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Best Online Business Degrees 2018

Methodologies and Sources

METHODOLOGY

For this analysis, we ranked 118 bachelor’s degrees. To be included in the ranking, each major had to:
  • Be part of PayScale’s 2016-17 College Salary Report
  • Match to a corresponding code in the Classification of Instructional Programs
  • Be offered online at the bachelor’s level at five or more institutions
We scored each major on the following seven data points, using a 10-point scale:
  1. Early Career Median Pay (5 or fewer years of experience),PayScale, 2016
  2. Mid-Career Median Pay (10 or more years of experience), PayScale, 2016
  3. Percent of degree-holders who say their work makes the world better, PayScale, 2016
  4. No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  5. No. of jobs matched to each major,National Center for Education Statistics 2010
  6. Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-26
  7. Total number of openings due to growth and replacement for all jobs matched to each major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-26

SOURCES

    • 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, PayScale.com, http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors
    • Employment Projections: Occupational Employment, Job Openings and Worker Characteristics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed November 2017, https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_data_occupational_data.htm
    • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed November 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
    • Major: Organizational Behavior, College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-human-resources-organizational-behavior-studies
    • New Study: Over Six Million Students Now Enrolled in Distance Education ,http://www.babson.edu/news-events/babson-news/pages/2017-babson-survey-research-group-distance-education-enrollment-report.aspx

DEGREE PROGRAM SOURCES:

  • All sources accessed in April 2018
  • Western International University, http://west.edu/online-degree-programs/business-administration-bs.html
  • National University,https://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/SchoolOfBusinessAndManagement/FinanceandEconomics/Programs/BSFinancialManagement.html
  • Webber International University, https://webber.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/undergraduate-finance/
  • Upper Iowa University, http://www.uiu.edu/academics/undergraduate/financial-management.html
  • Western International University, http://west.edu/online-degree-programs/accounting-bs.html
  • College of Business Athens State University, http://www.athens.edu/business/programs/accounting/
  • California Baptist University Online, https://www.cbuonline.edu/degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-accounting
  • College of Business and Economics, Regis University, http://www.regis.edu/CBE/Academics/Degrees-Programs/Undergraduate-Programs/BS-Marketing.aspx
  • Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst, https://www.isenberg.umass.edu/programs/undergraduate/on-campus/majors/marketing
  • Fort Hays State University, http://www.fhsu.edu/appliedbusiness/BBA-Marketing/
  • California Baptist University, https://calbaptist.edu/programs/leadership-studies/
  • Southeastern University, http://online.seu.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-science-organizational-leadership/
  • Oral Roberts University, http://www.oru.edu/online/#degrees
  • Old Dominion University, https://online.odu.edu/uploads/content/csheet_BSDH_2017.pdf
  • Northwood University, http://www.northwood.edu/academics/undergraduate/entrepreneurship/curriculum
  • National American University, http://www.national.edu/program-page-auto/?Campus_ID=20&Program_ID=39&Tuition_ID=1&school=4&degree=3
  • Utah State University,https://www.usu.edu/degrees/index.cfm?id=91
  • Amridge University, http://www.amridgeuniversity.edu/academics/business/bsinformationsystemsmanagement/#1482987821981-b8cfecbb-39d6
  • Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/information-technology/bachelor-of-science-information-technology
  • Wayne State University, http://ilitchbusiness.wayne.edu/info-systems/bachelors.php
  • National University, https://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/CollegeOfLettersAndSciences/Psychology/Programs/Bachelor-Science-Organizational-Behavior.html?reftab=flt
  • St. Louis University, https://www.slu.edu/programs/online/organizational-studies.php
  • National American University, http://www.national.edu/program-page-auto/?Campus_ID=35&Program_ID=47&Tuition_ID=1&school=4&degree=3
  • Penn State, https://admissions.psu.edu/academics/majors/4year/?displayBy=alpha
  • http://www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/business-and-management/bachelors/bsb-sc.html
  • Babson College, http://www.babson.edu/Academics/undergraduate/Pages/home.aspx
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business/project-management
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business/human-resource-management
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business/finance
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/accounting
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business/international-business
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business/marketing
  • Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/business
  • Southern New Hampshire University, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-operations-management
  • Southern New Hampshire University, https://degrees.snhu.edu/programs/bs-in-business-administration?utm_campaign=PF&pfsegment=UG&utm_source=google&utm_medium=pdsearch&utm_content=201264169322&snhu_segment=ol&k_clickid=285231d6-8510-4104-8b3a-8317c819a4a3&searchterm=%2Bonline%20%2Bbusiness%20%2Bbachelors%20%2Bdegree&matchtype=b&semdevice=c&semnetwork=g&semcampaignid=714621324&semadgroupid=37471928535&semlocationid=9031931&semplacement=&venpubid=ppcbachelors&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItobxotbb2gIVkMVkCh0Z3wCDEAMYAyAAEgKDIPD_BwE
  • Southern New Hampshire University, https://degrees.snhu.edu/programs/bs-in-business-studies-business-administration
  • Penn State World Campus, https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/business-bachelors/overview
  • Penn State World Campus, https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-bachelors-in-accounting-degree/overview
  • Penn State World Campus, https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/organizational-leadership-bachelors/overview
  • Concordia University-Saint Paul, http://catalog.csp.edu/undergraduate/majors/organizational-management-leadership-ba-adult/
  • Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-of-arts-project-management
  • Lehigh University, https://distance.lehigh.edu/programs/masters-degree-programs/management-science-and-engineering-masters
  • Employment Projections: Occupational Employment, Job Openings and Worker Characteristics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed November 2017, https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_data_occupational_data.htm
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed April 2018,http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, PayScale.com, http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors
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Best Online Business Degrees 2018

If you're thinking about earning a bachelor's degree in business, you'll find an amazing variety of programs from which to choose. Whether you aspire to manage people, products, processes — or a blend of those elements — you're likely to find a business degree that suits you. Today many business degrees are available online, which can be especially convenient for working professionals seeking an efficient way to advance their career with updated skills and knowledge. Our list of the 15 Best Online Business Degrees for 2018 provides a wealth of information to streamline your search.

To compile this list, we analyzed data on 118 bachelor's degrees (all majors), factoring in the number of schools offering each program, early career median salary, job prospects and projected growth rate. This resulted in our Best 25 Online Degrees for 2018. Next we focused on a subset of online business degree programs. Our analysis is based on the latest employment, salary and education data from PayScale, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). As you consider these online business degree programs, be aware that certain ones require spending some time on campus, and not all of the degrees are offered at every school. Check each school's specific program requirements and any specialized degrees they offer. Above all, aim to find an online business degree program that matches your talents, interests and career goals.

1
Finance

Topping our list, a bachelor's degree in finance covers a wide range of subjects. Students pursuing this online degree typically study corporate finance, investment risk analysis, banking, insurance, business development, financial markets, portfolio management, financial planning and management, international finance and the basics of accounting and economics.

This degree program aims to develop skills such as managing finances, analyzing financial risks and opportunities, and interpreting and creating financial statements. Earning a degree in finance is often lucrative as well; of the 118 degrees we analyzed, it ranked among the top ten for mid-career median pay.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 107
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $53,300
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 407,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 10.27%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 10
2
Business Administration

A degree in business administration can prepare students to tackle the challenges and opportunities in today's complex business world. Job satisfaction is also a common benefit; of the 118 degrees we analyzed, a bachelor's in business administration ranked among the top ten most meaningful, as reported by degree holders.

Online business administration programs typically cover traditional business subjects such as sales, marketing, management, project management, human resource management, finance and accounting as well as modern topics such as organizational behavior and the social environment of business. Graduates can expect to be equipped with a broad understanding of business operations that can be applied in most industries.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 535
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $46,100
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 558,700
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.75%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16:12
3
OD_Marketing

Students who pursue a marketing degree online typically learn about new product development, design and pricing, market research, consumer behavior, marketing strategy, data collection and analysis, sales, advertising, promotion, brand management, public relations, and marketing communications (including digital and social media). All of this is designed to be grounded in a foundation in general business principles.

Graduates who earn this degree can be well-prepared to promote a company's products and services, help develop new products, attract new buyers, and retain loyal customers. Some colleges offer marketing as a specialization (or concentration) within a business administration degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 146
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $45,300
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 148,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 12.82%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 5
4
Accounting

Accounting is a necessary function in any organization, ensuring sound financial practices and regulatory compliance. Students pursuing this degree usually study financial and managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, and accounting law. To give additional context to the accounting role, some programs also teach business law, marketing, and supply chain management.

The practical skills that can be developed in this degree program include working with ledgers, financial statements, budgets, accruals, and reporting. Students who earn this degree can be prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and/or the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exams and become licensed professionals.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 204
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $48,300
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 172,600
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.70 %
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 6
5
Operations_Management_Degree

The role of an operations manager is to develop, manage, and improve the processes involved in producing and transporting products, services and people. They manage operations (including costs and customer satisfaction) in manufacturing, service and other sectors. Courses in this degree program typically start with a foundation in business, often with an emphasis on communication, ethics and globalization.

Focused coursework in quality control, project management, systems analysis, and global trade round out the curriculum. Graduates with this degree can be equipped to efficiently and effectively manage materials, production, inventory, and the transportation of goods and products in commercial business.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-2016: 41
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $54,800
  • Project total job openings, 2016-26: 206,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 7.87%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 7
6
International-Business

Today's global economy has created a demand for professionals who are well-versed in international trade and finance, global markets, and the influence of culture on business practices. A degree in international business can prepare graduates to meet that need.

Grounded in traditional business coursework, this degree program focuses on teaching about international trade, import/export, foreign business practices, international banking and finance, and the link between international relations and business. Interestingly, of the 118 degrees we analyzed, international business ranks in the top ten for mid-career median pay. Some colleges offer international business as a concentration within a business administration degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 57
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $48,800
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 241,300
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 7.9%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 3
7
Human_Resources_Degree

Human resource managers play a key role in many aspects of the workforce management. To prepare students for that role, a human resources management degree program typically blends traditional business subjects with HR-specific courses in labor relations, employment law, recruitment, training and administration, compensation, benefits, policy development, diversity management, resource planning, and human behavior. In some programs, students also take specialized management and psychology courses. According to our analysis, graduates with this degree report a high degree of meaning in their work.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 129
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $42,300
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 131,300
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 7.7 %
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 8
8
Management-Science

Management science encompasses the knowledge, insights, and tools successful managers use to organize, lead, and control organizations. This degree may be appropriate for anyone who wants to both understand and practice organizational management skills. Students pursuing this degree can expect to learn about management decision-making at all levels of an organization, from high-level strategy to human resources matters to daily operations.

Courses typically include management communications, organizational behavior, operations management, business strategy and policy, small business management, managing change, and business ethics. We should note that, of the 118 degrees we analyzed, this degree ranked No. 7 for mid-career median pay.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 10
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $57,200
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 252,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 12.78%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 4
9
Organizational_Leadership_Degree

This degree program is designed to focus on the business aspects of leadership style, mentoring, ethical decision-making, collaboration and communication skills. Through this program, students can develop effective leadership and communication skills. They should also learn how to coordinate teams and groups, and how to direct an organization.

Typical courses usually include management theory, administrative theory, human resources management behavior, psychology, sociology, communication, economics, and labor and employment relations. Basic business subjects, such as marketing, accounting, and organization and production, can provide a foundation for the other courses. Of the 118 degrees we analyzed, organizational leadership ranked No. 5 for a sense of job meaning among degree holders.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 85
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $43,900
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 91,700
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 15.05%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 2
10
Organizational_Behavior_Degree

Organizational behavior refers to the application of psychology to organizational change and development. Graduates with this degree can be prepared to deliver corporate training, facilitate interventions, manage program development and evaluation, and manage organizational change.

In this degree program, typical courses include organizational psychology, social psychology, employee relations, professional ethics, conflict resolution, assessment and research, critical thinking and analysis, leadership and mentoring, performance enhancement, culture and diversity in the workplace, employee wellness and communication and presentation skills.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 39
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $47,000
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 68,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 12.60%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 2
11
Information_Systems_Degree

Students pursuing an MIS degree (called "Information Systems Management" at some schools) usually take both technical and managerial courses. Technical courses typically include database management, systems analysis, networking systems and data communications, open source business systems, enterprise architecture, IT infrastructure, mobile and web applications, and security systems.

Business courses often include project management, training and development, management and acquisition, and business ethics and law. Students can learn to collect, process, store, and communicate data and information in a comprehensive network and information delivery system. The knowledge and skills that can be gained in this degree program are needed by many industries and are increasingly valued in health care and criminal justice.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 68
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $56,050
  • Projected total job openings, 2014-2024: 47,900
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 2.15%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 2
12
OD_Entrepreneurship

This business degree is a springboard for anyone who dreams of launching their own startup company or running a family-owned business. It mayalso be appropriate for anyone who aspires to serve as an innovator or an agent of change in an established corporate environment.

This degree program is typically grounded in basic courses like business, management, strategy, marketing, finance, economics, and organizational behavior. Entrepreneur-focused coursework may include new venture finance, strategic entrepreneurship, innovation, idea generation, opportunity analysis, new product development, and business plan development. Some schools offer this degree program as a specialization within in a business administration degree.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 24
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $48,000
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 320,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 7.83%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 4
13
Project_Management_Degree

Project management is a broad concept that is critical to smooth business operations. It can refer to the management of people, data, processes, or systems. This degree program aims to give students an opportunity to develop project managerial skills such as project leadership and team-building skills.

Degree programs in project management usually include courses in a wide range of concepts, such as data-driven decision making, project scope analysis, resource management, leadership, team building, risk analysis, project cost management, schedule/task control, communication, and quality control.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 12
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $49,500
  • Projected total job openings, 2014-2024: 89,100
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 12.85%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 2
14
Organizational_Management_Degree

Today's complex and rapidly-changing businesses need managers who are equipped to understand and direct change — and evaluate the behavior of people — within their organizations. Earning a degree in organizational management can help students develop skills necessary to build and lead teams — and manage change — in business, education, government and nonprofit organizations. A degree in organizational management can prepare students for that challenge.

Typical courses in this degree program include ethical leadership, human resources management, employment law, accounting and finance, marketing, analytics and technology, strategic planning, managing change, and communications.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 17
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $44,000
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 94,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 11.65%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 2
15
Supply_Chain_Management_Degree

A supply chain network allows an organization to acquire, produce/manufacture, and deliver goods and services, with information technology as the conduit. Students can expect to learn how to analyze and design supply chains and manage business processes such as sourcing and procuring raw materials, and planning and fulfilling customer demand. Some colleges combine supply chain and logistics majors; a few schools offer a supply chain management certificate to enhance a bachelor's degree in business.

This degree program typically includes courses in logistic management, purchasing and procurement strategies, supply chain information systems, transportation management, purchasing, marketing and distribution channels, manufacturing planning and control, quality control, warehousing logistics, and information systems.

Featured data points:

  • Number of schools offering this degree online, 2015-16: 23
  • Early career median salary, 2016: $54,500
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 31,800
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.2%
  • Job titles aligned with this degree program, 2015-16: 3
Methodologies and Sources