Online Business Majors: Information and Requirements

Get info about online bachelor's degree programs in business. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business degree programs. Some schools offer the entire four-year program, while others only accept students with associate's degrees and offer the courses needed to earn a bachelor's degree. Some B.S. in Business programs allow students to choose a concentration in areas such as accounting, financial services or marketing. Students also may be able to tailor a degree program to suit their own needs.

Many programs are offered completely online, with students accessing archived lectures and class assignments as their schedules permit, within certain deadlines, and communicating with classmates and instructors via message boards, chat functions or e-mail. Students may have to take exams in the presence of a proctor, and some programs do require internships that must be completed in person.

In addition to the general education requirements such as English and math, students in a B.S. in Business program complete core courses in business and electives that they select. The core courses examine business fundamentals such as accounting, project management and corporate finance. Electives depend on the concentration the student has chosen.

B.S. in Business

Students interested in pursuing an online business major can do so fully online through a B.S. in Business program. Certain schools offer an option for a concentration in areas such as management and marketing or business administration. These programs cover a wide range of business-related topics such as finance, corporate responsibility, computing and many others. Students amass a solid yet multifaceted skill set that prepares them for a career in the field of business or to further their education with a graduate degree.

Program Information and Requirements

Some schools offer the B.S. in Business as a standard baccalaureate degree program requiring approximately 120 semester hours and lasting about four years. Certain schools offer it as a degree-completion program intended only for those who have already completed an associate's degree, preferably an Associate of Arts. These degree-completion programs only consist of about 60 semester hours and last at least two years.

The bachelor's-level business courses can all be taken online; however, some proctored exams may be required to be taken within the state of the administering school. A few schools even require that the online students live in the same state as the school. Also, some in-person internships may be required. The online portions of the course are typically offered in an asynchronous format, which means that lectures and assignments can be viewed and worked on at any convenient time as long as certain deadlines are met. Students can communicate with their instructors and peers through the use of message boards, e-mails and the telephone.

Course Topics

The curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in Business generally consists of a combination of core and elective business courses with some general education electives as well. If an Associate of Art has not previously been earned, additional general education requirements in English, math and science must be taken.

Management

The basic tenets and strategies involved in managing a business organization are studied in depth. Students are taught to plan, organize, lead and control in a responsible manner. The duties and functions of managers and the overall management operations are identified for their importance to the modern business climate.

Marketing

The objectives, traditions and styles of marketing various goods and services are thoroughly examined. Consumer behavior is emphasized, as well as how cultural diversity can affect the dispersal, advertising and value assessment of certain products. Special attention is paid to the different modern marketing media such as online e-marketing and the issues involved in marketing in a technologically developing world.

Business and Corporation Finance

This course deals with the obtaining and supervising of corporate capital. Students examine the ideas of risk and return, mergers, investments and taxing regulations. Skills are fostered involving the development, gauging and monitoring of shareholder value. The systems that guide financial administration are identified as they relate to opposing markets and social restraints and restrictions.


Career Information

The job market for graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Business is as all-encompassing as the degree itself. Many occupations in the fields of management and financial operations can be achieved with a bachelor's degree in business. Some specific examples of job titles include marketing manager, sales manager, administrative services manager and financial manager.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May of 2015 there were 192,890 marketing managers, and the average yearly salary for the job was $140,660 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, there were 364,750 sales managers, for whom the average yearly salary was $130,400. The BLS also predicted an occupational growth of 9% for marketing managers and 5% for sales managers between the years 2014-2024.

In May of 2015, the BLS determined that there were 270,080 administrative services managers in the U.S.; their average yearly salary was $94,840. Also, there were 531,120 financial managers, and the average yearly salary for that position was $134,330. The BLS estimated an occupational growth of 8% for administrative services managers and 7% for financial managers between the years 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).

Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum education required for these positions, new graduates will likely start out at the lower end of the salary scale. For example, the lowest-earning ten percent of financial managers made $63,020 or less in 2015, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Further education in business is readily available in an online format. Students may pursue their master's degree and, following that, their Ph.D. in business and business-related fields entirely online. These advanced degrees can help students get management jobs in more technically demanding industries or teach business at the postsecondary level.

Online degree programs in business prepare students for a variety of jobs within the business world. Courses involve training in administration, marketing and finance. As such, employment opportunities for graduates typically involve management positions in these fields.

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