Online associate's degree programs in e-commerce are widely available. These programs can be completed 100% online or as hybrid programs with on-campus and online courses. Online bachelor's degree programs in e-commerce are also available, though they are often degree-completion programs for students who already have some education in the field, such as an associate's degree in a related subject.
Associate's in E-Commerce
In an associate's degree program in e-commerce, students learn business and management techniques that are used in an online retail environment. Students acquire skills that teach them how to communicate and interact with individuals over the Internet. They also learn how to market and sell products from a website that is consumer-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
Programs are typically business-intensive and students often must have at least a high school diploma or the GED equivalent to be eligible for admission. Along with associate's degree programs in e-commerce, there are related programs such as business management, administration and sales that are also available online.
Information and Requirements
An associate's degree program generally takes about two years to complete. Programs are available entirely online, although students may have the option to complete some courses in-person, depending on the school.
Online courses are accessible through the school's distance learning portal, where students may find various learning formats, such as videotaped lectures, online readings, audio recordings and presentations. Students also use the portal to interact with instructors and other students, access coursework and turn in assignments.
In order to complete the online program, students need a computer and reliable Internet access. Students often need a word processing software programs to complete assignments, as well as other programs, webcams and media players.
An online associate's degree in e-commerce often has a flexible program format that allows students to complete courses within a specified time frame. Some programs may feature collaborative projects that students create using online tools.
This course familiarizes students with marketing, advertising and sales promotion procedures and practices. Students also study and apply marketing research that is pertinent to their field in order to sell products.
Students analyze design methods to create web sites that are informative and interesting. Covered topics may include HTML, design and layout, computer graphics and design elements.
This course trains students to understand the different types of internet security necessary for a business to be run effectively and protect customer information. Students study the activities, methodologies and procedures necessary to determine online threats and learn ways to create secure Internet connections.
Students taking this course learn to build and create applications for their websites, such as shopping carts, customer tracking and check-out areas.
Bachelor's in E-Commerce
An online bachelor's degree in e-commerce focuses on sales principles, marketing strategies, entrepreneurship techniques and Internet marketing strategies. These programs are intensive in business and computer technology. Online bachelor's degree programs in e-commerce are rare, but related programs such as marketing, entrepreneurship or business administration are easier to find online.
Information and Requirements
An online bachelor's degree in e-commerce typically takes about four years to complete, but students who have already completed an associate's degree can often transfer their credits to a bachelor's program, which can cut the program's length down considerably. Students often complete courses through a combination of distance learning methods including videoconferencing, taped lectures, online presentations, chat room sessions and online study aids.
In order to complete an online program, students must have a computer and reliable internet access. Often, office software programs are required so students can complete business-related coursework. Students may also need website publishing and computer graphics software.
Depending on the school, online courses can either be completed on a flexible schedule or following a schedule, as with traditional on-campus programs. Besides business and technology classes, students also may be required to take general education classes.
Students explore the practical aspects of internet-based business and explore sales models and strategies.
Strategic Internet Marketing
This course familiarizes students with business and marketing strategies used for internet-based businesses in areas such as prospective customers and product selection.
Students study the principles and theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics. They learn how finances can affect people and businesses. Students research problems associated with finances and find solutions.
Students learn how to apply the principles of marketing to online sales. They study the social, legal and ethical aspects of selling products.
Upon completion of an associate's degree program in e-commerce, students could find entry-level positions in e-commerce fields such as computer systems analysis and web administration. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer system analysts made an annual median wage of $85,800 in 2015. While according to Payscale.com web developers earned $51,759. Job opportunities for computer systems analysts were predicted to increase greatly between 2014 and 2024.
An online bachelor's degree program in e-commerce can lead to careers as network and computer systems administrators, advertising managers and market research analysts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics these careers were expected to grow faster than the average between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary in 2014 for computer systems administrators was $77,810, advertising and promotions managers made $95,890 and market research analysts earned $62,150 a year.
Continuing Education Information
Students who are interested in continuing their education can complete an online master's in business administration, as well as other master's degree programs. Individuals can also pursue doctoral programs in business, marketing and sales. Some of these programs may require that students gain practical experience working in the field, prior to completing a graduate degree.
Online programs in e-commerce can be found at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. They prepare students for work in the field through courses such as marketing, information security and multimedia development. Graduates can expect to find work in a variety of careers, from webmaster to advertising manager.