbers of workers.
Top Employers in Arizona:
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Abundant natural resources, a booming senior-citizen population, and robust construction industry make Arizona a prime state for emerging business leaders. An MBA with an emphasis in either healthcare leadership or engineering management is particularly valuable in Arizona where both industries are growing.
MBA Careers in Arizona:
Executives in healthcare manage departments, physicians’ practices, and even entire hospitals. The field is growing at a rate of 20%, far outpacing the national average of 7%. Healthcare managers earn an average salary of $110,660 per year in Arizona.
Financial managers spend their careers analyzing financials and coming up with recommendations from their analysis. MBA students who gain skills in financial forecasting and analytics can expect to earn more than the field’s average annual salary of $121,750. Finance is one of the top-five industries in Arizona.
Directors of project management can earn an average salary of $123,102. Project Managers lead teams that direct a project’s scope, budget, and schedule. Students who earn a project management MBA will be well prepared for this field. Arizona’s strong construction and utilities industries will require more project managers in the future.
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Managers manage the movement of goods from supplier to customer and can earn an average salary of $74,170. More than 2,250 Supply Chain Managers currently work in Arizona. The field is expanding at a rate of 7%, which is consistent with the national average.
Managers of engineering projects can make on average a salary of $134,730. Engineering Management professionals plan and organize research and development projects in engineering. The Engineering Management field is expanding at a rate of 6% nationally. The state of Arizona employs over 3,000 architectural and engineering managers.
Online MBA Programs in Arizona
Colleges and Universities in Arizona offer MBAs with concentrations in a variety of specializations, including finance, industrial engineering, accounting, and healthcare management. The schools listed below are Arizona’s top online MBA providers.
How to Select an Online MBA Program in Arizona
There are many significant considerations to make before deciding on an online MBA program in Arizona – these include factors explained above like cost, specialization, and concentrations. The following list is made up of some necessary steps to follow during the MBA program research process (in any state).
COMPARE STUDENT OUTCOME DETAILS
Student outcomes incorporate graduation rate, retention rate, the average debt student will take on, and overall student achievement with their degree program. Student outcomes do not ensure you will be pleased with a particular program but can help pinpoint a school’s pros and cons.
CONSIDER EXPECTED COSTS OF YOUR PROGRAMS
Practically every college or university posts tuition costs online. Additionally, you should research other college-related expenses like housing accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to study on-campus), official fees, and IT fees (for online students). You should also look into grants, scholarships, and financial aid that can offset some of the expenses.
CHECK THAT CLASSES WILL FIT INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE
Scheduling is crucial for students with other significant commitments, such as childcare or full-time jobs. Many online programs are self-paced; students in these classes are free to complete coursework on their own schedule. Synchronous programs (on the other hand) demand weekly online meetings with teachers and other students.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES
A large number of online MBA programs will include internships and capstone requirements ― and in many cases, students can obtain on-the-job training with real-world office experience. Look into the school’s industry partnerships, particularly regarding the field you plan to enter after receiving your MBA.
TALK TO CURRENT STUDENTS AND RECENT ALUMNI
You should reach out to the alumni office at each school you are weighing and ask to be connected with previous students. These individuals can be great sources of information about education costs, life on (or off) campus, local tips, and other fundamental details for aspiring MBA students.