UNC Charlotte to launch tech-focused online MBA in fall 2022

BY Sydney LakeMarch 07, 2022, 3:02 PM
UNC Charlotte graduating seniors wave to friends and family during the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences commencement ceremony at Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C., as seen in May 2019. (David T. Foster III—Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)

During the past five years, the number of online MBA programs offered at accredited U.S. schools has nearly doubled, according to data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In 2016, there were 284 online MBA programs and in 2021 there were 526. And 2022 has already seen more business schools hop on the trend, including Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Last week, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte announced it will launch its tech-focused online MBA program this August. UNC Charlotte currently offers a part-time MBA program, which is geared toward working professionals. Part-time online students will, on average, be able to earn their degree in two to three years. Curriculum will include discussion forums, lectures, and group work.

Since the online MBA program has a deeper tech focus, students can choose to concentrate in business analytics, digital marketing, or financial technology.

“As we’ve emerged out of the pandemic, many of our students have told us that online formats continue to work best for them,” Jennifer Troyer, dean of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business, tells Fortune. “Offering a fully online MBA helps us serve the region and those looking for a degree with a strong return on investment.”

Why UNC Charlotte is focusing on tech

Technical business skills are in high demand, Troyer says, and school officials listened to the needs of regional business partners when developing the tech concentrations. UNC Charlotte also hosts the multidisciplinary School of Data Science, which brings together the colleges of computing and informatics; business; health and human services; liberal arts and sciences; and engineering.

UNC Charlotte’s 36-credit hour online MBA program will start in August by offering just core business courses. Business analytics courses will be available in January 2023, and digital marketing and fintech concentrations will start as early as fall 2023.

The online MBA program isn’t all that the Belk College of Business is doing to focus on tech. The school also recently launched its business analytics major and is developing a fintech concentration in its master of science in mathematical finance program. 

“From America’s largest commercial banks to tech startups and small businesses, there’s a growing demand for professionals who have core business skills but also can harness data to provide actionable strategies,” Troyer says. “The Charlotte online MBA is designed to help students grow their tech skills while also growing their business acumen and leadership skills, where the combination will make them become more competitive in a global market.”

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best business analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.