These are the best online MBA programmes to consider in 2021

SOURCE: Tolga Akmen / AFP
An online MBA serves a more flexible mode of study to those looking to assume a leadership position or advance their career in other ways.

By U2B Staff 

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Online MBA programmes are growing in popularity for a number of reasons. For starters, the Association of MBAs notes that many graduates said their degree has helped them to achieve a promotion, expand their area of expertise, equip them with the skills to start their own business, improve their professional contacts, and even boost their confidence.

Secondly, an MBA graduate in general typically goes on to enjoy more competitive salaries than non-MBA holders – further adding to its appeal.


An online MBA is also flexible option for busy professionals who are looking to upskill themselves — you can complete the courses on the weekend or after working hours.

What’s more, with lockdowns and social distancing rules in place across the globe, online programmes are the only realistic option currently available to most people. 

Last year, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business doubled its enrolled students for the online MBA programme, attracting 401 new students compared to 200 as expected for the semester that began in August 2020.

Despite the benefits of an online MBA, the are skeptics and fence sitters. Some worry that the quality of an online MBA may not be up to par as an in-person programme.

Business schools around the globe have worked furiously to shift to online learning. Many have worked to improve the quality of their online MBAs so that it is equivalent to that of an on-campus programme, including offering networking opportunities as well as accessibility to professors and the faculty for support.

Apart from flexibility, quality, and an outstanding ROI – affordability is another perk for aspiring business leaders to take into consideration. Tuition fees for online MBA programmes are typically lower than on-campus ones. 

If you’re sold on the idea, your next question might be: which programme is right for me?

Assuming you’ve done some research on attending business school the traditional way, you’ll know that rankings are held in high regard by many. 

Apart from the prestige associated with graduating from a highly-ranked business school, there are many other perks including receiving a world-class education from top professionals in the field to networking opportunities that can help with your career.


Each year, The Financial Times (FT) takes into account numerous factors in their online MBA programme, including using alumni responses, school data, average income three years after graduation and salary increase compared with pre-MBA salary; “value for money” for each school, diversity of school and students and the school’s research – to name a few.

To help you narrow down your list of choices, here are the 10 business schools around the world online MBA aspirants should consider in 2021, according to FT:

Business school Location Programme Salary today Salary increase
Warwick Business School UK Warwick Distance Learning MBA 207,725 35%
IE Business School Spain Global Online MBA 164,578 32%
Imperial College Business School UK Global Online MBA 184,899 19%
University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler US MBA @ UNC 183,527 28%
Indiana University: Kelley US Kelley Direct Online Programmes 145,723 31%
University of Florida: Warrington US Online MBA 133,937 35%
Durham University Business School UK Online MBA 138,965 25%
Politecnico di Milano School of Management Italy International Flex MBA 153,680 45%
University of Maryland: Smith US Maryland Smith Online MBA 142,263 32%
AGSM at UNSW Business School Australia AGSM MBAX 134,277 33%