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Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions

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Which online MBA program should I attend?

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Joined: 13 Apr 2016
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Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2016, 09:01
I'm having a hard time deciding which school to go to for an MBA. Because of my current situation, online is really the only option. I need to keep working to support my family. I got my bachelor's in accounting and have a good job for now as a financial analyst, although I will be looking to find a new job once I get an MBA.

My main goal is to open as many opportunities for myself as possible. After getting an MBA, I'd prefer to find a job near Utah, which is where I live now, but would be willing to move anywhere for a good job. In looking at the options for an online MBA, I have narrowed it down to ASU or Indiana University, mostly based on the rankings of their business schools, the rankings of their online MBA, and the cost of the program. I have been accepted to both, so now I just need to choose. After being offered a small scholarship by IU, the cost of both programs is basically the same, and not a deciding factor. The main deciding factor is which option will open the best opportunities in my future.


I'm leaning towards ASU because it's closer to Utah, and I can add a concentration in Finance to my MBA. I know a couple people who have done their online MBA program and they loved it. My hesitation is that it isn't ranked as high as Indiana. Will that make me lose out on opportunities that I could have had if I had done the Kelley online MBA?

Indiana University:

At Indiana University I can't technically get a concentration in Finance with my MBA (I can take Finance electives, but don't get a certificate or anything like I'd get at ASU), but I can get a whole separate degree in Finance for just 12 more credits. But that would take longer to do, and would also cost more (about $14,000 more).

So these are the three options I'm looking at, and my current order of preference:

1. W.P. Carey (ASU) online MBA with concentration in Finance (~$60,000)
2. Kelley Direct (IU) online MBA / MS in Finance (~$75,500)
3. Kelley Direct (IU) online MBA with no concentration (~$61,000)

My questions are:

Will a degree from Indiana University open more job opportunities than one from ASU?
If I prefer to live near Utah, does that make ASU the definite choice?
Do companies care if you have a concentration in a specific area, or just a general MBA?
Is it worth it to get an MBA/MS in Finance? Will that open more opportunities? Is it worth the extra money and time?
I want to rank very highly in my class, and I think that will be easier to do at ASU. Would it be better to go to ASU and be at the top of my class, or to go to Indiana and not be ranked as high?
Do you have any other insight or recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Re: Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2016, 14:43
Frankly, I don't think you will suddenly get a huge preference if you end up with a finance concentration on your diploma or with an MiF degree. I think one degree is sufficient. A better investment would be a CFA perhaps, if you need it that is or perhaps you already have it.

Something to be said about online MBA is that many are skeptical of it - it is a red flag in many recruiters minds as it is often perceived as sub-standard even from places such as Kelley. The reason is that the admission criteria are lower, competition is less, remote education is still not fully proven, and they are never sure if you did your work or someone else was involved. Is Online the only option available to you? One of the concerns/questions is once you try to switch jobs, you will need to network, recruit, and maybe try to have an internship to soften your transition. How does it work with an online MBA? I don't think it does.... You get to meet your classmates for 2 weeks in 2 years. You will be bummed that you can't stay once that week is over and you have to go back to the daily grind of work during the day and school at night and not being able to focus on your studies. Perhaps you have found an answer to this question but that's a big investment for an MBA that is not treated on par. (There was an uproar even when PTMBA people were putting MBA on their resumes and FT folks were upset about it as they felt their degree was getting devalued).
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Joined: 13 Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Re: Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2016, 17:44
Thanks for the reply. The reason I'm thinking of an online MBA is because I still need to support my family. If I quit my job, we can't live on just my wife's income. We're planning on having a baby next year, and she's planning on being a stay at home mom (we CAN live on just my income). If I quit my job, there's no way we'd be able to afford to live. I looked into two schools in my state (Utah State University and University of Utah) that have professional MBAs where the classes are on weekends or evenings, but I got my undergrad at the U of U and didn't like it, and an MBA from USU wouldn't get me far. I don't know how an MBA from the U of U would look outside of Utah either, so I figured I'd try to get into one of the best online MBAs. I have some good work experience, and usually do really well in interviews, so I'm hoping the online part of my degree won't affect me too much.

Unfortunately I don't see any other option if I want an MBA. But that's why I'm looking into advice as to which online MBA will give me the most opportunities. Apart from the rankings, I think I prefer ASU over Indiana University. But if an online degree from Indiana University will be taken more seriously than one from ASU, I'll go there.
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Re: Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2016, 17:44

Online MBA: ASU (Carey) vs Indiana (Kelley) / other general questions

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