Is an MBA Worth It?

Rethinking the value of an MBA degree

As you consider earning an MBA degree, it is important to consider all of the factors that contribute to the return on your investment (ROI) in the program. How do you weigh the cost of a program against projected career growth? How will the program improve your professional network and opportunities? How do total costs compare to those of different options, and what unique benefits does the program provide?

The Financial ROI of MBA@UNC

As the online MBA@UNC program provides the same MBA degree earned by students who attend classes on campus and maintains the same high standards for both its curriculum and its students, the cost of the program is similar to what you would expect from an elite on-campus degree. The online nature of the program, combined with the tremendous outcomes it has provided for students, greatly enhances the ROI our students can expect. For example:

  • Students can continue working while in the program, meaning they do not have to forego two years of salary to earn their degree
  • Students are not required to spend additional funds commuting to class or relocating to campus
  • With no gap in their employment history, students can often repay any financial aid sooner and see a faster return on their tuition expenses
  • 79% percent of MBA@UNC students have received promotions or started new jobs while in the program1
  • Our students average a 24% salary increase at graduation

Thinking Beyond the Numbers

While finances obviously play a major role in selecting an MBA path, the value of the degree can also be found in the less quantifiable aspects, such as professional networks, class size and leadership development. In the Online MBA program, you will benefit from:

  • Small, collaborative classes—MBA@UNC classes feature a student-to-teacher ratio of roughly 15:1. This is in stark contrast to many other MBA programs in which class sizes often exceed 50 students per faculty member. This intimate learning environment means that there is no back row, facilitating unparalleled personal connections between peers and faculty, and ensuring that all students are active participants in their education.
  • Global immersion experiences—Students have the opportunity to travel to major business centers around the world to study with influential industry leaders four times per year. Hosted in cities such as Johannesburg, London, Singapore and New York, these learning experiences will help you gain a global perspective and give you the chance to expand on the personal connections made in the classroom as you collaborate with classmates in a whole new setting.
  • Connections to the worldwide alumni network—While MBA@UNC classes are hosted online, the connections and professional relationships that our students forge are one of the most valuable elements of our program. Not only does the face-to-face learning and interactive structure facilitate high-level collaboration, but you will also enter into both the UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School alumni networks when you graduate from MBA@UNC. Our Tar Heel family is 33,000 strong and is made up of some of the most accomplished professionals in the world. Our alumni have access to professional resources and continue to form relationships throughout their careers.
  • Leadership development and career services—Our unique, outcome-driven approach to supporting students has not only produced an average of more than one student promoted per week during their time in the program, but it also has resulted in a 96 percent retention rate for students enrolled in the program. As a student, you'll also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with professors, with additional access to personal career coaching and career-development resources.
  • A team-based teaching model—The MBA@UNC faculty is made up of experts in their given fields who bring a wealth of diverse experience to the online classroom. Faculty members not only lead classes but also meet with students one-on-one for personal guidance outside of class. Along with expert faculty, the online nature of the program creates a classroom made up of a diverse group of students from all over the world who are business leaders in a wide range of fields. This innovative teaching model ensures that our students have access to faculty attention around the clock and around the world.
  • Collaborative, experiential learning—Through exercises like simulations, group projects, case discussions and negotiations—all completed in teams through our virtual campus—students learn critical practice and reflection skills in a face-to-face environment.
  • Applied learning at your current job—The curriculum that you will complete throughout each week is designed to develop key business skills, which can be implemented immediately in your day-to-day job. Be it leadership, strategy, project management or even technical expertise, the newfound skills our students bring to the workplace are getting them noticed—leading to an average of one MBA@UNC student being promoted each week.
  • Lifelong learning well beyond graduation—Your connection to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School does not end with earning your diploma. MBA@UNC graduates have access to a number of alumni benefits to help continue their education, such as lifelong access to your MBA@UNC course content, the ability to take any future MBA@UNC courses at cost and alumni discounts on Kenan-Flagler's Executive Development and Executive MBA Elective courses.

So, Is an MBA Worth It to You?

MBA@UNC helps make the decision to pursue a top-ranked MBA easier than ever. By combining a world-class curriculum, interactions with renowned business leaders and a learning environment that allows you to earn your degree without putting your life on hold, MBA@UNC is helping tomorrow's business leaders succeed today.

You can learn more about MBA@UNC here, or by contacting an admissions counselor at 888-986-2622 or via email.


1 Reported salary and promotion statistics are based on exit surveys of all MBA@UNC graduates from October 2014–June 2017, with a response rate of 65%. Visit our Student Career Success page for more information on these figures.