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.
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.