Online Masters Degree in Business: Program Options

Get info about online masters degree in business. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing options.

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Essential Information

Online master's degree programs in business are very common, and they can be customized in a variety of areas. A degree commonly granted is the Master of Business Administration (MBA), though there are also Master of Science (MS) and other professional degree programs focused on various aspects of business, like accounting, finance, marketing and project management. MBA programs may offer specializations in marketing, supply chain management, healthcare management, entrepreneurship, international business, sustainability and several other areas.

The majority of coursework in online business degree programs can usually be completed online, though some programs may incorporate practical residency experiences into the curriculum, through which students receive training on campus and/or at local business sites.

Master's Degree in Business

Online master's degree programs in business teach students advanced theories and techniques in business, leadership and communications. Students focus on areas involving accounting, economics, business law, marketing, management, finance and statistics. Prerequisite requirements for online master's degree in business programs vary by school. Requirements might include a minimum score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA), a resume and a personal letter stating one's goals.

Information and Requirements

Online graduate degree programs take approximately two years to complete, depending on the schedule of the student. Many schools offer accelerated programs and access to classes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Core business courses usually include a minimum credit requirement, and programs usually culminate with a project or thesis. Online programs are effectively delivered via the Internet through bulletin boards, e-mail, web conferences and virtual discussions. A student can also usually complete an application, order books and use resources online.

Students must have access to a personal computer and technical requirements vary by school. Some require a specific operating system, Internet browser and possibly additional software and plug-ins. Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe and other programs may also be suggested or required.

List of Common Courses

Online master's degree programs focus mainly on concentrated business courses, with the first year studying fundamentals and integration, and the second year developing advanced skills in strategic learning and networking. Any thesis or project requirement is usually the final portion of the program.

Financial Tools and Decision-Making

This course introduces financial tools, systems and reports, along with how to communicate this financial information. Learning how to analyze investments and financing teaches students how to apply this knowledge in real-world decisions.

Strategic Management and Analysis

Establishing and implementing strategies, evaluating results and analyzing the business environment are all explored in this course. Students are also taught how to make sound business conclusions using company case studies.

Accounting Tools and Information

Accounting systems, reports, information and tools are introduced in this course. The role of these systems in managerial control, evaluation, communication and planning are also covered.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment from 2014 to 2024 for top executives is expected to grow six percent. Median wages in May 2015 were $97,730 for general and operations managers, while chief executives earned $175,110 per year. Total compensation often includes stock options and performance bonuses for corporate executives.

Continuing Education Information

Doctoral degree programs are available in business for those who want to pursue business educational and research careers in colleges and universities. Business managers can also achieve the voluntary Certified Manager (CM) credential through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers by completing required training and passing an exam.

Online master's degree programs in business include specialization options and residency requirements. Courses often cover accounting, management strategies and relevant statistics.

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