Find The Best California MBA Programs and Degrees
Your Guide to Career, Curriculum and Education
Earn An Online MBA Degree Today
Are you interested in pursuing a career in business, finance, or management in California? If so, you may be considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA graduates are usually qualified for a variety of jobs that span across many business-related disciplines. Some of the most common employment opportunities include work in accounting, human resources, operations, information technology systems, and health administration. Not only will this degree prepare you for a variety of professions, as well as higher-paying leadership positions in the field, it can also provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to start your own business.
Professionals who work full-time or have other important life responsibilities, however, may feel that a higher education degree is out of their reach. Fortunately, online MBA programs offer flexible scheduling options and the opportunity to complete coursework from the convenience of your own home and/or office. It’s important to realize that distance learning programs in California often require some type of residency, or on-campus education segment. This means you will likely benefit most from choosing a college or university that is relatively near your current location.
Why Consider An Online MBA?
There are several reasons people choose to pursue an online degree in business in California. For starters, MBAs are immensely popular among individuals who want to further advance their careers. While not all of the business industries in California expect their employees to have a graduate degree, it does provide an edge over potential competition. This is especially true for upper-management and administration positions, which often require more training and experience. It’s also common for a professional with an MBA to make more money than those without one. Additionally, some companies and organizations require promotion candidates to have an advanced degree or limit the potential for future raises until after a higher level of education is completed.
At the very least, an MBA will impress a hiring committee; it shows great dedication to the field as a whole and indicates familiarity with more advanced concepts in business management. For this reason, current professionals interested in applying for leadership roles, changing their careers, or starting their own business should strongly consider enrolling in an online MBA. This type of degree makes graduates extremely marketable because it covers basic business, finance, and management techniques. The knowledge and skills developed throughout the program will be useful regardless of your specific career plans and goals.
Many people also choose to earn an MBA online because they are already employed full-time, have family responsibilities, thrive academically most without distractions, or are interested in a specific program but unable to move.
Earning an MBA, online or otherwise, does not guarantee advancement in your career, however. While a graduate degree in business will likely make you more marketable, impress potential employers, and result in a higher salary, these changes don’t occur overnight. You must combine the skills and knowledge attained from your MBA program with hard work and dedication to be truly successful in the field.
Percentage of California students enrolled in online programs
MBA Concentrations for California Schools
As with many degrees, some MBA programs offer students the opportunity to choose a concentration. While the core coursework required will be the same, selecting a concentration will allow you to take classes that will help you specialize in a specific business sub-field. Two of the most popular concentrations available for online MBA degrees in California are Health Administration and Information Technology.
California is home is some of the most prominent healthcare facilities in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the state had the highest employment level for medical and health services mangers in 2017. With 34,140 professionals in the field, the opportunity for employment as a director of a hospital, nursing home, or outpatient care center is promising. Students should expect to lean a variety of business, management, finance, and marketing techniques geared specifically toward careers in healthcare. Common coursework includes:
- Current Issues in Healthcare Administration
- Healthcare Ethics and Decision Making
- Healthcare Law and Compliance
- Health Information and Analytics
California is also a center for many world-class technology firms. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistic, the state had the highest employment level for both database administrators and network and computer systems administrators in 2017. With well over 50,000 professionals in these fields alone, the opportunities for employment as information technology directors, chief technology officers, and entrepreneurs are abundant. Students should expect to lean a variety of business, management, finance, and marketing techniques geared specifically toward technology-related careers. Common coursework includes:
- Database Development and Applications
- Electronic Commerce
- Emerging Technologies
- Business Process Analysis and Design
Accreditation in California
As you will quickly find out, no two online MBA programs are exactly the same. To ensure their programs meet certain quality standards, colleges and universities must undergo an accreditation process. Essentially, they must prove that their degree and all of the associated coursework follows the guidelines established by one or more accreditation organizations. Some of the most prominent international accreditation agencies include:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- The Association of MBAs (AMBA)
- European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
- The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
Of these, the AACSB is by far the most reputable organization. It does not, however, accredit many online MBA programs. For this reason, students looking for a quality program in California should consider colleges and universities accredited by the DETC. Students who complete an online MBA program accredited by either of these organizations will have little trouble finding employment within and outside of the United States.
While not as renowned as international accreditation agencies, programs can be accredited by a regional organization as well. Professionals who intend to work in California or other states on the west coast of the United States can consider institutions approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This type of accreditation is sufficient, as it proves the program meets all necessary professional standards within the region, but may not be accepted in other states or countries.
The value of your degree greatly depends on the accreditation of the institution you select, regardless of whether you prefer a hybrid or on-campus program. Depending on your professional goals, you’ll likely want to avoid colleges and universities that are not accredited. Choosing a college or university with an accredited online MBA program is important. Not only will it add credibility and value to your degree, but it ensures that you will graduate with the skills necessary to work professionally internationally and/or within your specific region. It’s highly recommended that you avoid institutions which have not been accredited by an international or regional accreditation agency.
Career And Job Outlook For Graduates
The economy in California is quickly growing. In fact, according to the Employment Development Department, the state is expected to have an additional 2,585,500 job openings available before the year 2024. That’s on top of the 3,962,200 jobs expected due to replacement needs. About 12 percent of new jobs are expected to be office and administrative support occupations. Additionally, some of the fastest growing occupations include web developers, software developers, and operations research analysts.
Based on information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals working in the business and financial operations field can expect a 10 percent increase in employment between 2016 and 2026. As of 2017, California was also the leading employer for medical and health services managers, database administrators, and network and computer systems administrators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that all of three of these fields can also expect up to a 20 percent increase in job availability. The projected growth in many of these industries is faster than average.
While the Employment Development Department in California states that most new positions will not require a graduate education, having an MBA will be extremely beneficial. Individuals with a master’s degree in business will be qualified to apply for upper-level leadership and executive positions. The training and skills acquired will also make it easier to find work in a variety of different industries. Some of the most common employment opportunities for professionals with an MBA include:
- Budget Analyst
- Business Operations Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Health Information Manager
- Health Policy Analyst
- Healthcare Administrator
- Human Resources Manager
- Information Systems Manager
- Market Research Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Operations Research Analyst
- Project Manager
- Purchasing Manager
- Securities Analyst
- Top Executive
Top Employers in California
|Company||Industry||Headquarters||Number of Employees|
|32nd Street Naval Station||Government||San Diego||25,000|
|UCLA Health System||Healthcare||Los Angeles||3,000+|
|Walt Disney Resorts and Parks||Entertainment||Anaheim||130,000 worldwide|
Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of California
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median wage for business and financial occupations was $67,710 in 2017. It’s important to note, however, that California is one of the highest paying states for many business-related occupations. For example, accountants, auditors, human resource specialists, health services managers, database administrators, and computer systems administrators working in California in 2017 were paid significantly more than they would have been if they worked in most other states.
Having an MBA also improves salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, business, finance, and sales professionals with a graduate degree made more money than those without one in 2013. In fact, some occupations provided as much as a 90 percent increase to those with an advanced degree.
An MBA can help you find employment in many different industries, however, so you will need to research earning potential for your specific job of interest. California tends to pay business professionals well, but regional location, job type, and position title will all play a role in your salary.
Careers for MBAs in California
As previously mentioned, there are numerous career opportunities for individuals with an MBA in California. While MBA graduates can usually find work in any industry, positions commonly deal with business management and finance. To give you a clearer understanding on some typical positions in the field, consider the following job descriptions.
Financial business analysts utilize internal and external client data to advise company administrators, especially when making important financial decisions. These professionals often evaluate income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets to better predict how current financials will impact future operations.
Financial managers are primarily responsible for monitoring spending, preparing financial reports, and making financial forecasts. They are often asked to research how the company can improve its overall profitability. In some cases, these professionals also provide valuable insight regarding potential expansions, mergers, and acquisitions.
Business development managers have two important responsibilities: identify beneficial opportunities for the company or establish relationships with potential clients. These professionals also find sales leads, manage marketing literature, and provide valuable information to customers about products and services.
Chief financial officers report directly to the president or chief executive officer of a company or organization and oversee all business finances. They are also responsible for finding funding, forecasting financial futures, managing potential risks, and reporting important data to the administration.
Accounting managers are in charge of managing a company or organization’s accounting department. They often develop any guiding financial principles and practices, as well as ensure procedures are being followed. These professionals are also responsible for monitoring and analyzing financial data and creating necessary financial reports.
Online Masters Program Choices
There are many colleges and universities in California that offer online MBA programs. If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in business, it’s important to find an institution that fits both your budget and career goals. While there are numerous schools to choose from, some of the most prominent programs in California include:
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How To Choose The Best MBA(Masters) Program
If you believe an online MBA degree is right for you, it’s important that you research the available programs in California. You will need to find a college or university that offers a curriculum that suits your lifestyle and career goals. Keep in mind that some online graduate degrees do require physically being on campus from time to time. For this reason, it may be necessary to choose an institution that isn’t too far away from your home and job. Other factors to consider are curriculum expectations and the potential to gain hands-on experience throughout the program.
Most online MBA programs consist of 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and are designed to be completed within one to two years. While no two programs are alike, many offer flexible scheduling for full-time professionals. Classes also vary, but often include topics like:
- Enterprise Management, Organization, and Strategy
- Business Ethics and Law
- Organizational Behavior
- Marketing Management
- Strategic Decision Making
- Information Technology Management
- Financial Principles and Policies
- Marketing Research
- Corporate Finance
- Innovative Business Models
- International Business
- Human Capital Management Strategy
- Data Management
- Sustainable Business Strategies
Many students worry that an online MBA will not provide them with the hands-on experience they need to be successful in the field. This is why some colleges and universities often require distance learners to complete certain requirements on campus during residency experiences.
You will need to seriously consider whether an online MBA will provide you with the skills necessary to be successful in your preferred business profession. Some careers require little in-person interaction to begin with. Accountants, for example, would likely benefit as much from an on-campus program as they would an online one. A health administrator, on the other hand, may prefer some hands-on management experiences.