Online Small Business Management Degree Program Overviews

Research online small business management courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Students can earn associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees in business administration online; small business management programs aren't as prevalent, but they're offered by a few schools. Most of these programs are available entirely online, though internships may be recommended or required. Common topics in business administration and small business management programs include marketing, macroeconomics, managerial techniques and financial accounting. Students considering short-term academic options might pursue online certificates in small business management or entrepreneurship.

Associate's Degree in Business Administration

Through an online associate's degree program in business administration with a concentration in small business management, students learn to create a business model for marketing and launching a small business. They learn skills that will help them negotiate deals, sell products and grow their businesses. To be eligible for these programs, which typically take two years to complete, students must have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent.

Program Information and Requirements

Whether on the associate's, bachelor's or master's level, online degree programs in small business management generally can be completed entirely online, although students might need to complete an internship. Most programs utilize a Web-based educational server, such as Angel and Blackboard, which allows students to take courses via webcam, watch videos, interact with classmates, read professor's notes and complete assignments online.

Technical requirements for online small business management programs are also similar on all educational levels. In general, students must have a computer with Internet access, as well as various computer software programs, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash. They also typically need a video card and sound card to listen to and participate in classes.

Course Topics

Students completing an online associate's degree program must take various general education courses, in addition to core courses in business administration.

Management and Financial Planning

Students examine the responsibilities of managers in relation to finances. They study management theories and learn rational and practical ways to play to apply them.

Case Studies in Small Business

In this course, students explore case studies pertaining to small businesses. They learn about management, finances and marketing procedures by analyzing successful businesses.

Research in Marketing

Students use research-based statistics to collect and analyze data, turning it into market reports about what consumers want. They learn to use this information to create a business plan.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small Business Management and Operations

Bachelor of Small Business Management

Online programs on the bachelor's level, which generally take four years to complete, are the most common in small business management. Students explore the practical aspects of managing and running a business, including handling finances, developing business ideas and marketing the business, in relation to small business management and business administration in general. To be eligible for a bachelor's program, students must have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Transfer programs typically are available for students with an associate's degree.

Course Topics

Students completing an online small business management bachelor's degree program take both major-specific and general education classes.


Through this course, students examine the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and explore what entrepreneurship is. They also learn to build a business based on a new idea.

Business Plan Preparation

The first step to starting a business is determining where it's going and how to get it there. Through this course, students work on preparing a business plan for a venture they're considering.

Marketing Principles

Students explore the basics of marketing, including ways to use marketing principles effectively. They also learn about the importance of marketing research.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Online MBA programs usually can be completed in two years or less. Through these programs, students learn to enhance business performance and organization. Many programs offer a concentration in small business management. Students must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for an online MBA program.

Course Topics

Online master's degree programs in business administration are designed to boost students' skills in project management and leadership.

Financial Management

Students in this course explore how finances affect the success of a business. Topics covered include budgeting, financial analysis and assets.

Organizational Behavior

Students examine interpersonal behavior as they learn to evaluate business and social situations within organizations. They also learn techniques for interacting with large groups.

Managerial Communications

This course is designed to help managers develop communication skills. Students learn about various communication techniques.

Career Information

Upon completion of an associate's degree program with a focus in small business management, students might find entry-level careers in business administration or become entrepreneurs, building their own start-up businesses. According to 2016 figures from, entry-level office managers made an annual salary of between $28,720 - $57,407.

An online bachelor's degree in small business management can lead to a career as a small business owner, as well as a market research analyst or financial manager. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), market research analysts made a median annual salary of $62,150 in May 2015, while financial managers earned $117,990 (

MBA graduates can embark on a variety of business careers, such as business owner, management analyst or advertising and promotions manager. In May 2014, management analysts made a median annual salary of $81,320, and advertising and promotions managers made $95,890, according to BLS figures.

Individuals interested in small business management may wish to pursue a business administration or small business management degree online. These programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's level and typically include an internship.

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