Online Business Degree Answers
An online business degree is a business degree that can be earned through an Internet-based education program. Online business degrees are very similar to the degrees that can be earned from an on-campus business program, and in some cases, there is no difference between the two.
There are a growing number of colleges and universities who award online degrees identical to the degrees awarded to their campus-based students. In other words, an online degree doesn’t come with a big red stamp indicating the degree was earned online. To further ensure there is no difference between online degree programs and campus-based programs, many schools use the same curriculum for each.
Why Study Online?
If an online business degree is similar to a traditional campus-based degree, why study online? The answer is different for everyone, but for most it comes down to cost and convenience. Online business degree programs are sometimes less expensive than their campus-based counterparts. Tuition is often lower, and travel costs are virtually non-existent.
The flexibility of an online business program also makes it easy for students to continue working while they earn their degree. Online classes can usually be scheduled around regular work hours and completed whenever it is convenient for the student. This means that students can work at their own pace and spend only as long as they need to on any one course topic.
For these reasons and many others, undergraduate and graduate students have begun enrolling in online colleges in greater numbers. According to studies by the Sloan Consortium, the percentage of students who have decided to take higher education courses online has more than doubled in the last five years. There are now nearly 4 million students (nearly 25 percent of all students) enrolled in at least one online course.
You can learn more about what it will be like to earn your business degree online by checking out the links below:
- eLearning Overview
- College at a Distance
- The Pros and Cons of Earning a Degree Online
- Five Reasons to Get an Online MBA
Online Business Degree Options
Business is the most popular college major, according to The Princeton Review. The popularity can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the number of degree options that business majors have available to them.
There are many different types of online business degrees. Students can earn associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees and doctorate degrees in business. A wide range of business certificates and diplomas are also available.
Some of the most popular online business degrees include the Associate in Business Administration (ABA), the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BBA), and the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Students who earn these degrees often have the opportunity to specialize in different aspects of business, such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing, or management, while they earn their degree.
To learn more about the types of degrees that can be earned in an online business program, click on the links below:
- Certificate Program Overview
- Diploma Program Overview
- ABA Degree Overview
- BBA Degree Overview
- Doctorate Degree Overview
- Business Degree Programs and Careers (Videos)
Choosing an Online Business Degree Program
Getting a business degree online means you can choose the school that’s right for you–not the school that’s closest to you. Over 50 percent of public colleges and universities now offer online courses. There are also a number of schools, such as Western Governor’s University, Northcentral University, and Capella University, that deal exclusively with online education degrees for students.
Being faced with so many choices can be difficult though. There are a lot of different things that should be considered when choosing an online business degree program. A few of the most important include accreditation, cost, curriculum, and school reputation.
Attending an accredited online business degree program doesn’t guarantee that you will get a job after graduation, but it certainly increases your chances. Accreditation ensures that the education you receive meets acceptable standards of quality. Choosing an accredited program is also important if you want to be able to transfer credits or apply for grants, scholarships, and other types of financial aid.
In the United States, there are two basics types of accreditation. The first is referred to as “institutional.” It applies to an entire institution. The second type of accreditation is known as “specialized” or “programmatic.” A specialized or programmatic accreditation applies to programs, schools, or departments that are part of an institution.
There are many different agencies that accredit higher education institutions and programs. However, not all of them are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The Secretary only recognizes the most reliable national, regional, and specialized accrediting agencies. Choosing a business degree program that is accredited by one of these recognized agencies is the best way to ensure a quality education and a valuable degree.
To learn more about accreditation and accredited U.S. programs, check out the following links:
- Accreditation in the U.S.
- A List of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies
- U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
- Directory of Schools Accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council
Although cost isn’t the most essential consideration when choosing an online business degree program, it is something that most people need to think about. Student debt can be a heavy burden after graduation; it is important to determine whether or not a program is worth the money and the stress before enrolling.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact cost of an online business degree program. Tuition varies and can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $50,000 or more per year. According to the CollegeBoard, students who are enrolled in a private four-year college or university pay an average of $25,143 per year, while students who are enrolled in a public college or university pay an average of $6,585 per year. It is important to note that these averages do not represent what most students pay. Fifty-six percent of private four-year college students pay less than $9000 per year and 38 percent of public school students pay between $3,000 and $6,000 per year. The cost is even lower for students who are enrolled in a two-year public school–tuition averaged only $2,402 in 2008/2009.
A graduate-level education can be even more expensive. According to a recent GetEducated.com survey, the average cost for a regionally accredited online MBA is $20,528, though it is not unusual for students to pay upwards of $45,000.
Of course, once grants, scholarships, and other types of financial aid are taken into account, tuition costs can drop considerably. There are some students who get enough aid to cover all of the costs of their education. Attending a lower priced school can also minimize the costs of earning an online business degree. The cost of a school doesn’t always equal the value of the education. There are plenty of good schools that charge reasonable tuition fees.
Curriculum is obviously a major consideration–it is important for students to choose a program that will properly prepare them for the jobs they want to pursue after graduation. It wouldn’t make any sense for a student to choose an online degree program with a focus on marketing if they are interested in a career in accounting.
Most colleges and universities post detailed information about the curriculum of their online business degree programs on their websites. Prospective students can also learn more about a school’s curriculum by requesting a course catalog from the schools’ admissions office.
The reputation of the school students choose to attend is important to most people in the business world. Students who graduate from an online business degree program with a good reputation are often looked upon more favorably by employers than students who graduate with a program with a bad reputation.
Prospective business students can learn about a school’s reputation by visiting the school’s website. Talking to recruiters, prospective employers and the school’s alumni can bring about insightful information as well.
School and program rankings can also help students evaluate and compare online business degree programs. There are a variety of organizations that rank colleges and universities each year:
- BusinessWeek’s Undergraduate Business School Rankings
- BusinessWeek’s MBA Program Rankings
- U.S. News Undergraduate Business Program Rankings
- U.S. News’ Graduate Business School Rankings
- The Princeton Review’s Business School Rankings
- GetEducated.com’s Guide to the Best Distance Learning Undergraduate Business Programs
- “GetEducated.com’s Best Budget Online MBA Programs
Paying for Your Online Business Degree
There are many different ways to fund your business education. You can pay the costs out of pocket or take out a student loan. You can also ask your employer to pay for or reimburse you for the costs of your education. According to a survey conducted by the Distance Education and Training Council, 36 percent of distance education students have their tuition paid by their employers.
If your employer isn’t interested in funding your education, you can always apply for grants, scholarships and other types of financial aid. There is more than $143 billion in financial aid available to students interested in a higher education–and nearly everyone is eligible.
To receive federal aid, you must first fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is available through the Federal Student Aid Office. The Federal Student Aid Office will take three to five days to evaluate your application before providing you with a Student Aid Report (SAR) that includes a summary of your data and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your school will use this EFC to award your financial aid. You can estimate how much federal aid you will be eligible for by using the FAFSA4caster provided by the Federal Student Aid Office.
Scholarships and Grants
It is important to note that federal aid isn’t the only type of aid that students can receive. There are many different types of professional organizations and companies that award scholarships and grants. You can locate these awards through the many scholarship search engines available on the web:
- FSA Scholarship Search
- Scholarships.com Scholarship Search
- FastWeb Scholarship Search
- CollegeBoard Scholarship Search
- ScholarshipExperts.com Scholarship Search
- Peterson’s Scholarship Search
- NextStudent Scholarship Search
Getting Accepted to an Online Business Degree Program
Admission requirements for online business degree programs vary depending on the program you choose. Some online business programs are selective and require everything from transcripts and standardized test scores to application essays and recommendation letters. Other schools are less selective and accept nearly everyone who applies.
Admission requirements will also vary depending on your education level. For example, an undergraduate student may be asked to submit SAT or ACT scores, while a graduate student may be asked to submit GRE or GMAT test scores. Graduate students may also be required to have additional attributes, such as a minimum amount of work experience or a respectable undergraduate GPA.
Because admission requirements can vary, it is best to start by investigating the requirements of the online degree program you are interested in. To do this, simply visit your chosen school’s website. Most schools are very good about putting their admission requirements directly on their site for prospective students to see. If you come across something you don’t understand, contact the school’s admissions office via telephone or email.
To learn more about getting accepted into the online business degree program of your choice, check out the following resources:
- The CollegeBoard’s Guide to College Applications
- College Admissions Blog
- Your Online Degree Application
- Business School Application Timeline
- Business School Recommendations
- Sample Application Essays for Business School Students
Getting Hired After Graduation
Getting a business degree from an online program versus a campus-based program will not limit the number of jobs that are available to you after graduation. The way that employers view online degrees has changed in the last five years. According to a recent Vault.com survey, nearly 70 percent of employers said that an online bachelor’s degree is just as credible or acceptable as an offline degree, and more than 80 percent thought that an online graduate degree was as credible or acceptable as an offline degree.
In short, there are many employers who are willing to hire a grad with an online business degree, and more importantly, plenty of jobs to go around. Business is a broad field and there are an amazing range of opportunities available to grads with a business degree. Some of the most popular jobs for business majors include administrative assistant, human resources manager or director, office manager, operations manager, and customer service representative.
Average salaries for a grad with an online business degree can vary depending on education level, place of employment, job title, and experience. According to PayScale Salary Survey Reports, the median annual salary for grads with an Associate of Business Administration degree is between $31,000 and $51,000. The median annual salary for Bachelor of Business Administration degree holders is between $38,000 and $77,000, and the median annual salary for grads with an MBA degree is between $53,000 and $124,000.
Careers Options and Average Salaries for Business Grads
If you want to learn more about the type of work you can get with an online business degree or if you want to know the salary potential for a particular job, click on the links below:
- Administrative Assistant
- Advertising Manager
- Bill Collector
- Bookkeeping Clerk
- Budget Analyst
- Business Executive
- Customer Service Representative
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Manager
- Hotel or Motel Manager
- Human Resources Specialist
- Insurance Agent
- Insurance Underwriter
- Investment Banker
- Loan Officer
- Management Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Research Analyst
- Office Clerk
- Office Manager
- Operations Research Analyst
- Payroll Clerk
- Production Manager
- Property Manager
- Public Relations Specialist
- Purchasing Agent
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Tax Collector
There are many other job opportunities available to online business degree program graduates. To learn about some of the other jobs that can be pursued after graduation, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.