The concept of business schools came into being in 1759 when the Aula do Cemercio in Lisbon, Portugal, was formed to specialize in the teaching of commerce. Like a child taking its furtive steps, it went through several evolutionary changes, including a closure in 1884, when it merged with Instituto Industrial de Lisboa, to become the Instituto Industrial e Comercial de Lisboa. In its final form, it is now the Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao of the Technical University of Lisbon. – wikipedia.com
In the “New World,” being a world apart and behind Europe, business schools found roots after the formation of the Wharton Business of the University of Pennsylvania in 1881.
Online business schools? It seems that its birth was without any fanfare, like that of the second child in a family, that even Wikipedia does not have it in its wide and extensive data base.
Unheralded it may seem, online b schools naturally emerged after the Internet found wider applications and “globalization” become a buzzword among leading business schools.
Notwithstanding its murky history, after a few years of existence, online B school graduates have proven capable to stand-toe-toe against those from the best traditional B schools forcing them to introduce online business curricula into their programs.
Currently, according to Business Pundit (http://www.businesspundit.com), the top 10 online business schools are:
1. IE Business School (Instituto de Empressa), Madrid, Spain:
It is one of the world’s leading online B schools when it comes to quality of education, brand and excellent network.
It offers, in either Spanish or English, Global MBA and Executive MBA programs on a 15-mo curriculum.
Its price is not cheap though. The Global MBA program is almost $ 48,000 while the Executive MBA is around $71,000, and they require 5-day and 2 weeks residential periods, respectively.
But it is Spain, man! Hardly a place to complain about.
2. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, U.S.A.:
Its online program is based on its world-renowned Global Management MBA, attainable in one to three years.
Thunderbird is the world’s top B school in international business developed through 60 years of experience.
At a price tag of $66,800, its online B school program is worth it considering that you will have something in common with a former Starbucks president, Microsoft CFO John Rex and BP CEO Bob Dudley – Thunderbird alumni who have made indelible marks in business.
3. University of Leicester, Leicester, England:
Though one of the leading online B schools, University of Leicester, one of England’s better universities, offers online MBA programs that are so cheap to be true.
At around $12,601, payable in three installments, it is a very attractive place to start for your online MBA aspirations.
4. U21 Global, Singapore:
This is an online B school with a twist. First, it is purely online. Second, it is a conglomerate of other universities from almost all corners of the globe.
The synergy from member universities from 10 different countries form the basis for its global business education.
Most of the students are from India and other Southeast Asian countries. But the entire student population comes from more than 50 countries, and its online MBA program, heavy on case studies, takes between 2 to 3 years to finish.
Excellent choice for those looking for a truly global network of buddies who are as cost-conscious as you.
5. Walden University, Minnesota, U.S.A.:
Do you want to be “connected” with Bill Clinton? Go for Walden University’s online B school program where Bill is an honorary chancellor.
Personalities aside, Walden U offers online graduate and post graduate courses, some of which are not found in others, like Healthcare Management.
It’s price? A relatively moderate $30,000.00.
6. Kelley School of Business atIndiana University, Indiana, U.S.A.:
Aside from being one of the leading universities in the U.S., its online programs boast of an excellent network and brand.
Among its famous alumni are the CEO of Nestle, Whirlpool, FedEx, Cisco Systems and Jared Fogle, also known as the Subway Guy for being the spokesperson of the Subway Restaurants.
At a cost of $1,065/credit, it is considered moderate among the top online B schools.
7. Henley Business School at the University of Reading, Reading, U.K.:
Henley Business School boasts to be the first business school in the U.K and one of few business schools with triple accreditation, i.e., AACSB (Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), and the AMBA (Association of MBAs).
Impressive though its credentials may be, its online business program, the Flexible Learning MBA, costs a measly $26,000 and takes 3 years to complete.
8. University of Maryland University College, Maryland, U.S.A.:
This is considered one of the biggest online universities around, serving not only the state of Maryland but also active US military personnel seeing service in overseas countries like Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Its online business program costs $49,602, fully accredited. The positive side is that GMAT or GRE is not required to get in.
Its most famous alumni? Larry David, American author, actor, comedian, co-creator of Jerry Seinfeld, and creator of HBO’s 1999 series Curb Your Enthusiasm.
9. Robert Kennedy College,Switzerland:
Surprised? You should be. And it has many more surprises.
It partners with other well-known universities making it possible to study in Switzerland but get an MBA diploma from theUniversityofWales. Aside from that its programs are confirmed and validated by the University of Cumbria and York St. John University, both in U.K.
Its online programs run for 2 to 5 years, with a 1-week residency in Switzerland and include such specializations as hospitality management and investment management.
It costs $13,740 to complete a program – not bad for an online business school whose lecturers include alumni from Harvard and Oxford.
10. University of Florida:
If flexibility of schedule is a factor, University of Florida is as flexible as it can get. Its online MBA can be finished in two years if taken with eight weekend campus visits or one year for five campus visits.
It is considered to be one of the biggest b schools in the country with a good ratio of notable alumni.
Top 10 Online B Schools: Where and What they Are by Joseph Dabon