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Online Graduate Degrees in Business: Considerations Before Enrolling

Learn about online degree programs with business courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

The most common online degree option at the graduate level is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA degrees offer numerous specializations, such as information technology, marketing or human resources. Another less common option is the Doctor of Management degree, which is designed for working professionals looking to improve existing skills. These programs typically feature a blend of online learning and on-campus residencies. Entrance into these programs usually requires a bachelor's degree and completion of core business courses.

Master of Business Administration

MBA programs are also ideal for professionals with prior work experience, though it's not always a prerequisite for admission. Most programs take about two years to complete, although students who opt to take courses on a part-time basis may require more time.

Information and Requirements

To enroll in an online MBA program, students generally need a bachelor's degree and might need to take the GRE or GMAT exam, depending on the school.

Courses teach students both business and interpersonal skills, with topics ranging from accounting to personnel management. Programs generally culminate in a capstone project where students get opportunities to practice the skills they've acquired in the classroom.

List of Common Courses

Below are a few examples of course topics that most MBA programs feature:

  • Management
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Leadership
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Decision making
  • Operation

Doctor of Management

The highest degree available in the field, doctoral degrees in management feature a number of business-related courses.

Information and Requirements

Applicants to these programs will need a graduate degree, and prior work experience is also a common prerequisite. Requirements will vary from school to school, but students can expect to take around 50 credit hours before obtaining their degree. Students must also complete a dissertation, a comprehensive final assignment encompassing content learned in the program.

List of Common Courses

Courses in this program include the following topics:

  • Organizational environments
  • Research methods
  • Innovation process & strategy
  • Leadership & change

Career Information

Many high-level positions in the business field require a master's degrees while other employers just prefer to hire MBA holders. Salaries will vary depending on the career that a student chooses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that chief executives earned average annual salaries of $185,850, while general and operations managers earned $119,460 in May 2015. Financial managers had average salaries of $134,330 in that same year, and HR managers earned $117,080. Management analysts, who might need to earn MBAs to work in this field, earned an average of $91,770 and market research analysts and marketing specialists earned $70,030 in May 2015.

Online graduate degree programs in business will help working professionals gain additional education while working in the field. These degrees provide a solid foundation for aspiring professionals to advance their business careers.


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