Online Business Degree

To help you grow a career, many online colleges offer business degrees. Business pros work in finance, marketing, HR and as self starters. So, having a business degree may prove to be a versatile credential. Whether you want to start your own company, advance, or break into a new field.

An online business degree exposes you to the staple disciplines of business. Like accounting, finance, management, and marketing. Then helps you apply these skills to work with teams, manage projects, and make decisions. One may find online business degrees at all levels. Bachelors, masters and PhDs. At each level, you may learn techniques that refine your skill to solve problems. Things like how to analyze data, execute contracts and assess risk vs reward.  

At the bachelors level, a business degree is basic but broad. It often grounds you in theory while it also helps you to gain key skills. As a grad, you may be able to think, speak, analyze and write about organizational issues. Masters in business programs delve deeper. They often help you learn how to start up a new venture, run a business and stay competitive. As there are many niche areas, you can look for either a general program. Or, one that builds certain expertise.  

PhD in business programs tend to prepare you with quality research and analytical skills. With this upper level credential, many pursue careers as scholars, professors, researchers and senior business leaders.

Bachelor’s in Business

An online bachelors in business degree is entry level. It tends to cover all the key domains in business as well as how to lead, communicate and make decisions. Most online schools award either a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in business. A BA tends to cover more liberal arts and soft skills. While a BS tends to be more technical so it may stress analytics, math and info tech.  

The average program covers core topics and may allow you to deepen studies into one area. Core areas include micro and macro economics. Plus areas in finance, marketing, accounting and strategy. Along the way, you may study how to create effective business strategies. And, ways to achieve measurable results for your employer. You may also learn how to read corporate reports, work in teams and on real world projects.  

In all, you may have about 120 credits to complete. As a full time student, you may need four years to graduate. But if you transfer credits from an associate degree, you may cut this time down. To get into a bachelors in business program, you need a high school diploma or GED. Some online colleges also set an approved GPA range. And while many are test optional, some ask for ACT or SAT scores along with transcripts. That said, standards do vary. 

Another factor is cost. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it costs an average of $6,670 per year at public schools. Or, $29,736 for private ones outside your state.  

Master’s in Business

An online master of science in business is a grad degree. And most people who pursue a business grad degree want to prep for an exec role. That said, some MS business programs aim to bring non business majors ‘up to speed’.  In these, you tend to study the basics as well as leadership. So this type of program may appeal to people from other areas (e.g. health care) who want to refine strategic skills.  

But there are many others that bring one area of business into deeper focus. As such you may see MS in business analytics, management, finance and so on. These programs often gear to the career goals of experienced business pros, who want to step into a corporate role. Any MS is going to differ from the MBA (Master of Business Administration). MS programs are by nature, technical. While the MBA tends to cover a wide range of manager topics, plus any anchor area you tack on.  

In any of these programs, most course plans entail 30 to 36 credits. If you study full time, you may need one to two years to finish. To enroll in a MS in business program, you need to have a bachelors degree. Some programs may need prior courses or a certain major too.  

Apart from official transcripts, there may be needs about GPA, GRE or GMAT scores. And some online schools may want references, a current resume and a goals essay. Another factor among schools is tuition. According to the NCES, the average cost of a grad degree at a public school is $11,617. As such, some will be more expensive, and others, more affordable. 

PhD in Business

An online PhD in business is the highest degree in business. A research degree by nature, it may prep you for careers in teaching, R&D, and C suite leadership. Many PhD programs entail from 43 credits up and take at least three years to complete if you have a masters degree. Most also feature study plans that are both broad and deep.  

Broad because you tend to study major functional areas that are essential to business success. Things like business ethics, global business, and strategic management. And deep because you also choose an anchor point for your dissertation. The dissertation is central to a PhD. It shows you can fuse what you learn and be able to add something new to the field. As business is such a vast topic, most online schools steer a PhD focus within a certain area. Exec leadership, finance, human resources and others.  

On top of courses, many programs feature a practicum. This might be in research or teaching and may involve built in visits to campus. So, while you might access classes online, you may have some in person visits too. When you are ready to apply, many online schools look for applicants with a masters degree. You may also need to meet standards for grades, send references, a resume and writing sample.  

What can I do with an Online Business Degree? 

A business degree may be a entry point to a wide range of current and new fields. Business skills apply to many industries and sectors. From admin, accounting and finance. To marketing, management and human resources. As business needs evolve with the times, there may be jobs for all levels of education. In many business and financial fields, one needs a bachelors for entry level roles. 

Apart from having a bachelor’s degree, most corporate managers have a master’s or higher degree. Business execs may also need certain skills in the field in which they work. 

1. Accountant 

An accountant preps tax returns and keeps all financial documents in order. Beyond these key skills, their expertise can help boost revenue and improve profits. Many accountants begin their career with a bachelors degree. But those who have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential may improve their prospects. And some employers prefer to hire accountants with a masters degree or MBA. 

2. Management Consultant 

management consultant works with a business to improve their efficiency. To do this, they take a close look at revenue, costs and staff reports. Then, discuss ways to make changes that cut expenses and boost revenue. They may enter the work force with a bachelors degree. But some employers prefer to hire MBA grads. Either way, it may be helpful to also have a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) credential.  

3. Social Media Manager 

As a social media manager, you set the tone for brands and campaigns. So your job is to engage people with a client’s products, services or mission. Apart from promotional skills, social media managers tend to need a bachelors degree.  

4. Financial Analyst 

A financial analyst helps businesses and people make investment decisions. So many work in banks, with pension funds, mutual funds, securities and insurance firms. Having financial skills are key to any start up or to guide growth and prosperity. Yet it is a competitive industry. So having certs and a grad degree may improve your prospects.    

5. Office Manager 

The duties of an office manager are to plan and oversee all the day to day activities that help a business run well. Things like mail delivery, safety issues, staff morale and org’al compliance. In any role (big or small), an office manager needs solid manager and leadership skills. Beyond a “take charge attitude”, you also tend to need a bachelors degree in business.   

6. Budget Analyst 

As a budget analyst, your role is to advise a business how to spend (or not spend) its money. This takes a solid grasp of costs, benefits and compliance rules. Apart from accounting skills, most budget analysts have a bachelors degree. Those who work with gov’t budgets tend to also need a Certified Gov’t Financial Manager credential.  

7. Fundraising Managers  

The main task of a fundraising manager is to secure donations. To do this, one needs to run events and campaigns, hire and train staff or volunteers. Beyond PR skills, many fundraisers start out with a bachelors degree. But for more complex roles, employers may prefer to hire masters prepared managers.  

8. Business Professor 

A business professor teaches college students and may have their own research interests on the side. And while some may instruct many subjects, this is not always the case. To get to this stage in a career, one tends to need expertise, experience and a PhD.  

Is an Online Business Degree worth it?

A business degree may provide versatile skills, opportunity and above average earning potential. Jobs in business and financial sectors are among the fastest growing. Per the U.S. BLS, the more refined your skills in data analysis, the better. As businesses need workers who can forecast market trends, demand is high. Some analyst jobs predict an uptick of 14% more openings by 2028. That’s much faster than the norm which is only 5%. 

People who can help a business expand in global markets face good prospects too. Financial skills help with investments, accounting, budget decisions and beyond. Jobs in these areas expect fast growth too, above all if you can help a business manage its costs.  

Business Degree Jobs & Salary

OccupationAverage SalaryJobs
Accountant$70,50090,700
Management Consultant $83,610118,300
Social Media Manager $132,62021,800
Financial Analyst$85,66020,300

Top States for Jobs as an Accountant

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
CA 148,500 $83,910
TX 114,410 $79,360
NY 112,030 $98,650
FL 71,520 $72,630
IL 51,740 $77,640

Online Business Degree Courses

Online business classes aim to help you understand today’s market. And, act as a key contributor, strategic thinker, and team leader. This means you tend to study key areas of business such as:

  • Finance, marketing, accounting and other business practices
  • Legal, ethical and regulatory factors 
  • Business communication 
  • Management strategies 
  • Statistical analysis 

You may study many of these topics when you pursue a business degree online. But each level of degree is likely to do this in a different way. Below are some of the classes you may find at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels. 

Bachelor’s Degree Courses 

Classes in an online bachelors of business program aim to outline staple areas of business. Marketing, finance, management, law, economics and accounting. Most programs expose you to theory but have a practical side too. So, you tend to study issues in the business world, and models to help solve them.  

Other classes may discuss areas like business law and communication. These classes can help you learn how to be an effective, professional team player. Many course plans also help you understand the decision process. For instance, how to use data to back up tactical plans.

Here are a few samples of classes at the bachelor’s level:

Statistics for Decision Making

This business course aims to teach about statistics. It may include info about using sample data and evaluating it. Students may learn how to create tables and charts. They may also learn how to display business data. Often, these courses teach theory as well as applying this data to decision making. It may also include learning validating data.

Business Communications

This course may focus on the basics of communicating in a business. This may include descriptions of business documents. Students may learn how to communicate in various situations. They may also learn about how to choose messages to fit their audience. Some courses include teaching students to make message decisions with a focus on ethics.

Principles of Accounting

Many business students take an accounting course or two. An intro class may teach the basics of financial accounting for companies. This could include report creation and learning to read reports for decision making. Some aspects of financial planning may be a part of the class. Students may learn about economic conditions.

Intro to Computer App Systems

Students may learn about business computer systems. This may include learning word processing skills. Problem solving is also a common component. Students may learn to read and create spreadsheets. Many may learn about new tech and how to use it in a business environment. Presentation is often a part of this class.

Graduate Degree Courses 

Classes in an online MS in business program aim to refine decision skills. As such, most course plans feature classes in business analytics and statistics. These tech topics tend to go hand in hand with business basics. Like accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing. As you study these areas, you may learn how they interact and impact the decision process. And along the way, you may gain soft skills. How to negotiate, for example, and manage projects and programs.

Apart from core topics, keep in mind, some programs allow for more focus. In these, the focus you select will add depth in that area. Classes in an online PhD in business program aim to nurture skills in three areas. Research, teaching and exec decision making. Research classes tend to cover statistics, analysis and research methods. These classes may train you to think systematically and rely on data.  

Teaching classes tend to put you on campus. You may have to deliver live lectures, grade papers and be accessible to students. Leadership classes may expose you to proven ways to be an effective, ethical, logical leader. Through them, you may learn how to set policy, optimize business output and create solid work teams.

Here are a few samples of classes at the graduate level:

Business Analytics

Business analytics often pairs with data analysis. Students may learn how to use modern tools to gather data. They may also learn how to apply that data to various fields. Students may learn to use information to make decisions on a range of things. This may include expansion or a merger. Data discovery is another common part of this type of class.

Managerial Accounting

Students may learn about accounting info systems. They may also explore areas of law related to accounting. Topics may also include secured transactions and creditor handling. Some classes aim to teach negotiating methods. They may also discuss cost analysis and budgeting methods. They may touch on employment accounting matters. Some might also include property and insurance accounting methods.

Digital Economy

Some masters programs for business aim to teach digital economy. This program typically focuses on the aspects of modern business in an online world. This could include many business approaches to online business management. Students may cover areas of economic theories. They may also learn how to learn about and solve business programs as they relate to online efforts.

Corporate Finance

Masters students may need to learn about corporate finance. This could allow them to make better financial decisions. Many will use this in management programs. Students may learn about cash flow and business valuation. They may also learn about working capital and capital budgets. Students may learn to create a financial plan for companies to use.

How long does it take to get an Online Business Degree?

The time it takes to earn a business degree online varies. A typical BA or BS in business tends to take four years if you study full time. But if you transfer associate degree credits, you might need 18 to 24 months. Once you graduate, most MS in business degree programs take one to two years. And if you continue on to a PhD, it may take from three to eight. Of course, you may need to factor in your course load and time to research.  

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
University of Phoenix Bachelors 120 Multiple 48
Crown College Bachelors 125 3 48
Penn State World Campus Bachelors 120 3 48
University of Texas at San Antonio Masters N/A 2 12
Indiana University Masters 30 1 15
Western Governors University Masters 11 courses Multiple 18
Walden University PhD 64 QC Multiple 36
University of Charleston PhD 43 1 36
University of the Cumberlands PhD 66 1 36

15 Schools with an Online Business Degree

We’ve compiled a list of 15 schools with online business degrees at all levels. Our methods use data from the NCES.  

  1. University of Phoenix
  2. Crown College  
  3. Penn State World Campus  
  4. Concordia University Saint Paul     
  5. Excelsior College 
  6. University of Texas at San Antonio 
  7. Indiana University 
  8. Western Governors University 
  9. St. Johns University     
  10. Purdue University Global   
  11. Walden University    
  12. University of Charleston   
  13. University of the Cumberlands    
  14. Capella University  
  15. Southern New Hampshire University 

FIND AN ONLINE BUSINESS DEGREE

Here is a deeper look into the above online schools and the degree programs they offer.  

1

University of Phoenix

Bachelor of Science in Business

Online


UOPX offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) program. It entails 120 credits and each course lasts 5 weeks. As a student in the program, you study business practices and managerial tactics. Other classes touch on finance, marketing, accounting and analytics. To make the program more personal, you can also choose from one of 6 certificate options. Like financial planning or project management. Sample topics include: 

  • Finance for business  
  • Org’al behavior for managers 
  • Micro / macro economics  

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $9,552
Grad $16,752
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,809

Average Net Price:
$14,908

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, recognized student veteran organization, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

2

Crown College

Bachelor of Science in Business

Online


Crown College offers an online BSB. It entails 125 to 131 credits and takes a Christian world view to business practices and processes. Apart from Bible focused classes, there are others to help you build concrete skills. Among them are accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing. Sample topics include: 

  • Systemic theology I / II
  • Business law  
  • Strategy and policy   

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $26,970
Grad $9,990
Special rates available for military students.

Average Net Price:
$24,220

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission, Association for Biblical Higher Education

3

Penn State World Campus

Bachelor of Science in Business

Online


Penn State offers an online BSB. It entails 120 credits and integrates a theory to practice approach. As such, it exposes you to a wide range of core topics while revving up your ability to problem solve. You can also focus on a certain discipline in business through one of their 18 credit options. For instance, health services, or accounting. Sample topics include: 

  • Contemporary skills for business pros  
  • Prep for career management 
  • Project management 

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $13,988
Grad $22,186
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,648

Average Net Price:
$21,678

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
N/A

4

Concordia University Saint Paul

Bachelor of Arts in Business

Online


Concordia U offers an online BA in Business. It entails 120 credits and explores the many facets of business decisions. As such, you study core business principles in marketing, finance, management, law, economics and accounting. To do this, you also look at case studies, global points of view, environmental sustainability and ethics. Sample topics include: 

  • Org’al behavior 
  • Business basics and entrepreneurship   
  • Applied accounting and finance   

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $22,800
Grad $8,550
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$8,794

Average Net Price:
$18,591

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

5

Excelsior College

Bachelor of Science in Business

Online


Excelsior offers an online BS in Business. It entails 120 credits and covers a broad set of courses. Things like global business, data analysis, economics, finance, leadership and management. You may also learn how to read corporate reports, write a marketing plan and collaborate. Apart from all the core elements, you choose a 15 credit concentration. Like finance or general accounting each of which goes over a few targeted subjects.  Sample topics include: 

  • Intro to business law
  • Managerial accounting   
  • Business communication    

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad N/A
Grad N/A
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$2,986

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

6

University of Texas at San Antonio

Master of Science in Business

Online


UTSA offers an online MS in Business. It is a full time, one year cohort program for recent college grads from non business majors. As such, the program covers both basic business knowledge and focused career coaching. To do this, you can expect to study accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing. Sample topics include: 

  • Financial management 
  • Effective negotiating  
  • Marketing management 

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $20,263
Grad $25,283
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,808

Average Net Price:
$13,064

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

7

Indiana University

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Online


Indiana U offers an online Master of Business Analytics. It entails 30 credits takes from 15 months to three years. As the main focus is analytics, you study ways to use data to drive decisions. You also learn ways to think strategically as a manager and also, problem solve. Sample topics include: 

  • Data warehousing 
  • Strategic marketing management   
  • Quantitative analysis   

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $36,512
Grad $33,304
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$10,960

Average Net Price:
$11,931

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

8

Western Governors University

Master of Science in Leadership and Management

Online


WGU offers an online Master of Science in Leadership and Management. It entails 11 classes which you take one at a time. So, depending on your course load, may need from 15 months to three years to finish. Classes in the program all gear to the career goals of experienced business professionals. So, if you are ready to pursue an exec level leadership position, this is the main focus. Sample topics include: 

  • Data driven decision making  
  • Leading teams 
  • Business acumen 

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $6,670
Grad $7,790
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$2,635

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Distance Education Accrediting Commission


St. John’s University offers an online MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It entails 30 credits and is for people who want to start their own business, are in a family led business or want to grow a current venture. Set up in four parts, the program covers key areas within business and professional studies. And there are annual Business Plan and Elevator Pitch competitions to keep you motivated. You also have the flexibility to choose electives to tailor your studies. Sample topics include: 

  • Invention, innovation and lab to market 
  • Creating an e commerce business 
  • Strategic management    

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $31,010
Grad N/A
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
N/A

Accredited:
N/A

10

Purdue University Global

Master of Science in Leadership and Management

Online


Purdue offers an online Master of Science in Leadership and Management. It entails 56 quarter credits and six week terms. A main goal of the program is to help you hone skills as a leader in the fast paced business world. But you also have the opportunity to tack on a concentration and there are 6 options. Health care management, human resources, IT, leadership, org’al design and project management. If you choose human resources, the courses align with SHRM guidelines. Sample topics include: 

  • Globalization and policy 
  • Marketing management   
  • IT and statistics    

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $14,358
Grad $10,580
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,464

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

11

Walden University

PhD in Management

Online


Walden offers an online PhD in Management. It entails 64 – 120 quarter credits (depending on your prior level of education). In the basic program, you may hone research and critical thinking skills. All while you focus on key management topics. That said, unless you prefer to design your own program, there are many concentrations available. You can learn about socially conscious leadership, design thinking, big data management or delve into another area. Sample topics include: 

  • Org’al perspectives   
  • Decision making and judgement   
  • Complexity and systems thinking dynamics   

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,885

Average Net Price:
$21,276

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

12

University of Charleston

Doctor of Executive Leadership

Online


UC offers an online Doctor of Executive Leadership. It entails 43 credits and about three years. A main goal of the program is for you to learn how to maximize your value as an executive leader. So, it may help you learn how to fuse theory with practice and extend these skills to many industries and sectors. While doing so, it frames the qualities and ethics that innovative leaders need. For instance, ways to build effective teams and use resources wisely. Sample topics include: 

  • Leadership development 
  • Org’al dynamics 
  • Executive decision making  

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $31,400
Grad $16,984
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$18,580

Average Net Price:
$13,643

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

13

University of the Cumberlands

Executive PhD in Business

Online


U Cumberlands offers an online Executive PhD in Business degree. It entails 66 credits delivered in an executive program format. The program aims to build on your experience and education and help prep you to pursue a C suite or senior executive role. So, in core classes, you study strategy, decision making and innovation. Sample topics are: 

  • Advanced research methods   
  • Corporate finance 
  • Strategic marketing   

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $9,875
Grad $5,970

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$15,130

Average Net Price:
$17,588

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training & dedicated point of contact.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

14

Capella University

PhD in Business Management

Online


Capella offers an online PhD in General Business Management. It entails 70 quarter credits and there are a few residencies built in. The program looks at business theory, research and practice through 17 classes. These cover business systems, leadership, financial management, accounting, economics, strategy, and social responsibility. Sample topics are: 

  • Strategic management and practice   
  • Survey of applied research methods   
  • Ethics and leadership in global contexts 

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,051

Average Net Price:
$13,387

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

15

Southern New Hampshire University

PhD in International Business

Low Residency


SNHU offers a low residency PhD in International Business. It entails 46 credits and you enter with a cohort of peers. The program aims to refine your expertise in theory and thinking and is research oriented. Some of the topics you study are in finance and economics. While others cover global business strategy and research methods. Sample topics are: 

  • Multinational marketing      
  • Foreign direct investment   
  • Theories of globalization      

Tuition and Fees: 
Undergrad $31,136
Grad $18,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,888

Average Net Price:
$39,071

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.