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Online Degrees in Business

A business degree program can help you learn skills that are highly transferable and needed in almost every industry making it a versatile degree offering a variety of career options.  

This is just one reason why more degrees have been awarded in business at the bachelor's and master's level than in any other field in the last decade, and prospects for business degree holders may be growing. With federal government initiatives in place to increase business investment and bolster economic growth, business degree holders may see greater demand in the job market. By way of example, in 2017, the largest tax reform in three decades went into effect giving businesses and individuals a $1.5 trillion cut over a period of ten years. This change has resulted in new hires in over 500 companies.

With technology rapidly changing the business environment, business students may need to prepare themselves to adapt quickly in an environment that is highly competitive and often global. Carol Stubbings, Global Leader, People and Organization, PwC, offers this sound advice: "The secret for a bright future seems to me to lie in flexibility and in the ability to reinvent yourself. Think about yourself as a bundle of skills and capabilities, not a defined role or profession."

Business leaders worldwide are looking to hire new talent, particularly people who have skills in areas like leadership, problem-solving, collaboration and innovation, according to a report by PwC. Prospective students wanting to enter the field of business can meet the market demand for such skills by enrolling in an online business program. Those who have an eye for details, enjoy problem-solving, and are capable of multi-tasking generally make good candidates for a business degree program.

Whether you're already in the workforce or just getting started on your career, explore this page and take a look at the wide variety of business majors you can earn online. Offering flexible study hours, online programs in business can be a good choice for those who already hold a job or have family commitments, and want to earn a degree to enhance their career potential.

Personal Financial Advisors
Job DescriptionPersonal financial advisors give financial advice to people. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions.
Mean Annual Salary: $124K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Financial Analysts
Job DescriptionFinancial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
Mean Annual Salary: $99K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Management Analysts
Job DescriptionManagement analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
Mean Annual Salary: $93K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Logisticians
Job DescriptionLogisticians analyze and coordinate an organizations supply chainthe system that moves a product from supplier to consumer. They manage the entire life cycle of a product, which includes how a product is acquired, distributed, allocated, and delivered.
Mean Annual Salary: $79K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Accountants and Auditors
Job DescriptionAccountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.
Mean Annual Salary: $78K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree

From highly specialized topics like forensic accounting, hospitality management, finance, and human resources to broader fields like management, business support and assistant services, sales and marketing — there is a wide range of business concentrations for those interested in a business-related degree.

Given the range of options, where do you begin? How do you know which program might help you meet your career goals? The information on this page is designed to guide you as you consider the many choices you have.

Step one — take a look at the  variety of online business program options by clicking on the buttons under each of the sections below.

Step two — explore online college options by using our list of the top online business schools.

Online Programs in Management

Organizations are complex entities with activities being carried out and decisions being made at many different levels. In most organizations, there is a clear chain of command with each level of the structure being responsible for the one below. The management of a business or a department within a business is responsible for its productivity and growth by ensuring their employees have all the necessary tools to carry out their activities effectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects growth in employment in the management sector to be driven by the need for skilled workers to lead new organizations and expand existing ones.

Click on a management degree program that interests you and discover what you can do with it. You'll find information on the kind of duties you may perform, the salary you can expect and the career outlook.

Online Programs in Operations

Those who work in operations roles typically create, implement, and/or monitor processes that are aligned with a company's vision and which help to achieve the company or organization's "bigger picture" business goals. The operations functions of an organization can range from human resources and public relations to office administration and project management.

Click on one of the program buttons below and find out what kind of coursework you can expect by degree level, wages typically earned, and top jobs related to each concentration.

Online Programs in Finance and Accounting

The financial experts of the future may need to be well-versed in technology as well as finance. They may need to use their analytical, problem-solving and innovative skills along with digital tools like social media, mobile apps, big data and cloud computing to make informed strategic business decisions, to share information and improve professional relationships with clients. Both financial analysts and accountants and auditors are predicted to enjoy a faster than average job growth by the BLS in the decade spanning 2016-26.

Click on the links below to learn about finance- and accounting-focused online degree programs in business. You'll find more information on the career outlook, typical wages you might be able to earn, coursework you may encounter by degree level, and more.

Online Programs in Sales

The World Economic Forum predicts that specialized sales representatives are going to become "critically important" to industries across the world as innovative technical products or new customer bases become vital to commercial success. Brick-and-mortar retailers are changing to e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile commerce), requiring more creative and innovative sales and marketing approaches. Earning a formal degree may give you the edge you need to compete in this industry.

The BLS predicts that the need for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is expected to grow at 10 percent during 2016-26 which is faster than the average of all occupations.

Explore the different online advertising and marketing degrees you can earn by clicking on the tabs below. You'll find information such as typical duties associated with each degree, coursework by degree level, career outlook and jobs you may be eligible for.

Choosing a school is never easy. There are so many factors to consider. We've attempted to make the task easier for you by including in our methodology all the important points you are likely to consider as you make a choice, such as graduation rates, financial aid programs, placement services, and the percentage of students enrolled in online degree programs in business. For more details, check out our methodology to understand why these top ten colleges under each degree level can present you with the best college experience as an online student.

Top Colleges for Online Associate Degrees in Business

Online associate degree programs in business require about two years of full-time study. Graduates of online associate degree programs in business can be eligible for a wide range of entry-level careers in the business world. For example, a program in the accounting and finance field can prepare you to be a claims adjuster or appraiser-- professions you can start with an associate degree.

1
Albany Technical College(Albany, GA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,136
No. of online programs
27
% of students in distance education
67%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,351
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Georgia Piedmont Technical College(Clarkston, GA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,136
No. of online programs
52
% of students in distance education
53%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,580
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Westmoreland County Community College(Youngwood, PA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,440
No. of online programs
32
% of students in distance education
60%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,199
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Fayetteville Technical Community College(Fayetteville, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
69%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,442
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Forsyth Technical Community College(Winston-Salem, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,920
No. of online programs
22
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,824
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Lakeshore Technical College(Cleveland, WI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,966
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,030
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Harrison College-Indianapolis(Indianapolis, IN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$14,400
No. of online programs
35
% of students in distance education
59%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,708
Admissions Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
17%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Craven Community College(New Bern, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,824
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
72%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,510
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
9
Southeast Technical Institute(Sioux Falls, SD)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,964
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,080
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College(Salisbury, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
19
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,516
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Top Colleges for Online Bachelor's Degrees in Business

According to the BLS, most business and financial occupations require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree as an employment criterion. These degrees can be a good way to obtain entry-level job roles in fields like marketing, sales, management or finance.

1
Ashford University(San Diego, CA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$10,848
No. of online programs
68
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,219
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
8%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
Bellevue University(Bellevue, NE)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,152
No. of online programs
70
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,557
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
17%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
3
Davenport University(Grand Rapids, MI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$16,728
No. of online programs
56
% of students in distance education
71%
Avg. amount of Aid
$14,460
Admissions Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Franklin University(Columbus, OH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$12,216
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
87%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,487
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
6%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
5
Cleary University(Howell, MI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$19,500
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,766
Admissions Rate
48%
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
University of Houston-Downtown(Houston, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,996
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
50%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,105
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
21%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Brenau University(Gainesville, GA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$28,110
No. of online programs
36
% of students in distance education
86%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,558
Admissions Rate
66%
Graduation Rate
49%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Saint Leo University(Saint Leo, FL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$21,600
No. of online programs
62
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,500
Admissions Rate
58%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Buena Vista University(Storm Lake, IA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$32,854
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
53%
Avg. amount of Aid
$13,808
Admissions Rate
64%
Graduation Rate
60%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
University of Alabama at Birmingham(Birmingham, AL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,328
No. of online programs
31
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,893
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Top Colleges for Online Master's Degrees in Business

Master's degree programs in business online typically take around two years of full-time study. The Graduate Management Admission Council's survey report states that most prospective students who want to remain with their current employer actively look for MBA programs that allow them to continue working either part-time or full-time while studying for their master’s degree.

1
Bellevue University(Bellevue, NE)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,152
No. of online programs
70
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,557
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
17%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
Southern New Hampshire University(Manchester, NH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$30,756
No. of online programs
106
% of students in distance education
93%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,728
Admissions Rate
78%
Graduation Rate
49%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Saint Leo University(Saint Leo, FL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$21,600
No. of online programs
62
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,500
Admissions Rate
58%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Brenau University(Gainesville, GA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$28,110
No. of online programs
36
% of students in distance education
86%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,558
Admissions Rate
66%
Graduation Rate
49%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
New England College(Henniker, NH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$23,599
No. of online programs
47
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,668
Admissions Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Tiffin University(Tiffin, OH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$23,700
No. of online programs
52
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,509
Admissions Rate
69%
Graduation Rate
28%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Charleston Southern University(Charleston, SC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$24,800
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,185
Admissions Rate
56%
Graduation Rate
35%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
8
University of Maryland-University College(Adelphi, MD)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,936
No. of online programs
92
% of students in distance education
89%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,814
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
9%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
9
Saint Joseph's University(Philadelphia, PA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$43,700
No. of online programs
30
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$20,895
Admissions Rate
77%
Graduation Rate
82%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Concordia University-Wisconsin(Mequon, WI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$28,330
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
36%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,559
Admissions Rate
63%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 10 percent employment growth in business and financial operations occupations in the decade spanning 2016-2026. Explore this list of in-demand occupations in business based on employment numbers and average salaries in the table below.

Occupations In-Demand for Business
Job Openings (2016-26)
Average Salary (2016)
Typical Entry Level Education
General and Operations Managers210,800$123,460Bachelor's degree
Accountants and Auditors141,800$77,920Bachelor's degree
Business Operations Specialists, All Other104,200$75,740Bachelor's degree
Management Analysts81,300$93,440Bachelor's degree
Managers, All Other78,700$113,180Bachelor's degree
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists76,700$71,450Bachelor's degree
Human Resources Specialists57,600$66,220Bachelor's degree
Financial Managers56,800$143,530Bachelor's degree
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents38,000$97,440Bachelor's degree
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products37,200$92,010Bachelor's degree
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Methodology and Sources
Methodology and Sources

Methodology:

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in business by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  1. Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  3. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  4. Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 498 colleges for online associate degree in business
  • 442 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in business
  • 529 colleges for online master’s degree in business

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

Associate/Bachelor’s

1.      Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject

2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment

3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates

4. Retention rate

5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid

6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

7.  Student-to-faculty ratio

8.  Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level

9.  Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

10. The availability of any tuition plans (4 variables considered)

    a. Payment

    b. Guaranteed

    c. Prepaid

    d. Other

11. Services (2 variables considered)

    a. Academic/Career

    b. Placement for Completers

12. Credit offerings (4 variables considered)

    a. Dual

    b. Life

    c. AP

    d. Military

Master’s

1.  Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject

2.  Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment

3.  Average in-state tuition for graduates

4.  Credit offerings (2 variables considered)

     a.  Life

     b.  Military

5. Services (2 variables considered)

     a. Academic/Career

     b. Placement for Completers

6.  The availability of any tuition plans (3 variables considered)

     a. Payment

     b. Prepaid

     c. Other

7.  Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

Methodology Sources

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources:

  • Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
  • Associate in Administrative and Management Studies Degree, Excelsior College, https://www.excelsior.edu/programs/business/administrative-management-associate-degree, accessed September 2018
  • Bachelor's In Business (General Business), Excelsior College, https://www.excelsior.edu/programs/business/business-general-business-bachelor-degree, accessed September 2018
  • Workforce of the future: the competing forces shaping 2030, PwC, 2017, https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/people-organisation/workforce-of-the-future/workforce-of-the-future-the-competing-forces-shaping-2030-pwc.pdf
  • Business and Financial Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
  • Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm
  • Engineering Majors Top Class of 2017 Salary Projections, National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2017, http://www.naceweb.org/job-market/compensation/engineering-majors-top-class-of-2017-salary-projections/
  • Fast Facts, Most Popular Majors, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37, accessed September 2018
  • Financial Advisors Broadly View Social Media as a Disruptive, But Positive Force In All Aspects of their Business, According to New Putnam Investments Social Advisor Study, Business Wire, April 2018, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180403006208/en/Financial-Advisors-Broadly-View-Social-Media-Disruptive
  • Financial Analysts, , Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
  • Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
  • General and Operations Manager, , Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm#st
  • Graduate Degree Fields, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), updated March 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctb.asp
  • Major Profile: Business (General), BigFuture, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-general, accessed September 2018
  • Major: Operations Management, BigFuture, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-management-administration-operations-management, accessed September 2018
  • Management Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/
  • Marketing Managers, 11-2021, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm
  • Operating models: Delivering on strategy and optimizing processes, Ernst & Young LLP, 2016, https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Operating-models/$FILE/Operating-models.pdf
  • Sales Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm
  • Technology trends: their impact on the global accountancy profession, Accountancy Futures Academy, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, May 2013, https://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/futures/pol-af-ttti.pdf
  • The future of jobs: Employment, skills and workforce strategy for the fourth industrial revolution, World Economic Forum, 2016, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf
  • What Exactly Is Operational Excellence And Why Is It Important For My Business?, Bellingham Wallace Accountancy, 2016, https://www.bellinghamwallace.co.nz/blog/what-exactly-is-operational-excellence-and-why-is-it-important-for-my-business
  • Prospective Students Survey Report 2017, Graduate Management Admission Council, 2017, https://www.gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/prospective-student-data/2017-gmac-prospective-students-web.pdf
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