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What is an MBA in E-Commerce

From Wayfair to Amazon, the e-commerce industry is booming. In order to keep ahead of this fast-paced, always evolving industry, an MBA in E-Commerce is a powerful credential that will instantly separate you from other job candidates. With this concentration, you will learn everything from supply chain management, sales and customer service management, product development, affiliate marketing, digital marketing, and operations management. Through an exciting mix of case studies, class work, and guest lecturers, you will be armed with all the tools necessary to manage an e-commerce department. This concentration will teach you CRM system management, quality assurance monitoring, net promoter score analysis, and the latest in supply chain management platforms.

Without an online presence, a business is missing out on one of the major advertising/marketing platforms. The goal of an MBA in E-Commerce is to teach students how to plan, implement, and manage their own e-business from the startup phase to a thriving enterprise. Whether it’s a third-party retail store, a digital marketing agency, or a consultancy business, developing an online presence is critical to the long-term success of your company. Knowing how to build a powerful brand while differentiating your company’s products and services are paramount to the success of an e-commerce business. An MBA in E-Commerce gives you the recipe for building a thriving e-business.

What is the Industry Outlook for E-Commerce

The estimated U.S. retail sales revenue, according to The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, was $111.5 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2017 – an increase of 4.8 percent (±0.9%) from the first quarter of 2017. The steady uptick in internet sales has been taking place since the dot-com bubble from 1995-2001. In 2016, online sales of physical goods amounted to $360.3 billion and are projected to surpass $603.4 billion in 2021. This is a great time to pursue an MBA in E-Commerce.

Better yet, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. IT managers are the key link between the back-end efficiency of an e-commerce company and the operations teams that handle incoming orders, customer service issues, logistics, marketing, and supplier management systems.

How Much Does an E-Commerce Manager Earn

The average E-Commerce Manager salary in the United States is approximately $84,668 per year. Their salaries are usually a mix of base salary, commission plan, and team-wide performance metrics. Salary information comes from 14,661 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed.

According to Glassdoor, the median annual E-Commerce Marketing Manager salary is $88,162 with a range usually between $76,871 and $99,185.

The median annual wage for IT managers is $135,800. The lowest 10% of IT managers earned less than $82,360, with the highest 10% earning more than $208,000.

The median annual salary for computer and information systems managers in the e-commerce top industries are as follows:

Sector Avg. Salary
Information $150,190
aComputer systems design and related services $143,040
Finance and insurance $142,890
Manufacturing $139,540
Management of companies and enterprises $136,690

What Can I Do With an MBA in E-Commerce

Opportunities for Promotion at an E-Commerce CompanyAre There Opportunities for Promotion at an E-Commerce Company

The answer is 100% yes. As an MBA in E-Commerce graduate, you will have a leg up on the majority of E-Commerce employees who most likely started in an entry-level customer service/sales role. The barrier to entry into an E-Commerce company like Wayfair.com is a Bachelor degree. Once you are a successful customer service agent in a call-center environment, you will have the opportunity to apply for internal job openings. Those with an MBA in E-Commerce will stand out from the competition due to the specialized nature of the degree.

Types of Careers for MBA in E-CommerceWhat Types of Careers Are Available for an MBA in E-Commerce

Graduates with Master of Business Administration in E-Commerce can pursue management careers in the sales, customer service, supplier operations, logistics, marketing, IT, and/or accounting/finance. There is plenty of opportunity for those interested in B2B account management roles. Buiding relationships with third-party vendors is a critical skillset and one that takes time – like most sales pipelines.

Sector Description
E-Commerce Managers E-Commerce Managers oversee a company’s online sales funnel. They are responsible for the image of the company and are the first point-of-contact for consumers. They oversee a specialized team of employees in sales, customer service, supplier ops, logistics, marketing, etc. They are usually team leaders of a particular product category of service that the company offers.
E-Commerce Specialists An E-Commerce Specialists are responsible for understanding customer requirements and are the liaison between multiple departments to ensure proper order flow. This may mean tracking a customer’s shipment, updating product information, located the latest inventory report, or reporting damaged merchandise. They are the problem solvers of an e-commerce company.
Marketing Manager A Marketing Manager is a person within a company who supervises and helps create the various advertising or merchandising sales campaigns the business uses to sell itself and its products. A marketing manager can be assigned to a single product, a product line, a brand, or the entire company. They are a critical resource for the sales and customer service teams for they are updating product catalogs constantly with new inventory. They also have the latest in availability information.
Software Developer Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Information Technology With the growing demand for more business professionals with IT expertise, graduates of the MBA in IT online program will be prepared for a variety of employment opportunities including:

  • Systems Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Processing Manager
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Chief Information Officer

What Skills Do I Need to be Successful In E-Commerce

Problem-Solving Skills: Most E-Commerce Specialist/Managers have to interact with customers, third-party vendors, or various internal departments. Since most E-Commerce companies are in the start-up phase, there will be bumps in the road whether it’s logistical issues with damaged products, wrong product information listed, or simply a return issue. An E-Commerce employee needs to know how all of the departments play into the success of the company.

  • Writing and Content Marketing: Whether it’s taking detailed customer notes or writing informative product descriptions, having strong writing skills is critical. There will be access to internal templates for customer communications, but a lot of the interactions day-to-day will rely on your ability to communicate clearly in a business tone. As a content marketing professional, you will need to learn to write with a persuasive flair using keywords, SEO strategy, and certain buzzwords to attract customers.
  • Data Analysis: Successful E-Commerce employees need to learn metrics. Whether it’s NPS (Net Promoter Score) data or Quality Assurance (QA) scores, there’s usually performance goals for every E-Commerce department. Supplier Operations, for example, uses a fulfillment rate to monitor the percentage of inventory leaving the warehouse in a timely fashion.
  • Creative Mindset: Your ability to innovate and come up with new ideas is crucial in the E-Commerce world. The best part about E-Commerce: it’s a new industry and all ideas are usually welcome. The way of doing things in the past can quickly change to an entirely new process. Your input about doing something a bit better will lead to promotion.
  • Knowledge of Technology: A thorough understanding of data science, mobile technology and analytics are necessary. Since you are on the front lines of technology, an E-Commerce employee should have insight into their respective sector. If you are selling home decor products, you should belong to an eRetailer professional organization to keep you up-to-date with the latest trends.

Throughout the program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use network and e-commerce technologies to meet an organization’s business goals
  • Design and manage the operational steps of specific IT projects
  • Utilize telecommunications and data communications in a global environment
  • Use digital commerce and e-business tools, from Internet tools and architecture to e-business models and security
  • Employ e-commerce for competitive advantage in the marketplace

What Typical Classes Will I Take in My MBA E-Commerce Program

  • Data Communications
    This course will provide a comprehensive review of data and computer communications for business information systems within the framework of the ISO OSI model, evolving techniques for effective data communications, telecommunications infrastructure and services, and the design and management of organizational data and voice communications resources.
  • E-Commerce Security
    The course will integrate concepts, principles, and technologies from business, telecommunications, and computer science to identify, understand, and propose solutions to the security threats to e-commerce.
  • Economics of Technology
    The seminar discusses whether innovation is more driven by demand or supply forces, the optimal timing of adoption of new technology, whether new technology benefits workers and consumers, and whether the government is successful at supporting promising new technology.
  • Electronic Commerce
    Electronic Commerce is the digital enablement of transactions between multiple parties.A multitude of technologies, tools, and applications have brought about changes in business, and society that require careful consideration. Students are given an overview of electronic commerce business models and required to apply these to solve business problems or take on opportunities presented. They will cover topics such as social networking, electronic markets, and political and ethical issues associated with electronic commerce, and business plans for technology ventures. They will apply these concepts using Web 2.0 tools, mobile applications, and website design assignments.
  • Graphical User Interface
    A study of the visual design for graphical user interface utilized in the development of business applications. The course includes a hands-on survey of the most prominent business software applications and an application project.
  • Information Security Policy & Ethics
    The course will cover the development and need for information security policies, issues regarding privacy, and the application of computer ethics.

How Much is Tuition for MBA E-Commerce Programs

Compared to an average out-of-state tuition of $66,428 for an MBA in E-Commerce degree, the average-in-state tuition is $43,819. It may be more worthwhile to stay in-state and take advantage of the large average savings for residents. With that being said, it may make more financial sense to go to a top MBA program out-of-state if job placement, networking opportunities, and average salary are superior than your in-state MBA program. Tuition, of course, does not include other expenses like rent, transportation, food, etc.

Completing your MBA in E-Commerce online will cost, on average, $89,110 for in-state tuition. Out-of-state online MBA tuition will cost students $106,930 to complete the program. In other words, you may be able to save some serious tuition costs if you’re comfortable with completing your MBA degree online versus attending class in an expensive out-of-state city.

Cost of Tuition for MBA Programs in E-Commerce

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA E-Commerce Programs

The average GMAT score for on-campus MBA in E-Commerce programs is 586.77; whereas the average GMAT score for online MBA in E-Commerce program is 677.00. It’s important to determine how heavily your prospective B-School weighs the GMAT score in their admissions decision. As you can see, the E-Commerce online program requires a pretty solid GMAT Score for admission. In other words, the online E-Commerce programs are highly competitive. Some may use an admission matrix based on both your GPA as well as your GMAT. Others may take into consideration your entire academic experience, professional accomplishments, your GMAT, and your personal statement. If it’s a simple equation for admission, taking the GMAT again to boost your scores may be the best bet especially if your B-School weighs the GMAT heavily.

GMAT Scores for MBA Programs in E-commerce

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA E-Commerce Programs

The Campus MBA Student/Faculty Ratio is 2.89 for MBA in E-Commerce programs. That means for every 2.89 students, there is a Professor/Instructor/Graduate Assistant available for teaching. The average online MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 3.89. As a prospective MBA student, it’s important to research what constitutes faculty at your given MBA program. There may be a high number of adjunct professors that teach part-time, a small number of tenured professors, or a sudden uptick in graduate assistants teaching core business classes. The quality of instruction is just as important as quantity when it comes to student/faculty ratios.

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Programs in E-commerce

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA E-Commerce Programs

The power of networking as an MBA student is critical to one’s success as you transition into the business world. The average MBA full-time enrollment for on-campus E-Commerce programs is 417 students compared to the average 477 part-time MBA students. If you want to not just be a number, you may want to attend a smaller MBA program. With that being said, there may be greater access to job fairs, real-world connections, and professional organizations with larger MBA programs. It’s really a question of preference and job placement numbers. The highest MBA full-time enrollment program is 1,231 students for E-Commerce compared to the smallest full-time MBA program at 105 students.

Enrollment for MBA Programs in E-commerce

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Global Enrollment for MBA Programs in E-commerce

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Student Population from the United States

A highly diverse MBA student population is a strong one, especially with regard to the E-Commerce concentration. With the average percentage of students from the U.S. hovering at 76.78% enrolled in full-time classroom MBA programs, there is definitely a nice representation of other cultures mixed into the classrooms. With the growth of internet companies and tech startups reaching all-time highs, its imperative to learn how other cultures operate in the business world. The online MBA student population has the exact same percentage of U.S. students enrolled in its programs. An MBA student wants to learn as much as possible on how to operate a business whether it’s a U.S.-based company or a multinational organization. Eventually, you will either conduct business with someone from another company, have customers from other parts of the world, or work alongside vendors from different cultures.

Campus MBA Student Population from the U.S.

  • Smallest % of Students from US: 48.53%
  • Largest % of Students from US: 90.81%
  • Average % of Students from US: 76.78%

Online MBA Student Population from the U.S.

  • Smallest % Students from US: 48.53%
  • Largest % Students from US: 81.99%
  • Average % of Students from US: 65.26%

Faculty Information for MBA E-Commerce Programs

The best way to learn about business is to interact with professionals in your respective profession. Most business professor have extensive experience as either managers, executives and/or entrepreneurs in their given field. They also have the educational credentials to back their experience with theoretical knowledge. An institution that has a large percentage of their professors tenured or working full-time is a great sign. That means the college or university is dedicated to teaching their MBA students from industry leaders. The average full-time MBA faculty for campus programs in the U.S. is 93 for the E-Commerce concentration. The average part-time MBA faculty is 112. The average number of full-time MBA faculty members with a doctorate degree is 87. Online full-time MBA programs in E-Commerce average 91 Doctorates.

Faculty Information for MBA Programs in E-commerce

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA E-Commerce Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA E-commerce programs offered: 4
  • The number of online MBA E-commerce programs offered: 2

There is definitely an upward trend towards more specialized MBA concentrations whether they’re being offered on-campus as part of a full-time program or as a flexible online program. The E-Commerce concentration is available at 4 on-campus programs throughout the U.S. compared to 2 online programs. From the part-time executive online MBA program that caters to the working professional or the full-time on-campus MBA program for the recent business grad looking for a dedicated plan of study, there is only a select number of B-Schools offering traditional and non-traditional MBA in E-Commerce tracks. That translates into high admissions selectivity for prospective MBA students.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.