Choose the best course to achieve learning goals and advance your career.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) online is a versatile course for any professional who aims to upgrade their management skills and credentials.
The 12-subject degree can be earned in 2 years of part-time study. You don't have to commit to the full program up front. By completing four initial subjects, you can receive a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration and then decide whether to continue your studies.
MBA courses and specialisations are available for professionals from all kinds of backgrounds and with varying career goals. Popular specialisations include finance, healthcare, and marketing. Online study allows you to earn the degree part-time at your convenience.
When choosing an online MBA, Unicurve founder and ANU Business Faculty graduate Andrew Lancaster advises candidates to consider their preferred specialisation. While "every MBA offers an opportunity to learn how to manage and lead," Dr Lancaster observes that choosing the right major has advantages: "Specialising allows students to target job-relevant skills, making for a richer learning experience."
It's also essential to look at the program's structure. "Many Australian universities run their programs as a series of individual subjects. Essentially, you complete one subject from start to finish during a 6-8 week study period, take a short break, and then move on to the next one." This is known as accelerated online study. Students study year-round in this format, thereby fast-tracking their degrees.
According to Dr Lancaster, who has reviewed dozens of online MBAs, such programs also tend to be at the cutting edge: "Being able to study year-round, without the complications of final exams, results in low-stress, efficient study following a consistent weekly schedule. This approach is also a positive indicator of program quality, suggesting the course has been designed with students' needs in mind."
While an MBA is a versatile business management degree, specialising allows you to develop strengths in a specific area. In practical terms, this means dedicating 3-6 subjects in a 12-subject program to a particular management field. Here are five in-demand specialisations associated with job opportunities and high salary potential in Australia.
An MBA in Finance opens doors to lucrative career paths, including roles such as financial manager, investment banker, and financial consultant.
Graduates with this degree also excel in general management positions. They can thrive as senior executives or business managers, leveraging their strong financial skills for well-informed, strategic decision-making.
Finance study paths blend core business management subjects with specialist topics, building strengths in areas such as financial analysis, investment strategy, risk management, and corporate finance... READ MORE
Marketing is a core business discipline that features in virtually every MBA degree. But you can go a step further and specialise in digital marketing.
A marketing specialisation works for both experienced marketers and those without a background in the field. You learn marketing from a manager's perspective, positioning yourself for executive marketing positions as well as general management roles.
Topics you may explore include digital consumer behaviour, emerging technologies, digital marketing today, and data-driven marketing... READ MORE
The healthcare industry in Australia is huge and expanding. If you work in health, or would like to, Australian universities offer a selection of MBAs in Healthcare Management.
Health majors include Health Management, Digital Health Transformation, and Health Services Management. In all cases, you gain a versatile leadership qualification that will advance your career as a health manager.
Health administration courses are open to graduates from all disciplines. Experience within healthcare or social care services may be beneficial but is generally not essential... READ MORE
A great investment as part of your managerial studies would be to become knowledgeable and proficient in business analysis. With an MBA in Business Analytics, you'll learn how to leverage data to inform business decisions.
To survive and thrive, companies increasingly must exploit big data to understand business processes and customers, allowing for data-driven strategy and decision making.
You can study for this specialisation with or without a relevant background. Graduates are trained to generate, present, commission, interpret and act on business intelligence... READ MORE
An MBA in Technology Management unlocks the potential of new technologies. It blends business and technology, preparing students to lead innovative projects and address cybersecurity challenges.
Graduates gain a unique combination of managerial skills and specialised tech knowledge, opening doors to diverse career opportunities.
From general management roles to positions like Chief Information Officer and Technology Product Manager, this degree offers excellent salary prospects and the ability to drive digital transformation... READ MORE
The cost of an online MBA is estimated at $51k in 2023 for a standard 12-subject program. This is the average tuition fee across five leading universities for business management degrees online. FEE-HELP loans cover these costs for eligible students.
Tuition fees, 2023
|University||Subject Fee||Fee x 12 Subjects|
|James Cook University||$3,700||$44,400|
|University of Adelaide||$4,746||$56,952|
Source: Business school websites. Tuition fees are for 2023 enrolments. Updated: 5 June 2023.
The cheapest online MBA is provided by Southern Cross University (SCU) Online, with a total program fee $35,880 in 2023. This represents a large discount of almost $15k compared to average tuition fees.
Distance learning significantly reduces the economic cost of the degree, as it eliminates the need for travel and relocation expenses. Additionally, students can continue working full-time while studying, further maximising cost-effectiveness.
The shortest duration for an MBA in Australia is 12 months. An accelerated program enables you to earn the degree in 12 months of full-time study or 24 months part-time. Normally, an MBA is considered to be a 1.5 to 2-year program.
An MBA course is accelerated when you can study throughout the year without long breaks. The advantage of accelerated study mode is the ability to complete your degree 33% faster. Students shouldn't feel rushed as these courses enable continuous, steady progress.
Accelerated online MBA programs are typically offered part-time to accommodate full-time work. Students can complete one subject from start to finish in each 6-8 week study period, allowing for up to 6 subjects per year without taking time off work.
An online MBA is a sound, future-proof education investment with ample potential returns. The degree demonstrates high skill development in management and a capacity to lead.
The qualification offers significant benefits. It improves your performance capabilities, creates opportunities for executive roles, and raises your earning potential. Business master's graduates earn impressive salaries compared to other fields.
The ability to study online boosts the return on investment (ROI). Online postgraduate courses are designed for working professionals, allowing you to continue to take a salary and enhance your reputation at work. You are also free to choose the preferred course from any Australian university.
Not always. Many Australian universities offer a graduate certificate pathway for applicants without a degree. This pathway allows you to complete the first four subjects of an MBA and then continue with the remaining program.
Online business schools typically offer this option, enabling those without a bachelor degree to start MBA studies by attempting a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Professional experience of 4 or more years is often required, and a high GMAT score may also be considered.
For direct entry into master's programs in Australia, an undergraduate degree is almost mandatory. Typically, entry requirements stipulate a bachelor degree in any discipline and multiple years of work experience. English language proficiency is also essential.
Related: How to Do an MBA Without a Degree
You'll need to study for around 10 hours per week for an accelerated online course (where students do one subject at a time). For other types of programs, allow around 7.5 hours per subject each week. These timeframes assume the hours are spent well, when you're reasonably fresh and focused.
Average students with a strong work ethic can succeed. Academic standards vary but are generally similar to undergraduate degrees. Maths skills aren't always essential, and some universities accept work experience instead of a degree. Start when you feel ready and motivated to achieve a higher goal.