Business is one of the most common majors for U.S. students. A general business degree opens the door to a broad spectrum of opportunities post-graduation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a large amount of information on the different careers available to graduates of online business programs.
About Online Business Degrees
Students hoping to pursue an online business degree have many programs and also institutions to choose from.
Some programs–like the University of Florida’s Online Bachelors of Business Administration–can be taken entirely online, with students gaining a broad understanding of the many different aspects of business through recorded, written, and live content.
Online Business Degrees Offered
Business is a multifaceted field with multiple different areas of emphasis and degree types.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)
The most common undergraduate degree conferred to business students is the B.S.B.A. As there are many different fields within the world of business, a B.S.B.A. is often associated with a general business major. Students take introductory classes in multiple areas of emphasis–like finance, management, marketing, and accounting–as well as completing all of the general education requirements of their institution. This degree is a great base for anyone interested in business and gives you the tools to succeed in the field.
Bachelor of Science in International Business (B.S.I.B)
Although closely related to a B.S.B.A, a B.S.I.B. focuses on business on a global scale. Students not only take classes related to general business but also focus their studies through classes on international relations and large scale supply chain management. Many B.S.I.B students also learn a foreign language that will help them after graduation when they’re working in global markets.
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
This is the most common degree earned online in business. Students with all types of backgrounds work to earn their MBA in the hopes of not only receiving bigger paychecks but also advancing their careers and creating a network of people. MBA classes often involve a much larger amount of group work than other Master’s degree programs and with students from multiple backgrounds. This helps to prepare students for the real world where they will often be working as a team.
Executive Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)
An executive doctorate of business administration targets business executives who want to further their education and learn more extensive management and problem-solving strategies. DBA students focus on the practical cause and effect aspects of business such as how markets react to changes in pricing or social media strategies. These programs also often require some residency with extended periods of online learning in between residency periods.
Doctorate of Business (Ph.D.)
This is an academic degree that is mostly related to the more theoretical and research aspects of business. Ph.D. students focus on research and wish to pursue an academic career.
Online Business Majors and Programs
There are many fields within business that students can choose to pursue. Some avenues include a general business degree or by choosing an emphasis.
An emphasis on advertising will teach you how to reach and impact audiences through advertising and marketing campaigns. Through historical and practical analysis, you will learn strategies, tactics, and the best practices for crafting campaigns. Some course offerings include market research, brand management, color theory, and consumer behavior.
Much like in advertising, marketers work to promote products, brands, businesses, and organizations. Through research, competitive strategies, and communication, marketers work closely with advertisers to craft campaigns that will promote their clients to the highest possible level. An emphasis on marketing will teach you the skills needed to become successful in this field. Courses include brand management, public relations, and social media strategies.
In an accounting emphasis, you will develop an understanding of accounting practices and principles. You will learn to analyze financial and tax documents as well as how business decisions will affect finance and tax positions. For more information on accounting, take a look at our guide to online accounting degrees.
Choosing an emphasis on technology is great for students with an interest in the technology systems that businesses increasingly rely on. With more and more businesses online, it is also a field that is growing quickly. Technology students study systems analysis, IT management, and information systems among many other topics.
A business management emphasis will give you all the tools needed for a career in managing businesses and employees. Students take classes ranging from accounting to marketing to sales creating a solid foundation for many different careers. A management degree is also a great option if you are looking to get your MBA or an executive degree someday.
An emphasis in finance will help you to learn the skills to help guide and oversee a business’s financial health. Classes on financial analysis as well as statistics, portfolio management, and risk analysis will give you a strong background to build off of. For more information about finance, look at our overview of online finance degrees.
If you are interested in starting and building a business of your own, then an emphasis on entrepreneurship is perfect for you. Classes in entrepreneurship help you to learn all of the aspects of building and maintaining a successful business. Everything you will learn will also help you flourish in a larger, already established business as well (it never hurts to have a backup plan!)
What to Look For in an Online Business Program
If you’re considering getting an online business degree, it is important to carefully research your program options.
There are literally thousands of schools offering business degrees worldwide so it is important to look into their accreditation. Business is a field that relies heavily on networking. Making sure that the school you attend is credible and was accredited by a reputable organization is incredibly important. It can also affect your career opportunities after graduation.
Any degree is expensive. However, taking a careful look at your finances and the amount that your degree will cost can help you to maximize your return on investment (ROI). It is also possible that your program will recognize the experience you already have as credit. Looking into this as a possibility can then decrease your costs and the amount of time that it takes to get your degree.
With so many areas of emphasis within the business major, researching the courses offered will help you to narrow down the programs you are looking for. Choose a program that will also help you to get where you want to end up.
Skills / Experience
Often, hands-on experience like an internship is an important part of receiving your business degree. Look into any programs that are also offered to help students find internships or even jobs after graduation. Having a little extra experience can definitely set you apart from the competitive world of business.