Top 10 Online MBAs for Employability 2021 |

Top 10 Online MBAs for Employability 2021

By Linda M

Updated May 13, 2021 Updated May 13, 2021

Here are the 10 business schools offering their online MBA graduates the best chance in the current job market.


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



Jenkins Graduate School of Management



Alliance Manchester Business School


10) Alliance Manchester Business School

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) Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Poole College of Management

Coming in ninth – and gaining a spot from last year’s rankings – is the online MBA from Jenkins Graduate School 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

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

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

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.

Dean Federico Frattini said: "One of the biggest challenges schools face when switching to online teaching is keeping students engaged, motivated, and part of the school community. Therefore, even when teaching online, we make sure that we take the time we need to build and nurture personal relationships with students - even when we do not meet them face to face.

"Through strong collaboration online with our faculty, students learn how to communicate effectively with each other, even when working with peers across geographic boundaries and time zones. These skills are increasingly required to conduct business around the world and are therefore increasingly valued by employers."

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

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.

Professor Will Geoghegan, Interim Chair of the Kelley Direct Program, said: "While it may sound hokey, we believe that when you join Kelley, you join our family. We provide a plethora of career services for both current students and alumni. Our students have access to the Office of Graduate Services which offers personalisesd, one-on-one career coaches who guide students in their professional development and help them attain their career goals.

"We offer other resources, such as job boards and tutorials for cover letter and resume development, offer negotiation and LinkedIn tips, as well as access to company research databases. Another outstanding resource are our six-week career development courses, which allow students to explore opportunities, develop a career plan, or prepare for case interviews. Courses are taught by highly experienced career coaches who provide Kelley students and alumni career guidance for life."

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

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.

Pietro Micheli, Professor of Business Performance & Innovation and Course Director for the Distance Learning MBA, said: "The CareerPlus team [at WBS] supports all our MBA students during their course and after they have graduated. It delivers personal support and advice as well as online workshops and lectures for personal development and career enhancement. 

"Students have access to career consultations, executive coaching, as well as career workshops as part of our Careers Festival, held during the two residential weeks, sharing the latest thinking on career management, and covering a range of topics from career transition to negotiation skills."

He added: "There are many other online resources such as job postings, career management modules, 360-degree online feedback, a CV preparation platform and expert insights from industry speakers."

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

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.

Professor Nick Wailes, Director of AGSM and Deputy Dean at UNSW, said: "We have made a very significant investment in career development in this programme. All students have access to on demand and one to one career support that is designed to help them clearly identify where they want to go next in their career and the skills and capabilities they need to develop. 

"Our curriculum and assessment focuses directly on industry-relevant issues. We like to think that whatever students learn on a Sunday they can apply directly in their workplaces on a Monday, and that this translates directly into strong career progression."

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

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.

Professor Markus Perkmann, Academic Director of the programme, said: "We find that our candidates are highly employable but also highly promotable for several reasons. First, our programme is selective, hence our MBA candidates are all high-calibre professionals, working in top companies around the globe. Secondly, the brand recognition of Imperial as a global top-ten university means many employers will trust in the expertise of our graduates.

"Our teaching is highly interactive and focused on practice-oriented assignments, often as group work which enables our students to not only learn basic knowledge, but also critical thinking and communication skills."

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

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 . It was last updated in May 2021

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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