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Top 25 Online Associate in Business Administration Programs for 2017

The skills obtained through an online associate degree in business will prepare you for a career in many different industries. Organizational, interpersonal communication, budgeting, and marketing expertise will make you a competitive candidate for jobs as an administrative or executive assistant within corporations, healthcare organizations, and technology firms.

The BLS projects this field to grow 3% by 2024. Graduates are also prepared for careers in restaurant management, which has a projected job growth of 5% by 2024. An online associate degree in business provides the flexibility to continue working while completing courses.

What Are the Best Online Associate in Business Administration Programs?

How to Choose an Online Associate in Business Administration Program

Pursuing an online associate degree in business administration will prepare you for entry-level business careers or undergraduate studies. As you research the options available, keep your goals in mind. If you are planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree after graduation, ensure that the credits you earn will transfer and that the institution is accredited. It is important to check if the college or university requires on-campus attendance for part of the program and if classes are held asynchronously or synchronously.

Educational Paths

An online associate degree in business provides transfer opportunities to bachelor’s programs in related fields. Most credits earned from an online associate degree in business fulfill requirements within bachelor’s programs, giving students the opportunity to complete their degree in less time. According to the BLS, graduates of bachelor’s programs in related business fields make higher salaries than those with associate degrees.

  • BS in Business Administration

    This degree prepares students to become effective business leaders and supervisors. Course subjects include accounting, human resources, marketing, and law. Many programs offer additional concentrations in specific areas of business administration, including human resource management and organizational leadership.

  • BS in Organizational Leadership

    This program teaches students organizational behavior and management styles. It also assists in developing leadership skills for strategically managing organizational transitions and major changes. The degree focuses on communication, problem solving, and conflict management

  • BS in Project Management

    Project managers oversee projects, which includes planning, risk assessment, budgeting, execution, and reporting to stakeholders. Project managers are prepared for careers in construction, technology, and the government. Degree coursework emphasizes critical thinking, quality assurance, and time management.

  • BS in Hospitality Management

    This program prepares students for management careers in restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Coursework covers employee supervision, food safety, front office operations, accounting, and marketing. Graduates have the problem solving, interpersonal communication, and leadership skills to advance within the hospitality field.

Career Paths for Business Administration Graduates

Graduates of online associate degree in business administration programs are prepared for careers in many different industries. Entry-level jobs requiring the skills gained from these programs are necessary in corporations, healthcare, hospitality, retail, nonprofit organizations, and technology. Many graduates obtain positions as assistants and managers.

Job Outlook and Salary

Secretary, administrative assistant, and executive assistant positions are projected to grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024. Salaries depend on the specific position and industry. Location also affects salary, as urban areas tend to pay higher salaries than rural. Job growth may be higher or lower based on the actual position selected, such as office manager or receptionist.

Projected Employment for Management Careers
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
3,976,800 4,095,600 (3% increase)

Source: BLS

SALARY GROWTH BY EXPERIENCE

If you’re pursuing a business administration associate degree online, it’s important to understand that a higher salary is related to years of experience. The careers listed below offer additional opportunities for enhanced responsibility, including event and project management, which can result in increased compensation. Depending on the industry, salary levels can be even higher. Executive assistants will earn more working for a Fortune 500 corporation or technology firm than for a local small business.


To determine the best online associate in business administration programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 25 best associate in business administration programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.