The Rise of the Online MBA Courses in 2023: Why Should You Consider?


In today’s cut-throat job market, an undergraduate degree is no longer a sufficient qualification. Employers are on the lookout for highly qualified and skilled candidates who can bring teams and companies closer to their goals. A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that nearly 77% of US companies planned to hire MBA graduates. And that the Asia Pacific region has a rising demand for specialised business master’s graduates.

About Online MBA

MBA is one of the most lucrative online programs in demand today. White-collar professionals, mostly young entrepreneurs and managers in the corporate world, chose online MBA as their career helpline. They channel their career path in preference of having business qualification add-ons. The popularity of online MBA programs has reached such a massive scale that even reputed B-schools across the globe have joined the online bandwagon with their online MBA programs.

These courses are offered online with live virtual classes. Many online MBA students dream of better career opportunities and move into a management cadre or lateral promotion in a higher-up role at a mid-sized to large organisation.

As compared to graduation and diploma courses, the demand for online higher education is dominated by post-graduation courses such as MBA and MCA.

Source: KPMG Report: Online Education in India

Learn online MBA Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.

The Growth of Online MBA

A growing number of MBA programs are becoming blended, combining on-campus activities with distance learning, or even digital. International Flex EMBA, which is fully delivered online, gives the chance to attend some classes via streaming for a more flexible experience. Students aspiring to online MBA programs can score good scores in the standard entrance exam like the CAT/MAT/GMAT. 

The online MBA remained high in status and appeal. As per the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), in 2019, overall, nearly 9 in 10 programs reported their applicant pools were equally (63%) or more (24%) qualified compared to the previous year.

And in 2021, the majority of online MBA programs will increase by nearly 80%. On the demand scale, almost 77% of US MNCs look forward to hiring MBA graduates. The demand for specialised business master grads and MBA professionals in the Asia Pacific market is rising.

On the local front, online MBA in India provides specialisations, besides finance and marketing are in IT, Supply chain, Strategy, data, and every new technology the market rides. The disciplines also scope the students to seek the desired domain job overseas.

We see a growing trend in online MBA courses recently. Most focus on lifelong learning. Some tailored for working professionals, such as EMBA for working executives, 12-month online Executive PGPM, etc.  Online MBA programs usually require two years of full-time study to complete. However, many schools also offer accelerated timelines for their programs that allow students to graduate within 12-18 months.

The last ten years have been, by any measure, a decade of significant change for graduate business education — and Poets&Quants sees paradigm-shifting innovations in business schools around the globe  

In the past decade, the rise of online MBA degree courses continued considerably. The count is significant in top business schools. For example, the intake at the University of Illinois Gies College of Business grew from a few hundred to almost 4,000. Another brand, the Jack Welch Management Institute, had seen the rise of more than 40% over the past three years. The statistics for Washington State University’s Online MBA program and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business posted their intake rise for 2021 as 111% and 77%, respectively.


According to the data captured at IIMA, the average age of online MBA students who started a program during that period was 34 years old with prior work experience (average, 10.5 years).

One of the significant trends that ought to shape business education, as per Federico Frattini, Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business:


2022 Trend

The 2022 hiring trend, as per GMAC, In Wave II, the proportion of recruiters reporting plans to hire MBAs in 2022 (89%) is at a similar level as Wave I (92%). Before COVID-19, 92% of firms expressed their interest in hiring MBA graduates in 2021, but the figure fell to 77% in Wave II. However, on their hiring plans for 2022, 89% of employers stated they were considering hiring MBA graduates. It was the same as the salary trend.

These statements of intent show that the acceptance of online degrees is rising in the industry. Any authentic online MBA course follows a syllabus similar to that of a regular campus course. The old stricken stigma of incompetency is no more abstract than the race when the employer selects the best managers.

In the recent pandemic phase, the learning avenues in distance learning opened more opportunities for aspirants to upgrade skills and professional developments. The aspirants enrolling for online MBA programs upshot is remarkable. W. Brooke Elliott, the associate dean at Gies College of Business, who oversees the program iMBA, quoted a 30% increase year over year. Another pro about online MBA is the affordable fees. Aspirants also benefit from the flexibility offered and plan the program that suits them.

Digitisation Challenges

The intensification of digitalisation in the education sector is a revolutionising process that is already underway. Recently, for example, we recorded a growing interest in flexible and customised programs. With the potential of technology, business schools are changing their offer to meet this new need. Like Oxford HIVE (a hub for International Virtual Education), the introduction of online facilities seamlessly connects people worldwide in a virtual learning environment.

The benefit of a digital classroom keeps the student and teacher connected through one click. The digital evidence of learning flow helps both students and course providers a mine of resources to continuously improve and catch up with standards.

The challenge of providing the same networking and bandwidth level in online courses as in campus-based ones is addressed with the ever-developing infrastructures. The majority of institutions have invested in improving the bandwidth and networking afforded by online programs. The mix of “blending” MBA programs featuring digital and real-world aspects is also practised to connect to feel real. For example, Imperial College’s Lefevre invites their students to campus for a week to cultivate a strong bond.

These programs attract more working professionals, as they have industry experience and can cope with practical applications. They consider the online MBA a major turning point to ladder up to their management responsibility in the work they owe. The online platforms allow professionals to tackle the MBA and at the same time, achieve status in their work life, yet balance their personal and family life.

The average proportion of prior work experience (8 years, average) for online MBA students shows 89%, including 9.4% of them veterans and active-duty students. Of course, online programs demand being severe with the rigorous academic curriculum. Most schools allow students to tailor the course offerings per individual needs; however, online attendance to live webinars, and online sessions in coursework credit their performance.


To conclude, most business schools predict that online learning will not replace the traditional, regular campus MBA courses on the trend.  However, they agree that the fully-fledged online MBA degrees would be the most preferred option for studying for the next decades. We, at upGrad pivot you to the best choice of courses in business administration that suits you well. Currently, over 4,000 beneficiary students are actively engaged in online MBA.

Additionally, upGrad also provides an option in a business analytics course that opens avenues in the Data domain to learn in a demanding age. The professional collaborations with most top local and overseas universities, upGrad designs MBA courses from Liverpool Business School that fit students locally. The certification from a rewarding institute and top global universities always adds to your professional credibility.

What are the advantages of pursuing a program online?

According to a study conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, approximately 87 percent of companies were open to the prospect of hiring MBA graduates due to their ability to deliver results even in the most challenging of times. This is because an MBA equips you with the technical and managerial skills required to solve competitive business problems. Pursuing an MBA program online offers you the advantage of pursuing a degree at your convenience without pressing the stop button on your career in addition to many other benefits.

How is the program delivered?

The lectures are delivered online in the form of videos, projects, assignments, case studies, etc. The syllabus is a blend of self-paced lectures and interactive sessions that requires students to log in live while the lectures are being delivered.

Do online MBA programs provide career support services?

Yes, programs offer career support services right from mentorship sessions to help you identify suitable job roles, resume building support, an opportunity to connect with hiring partners, etc.

Want to share this article?

Get Global MBA from India #GharSeGlobal

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Free career counselling from upGrad experts!
Book a session with an industry professional today!
No Thanks
Let's do it
Get Free career counselling from upGrad experts!
Book a Session with an industry professional today!
Let's do it
No Thanks