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Business leadership programs are available at the associate's degree, bachelor's degree, graduate certificate and master's degree levels. While all of these programs have slightly different requirements, they often focus on similar topics, including marketing, management, organizational behavior, economics, and business communication. Most of these programs are fully online, while some are in blended format. Programs require students to complete an internship.
Associate's Degree Programs
Students may choose an online associate's degree in business to improve entrepreneurial skills or to serve as a springboard for a more advanced academic path. At this level, students gain foundational keyboarding and other computer skills, including the use of spreadsheet and word processing software. They also learn about fundamentals of management and human resources.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Some bachelor's programs may be degree completion options for students with existing undergraduate credits. Common topics could include project management, statistics, economics and strategic business planning. Some online programs include an internship experience, allowing students to gain valuable hands-on skills in the field. In addition to major business coursework, students will be required to complete general education classes.
Graduate Certificate Programs
Several institutions offer a graduate certificate program in business leadership; these programs may have titles like business foundations, business essentials, or business administration. Online courses are intended to prepare a student who has completed a bachelor's degree in another field, and wants to do initial graduate study before working toward a master's degree in business administration (MBA).
Master's Degree Programs
Online master's degree programs in business leadership, or Master of Business Administration programs, are available at many of the nation's best-known colleges and universities. These online programs may be offered in cohort format, allowing the same group of students to complete the entire program together. Most programs require approximately two years of study; some schools require periods of on-campus attendance interspersed with independent or small group study.
Mid-level managers seeking career advancement often select an online MBA. In addition to personnel supervision and team-building skills, program participants may develop analytical skills and a global view of business. Many MBA programs are designed for students with several years of professional work experience, and an interview may be required for admission.
While some distance learning courses may allow students to complete studies at their own pace, others may require scheduled participation. This may be done through live conference calls that students can complete via a web camera.
Students often have weekly reading and work assignments. They submit completed work online through a virtual instructional platform. They also interact with peers and professors via e-mail and discussion forums.
Some courses may require students to complete special projects as part of an online group. In addition, professors may require students to take exams under the supervision of approved proctors.
Online business leadership undergraduate and graduate programs educate students in entrepreneurial skills, business foundations, and personnel supervision. Students are able to work at their own pace with an online program as long as they complete their weekly reading and assignments.