2019 Best Online Business Degree Programs
From online associate degrees to online mba programs, students at all levels will find business degree programs that suit their needs on our comprehensive list, which includes 530 accredited colleges and universities. We also highlight the best online bachelor's degrees, ranked based on tuition and alumni salaries provided by PayScale. More detailed information about career paths in the business field and specialty degrees is also available.
2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Business Degrees
Ranked based on affordability and earning potential, these 25 schools offer the best online bachelor’s degrees in business. Graduates of the #1 school, Assumption College, report earning a median salary of $113,800. University of Iowa, ranked #2 on the list, costs just $10,976 annually for an online Bachelor of Business Administration, with alumni reportedly earning median salaries of six figures.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Median Salary|
Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Business Degrees (524)
Annual Tuition: $10,632 - $13,400
|Full List||Accreditation||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|Full List (528)|
|SACS COC||$33,330||100% (6 reviews)|
53 Programs, 10 in Business
|DEAC||$7,500||100% (2 reviews)|
38 Programs, 13 in Business
|HLC||$20,456||100% (1 review)|
40 Programs, 12 in Business
16 Programs, 1 in Business
|SACS COC||$16,136||Add Review|
46 Programs, 3 in Business
19 Programs, 2 in Business
|HLC||Not Provided||66% (162 reviews)|
47 Programs, 25 in Business
|DEAC||$14,886||0% (2 reviews)|
58 Programs, 20 in Business
|HLC||$6,880||71% (141 reviews)|
417 Programs, 47 in Business
|MSCHE||$46,615||100% (2 reviews)|
61 Programs, 21 in Business
2 Programs, 2 in Business
|SACS COC||$26,970||Add Review|
25 Programs, 4 in Business
36 Programs, 1 in Business
|HLC||$19,776||33% (3 reviews)|
15 Programs, 2 in Business
|SACS COC||$22,109||100% (1 review)|
41 Programs, 1 in Business
|WASC WSCUC||$13,438||50% (123 reviews)|
88 Programs, 28 in Business
|HLC||$15,691 - $27,372||68% (81 reviews)|
208 Programs, 39 in Business
|HLC||$14,778||33% (3 reviews)|
61 Programs, 4 in Business
|WASC WSCUC||$10,632 - $13,400||67% (638 reviews)|
146 Programs, 50 in Business
33 Programs, 8 in Business
|SACS COC||$29,640||100% (2 reviews)|
114 Programs, 7 in Business
|SACS COC||$17,140||Add Review|
25 Programs, 1 in Business
|SACS COC||$23,153||50% (2 reviews)|
54 Programs, 1 in Business
23 Programs, 11 in Business
|HLC||$9,360||60% (88 reviews)|
58 Programs, 12 in Business
- Annual Tuition: $40,208
- Median Salary: $113,800
Assumption College offers an online bachelor's degree in business. The Bachelor of Business Administration degree has seven concentrations to choose from: Accounting, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Project Management, and a Self-Designed option. All are 40 credits, with 120 required for degree completion. Admission requires high school transcripts or GED, or a 3.0 GPA for transfer students. At least 45 credits must be taken at Assumption. All programs focus on communication, management techniques, problem solving and ethics. Courses include Foundations of Marketing, Business Strategy and Talent and Acquisition Management. Online programs are managed through the Continuing and Career Education center and tuition is $400 per credit. Assumption is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- Annual Tuition: $10,976
- Median Salary: $103,650
The University of Iowa features three online bachelor's degree completion programs in business: the Bachelor of Arts in Enterprise Leadership, the Bachelor of Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Management. These 47 credit programs require a 2.75 GPA, and at least 30 credits must be earned at UI. The Business Administration program focuses on developing dynamic problem-solving managers. The Enterprise Leadership program develops leadership skills for managers, combining liberal arts and business approaches. The Entrepreneurial Management program focuses on planning and developing enterprises. Among the courses offered are Business Computing Essentials, Operation Management, Business Analytics, and Dynamics of Negotiations. A year's tuition is $9,494 for in-state residents and $31,458 for out-of-state residents.
- Annual Tuition: $19,168
- Median Salary: $99,700
The University of St. Francis offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with five concentrations: Entrepreneurship, Management and Leadership, Managing Human Resources, Marketing, and Transportation and Logistics Management. These are degree completion programs and students must transfer in 64 credits; a maximum of 90 may be transferred, with a minimum of 30 earned at USF. These accelerated programs are designed for adult students and focus on management skills. Core courses include Business Ethics, Managerial Communications, Business, Society and Environment, and Business Driven Technology. Tuition is $599 per credit unit. USF is a Catholic school, located in Joliet, Illinois.
- Annual Tuition: $29,260
- Median Salary: $100,600
Newman University offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. This is a degree completion program for working adults wanting to improve their professional credentials. The program has 30 core credits and the degree is 124 total credits. The maximum number of transfer credits is 64, and a 3.0 GPA is required for admission. The program focuses on communication, problem solving, decision making, strategy, and ethics. Among the courses offered are Principles of Marketing, Mindful Leadership, Cross-cultural Communication, and Talent Management. Yearly tuition for 12 to 19 credits is $29,260. Newman is a Catholic University located in Wichita, Kansas.
- Annual Tuition: $18,848
- Median Salary: $99,200
California Baptist University offers three online bachelor's programs in business: a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and two Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration programs, with concentrations in Management and Logistics and Operations. Transfers with at least 24 credits are preferred. The 69 credit BS in Accounting typically takes 36 months and focuses on preparing students to take the CPA exam. The Logistics and Operations concentration requires 48 credits and can be completed in 16 months, while the Management concentration, also 48 credits, focuses on management skills in a competitive economy. All of CBU's programs reflect a strong institutional Christian orientation. Tuition is $589 per credit unit.
- Annual Tuition: $11,780
- Median Salary: $98,200
Quincy University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration. This is a degree completion program for working adults. Students must be at least 24 years old and have a minimum of seven years since high school graduation. Students must also have either graduated from an associate program or have 60 appropriate transfer credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. The degree may be completed in two years. Among the courses offered are Personal Finance, Statistical Analysis for Managers, Managing in a Global Environment, and Business Law and Ethics. Degree completion tuition is $380 per credit unit. The school is a Roman Catholic university, located in Quincy, Illinois.
- Annual Tuition: $10,500
- Median Salary: $97,100
Green Mountain College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Business Administration. The 120 credit program can be completed in less than two years depending on the number of transfer credits, and up to 90 credits can be transferred. This degree completion program requires that at least 30 credits are earned at GMC. Courses are taken one at a time in 8-week terms. The program focus is on the effective management of family-owned firms, local business, cottage industries, and socially responsible organizations. The intent is to bring local and family businesses successfully into the digital age. Courses in the program include Mastering Self-Leadership, Paths to Sustainability, and Marketing and Brand Management. Tuition is a $350 per credit. Green Mountain is located in Poultney, Vermont.
- Annual Tuition: $18,445
- Median Salary: $95,850
Temple University offers a highly rated online Bachelor of Business Administration program. This is a four-year program that is appropriate for new college students, transfer students, adults, and veterans. Admission requires a high school B average and ACT or SAT scores, and the GED is also accepted. The required minimum GPA of transfer students is 3.1. Terms last 15 weeks, with two 7-week accelerated terms in the fall and spring. The BBA program has six majors: Accounting, Business Management, Human Resource Management, Legal Studies in Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. All programs emphasize effective communication and problem-solving. The majors require 18 credits beyond the BBA core. Online tuition is $595 per credit unit. Temple is located in Philadelphia.
- Annual Tuition: $15,750
- Median Salary: $94,500
The University of Massachusetts- Amherst features six online bachelor's programs in business. These include a B.A. in Business Studies, and five Bachelor of Business Administration degrees with majors in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Operations and Information Management. Admission requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and 27 transfer credits. The degree requires 120 credits, with a minimum of 40 earned at UM. There are 31 credits of core courses, with an additional 27 credits in the major. The program provides a common core, including the global economy, sustainability, and social responsibility. Core courses include International Law, Business Data Analysis, and Business Strategy and Policy. Online tuition is the same for all students, a flat $575 per credit.
- Annual Tuition: $14,850
- Median Salary: $94,000
Saint Peter's University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with concentrations in Accountancy, Management, and Healthcare Management. In addition to completing the general curriculum core requirements, all students in the BSBA program will take 27 credits of business core requirements and 45 credits of concentration requirements. Core business requirements include classes such as Principles of Marketing, Principles of Management, and Statistics for Business and Economics. These programs were designed for working adults to improve their business skills while balancing their other commitments. Online tuition is $495 per credit. St. Peter's is a Jesuit university, located in Jersey City, New Jersey.
- Annual Tuition: $18,864
- Median Salary: $94,300
California State University-East Bay features an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with four concentrations in Finance, General Management, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Information Technology Management. These are degree completion programs designed for working adults. Students must have a minimum of 60 transferable credits, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. The programs require 33 core credits and 18 additional credits in the chosen concentration. If transfer credits satisfy lower division requirements, the programs can be finished in under two years. Courses include Decision Science, Communication in Team Building, and Global Economic Analysis. Tuition for 1 to 6 credits is $2,286, with an additional charge of $270 per credit for non-residents. CSUEB is located in Hayward.
- Annual Tuition: $23,445
- Median Salary: $94,133
Drexel University offers three online bachelor's degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in General Studies-Business, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and the BSBA with a major in Marketing. The degrees require 180 credits, and up to 90 credits may be transferred. Incoming freshmen must have been out of high school for two years. Transfer students must transfer a minimum of 24 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5. The program has four, 10-week terms per year. The programs cover a wide range of business topics, from data analysis and branding to finance and communication. Courses include Management of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Tuition is $521 per credit. Drexel is located in Philadelphia.
- Annual Tuition: $11,700
- Median Salary: $92,500
Southeastern University offers two online bachelor's programs in business. They are a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. The courses required for the majors represent 36-46 credit hours of the total 120-124 required for the degrees. The degrees can be completed in 24 months, depending on the number of credits transferred. Freshman admission requires a diploma and SAT or ACT scores. The GED and home-schooling are also accepted. Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Southeastern specifies that they look for students with a "strong Christian character." The focus is on effective business management within an ethical Christian framework. Tuition is $390 per credit hour. The school is associated with the Assemblies of God, and is located in Lakeland, Florida.
- Annual Tuition: $15,500
- Median Salary: $92,700
Quinnipiac University offers a respected online Bachelor of Business Administration program. It is a degree-completion program, which requires that applicants have either an associate degree or at least 45 transferable credit hours, and a minimum GPA of 2.5. The maximum number of transferable credits is 76, with the overall degree requiring 121 credits. The degree is designed for working professionals. There are 36 credits in the business program core and 9 credits of business electives. The core curriculum focuses on accounting, analysis, marketing, and other fundamentals. Among the courses offered are Business Law and Society, Negotiation and Persuasion, Applications of Business Analytics, and Project Management. Online tuition for the BBA program is $500 per credit. Quinnipiac is located in Hamden, Connecticut.
- Annual Tuition: $20,520
- Median Salary: $93,000
City University of Seattle offers a dozen online bachelor's degrees in business. These include Bachelor of Science degrees in Management and Project Management, and Bachelor of Business Administration programs in Management, Corporate Risk, General Business, Human Resources, Information Systems, International Finance, International Management, Marketing, Project Management, and Individualized Study. Programs are 180 credits (quarter system) and students may transfer in up to 90 credits. The curriculum varies by program, but the general focus is management skills in an evolving business environment. City University has initiated some of the first courses in the country that integrate Artificial Intelligence and business. Tuition for 100/200 level courses is $389 a credit unit, and $456 per unit for upper level 300/400 courses.
- Annual Tuition: $11,970
- Median Salary: $91,400
West Virginia University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in General Business. Freshman admission is competitive, requiring a minimum GPA of 3.25 and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.25 and may transfer in 60 credits. The degree can be completed in two years, depending on the number of credits transferred. The degree requires 27 credits of upper-level business courses and focuses on developing effective business management skills, including data analysis and marketing. The courses offered include Business Finance, Business Ethics, Managing Individuals and Teams, and Contemporary Business Strategy. The courses for this degree are offered in six-week long terms. Online tuition is $422 per credit unit which is the same for all students, regardless of residency.
- Annual Tuition: $12,030
- Median Salary: $91,400
The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth offers five online bachelor's degree programs in business. All five are 120 credit Bachelor of Science programs, including majors in Marketing, Accounting, General Business Administration, Management-Leadership, and Operations Management. Admission requirements for freshmen students include transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. The GED is also accepted. Transfer applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and may transfer in up to 75 credits. Focus varies by program but will cover business fundamentals, analytics, evaluation, and leadership. Sample courses include International Financial Management, Quantitative Business Analysis and Introduction to Small Business Management. Undergraduate online tuition is $996 per 3-credit course. UMD is very military friendly.
- Annual Tuition: $28,126
- Median Salary: $93,240
The University of Georgia offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration. This is a degree-completion program. Applicants must have at least 60 transferable credits with a minimum GPA of 2.8. The overall degree requires 121 credits and the program is usually completed in three years. There is a 12 credit core, 21 credits of courses in the major, and 12 credits of business electives. Students enroll in two consecutive 8-week courses per semester, totaling 6 credits. The overall focus is on practical business knowledge. Among the courses offered are Statistical Analysis for Business, Financial Modeling, International Strategic Management, and Risk Management and Insurance. Online tuition is $481 per credit unit. This program started in 2015 and is already highly rated.
- Annual Tuition: $13,200
- Median Salary: $90,100
Lincoln Christian University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. The program is 30 credits and the degree is a total of 120 credits. Freshman students with a GPA under 2.0 will be admitted provisionally. The SAT or ACT is required; GED or homeschooled students are accepted. Transfer credits consistent with a Christian curriculum are accepted. The degree emphasis is strongly focused on integrating effective business skills with a Christian perspective. Courses offered include Marketing, Project Management, Leading and Managing Change, Business Communication and Human Resource Management. Tuition is $6,600 per 15 credit semester. Lincoln Christian is located in Lincoln, Illinois.
- Annual Tuition: $11,550
- Median Salary: $89,200
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell features two online Bachelor of Science degrees in business: a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Information Technology-Business Minor. The program requirements have changed starting in Fall 2018. The BSBA requirements include 24 credits in business foundation courses, 24 credits in the business curriculum and nine credits of collateral requirements. The IT-Business Minor requires 30 IT core credits and 18 credits in the business core. Courses include Macroeconomics, Business Information Systems, Operations Management, and Organizational Behavior. Students may transfer in up to 90 credits and can graduate in two years, depending on courses transferred. Online tuition for the School of Business is $385 per credit.
- Annual Tuition: $23,130
- Median Salary: $90,500
The University of Houston-Clear Lake has two online Bachelor of Science degree programs in Business. They are a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in General Business. These are degree completion programs open to transfer students with 30 or more transferable credits, and a minimum GPA of 2.75. The programs can be completed in two years. Both programs require 48 core business credits and additional courses specific to the degree. Core classes include Business Computer Applications, Money and Banking, and Legal Environment of Business. Online tuition for three credits for residents is $1,053. Online courses from UHCL are not currently authorized for residents of Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.
#22 Lynn University
- Annual Tuition: $8,850
- Median Salary: $87,700
#22 Lynn University
Lynn University offers three online Bachelor of Science in Business degree programs: a B.S. in Business Administration, a B.S. in Entrepreneurship, and a B.S. in International Business Management. The Business Administration and International Business Management programs are 51 credits, while the Entrepreneurship program is 54 credits. The degrees are a total of 120 credits. Transfer credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The programs require business core courses followed by the specific program curriculum. The program can be completed in two years, depending on the number of credits transferred. Admission is also individualized. Among the core courses are Business of Innovation, Fundamentals of E-Business, Global Operations Strategy and Creativity and Innovation. Online tuition is $295 a credit. The school is located in Boca Raton, Florida.
- Annual Tuition: $44,794
- Median Salary: $92,100
Saint Joseph's University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration. This is a degree completion program designed for working adults. Students may transfer in up to 75 credits. The degree can be completed in two years, depending on transfer credits. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for transfer students, and at least 45 credits of the total 120 credit degree must be earned at SJC. The curriculum covers a wide range of business concerns, including management, analytics, marketing, and leadership. Sample core courses include International Trade, African Economics, Chinese Economics, Economics of Healthcare and Econometrics. Online tuition is $584 per credit hour. Saint Joseph's is a Jesuit-affiliated university located in Philadelphia.
- Annual Tuition: $8,520
- Median Salary: $87,200
Southeast Missouri State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The degree is designed for working adults and is a degree completion program. The program has 30 credits in business core courses and 24 credits in the major. The overall degree is 120 credits. Admission requires a minimum GPA of 2.25. The time it takes to complete the program depends on the number of transfer credits, but it can be finished in two years. There are two, 8-week terms per semester. The curriculum cuts across many business disciplines and is intended to enhance students’ career options. The core courses include Legal Environment of Business, International perspectives of Accounting, and Acquiring and Compensating Talent. Online undergraduate tuition is $284 per credit.
- Annual Tuition: $13,500
- Median Salary: $87,400
Stevenson University offers two online Bachelor of Science degree programs in business. They are a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Business Communication. These programs are designed for working adults and are delivered in 8-week sessions. Applicants must have at least 15 transferable credits, a minimum GPA of 2.0, and at least two years of work experience. The programs can be completed in two years, depending on the number of credits transferred. The overall degree is 120 credits, and the last 30 credits must be taken at Stevenson. The programs require completion of Stevenson’s core curriculum, with the remaining credits coming from the degree’s specific requirements. Tuition is $450 per credit. Stevenson is located in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Online Business Degree Overview & Career Information
Undergraduate certificates and associate degrees in business can cover both general or career-focused business areas. For example, an associate degree in business usually covers general college-level liberal arts topics, as well as economics, management, leadership, accounting, and other basic business topics. Other certificates can be used to pick up specific business skills, such as bookkeeping or human resources knowledge.
Online bachelor’s degrees in business provide a broader introduction to the interdisciplinary nature of business, as well as the chance to specialize the degree. Bachelor's graduates understand how to communicate in business settings, interpret financial data, effectively market a business, and think about business in a global context. Some bachelor’s programs have pre-designed focuses in areas like information technology or human resources management.
Master’s degrees in business come in a few different forms and are a great option for students who would want to learn about advanced business topics or switch from another career to business. The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most popular options. MBA degree programs offer a variety of advanced business topics, such as ethics, finance, and quantitative analysis. Other master’s programs focus in a particular business area, such as accounting, human resources, or management information systems, and can provide more depth.
Online doctoral degrees in business are designed for students who wish to work in academia, either conducting research or teaching others. These lengthy programs require that students create a research project that looks at an aspect of business and generates a new understanding of how businesses function.
The associate degree in business is a practically oriented program, covering the interdisciplinary skills required to manage a business enterprise. These programs typically include 60 credit hours of coursework and may be Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degrees. The terminal Associate of Science degree includes a majority of career-oriented classes. The Associate of Arts program contains a smaller business core and more general education classes; the credits in these programs are usually suitable for later transfer to a four-year degree. Applicants to the business associate program usually need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
The curriculum in the business program includes a foundation of theoretical and practical classes that support running a successful business. Classes in micro- and macroeconomics discuss the movement of capital in the United States and throughout the world, while finance courses focus on financial instruments and market systems. Courses in accounting discuss developing a budget, recording financial transactions, and analyzing financial statements. Management courses discuss organizational behavior and leadership skills for working with employees. Some associate programs allow students to focus on a particular area of business, such as entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, or international business.
The associate program in business provides a general skill set that allows graduates to go on to a variety of professional roles. General management or administration positions in small businesses are common options, as are positions in sales and marketing. Other possible roles include real estate appraiser, information systems specialist, bookkeeper, or human resources assistant.
Students in the business bachelor's program gain an understanding of the interdisciplinary skills necessary to run a business. These programs require the traditional 120 credit-hour course load, which takes four years to complete. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED; many programs also require ancillary materials such as a resume, statement of purpose, and standardized test scores.
Business students take a wide array of classes that expose them to the many facets of business. Courses in economics, finance, and accounting teach students how to develop budgets and understand the market system. Classes in advertising, marketing, and public relations discuss the development of a business's public image. General administration, business management, leadership, and communications courses round out the degree's core of classes. Depending on the program, students may also be required to complete an experiential learning component. Common hands-on requirements include internships, co-op work experiences, and project-based courses.
Graduates can use their training to apply for entry-level positions in small and large businesses. Opportunities exist for business graduates in general administration, marketing, human resources, accounting, and information technology departments. Other graduates find their place in government agencies, hospitals, financial institutions, and non-profit organizations. Graduates can also start their own small business.
Online master's degrees in business provide a more focused business education than other available graduate business programs, like the popular Master of Business Administration (MBA). While the MBA covers an interdisciplinary set of classes relating to business management, business master's programs focus in topics like business communication, healthcare administration, organizational leadership, and international business. The master's in business takes one to three years to complete and requires between 10 and 20 classes. For the best educational outcomes and future career opportunities, it's best to choose a program that has been accredited by AACSB. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, and many programs also require professional experience and standardized test scores.
The required courses in the business master's vary based on the program's focus. For example, a program in international business may include courses in global management, international economics, and international finance. The core of an entrepreneurship program, on the other hand, might explore feasibility analysis, venture capital financing, and enterprise innovation.
Many master's programs in business require an internship, work experience, or capstone project. An international business program may require students to study at a sister school abroad, while a healthcare management degree might require an internship at a local hospital. Capstone projects require students to integrate knowledge from throughout the degree to develop a complex project. Entrepreneurship students, for example, might develop a mock business plan or financial plan for a start-up.
Graduates can use the business master's degree to advance in their current workplace or to shift into a different business area. The master's can help employees move into roles such as director, general manager, or department manager. Professionals with significant experience in a particular area of business can use the master's credential to launch a career in consulting.
Individuals with a knack for operating businesses and advising others on how to run companies efficiently are well suited for doctorates in business. Doctoral programs generally take four to seven years to complete and require individuals to complete approximately 60 credits at an online school or on-site university. Most schools grant acceptance to individuals who have completed a master's degree and the minimum amount of prerequisite coursework.
There are typically two common types of doctoral degrees in business: a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Management (DMgt) degree. Both degrees feature advanced principles and practices that help students understand the business aspects of every industry; however, a DBA is considered a terminal degree that provides insight on a variety of business-related practices, as well as practices in the academic setting. A DMgt is specifically designed to prepare individuals for executive business management positions in a corporate industry. As a result, the majority of DBAs are more research-based, whereas DMgt degree programs offer ample classroom instruction. Every program requires the completion of a certain amount of independent study, as well as an original dissertation. Common coursework includes a variation of advanced classes in accounting, marketing, finance, research methods, and business techniques.
Graduates of doctoral programs in this field can go in several directions, such as postsecondary teaching, consulting, research, or executive dealings. They may also work in a number of settings, such as universities, private corporations, financial institutions, and retail companies. Many doctoral students intend to start their own companies.
Online certificates in business are usually offered at the graduate level through business schools and universities. These certificates may cover general business principles or they may cover a more focused business topic such as construction management, human resources management, or information systems. The course requirements for a business certification vary by school, but most require three to eight courses and can be completed in a year or less.
The curriculum for a business certificate will depend on the program’s specialization. A general certificate, for example, might require classes in accounting, management, marketing, and finance. A certificate in hospitality and tourism might include courses in organizational behavior, marketing, and hotel operations. Other possible certificate focuses include real estate, sports management, leadership, risk management, and benefits and compensation. Many certificates are geared toward current working business professionals who want to pick up additional professional skills in a shorter time frame.
A graduate certificate program may help students advance in their career and workplace. For example, a human resources specialist could use a certificate to move into a benefits and compensation management position. Others may use a certificate to fill gaps in their knowledge to better perform their current roles. For example, a current manager could use the information systems certificate to budget for information technology purchases and manage information systems personnel.
Selecting an accredited business program can help students ensure that they will receive a high-quality education that will be respected in the business world. Employers will likely give more consideration to a candidate who has graduated from a recognized and respected educational institution. Accreditation is also necessary for students who plan to pursue federal financial assistance or transfer credits to other schools in the future.
Regional and national accrediting agencies evaluate schools based on their curricula, faculty qualifications, research programs, and student resources, among other things. Programmatic accrediting agencies evaluate specific degree programs, such as business programs, based on their ability to meet established academic standards for that particular discipline.
In the case of business degree programs, it's wise to choose one that has been accredited by either the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs. Both of these agencies are recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as being legitimate independent accrediting bodies for business and business-related academic programs. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is another recognized accrediting body that awards accreditation for institutions that specifically offer online programs.
If you are innovative, driven by the desire to create new things, and love the challenges entailed in product or service development, an online degree in entrepreneurship may help you to become a successful entrepreneur. An entrepreneurship degree is also a good fit if you’re already established in business but wish to take your business to the next level. Entrepreneurship programs enhance the ability of students to identify and exploit business opportunities in a dynamic business environment. Online entrepreneurship degrees are available at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Career opportunities for entrepreneurs are virtually unlimited: You may become a successful small business owner in the automotive, computer, fashion, healthcare, or horticulture field, or any other industry that holds interest for you. The program could also prepare you to become a consultant or franchise owner.
Coursework required during entrepreneurship degree programs teaches students the concepts and principles that prepare them to start, acquire, or develop a business. Courses also focus on the challenges in entrepreneurship as well as strategies for effectively resolving such problems. Students will build their knowledge and skills in areas such as accounting, business law, business management, computers, finance, human resources management, and marketing. Specialization courses may include advertising, international business, negotiation, new business venture management, product development and innovation, public relations, small business development and planning, strategic thinking for entrepreneurs, and venture capital and private equity.
Bachelor’s programs require students to engage in a capstone experience or an internship as part of the learning requirements. This gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills gained from instruction. Students enrolled in master’s programs must engage in a culminating experience after the completion of coursework. This may consist of a comprehensive exam, applied project, thesis, or other requirement as specified by the program. Graduate certificate programs offer students the opportunity to expand their existing knowledge and develop skills in a specific area within entrepreneurship. This is accomplished by completing a concentrated graduate-level course of study within the entrepreneurship program.
Insurance is a wide-ranging industry that affects every type of business. All business owners need to protect their investment from physical threats (such as fire or theft) and lost income due to business interruption if disaster strikes. Online insurance degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and help to prepare students for careers in a number of fields. Graduates from these programs may choose to focus on sales, insurance underwriting, or management. Although not all employers require insurance sales agents to hold a bachelor's degree, many have completed their postsecondary education. Underwriters and managers usually have at least a minimum of an undergraduate degree.
Undergraduate certificate programs include courses in a number of topics, including insurance planning, life and health coverage. Students learn about annuities, long-term care, and property coverage products. Courses also cover insurance regulations and ethics for agents and financial advisors. Bachelor's degree students who choose to major in insurance will take a number of core business courses as part of the requirements to complete their degree. Understanding the fundamentals of marketing and finance is a good platform for learners entering this industry. Students may also be expected to take courses in accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, business law, and information systems.
At the master's degree level, students take a core curriculum that includes courses in risk management, business conditions analysis, and personal financial planning. Specialization courses vary, depending on the school offering the program. Some schools offer a course in international risk management, which gives students the opportunity to expand their educational horizons by taking a trip abroad.
Online international business degree programs equip students with the fundamental managerial skills to succeed in international business. The coursework introduces students to various accounting, banking, marketing, and monetary systems that exist in the global business environment. Programs give students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the business ethics, human resources, management fundamentals, and marketing concepts required to succeed in the global business environment. Areas of focus in international business programs include accounting, banking, cultural protocol, economics, exporting, finance, foreign languages, government contract management, healthcare management, importing, information management, management, and marketing.
Program graduates can take up managerial positions in public and private firms as well as in the non-profit sector in the global arena. Job titles for graduates of international business degrees include export sales representative, international business development manager, international marketing representative, and international sales manager. Online international business programs are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels.
Bachelor’s degree programs place heavy emphasis on introducing students to barriers in global business, which includes cultural, legal, political, social, and technological barriers. Students also develop an understanding of international trade and investment opportunities. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs usually require students to complete a capstone project or internship. This is an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their grasp of course content.
The curriculum for master’s programs covers areas such as creation and distribution of goods and services, domestic and global economic environments, financial reporting, analysis and markets, and human behavior in organizations. Doctoral programs focus on developing research and writing skills, which are essential for high-level leadership positions in global academic and business settings. In addition to taking an integrated sequence of courses, doctoral students must also complete a dissertation and take a comprehensive exam. Doctoral degree programs are a good choice if you’ve earned your master’s degree in the field and intend to take up high-level leadership positions in the global environment.
Online Small Business Management Degrees
Those who are interested in starting their own businesses may be interested in earning a degree that offers a small business management or entrepreneurship emphasis. Degree options range from certificates in small business management and entrepreneurship to bachelor's degrees in business administration with a concentration in small business management.
Students who are enrolled in these types of programs can expect to take classes on a range of business-related topics, from finance and marketing to economics. Additional coursework that focuses specifically on small business management will include classes on such topics as hiring and managing employees, business ethics, creating a business plan, advertising a small business, and other topics that a small business owner or entrepreneur needs to know.
After successfully completing one of these degree programs, students often pursue a variety of small business ventures, such as starting their own sole proprietor business, opening franchises of an existing company, or working at another individually owned small business. For entrepreneurs who are interested in using their small business management degree to launch their own company, additional licensing or certification may be necessary, depending on what they wish to do and where they live. The U.S. Small Business Administration maintains a great list of resources for the aspiring entrepreneur, from business plan guides to tips on obtaining financing, tax information, as well as instructions on how to register your small business.
The skills and knowledge acquired during a business degree program make graduates suitable for a wide array of career options. The following is a list of just some of the career opportunities available to students who complete an online business degree program:
- Administrative Manager: Administrative managers are responsible for overseeing how an office runs, including small items such as paperwork and mail delivery, and larger items such as processes and office maintenance. The job duties will depend on the particular organization, but they will often include coordinating with all employees, making sure the office has enough supplies, and making sure the office is up to standards, codes, and regulations.
- Compensation/Benefits Manager: The human resources arm of a company is vital to employee motivation and overall happiness at work. A compensation or benefits manager will generally oversee the human resources department and make sure that each employee is getting paid fairly and on time. They will also help keep employees motivated with well-earned benefits and items such as a retirement plan and paid vacation time.
- Financial Manager: Finances are a huge part of any organization, because even if earning money isn't an organization's main goal (e.g., a non-profit company) they still need money to keep the doors open and the employees paid. A financial manager will ensure that a company's money is spent wisely, and they will report to executives or board members on the progress of the company, often offering solutions for any financial distress.
- Marketing/Advertising Manager: Almost every business in the world needs marketing. As a marketing or advertising manager, you'll be working with the sales team to make sure all numbers are being met and that everyone on your team is doing their job and meeting their goals. You may also serve as the facilitator between those who are selling your product and those who are buying what you have to sell.
- Training/Service Manager: Once employees are hired at a company, they need to be trained. Training is crucial, as it's an employee's introduction to what will be his or her job in the days ahead. A training manager will oversee this orientation process and update and improve it as necessary.
- Management Occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Published January 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/home.htm.
- Insurance Sales Agents. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Published January 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/insurance-sales-agents.htm.
- U.S. Small Business Administration. Accessed August 18, 2016. https://www.sba.gov/.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Small Business Management Emphasis Degree Requirements. Adams State University. Accessed August 18, 2016. https://www.adams.edu.
- Small Business Training. Ashworth College. Accessed August 18, 2016. https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/career-diplomas/small-business-management/.