Read: Business Online
Students in online business degree programs explore the fundamental principles that drive business, including managing people and resources and crafting strategic plans. Learners can also specialize in one of several areas such as accounting, finance, international business, and small business. Whether a student completes an associate degree or a doctorate in this field, a degree in business is one of the most versatile majors available, and graduates are prepared for a range of lucrative career opportunities.
Business is one of the most popular undergraduate majors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), areas such as financial analysis and supply chain management are experiencing faster than average growth and also feature above-average salaries.
Many business graduates move into management or executive positions, while others pursue careers in accounting, human resources, or marketing. Concentrations prepare graduates for specialized fields like logistics or international business.
What’s the Benefit of Earning Your Business Degree Online?
Earning a business management degree online provides working professionals with the flexibility and accessibility to complete their program without ever leaving the comfort of their home. Many of the nation’s top universities offer online or hybrid options.
Types of Business Degrees
Graduates of online business programs increase their job opportunities and salary potential as they earn higher-level business degrees. While graduates with an associate degree earn about $37,456 per year, the median salary increases to $51,931 for professionals with an MBA and $85,957 for those with a Ph.D. in business administration.
While careers that require graduate degrees often come with higher salaries, they also require a substantial commitment of time and resources to complete. Most MBA programs require two years of full-time coursework, and a Ph.D. can take up to five years. Earning an online business degree helps working professionals advance their career opportunities while remaining employed. Researching the entry-level degree requirements for positions such as human resources manager or financial analyst can also help prospective business students plan their degree around their career aspirations.
ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN BUSINESS
An associate degree in business introduces key principles of the field and prepares graduates for entry-level work or a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. The curriculum for an associate degree often requires 60 credits and includes classes in accounting, finance, and project management. Full-time students can complete an associate degree in two years.
To apply for an associate degree program, applicants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and many associate-granting institutions do not require ACT or SAT test scores. After earning the degree, most graduates are prepared to transfer into a four-year business program.
Students earning an online associate degree in business can also customize the degree around their interests and career goals by completing a specialization. As a professional degree, business prepares graduates for careers as diverse as bookkeepers, project managers, and other entry-level business positions.
BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN BUSINESS
Earning a bachelor’s degree in business prepares graduates for many entry-level positions in marketing, finance, and accounting. Graduates are also prepared to pursue an MBA. Business programs at the bachelor’s level introduce students to fundamental principles and offer opportunities to specialize within the field.
An online bachelor’s degree in business requires approximately 120 credits, which full-time students can usually earn within four years. Incoming students with an associate degree or other transfer credits may be able to finish faster. Most schools require a high school diploma or equivalent, SAT or ACT scores, and a minimum GPA.
Degree-seekers in a bachelor’s program can specialize in an area within business that meets their career goals, interests, and strengths. While core classes provide a foundational education in business, many programs provide electives like entrepreneurship or small business management. Prospective students interested in an online degree can research the top online business administration programs to find the best fit for their educational goals.
MASTER’S DEGREE IN BUSINESS
MBA programs provide corporate-level business management training, and graduates are prepared for many upper-level business positions. The coursework in an MBA program emphasizes management skills, such as managing people, financial resources, and evaluating business decisions.
While an MBA is the most popular graduate degree, business students looking for a master’s degree have other options. An MBA provides a broadly-focused business education applicable to a variety of careers; however, a master’s in business allows students to focus on a specific subject area such as supply chain management or business analytics. Similar master’s degrees include a master’s in accounting or a master’s in finance.
Before enrolling in an MBA or other master’s in business program, applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, which does not have to be from a business-related field. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, more than half of MBA applicants in 2017 had an undergraduate degree in a field other than business. Graduate programs may require specific prerequisite courses, and most require GMAT scores; some specialized degrees may also accept the GRE. The admissions process evaluates applicants on their academic record as well as their prior work experience in business.
An online MBA degree requires two years of full-time coursework; part-time programs usually take longer. Some master’s in business programs also offer accelerated options, which can be completed in 12 months. These curriculums include foundational courses that prepare MBA students with critical business and decision making skills, such as management accounting and strategic management.
An MBA is often a requirement for many upper-level management careers, including executive positions. Prospective graduate students in business can research the top online MBA programs to find the best fit for their career goals and interests.
DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BUSINESS
A doctoral degree in business prepares graduates to teach business at the college level, conduct business research, and pursue high-level positions in management and consulting. A doctorate is a substantial commitment, with most programs taking between three and five years to finish, depending on how long it takes to complete the dissertation.
Prospective doctoral students in business can choose either a Ph.D. in business or a doctorate in business administration (DBA). The Ph.D. prepares candidates for academic careers or research-focused positions, and students must complete a dissertation with original research to earn the degree. The DBA is a professional degree, and rather than emphasize theoretical research, coursework focuses on practical knowledge.
To gain admission into a doctorate in business program, applicants should hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and many programs require a master’s degree in business or a related field. Prospective students must also submit GMAT or GRE scores, along with several years of work experience. Graduates with a Ph.D. or a DBA are prepared for academic careers and high-level management positions.