A degree in business and management can be the beginning of a highly rewarding career, or it can be an avenue for advancement in an already established position. Either way, online business and management degrees are becoming popular choices for busy professionals with a propensity for leadership. These convenient offerings allow students to complete their coursework anywhere, anytime, making it possible for them to achieve their corporate goals while maintaining a day job or fulfilling family obligations. In this article, we’ll discuss degrees in business and management in great detail with the hope that this information will help you decide which type of degree program is right for you.

Today, business and management degree programs exist at every level of post-secondary education, from associate degree offerings to doctoral programs. The type of program that’s best-suited for you will depend on your current level of education as well as your specific career goals.

Associate in Business and Management Degree Programs


The lowest tier of postsecondary education in the field of business and management is the associate degree. This type of program requires only a high school diploma or equivalent for admission and can set you up for an entry-level career in business or for further study in a bachelor’s degree program. Business and management associate degree programs also tend to be quite affordable, especially if you choose one of the many offered by community colleges across the country.

Associate in Business and Management: Curriculum

The typical curriculum for an associate business and management degree requires 60 credit hours of coursework and takes approximately two years to complete. Enrolled students will usually take general education courses in subjects such as mathematics, social sciences, humanities, foreign language, physical sciences, and more. They will also take classes in business and management topics such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing, and human resources, for example. Sample course titles are listed below. Keep in mind that this is only a sampling of what you can expect to take in an online business and management associate degree program:

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Strategies for Decision Making
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Principles of Business Management
  • Computer Applications for Business

Associate of Business and Management Online: Career Outlook

Many entry-level positions in business and management are available for students with an associate degree. These aren’t just minimum wage jobs, either. According to Payscale.com, individuals with an associate in business and management make an average of $50,000 per year. Below you will find some information regarding potential job titles associated with an associate in business and management degree along with their average salaries. This information was also taken from Payscale.com:

  • Office Manager: $45,383
  • Maintenance Supervisor: $50,216
  • Production Supervisor: $50,071
  • Administrative Assistant: $34,919
  • Property Manager: $39,258
  • Retail Store Manager: $39,071
  • General/Operations Manager: $58,775

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities in business and management are currently growing faster than average, so your chances of securing a position after graduation from an online business and management associate degree program are good.

Interested in pursuing an accelerated online associate degree? Check out our ranking of the Fastest Online Associate Degree Programs!

Bachelor’s in Business and Management Degree Programs


If you’re serious about landing a stable and promising position in the business field, then a bachelor’s degree in business and administration may be for you. These four-year academic programs require a significant investment of both time and money, but the results are sure to be rewarding. This type of degree will open up endless opportunities for leadership roles in the corporate world, non-profit space, government agencies, and more.

Business and Management Bachelor’s Degrees: Curriculum

While associate degree programs in business management provide somewhat brief overviews of fundamental business principles, online bachelor’s in business management offerings are more involved options that give students the opportunity to delve into business topics in more depth. Traditionally, these programs take four years to complete and include a strong general education component. Many of them also give students the opportunity to specialize in a certain sub-field of business. Some of these specialization options are listed below:

Online Business and Management Bachelor’s Degree Specializations

  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Marketing
  • Construction Management
  • International Business
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Data Management and Analysis
  • Information Technology (IT) Management
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Healthcare Management
  • Non-Profit Leadership

Despite which specialization or concentration they choose, all business and management bachelor’s students will be required to take core business courses. These classes will provide the fundamental skills and knowledge required for them to thrive in the business world, no matter what niche they choose to work in. Some of these core classes are listed below:

Bachelor’s in Business Management Programs: Core Courses

  • Developing A Business Perspective
  • Principles of Management
  • Legal Environment of Business
  • Foundations of Success in Business
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introduction to Information Systems Management
  • Accounting for Managers
  • Fundamentals of Leadership
  • Group and Organizational Dynamics
  • Management of the Global Economy

Bachelor of Business and Management: Career Outlook

With a $60,000 per year average salary according to Payscale.com, business and management bachelor’s degree holders make approximately $10,000 more per year than those with just an associate in the field. Keep in mind that this is only an average, though. There are positions in the field that will allow you to earn significantly more. Graduates of these four-year academic programs in business/management are poised to take on leadership roles in a wide variety of fields and sectors. Some of their job titles along with their annual average wage are listed below:

  • Human Resources Managers: $61,190
  • Director of Operations: $90,763
  • Executive Assistants: $60,470
  • Vice President of Operations: $130,608
  • Account Managers: $42,847
  • Quality Assurance Analysts: $48,786
  • Business Development Managers: $70,414

Master’s Business and Management Degree Programs


Business and management master’s programs are advanced programs of study that generally require two years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. With a strong grasp of the fundamentals of business, students enter a master’s degree in business and management online program prepared to grapple with more complex topics in marketing, finance, global business strategy, economics, and more. By far the most popular master’s credential in the field of business is the Master of Business Administration or MBA. Online MBAs have become wildly popular in recent years. Many of these programs are highly flexible, allowing students to study on a part-time or full-time basis and allowing them to study completely online or via a hybrid model. Accelerated online MBAs allow students to earn their degrees in as little as a year.

Master’s in Business/Management Online: Curriculum

Like bachelor’s degrees in the field, master’s in business and management degree programs often allow students to choose a specialization in a sub-field aligned with their academic interests and career goals. Dozens of these specialties are available to prospective students. We’ve listed some examples below:

Business and Management Master’s Programs: Specializations

  • Business Analytics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Healthcare
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Finance
  • International Business

The curriculum for master’s business and management students will vary based upon which of the above specializations they choose. All students, however, will take similar core courses. To give you an idea of what to expect in this area, we’ve listed some sample core courses below. These titles are taken from actual online MBA programs currently accepting new students:

Master’s in Business and Management Degrees: Core Courses

  • Global Entrepreneurial Management
  • Leadership in Organizations
  • Ethical Issues in Domestic and Global Business Environment
  • Fundamentals of Analytics
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Economic Analysis for Business Policy
  • Introduction to Information Technology and E-Commerce

Master’s in Business and Management: Careers

Master’s in business management degree programs are intensive academic pursuits that require a significant investment of time and effort, but the payoff is high. Payscale.com estimates that professionals with an MBA make an average annual salary of $84,000. Of course, this wage will vary based on a number of different factors, including your specific job title. Below you will find some examples of different positions available to MBA holders along with their average pay:

  • Marketing Director: $102,563
  • Quality Assurance Manager: $82,091
  • Chief Operating Officer: $154,555
  • Corporate Controller: $92,739
  • Information Technology Director: $145,328
  • Senior Business Analyst: $84,066
  • Finance Director: $111,662

Doctoral Degrees in Business and Management


Doctorates in business management degrees are terminal programs reserved for those who aspire to the very apex of the business field. Usually Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs, these offerings typically require four years of full-time study, though accelerated and part-time options are sometimes available. Fully online DBA programs are hard to come by; most programs require at least one on-campus residency for the purpose of orientations, workshops, intensives, or research. Business management doctorates also require a doctoral dissertation. The dissertation is a formal research project that usually involves a scholarly academic paper and an oral presentation.

Doctoral Degrees in Business Management: Curriculum

Doctoral programs in business and management are usually similar in scope and breadth, covering the same kinds of topics and diving into these topics in much the same way. The factor that often varies the most from one program to another is the approach to business and management topics. While some doctorate business and management programs are more practical and hands-on, others are more theoretical, focusing on research and emerging trends in the field.
Like bachelor’s and master’s programs in business and management, doctoral programs in the field also allow students to customize their degree plan with a specialization. The specific specialization they choose will significantly shape their plan of study. Numerous specialization options are available, and we’ve listed some of them for you below:

Doctorate in Business Management: Specializations

  • Homeland Security
  • Energy Management
  • Social Impact Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Computer and Information Security
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • Accounting
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Leadership
  • Public Administration

In addition to specialization courses, doctor of business and management students will take core courses in advanced business topics. Course titles will inevitably vary from program to program, but the sample course titles below will give you a general idea of what to expect in terms of this portion of your doctorate business management :

Doctor of Business Management: Courses

  • Management Theory in a Global Economy
  • Management of Business Complexity
  • Designing Organizational Structures
  • Business Strategy and Innovation for Competitive Advantage
  • Organizational Leadership: Doctoral Theory and Practice
  • Contemporary Challenges in Business
  • Organizational and Executive Coaching
  • Human Resource Development


Doctorate in Business Management: Careers and Salaries

Graduates of business and management doctoral programs are positioned for some of the highest paid positions in the corporate world. Payscale.com reports that professionals with a doctor of business administration degree make $122,000 a year on average. Some specific job titles alongside their average annual wages (also according to Payscale) are listed below:

  • Postsecondary Professors: $114,616
  • Executive Directors: $131,098
  • Finance Directors: $141,622
  • Project Managers (Information Technology): $129,369
  • Vice Presidents (Business Development): $142,825
  • Project Managers (General): $70,716

Though these figures are listed for your reference, keep in mind that other factors will affect your individual pay such as your specific employer, job duties, and years of experience, for instance.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Business and Management Degree Programs

Q: Are online business and management degree programs legitimate?

A: Yes. Not only are these programs convenient, but they’re also comparable in quality to on-campus degree programs in business and management. Of course, the specifics will vary from program to program, but many of these programs are identical in content to traditional offerings, and some are even taught by the same distinguished faculty members. In some cases, an online business management student will receive the same diploma as an on-campus student, so employers will never know the difference.

Q: How do online business management degrees work?

A: Course delivery for business and management online degree programs will vary, but most use a learning platform that students log into to complete their assignments. Some programs use a synchronous format, meaning there are scheduled meeting times for students to log on and view live lectures and participate in discussions. The majority of programs, though, use an asynchronous model, allowing students to log on at times that are convenient to them to view pre-recorded lectures, post to discussion forums, turn in assignments, and more.

Q: Can I complete my online business and management program entirely online?

A: Yes, depending on the program. While some online business and management degree programs require minimal on-campus visits for the purposes of orientation, instruction, or research, for example, many can be completed 100% online with no campus visits. In rare cases, you will find an online business management degree program that offers optional campus visits for students who want the option of a more interactive experience with the convenience of a fully online format.

Business and Management Degree Rankings:

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