Business and management occupations are expected to grow 6% from 2014 to 2024, an increase of almost 505,000 new jobs. In this quick-changing business climate, it is more important than ever to maximize your personal skills and assets in order to stand out to executives and recruiters or to successfully launch your own business.
The most effective way to achieve this is through earning an online business administration degree from a recognized, accredited, top-ranked college or university. Business administration degrees draw from finance, economics, psychology, and management to give students a well-balanced and rounded education. This degree opens up many career opportunities, from computer and information systems managers to top executives.
Advantages of Online Business Degrees
Because of the greater flexibility and generally lower costs of online degrees, many people are getting a business degree online, which allows them to continue to work and spend time with their families. In fact, business administration degrees continually rank among the most popular online degrees. It’s easy to see why: a huge host of a opportunities are available to someone who attends one of the best online business schools. Personal financial advisors, for instance, are among the fastest growing occupations in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a median annual wage of $90,530. Business professionals can also become financial analysts, earning an average annual salary of $81,760 a year. With unlimited options in this profession, the sky is the limit with online business degrees.
How We Rank Online Business Degrees
As with businesses, colleges, universities, and online degree programs vary widely in terms of quality, name recognition, and value. To assist those looking for an online bachelor’s degree in business or business administration, we have put together this ranking of the best accredited online bachelor’s degree programs in business and business administration for 2017. Our rankings are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including reputation, student satisfaction, and cost. You can read more about our rankings philosophy and find a list of our other rankings on our rankings page.
Kaplan UniversityFort Lauderdale, Florida
Kaplan offers a fully online, fully accredited bachelor’s degree in business administration. Their program focuses on the essentials of human resources, finance, marketing, operations, and accounting, as well as leadership and communication. Numerous specializations and focus areas are offered, and students must complete a capstone project to graduate. The tuition rates are $371 per credit, for a total of 180 credits, and deep discounts are available for active or retired military personnel, their families, and international students. Another benefit of Kaplan is that students can take courses for up to a three-week trial period without any financial commitment.
Kaplan has also recently begun offering courses through ExcelTrack, which is designed to allow those pursuing an online business administration degree to complete coursework at an accelerated rate. The program uses personalized one-credit mini-courses to help students attain a bachelor’s degree in as little as 2.5 years, all for just $2,200 a term. Kaplan offers one of the fastest and cheapest ways to earn a business administration online degree.
Walden UniversityMinneapolis, Minnesota
Walden University online offers a fully accredited bachelor’s in business administration, with specializations available in accounting and communications. The program operates on a quarter system, with the entire degree requiring 181 quarter credits, or 48 months of study. At Walden, business students take over 70% of their courses on business topics, and all classes are taught by an accomplished business faculty. Online students can enjoy 24/7 tech support as well as support networks for writing. Currently, there is a limited offer for a $3,000 grant to be put toward student tuition. Walden’s long history as a provider of this online business administration degree makes the school a solid choice for those looking for a better career in business.
Colorado Christian UniversityLakewood, Colorado
With a history dating back to 1914, this not-for-profit Christian institution boasts thousands of online students and alumni, as well as a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The university’s online bachelor’s in business administration is firmly grounded in liberal arts education, comprising 54 credits in business and 66 in general education and electives, for a total of 120 credits. CCU also strikes a balance between online and classroom learning, with students meeting one night a week at one of eight Colorado locations. A specialization in entrepreneurship is also offered. Tuition price is $455 per credit hour.
Colorado Christian University offers two different focuses for your online business degree. The first is your standard track, but the second involves focusing on entrepreneurship and the founding of your own business rather than joining an existing endeavor. Both require the same amount of credit hours, and the programs can be completed in as little as 16 months if supplemented with night classes.
Colorado Technical UniversityColorado Springs, Colorado
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration provides students with foundational business knowledge, linking industry concepts to real-world examples, and fostering applied learning to prepare students for their chosen career. Students develop proficiency in business tools/techniques and the principles/skills of management. The program builds on both technical and soft skills to support the student’s professional growth. Courses can be completed entirely online, and the program comprises 180 credit hours. The cost is $325 per credit hour, and discounts are available for active military. Students interested in completing the degree 30% faster than a traditional program may pursue the Fast Track program. Some course requirements can be waived by passing an exam, making it ideal for the student with prior business experience.
Your prospects with an online business degree are very bright, as a bachelor-level graduate. A look at comparative salaries shows that in some career paths employees can make up to $125,000 annually with a college degree. Even the lowest-paying occupations are well above the national average.
The great thing about a business degree is the versatility of what you can do with it, including everything from working with money to working with people, or a little bit of both. Below, we’ve provided a table of just some of the occupations available to you through earning an online business degree, as well as your prospective salary in these positions.
|Job||Description||Salary Range With Bachelor’s||Median Salary (Includes Graduate Degrees)|
|Financial controller||Managing financial systems and departments||$32,681 – $121,361||$121,750|
|Operations manager||Managing goods and services produced||$32,438 – $86,797||$99,310|
|Human resources director/manager||Managing employees||$38,658 – $125,738||$106,910|
|Office manager||Oversight of all office activities||$30,633 – $64,580||$90,050|
|Business analyst||Advises on improving the efficiency of businesses and departments||$42,809 – $81,076||$81,330|
|Purchasing manager||Manages acquisitions for a company||$42,684 – $97,329||$111,590|
Job Growth In Business Administration
There’s no denying that acquiring an online business degree is still a major undertaking. It can be frustrating for students to put forth the time and money necessary to complete a degree, only to find themselves in a flailing market where work is scarce after graduation. In some cases, certain specializations can open the door to an especially lucrative area of business. If you’re stuck trying to figure out what you would like specialize in as you pursue your degree, here are seven of the careers expected to grow the fastest between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Job||Description||Expected Growth Between 2014 – 2024|
|Accountant||Examine financial records||11 percent|
|Financial analyst||Investment guidance||12 percent|
|Financial examiner||Ensure compliance with financial laws||10 percent|
|Management analyst||Advise managers of better and more cost-effective practices||14 percent|
|Market research analyst||Determine market conditions and how to use them||19 percent|
|Meeting, convention, and event planner||Manager and execute gatherings||10 percent|
|Personal finance adviser||Holistic analysis of finances for maximum return||30 percent|
Advanced Degrees and Certifications
After you have completed your bachelor’s in business administration, there are still many paths open to you to vastly increase your potential and earnings. You could go on to earn a master’s degree, or even a doctorate in one of several business disciplines. Today, master’s degrees in business are increasingly common among online programs, so you should have a variety of options if you decide to continue your education remotely.
The earning potential of a master’s versus a bachelor’s degree in business can be staggering. For example, a financial analyst with a master’s degree earns an average of $20,000 more a year than a bachelor’s degree holder, especially if they use their degree to leverage more lucrative senior positions. If you aspire to an executive-level career, a master’s degree should be viewed as a necessity.
With or without an advanced degree, there are several professional certifications worth acquiring, which can demonstrate to employers that you’re especially ambitious and competent. These, too, are typically available online. While these certifications are not mandatory to practice in the field, many employers prefer financial advisors with CPA (Certified Public Account) certifications over ones without, for instance. Considering that many colleges will allow you to pursue professional certifications concurrently with your studies, there are many opportunities for busy students to enhance their credentials along with completing their education online.
Professional organizations are a fantastic way for students to stay on top of industry trends and get ahead. Typically through newsletters and conferences, these groups keep their members up to date on changes in the industry, with everything from new technology to new compliance laws. These organizations may also offer mentorship programs and/or scholarships, so be sure to ask your advisor while you’re still in school about networking opportunities these organizations might be offering students. Below are some of the better-known professional organizations to consider.
- American Management Association (AMA)
- Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ASBE)
- Business Network International (BNI)
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
- National Business Association (NBA)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
To determine the best online Bachelor of Business Administration degrees, 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 6 best online Bachelor of 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.