Top 10 Online MBAs for Employability 2021

Top 10 Online MBAs for Employability 2021

By H. Young

Updated April 23, 2021 Updated April 23

Which schools offer their online MBA graduates the best chance in the current job market? For yet another year, IE Business School’s online MBA programme earned the top spot for employability.

Released today, the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 assess the online MBA offerings of 57 business schools worldwide, demonstrating just how easy it is to earn your MBA from the comfort of your home.

One of the indicators included in the ranking is the employability indicator, revealing the top business schools for graduate employability.

By collecting data from QS surveys and schools themselves, the ranking gives a comprehensive outlook about the institutions employers prefer to hire from.

You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.


QS Online MBA Rankings 2021: Top Online MBAs for Employability



Employability Score


IE Business School



Imperial College Business School



AGSM @ UNSW Business School



Warwick Business School



Kelley School of Business



MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business



Vlerick Business School



Chapman Graduate School of Business – FIU



Poole College of Management



Alliance Manchester Business School



10) Alliance Manchester Business School

Kicking off our top 10 for employability with a score of 72.00 is the online MBA programme from Alliance Manchester Business School. The Manchester Global Part-time MBA combines live-taught core courses, electives, applied learning and in-person interaction opportunities.

The cohort is highly diverse, with 80 percent of international students coming from 70 different countries, 30 percent female students, and 12 years’ average work experience. The two-year flexible programme costs £30,000 (approx. US$37,293) or £27,500 (approx. US$34,177) for the accelerated Finance pathway.

9) Poole College of Management

Coming in ninth – and gaining a spot from last year’s rankings – is the online MBA from NC State University Poole College of Management, which improved its score to a 72.80. The 2021 class of 394 students has an average of 10.07 years’ work experience and 40 percent of students identify as female.

The programme offers an integrated core curriculum with a focus on technology, business processes, and practical applications. Students can choose between a range of electives and specialised concentrations to meet their interests and career needs.

Tuition is US$46,155.

8) Chapman Graduate School of Business – FIU

Next is the online MBA from Chapman Graduate School of Business at FIU, which received an employability score of 73.10 and a high score for the class profile indicator. The course has the highest percentage of female students in the top 10: an impressive 54 percent.

The programme is highly customisable: students can choose from three different pacing tracks, five term starts and eight specialisations. It also includes a two-day in-campus residency, seminars, industry nights, virtual meetings, and business career management opportunities.

Tuition for the entire programme is US$42,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students.

7) Vlerick Business School

In seventh place is Vlerick Business School, which scored a 73.30 for employability. Vlerick’s online MBA programme has a standard duration of 26 months, but can either be shortened or extended depending on candidates’ needs.

This year’s class profile includes the smallest cohort on this top 10 list – 76 students – with 40 percent international and female students respectively. The programme is made up of 12 courses, a practical Knowledge in Action Project and an interactive game, and received high scores in the faculty and teaching and employability indicators. Total fees are €37,500 (approx. US$43,990).

6) MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business

In sixth place, losing a spot from the 2020 ranking, is MIP, whose online offering received an employability score of 77.00 out of 100.

The 24-month programme requires applicants to have at least six years of professional experience, with current students having an average of 13 years’. 29 nationalities are represented in the cohort – accounting for 41 percent of international students – and 17 percent of candidates are women.

Fees are €37,000 (approx. US$43,375).

5) Kelley School of Business

Halfway through the list, sliding back two spots from last year’s third position, is Kelley School of Business. Kelley’s online MBA programme scored high for both employability (78.90) and class experience.

The course is highly customisable: students can build up to 50 percent of their curriculum with electives and choose from seven major specialisations including Business Analytics, Marketing and Finance. This year’s class profile is made up of 17 percent women and 41 percent international students, and students have an average of 13 years of work experience under their belt.

Tuition is US$74,520.

4) Warwick Business School

Gaining significant ground from last year’s rankings – jumping from ninth to fourth position – is Warwick Business School. The WBS online MBA received an excellent score of 83.00 for employability.

The programme takes between 12 and 24 months to complete, combining eight required modules, two “Warwick Weeks” on campus, four elective modules and a consultancy project. The cohort is diverse, with 79 percent international students and 33 percent female students.

Fees are £34,150 (approx. US$47,000).

3) AGSM @ UNSW Business School

Kicking off the top three for employability is the only Australian school on the list, which scored 87.30 in the category.

The school’s online MBA includes a compulsory starter course, followed by five core courses, five specialisation courses, and a capstone course within an elective area of study – Change, Social Impact, Technology or Finance. The class profile includes the second-highest percentage of female students in its cohort in the top 10 with38 percent.

Tuition is US$44,588.

2) Imperial College Business School

Earning the employability silver medal for yet another year is Imperial College Business School’s online MBA, which received a near-perfect score of 99.20.

The Global Online MBA cohort is the second-most international on the list, with 85 percent international students and 62 nationalities represented. 36 percent of candidates are women. Most of the teaching during the programme is conducted through The Hub, a virtual learning platform developed by Imperial’s award-winning Edtech lab. Students complete pre-study modules, then attend a five-day compulsory in-person induction week, as well as four core module periods followed by an optional global experience week. The course ends with a capstone business game.

Fees for the 24-month programme are £41,350 (approx. US$56,974).

1) IE Business School

Retaining the top spot with a perfect score of 100 for employability is the world’s number one online MBA programme, the Global Online MBA at IE Business School.

The programme is made up of three core online periods, one Global Immersion Week (locations include Shanghai, Los Angeles and Mumbai), plus three face-to-face weeks in Madrid. Teaching includes working in interactive small groups on real-world and industry-based case studies.

Known for its diverse cohorts, the class profile for IE’s 18-month course is made up of 95 percent international students (up from last year’s 86 percent), 40 percent women (up from last year’s 34 percent), and an average 10 years’ work experience. Tuition is €51,200 (approx. US$60,094).

This article was originally published in April 2021 .

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