For individuals looking to expand their knowledge base and leadership skills in the business world, online business schools have become a popular way for prospective students to continue working while advancing their careers. As a result, many reputable and accredited universities throughout the U.S. have created online degree programs that teach similar curriculum and courses as traditional, on-campus Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees while giving students the flexibility to learn and study at their own pace.
Business Schools Online
Like other degrees, an online degree for business is offered for various degree levels by many community colleges and universities. Many online schools for business offer associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or even a doctorate degree in business. For student’s interested in broad and general coursework pertaining to business, such as economics, accounting, or leadership, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees give students their first experience in the business world. Often, completing both types of these online business degrees require the student to complete an internship, gain work experience, or undergo a project-based course. To enroll in either degree program, prospective students generally need a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
One of the most popular online business degrees has been the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Unlike a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, an MBA focuses coursework on a specific sector of business, such as international business or human resources, and allows the student to either become proficient within the subject or change their career path with their newly acquired expertise and capabilities. Typically, an MBA takes 1-3 years to complete and requires a certain number of classes to be completed along with a capstone or final project in order for the program to be completed. Along with their coursework requirements, MBA students usually have to complete an internship in their topic of focus. For students considering an online business school degree, popular fields of concentration within an MBA are as follows:
- Human Resources
- Market Management
- International Business
- Sustainable Tourism
- Organizational Leadership and Management
With these specialties in mind, graduates with MBA degrees aspire to gain leadership positions within their business or even establish their own corporation.
For students who wish to pursue a Doctorate in Business Administration, obtaining an online degree typically requires 1-2 years of full-time study along with any additional time to complete a thesis (thesis option depends on the program requirements). As the highest educational level that can be attained in business, a D.Phil in Business Administration focuses coursework on enhancing knowledge that is attained through an MBA and allowing the student to carry out research in their desired business field. Unlike an MBA, students pursuing a D.Phil in Business Administration receive an education in skills and leadership for the highest levels and career positions within a business and have the option to teach in a university setting in the future.
Business Degree Outlook
Since only some accredited universities offer online degrees, online business school rankings may differ from traditional MBA programs across the country. According to U.S. News & World Reports, the top online business schools are ranked by admission selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials, and services and technology offered to students.
Along with rankings for online business school programs, online MBA graduates have reported careers in the following business positions:
- Financial Analyst
- Senior Financial Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Marketing Director
- Finance Manager
- Human Resources (HR) Manager
For online MBA graduates, the expected salary for these careers in business varies due to positions, cities, and years of experience. Typically, a financial analyst with an MBA degree have reported a salary of $46,000-$85,000. However, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) with an MBA have reported salaries ranges of $83,000-$224,000. Some of the most popular cities for an MBA graduate to start or continue their business degree have been New York, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Dallas, Texas.
For students interested in the business world, an online business program could open the doors to the skills and knowledge necessary for a leadership role within various spheres and aspects of business. For students already entrenched in the business world and with several years of experience, an MBA degree could make the difference in advancing a career or starting a budding new career in another sector of business. Overall, an online business degree at an accredited and respected school may give the student the flexibility and leadership experience necessary to flourish and expand into a business career of their choice.