Important Characteristics in an MBA Program: The Perceptions of Online MBA Students

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American Journal of Business Education


This study examines characteristics important to online MBA students and alumni. The study looks at what characteristics are important in an online MBA Program and if the level of importance of these characteristics varies by demographic variables. The study focuses on availability, program quality, program length, cost, and courses in the curriculum. The results suggest that the importance of characteristics in a MBA program falls into three tiers. The most important characteristic is availability. The next tier of importance is quality, program length, and cost. There is no significant difference in importance among these three characteristics, but they are all significantly lower in importance than availability. The final characteristic is courses as this is rated significantly lower than the other characteristics in terms of importance. The research also examined if there were differences in importance characteristics by gender, age, years’ work experience and income and found while the basic order rankings were very similar across the different demographic variables, there were a few differences among demographic groups. Women rated as quality, length, and courses at a higher level of importance than men did. Finally, those with more years work experience rated availability at a significantly higher level of importance than those with fewer years work experience.