Best Online Degrees for Business

A career in business is a popular academic/career objective selected by students. And this is for a good reason. A career in business offers a viable path towards impressive salaries, potential job growth that includes a host of businesses and organizations across many industry sectors. Many students now choose to study for their business degree online as an online business degree is now offered by many quality institutions of higher education.

However, each online business degree is not created equal. Depending on the online degree in business selected, there are varying requirements and study paths that create various routes to very different job opportunities.

While there are associate’s online business degree options, business majors’ most common academic path is to earn a baccalaureate business degree online or on-campus. Many graduates of online business degree programs choose to enter the workforce to gain professional experience before deciding to earn a graduate online degree in business.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the BLS, employment in the business/finance sector is expected to grow at 5% through 2029, a bit faster than the average of all U.S. jobs for the same timeframe. In addition, the median annual salary for those working in the business or financial sector was, in May 2020, $72,250, which is significantly higher than the average of all occupations in the United States – at $41,950 per year.

Is a career in business worth it? 

Because there are so many exciting and rewarding business careers, it is essential to understand the nuances of each career in business. These are discussed next.

1. Finance

Many kinds of businesses depend on numbers – often called financial metrics, to make well-informed business decisions. An online degree in finance program prepares degree candidates to identify, analyze and forecast these numbers in making appropriate decisions regarding investments, product launches, or to implement modifications to a business model or operations.

An online bachelors degree in Finance offers students a flexible and convenient online degree in finance program allowing them to pursue a rewarding career in business in the areas of financial management, budget analysis, or financial planning, among others. For students enrolled in an online bachelors degree in Finance, this online degree in finance program can be complete in four years, and sometimes faster, for accelerated programs. In addition, this online degree in business finance is often used to pursue an MBA degree or a graduate legal degree, among others.

2. Information Systems

The field of business information systems strives to help improve business efficiencies with the use of computers. A career in information systems will include work in networking, IT governance, database management, and programming, among others. As technology becomes more complex and advanced, the need for information systems grows with it. An on-campus or online degree in information systems curriculum will include core business classes as well as technology related topics like –

  • Problem solving
  • Programming
  • System Administration
  • Business Statistics
  • Marketing
  • Micro/Macroeconomics
  • Networking in IT, to name a few.

Graduates of an online degree in information systems are skilled at developing information systems within the context of a larger business model. A career in information systems will include network administration, system administration, or a database managerial professional, among others.

3. Marketing

A campus-based or online degree in marketing is a versatile online business degree that can open up career paths in the fields of digital media, promotions, marketing, and advertising, among others. The minimum education requirement for a career in marketing is a bachelor’s online degree in marketing which includes coursework in finance, economics, and management, among others. In addition, a career in marketing requires students to build important soft skills like creativity and leadership, along with communication abilities.

Nearly every sector and industry have a need for a qualified marketing manager, which provides a variety of career in marketing options. Courses included in an online degree marketing program are –

  • Fundamentals of Marketing,
  • Search Engine Optimization,
  • Display/Email Marketing, plus other tools to connect with audiences through various media channels.

4. Supply Chain Management

Daily commerce demands that materials & goods move from one destination to another seamlessly. The skilled professionals who oversee supply chain management typically earn an online degree in supply chain management or a related business degree. Those students or working learners that are interested in a career in supply chain management train as logisticians seek to optimize supply movement efficiencies. Most online degree in supply chain management programs require students to complete 120 – 128 semester credits.

An online degree in supply chain management will prepare a student for an entry-level career in supply chain management, but students can further their skills by choosing to complete an internship or by joining Sigma Beta Delta – an organization with chapters across the nation on many campuses.

5. Data Analytics

An on-campus or online degree in data analytics or data science includes a cross-section of coursework from the fields of mathematics, computer science & statistics, which creates a dynamic springboard from which to leap to a rewarding career in data analytics or data science. An online degree in data analytics allows degree candidates to complete the academic requirements using a school’s distance learning platform.

Those with a career in data analytics are skilled at the provision of pertinent information that is relied on by decision makers across industries. Data analysts facilitate the analysis of financial information that may be used for investment decisions or further research. A career in data analytics includes the identification/collection of data points and then analyze the data and draw conclusions from said data.

6. Business Analytics

Students with a strong and consistent interest in a career in business analytics will likely need to complete an online degree in business analytics at the bachelor’s level that will prepare them to identify, review and analyze historical data that business decision-makers use. A business analytic professional who has graduated with an online business degree in analytics analyzes information and data using managerial tools like forecast simulation, predictive modeling, and data mining/management, to name a few.

If you are a student that is seriously interested in a career in business analytics, you must take classes in communication, data manipulation, and data presentation skills. An online degree in business analytics will prepare degree candidates to make ethical decisions based on relevant data. An online degree in business analytics offers students real work, hands-on experiences to ensure students have the required skills for today’s modern, fast-paced, data-rich environment.  

7. Business Administration

Deciding to earn an online degree in business administration is a smart way to become qualified for a lucrative career in business in the subspecialties of finance, marketing, or business. An online degree in business is a convenient and flexible study path to a professional career in business administration that includes jobs as financial advisers, loans officers, or accountants, to name a few.

An online degree in business offers graduates the chance to enter the business world or to pursue a graduate or doctoral degree. Most online degree in business programs offers students the option to specialize in many areas of business that match their career objectives. While many students continue with their studies and earn an MBA, many business jobs only require a bachelor’s degree.

8. Accounting

If you, as a student, have a strong interest in a career in accounting, an online degree in accounting is an academic degree program that introduces the basic concepts that prepares students for a rewarding career in accounting. These basics include –

  • Auditing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Tax preparation, to name a few.

For those who wish to reach for a pinnacle career in accounting, it is important to continue their studies which will ultimately qualify them to become eligible for a CPA credential.

An online degree in accounting at the baccalaureate level is typically the minimum required for most accounting entry-level positions as they are responsible for maintaining the financial records for individuals/businesses. With an online degree in accounting, students hone their analytic, math, and communication skills across a wide variety of industries.

9. Human Resources 

A career in human resources offers students a diverse field of job opportunities across a variety of sectors and industries as human resources tends to be the backbone of strong companies. Those business students with an interest in a career in human resources will typically complete a human resources online degree or on-campus degree of 120 – 128 semester credits, with an interdisciplinary curriculum pulling classes from many fields of business.

Human resources online degree programs offer students a flexible and convenient format, following accelerated terms of eight weeks. Specializations for human resources online degree programs typically include compensation benefits, recruiting, risk management, and trainer, among others. A career in human resources is a career for people who wish to manage other people.

10. Financial Analyst

For business or management students who have an analytical mind and an innate interest in economics or business, a financial analyst online degree program is a great fit that leads to various and diverse financial analyst jobs. These financial analyst jobs may include a financial manager, investment analyst, or financial accountant, to name a few.

Those enrolled in a financial analyst online degree program require great time management skills, coupled with a strong math foundation. Some universities or schools offer financial analyst online degree programs with specializations that may include corporate finance, investments, risk management, or international finance, to name a few.

The take-away

The business realm offers a wide variety of lucrative career options, many of which have six-figure (or close to) salaries. Part of a business degree’s appeal is its combined focus on the pragmatic and academic factors of the business world.

The reality is – there are dozens of business occupations that offer more than twice the median yearly salary for all U.S. occupations. 

However, no one career/education path fits all, which is why there are so many on-campus and online business degree programs available in the marketplace. If you aspire to a career in business and want to earn big bucks, it is important to consider all the pertinent factors that will impact your professional life and objectives.

Ask yourself – which of the business degree online programs plays to strengths? Are there any on-campus or online business degree programs that will help you meet your career goals?

When you have refined your answers, then decide which business degree best fits your education, professional and personal objectives.

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