Online Business Administration Degree

What is business administration?

Simply put, business administration involves operating a business. The tasks of a business administrator fit into seven main categories:

1)    Accounting

2)    Finance

3)    Human resources

4)    Information systems

5)    Law

6)    Marketing

7)    Operations management

A small company might only need one administrator. Most companies hire a variety of people to handle different aspects of business administration.

What is studied in an online business administration program?

Whether online or offline, most business administration degree programs address each of the seven topics listed above. However, each business student may choose to concentrate on a specific area. For example, a student earning a business administration degree with a concentration in human resources would learn the basics of accounting, business law, and several other aspects of running of business – but most of his or her classes would be focused on human resources administration.

How is an online business administration program different from a traditional program?

Many business schools consider their online and traditional courses to be academically equivalent. They are taught by the same professors, use the same textbooks, and have equally rigorous tests. Therefore, such schools do not indicate “online” or “distance learning” on diplomas.

A major difference, of course, is flexibility of place and time. Students can learn from their comfort of their homes and offices. Some online lessons are given at specific times, but many can be accessed 24 hours a day. Online learning can involve downloading a prerecorded lecture, participating in a live interactive lecture, videoconferencing with the professor, or exchanging ideas with classmates through a bulletin board website

Some business degree programs combine classroom-based learning with online learning. These programs have a variety of set-ups. For example, some involve weekly attendance on campus, but some require campus visits only for orientation sessions and final exams.

When deciding among online programs, remember that although 100% distance learning might be preferable for its convenience factor, students who sometimes meet with their professors and classmates in person can benefit from the networking.


What online degrees are available in business administration?

Online schools offer programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s (MBA), and associate degrees in business administration.

Some schools offer joint or dual programs, too.  These allow students to earn multiple degrees at an accelerated pace. For example, a student might pursue a law degree and an MBA at the same time. By taking certain courses that fulfill both programs, the student can save a year or so of class time.

Which schools have online business administration programs?

Hundreds of schools offer business administration degrees online. To ensure that your degree will be meaningful to employers, you should only enroll in a program that is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The council oversees six regional accreditors with names such as “Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools” and “New England Association of Colleges and Schools”, as well as the Distance Education and Training Council.

Here is a sampling of accredited online programs in business administration:

  • The University of Massachusetts at Amherst offers an online bachelor’s degree program in business administration. Visit their site for a free sample of what online learning is like with UMass.

The University of Massachusetts has been ranked a top school internationally, and UMassOnline has won the United States Distance Learning Association’s 21st Century Best Practices Award.

    • Pennsylvania State University has several online degree options: the associate degree in business administration, the bachelor’s in business, and the MBA. Penn State has a rich academic heritage and has been offering distance learning since 1892.
    • Salem International University features an accelerated 1-year MBA program concentrated on international business. Based in West Virginia, Salem is accredited by the West Virginia State Board of Education and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
    • The University of Wyoming College of Business in Laramie offers a bachelor’s degree in business administration through a 100% distance learning format. Applications are accepted at three times throughout the year for studies beginning in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

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