If you’re considering online business management degrees, you will discover a wide range of options as well as specializations.
While you may have an idea of what you’re interested in, there are also things to look out for, such as the types of degrees, specializations, and career opportunities you can get with each degree. Knowing all of this information can help you select the online business management degree that is a perfect match for you.
Popularity and Demand of Business Management Degrees
Before getting into all of the details, you may be asking the question: Why should I pursue an online business management degree? The answer is simple as business degrees are rapidly increasing in popularity and for several good reasons.
A 2016 study by Learning House reports that 26% of online undergraduate learners were pursuing business management degrees—the top field of study for online undergraduate degrees. This was also true of graduate students, with the highest field of study being Business, also at 26%.
The demand for those with business management degrees is also at an all-time high. In 2016, Forbes listed business administration and management degree graduates as among those most in demand by big-name companies to hire.
Jobs such as market-data analysts and accountants typically require the skills business management degrees cover and they also tend to have high salaries as well as opportunities for advancement, according to Time magazine.
Dispelling the Myths About Online Business Degrees
A common misconception is that getting an online business degree will negatively impact your ability to get a job. This belief, however, is incorrect due to the following:
- Many well-known and respected schools now offer their own online degrees.
- Your diploma when you graduate will in most cases not show that your degree was obtained online.
- As long as the degree is accredited, many employers do not care whether or not you obtained the degree on-campus or online.
- Since many online students are able to work on their college degrees while keeping their full-time job, many employers will be pleased to see you applied what you learned in an online degree into your career. They will also be impressed if you have no large gaps in your work history as well.
The growing acceptance of online business management degrees is also evident in which degrees students are studying online. According to a 2015 survey by Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House, business administration is the most popular online graduate degree.
Career Opportunities for Online Business Management Graduates
An online business management degree can provide many different career options after graduation. Each of the careers listed below earns a relatively higher than average salary compared to other occupations.
The salary range for the management careers below is between $57,000 and $135,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Management Role||Entry-Level||2016 Median Pay|
|Administrative Services Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$90,050|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$127,560|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$134,730|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$116,240|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$135,800|
|Construction Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$89,300|
|Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals||Master’s Degree||$92,510|
|Emergency Management Directors||Bachelor’s Degree||$70,500|
|Financial Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$121,750|
|Human Resources Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$106,910|
|Industrial Production Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$97,140|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$96,540|
|Natural Sciences Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$119,850|
|Postsecondary Education Administrators||Master’s Degree||$90,760|
|Preschool and Childcare Center Directors||Bachelor’s Degree||$45,790|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$107,320|
|Sales Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$117,960|
|Social and Community Service Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$64,680|
|Top Executives||Bachelor’s Degree||$103,950|
|Training and Development Managers||Bachelor’s Degree||$105,830|
You can also add a specialization to your business degree. For example, at Rasmussen College you can specialize in areas such as accounting, advertising, entrepreneurship, hospitality management, project management, or statistics.
Read on for more details on the specializations you can pursue along with the kinds of the degrees you can take and what they entail.
Types of Online Business Management Degrees
There are a variety of online business degrees from the associates to the doctorate level. Read on to find out more detailed information about each degree-type within the field of business management.
Associate of Business Administration or Management
If you are eager to enter the workforce more quickly, an associate degree may be what you are looking for. On average, you will need to complete between 60-64 credit hours, and you can expect to finish your degree within 15 months – 2 years.
For example, Bethel University in Tennessee is a 60 credit-hour program, generally completed within two years, and tailored towards students who wish to enter the business field directly after finishing the program.
Broward College in Florida offers a 60 credit-hour business administration program that takes an average of 15 months to complete.
During your course of study, you will generally take the following classes:
- Financial Accounting
- Business Law
- Applied Statistics
- Business Ethics
- Human Resource Management
- Organizational Leadership
The average salary for a person with an associate’s degree in business management or administration varies highly by position and experience. Some examples of entry-level positions you can receive with an associate degree, include:
- Administrative Assistant
- Accounts Receivable Coordinator
- Compliance Officer
- Sales Representative
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk
- Appraiser or assessor of real estate
Bachelor of Business Administration or Management
A Bachelor of Business Administration or Management degree generally takes 4 years to complete. This degree is also the most popular undergraduate degree in the nation. This is due to many factors including:
- Versatility: You can apply business skills to just about any career and any company.
- Good Salaries: Business managers tend to have higher than average salaries for professionals in the business field.
- Career Opportunities: There are typically plenty of employment opportunities in this field due to a high demand for business management skills.
According to Payscale, the average median entry-level salary for employees holding a bachelor’s degree in business administration or management is $48,500. Again, this is subject to variation by specializations within the field.
Some specializations that can often be pursued in online Bachelor of Business Administration degrees are:
- Human Resource Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Business Leadership
- Sports and Recreation Management
- Business Administration
- Business Information Systems
- Health Services Management
This degree prepares you for higher level entry-level positions in business, in roles such as:
- Advertising & Marketing Manager
- Forecast Analyst
- Auditor or Budget Analyst
- Contract Negotiator
- Corporate Development Manager
- IT Project Manager
- Business Development Manager
- Hotel General Manager
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, operations research analysts and personal financial advisors are the two professions within the field of business that are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations between now and 2024.
There are also many career paths you can pursue with your bachelor of science in business after graduation. Forbes magazine reports that in 2015, business program graduates were the second highest on the list of majors that led to quick, full-time employment.
Master of Business Administration or Management
Those looking to advance in their career tend to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or some other form of management master’s degree. In 2014, the MBA program became the most popular postgraduate degree in the United States.
Fortune suggests that MBA programs are so popular becuase of the high return on investment for students, post-graduation.
One highly appealing benefit of online MBA programs is they often allow you to have more flexibility and keep your job while working on the degree. Even with that flexibility, most online MBA programs take about two years at the minimum to complete.
The average salary for an MBA grad within 1-4 years of graduation is $60,541. Salaries, however, depending on industry and position. For example, Investopedia notes that Human Resource majors tend to have the lowest salary of the bunch, while strategy majors earn almost double—at $96,200.
While some might just choose to pursue a straight MBA degree, adding a specialization can help you stand out among other applicants when interviewing for a job. Some of the most popular specializations within MBA programs include the following:
- General Management
- Information Systems
- International Business
- Health Care
- Operations Management
Online MBA programs offer strong experience in the realm of technological tools. This provides an advantage because students will be able to use these tools hands-on, which helps to better prepare them for the tools they will use in their career.
Doctorate/Ph.D. of Business Administration or Management
A Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) helps prepare students to do the following:
- Work in post-secondary academia as tenure-track professors
- Further deepen their knowledge of industry research and analytics
- Gain competitive advantage over MBA graduates
A DBA helps prepare you for high positions of leadership and provides instruction in all areas of a business. Because this degree is generally meant for working professionals, most programs allow students to continue working during the program.
Courses are generally spread out and are completed within a 3-4 year time period. In that time, students will complete online coursework and often do a doctoral dissertation or an applied dissertation project. For example, students at Liberty University complete an applied dissertation dealing with a problem in their specific field of study.
Most DBA programs require the applicant to have an MBA or master’s degree in a related field as a prerequisite along with a certain number of years of professional work experience. Some doctoral business programs offer specializations as well, including:
- Doctorate in Organizational Leadership
- Doctorate in Public Administration
- Doctorate in Computer and Information Security
- Doctorate in Criminal Justice
- Doctorate in International Business
- Doctorate in Applied Computer Science
Along with a DBA, there is also a PhD in Business offered at some schools. A PhD in Business will enable you to conduct business research within a specific area and even prepare you to become a college professor.
Like with a DBA, you will do a dissertation or an applied dissertation. You will also need to complete a master’s degree or MBA to get admitted into a PhD program.
The PhD in Business program offers several specializations, including:
- International Business
- Human Resources Management
- Criminal Justice
- Applied Computer Science
- Organizational Leadership
- Project Management
- Advanced Accounting
- Financial Management
- Homeland Security
Which Online Business Degree is Right For Me?
After you have weighed all of your options, you will need to decide which business degree is right for you. A great place to start would be to figure out what your goals are.
What is your dream career? Would the business degree help you grow in your current job or will it qualify you for a better position later? These are some questions you should ask as you research options. Doing so will help you to make an informed decision.
- National Center for Education Statistics
- Learning House
- Time Magazine
- US News
- Rasmussen College – Associated of Applied Science in Business
- Broward College
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Rasmussen College – What You Can Do With a Business Management Degree
- Niche.com – List of College Majors by Popularity
- US News – Business Administration Management Bachelor’s Degree
- Ashford University
- Marylhurst University
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Fastest growing occupations, 2014-24
- Forbes.com – The Top Degrees For Getting Hired Right Out Of College
- Fortune Magazine
- Florida International University – 5 Benefits Of An Online MBA Program
- US News – How Long It Takes To Earn An Online Master’s Degree
- US News – Enhance Earnings With a MBA Specialization
- Creighton University
- Florida Tech
- Saint Leo University
- Liberty University
- Northcentral University