Online Business Colleges
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the most popular undergraduate major at American colleges is business. This makes sense, given the huge scope of business in this country: a 2010 report issued by the Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW) predicts that the business and professional services sector will account for economic output of about $3.5 billion and add 3.4 million new jobs by 2018. CEW also predicts that by 2018 a full 59% of workers in this sector will have a bachelor's degree or better.
Business Degree Programs and Careers
Whether you're working toward an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree in business, you'll take courses in basic aspects of business, such as marketing, operations and finance. You might specialize in one of these business functions, or you might pursue a degree geared to a particular industry. For example, a degree in healthcare management will position you to lead a hospital or other healthcare facility. An online business degree program can be a great option, since attending college online allows you to work while going to school. This enables you to advance your career by immediately applying in the office what you learn in the virtual classroom. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists over two dozen occupations, from financial manager and top executive to funeral director and insurance underwriter, that fall under the business management and business/financial operations categories. So business degrees are versatile credentials, but in choosing a degree program, it's wise to think about what your career goals are and what areas of specialization are in demand. See our top online colleges for business article for additional programs.
Why Get a Business Degree Online?
Trying to obtain a business degree while juggling life and family obligations can be very stressful. Online classes can offer more flexible deadlines for lectures, tests, and project deadlines that can alleviate some of that stress. Below is the story of how one person has used online classes to obtain her business degree while taking care of her family.
I am the mother of four handsome young men, a full-time employee, a military veteran, and a full-time student. I attend University of Phoenix online while in pursuit of my Doctorate of Business Administration degree. After I completed my Master's degree, I was offered the opportunity to teach a couple of college classes as an adjunct professor, I enjoyed the experience so much, that I decided to pursue my doctorate degree so I can increase my professional opportunities by teaching in a full-time capacity.
This career move will allow me to spend more time with my boys, as I currently work at least 50 hours a week in order to support the family. When researching doctoral programs, I realized that many on-site programs require students to attend on a full-time basis, which essentially means I would be unable to work. Since that is not part of my everyday reality, I decided to explore online-based programs. More than a year into the program with University of Phoenix, I found that the program is definitely demanding and requires much of my time; however, the virtual presence of the classroom affords me the flexibility to complete all of my mandatory daily tasks then attend to my classwork at my own pace."
- Alicia (Florida)
Great Places to Get a Business Degree
A business education is consistently a pathway into a prosperous career. Even better, if you choose a program of study in a state that happens to offer a multitude of job prospects upon graduation, it's more likely that you'll generate a return on your business education investment.
Take a look at four places that are wise choice for business students, based off of 2013-2014 data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Note: The BLS reports that the annual mean wage for Business and Financial Operations occupations across the nation as of May 2014 is $72,410. The national figures for employment per thousand jobs for this industry is 50.537.
#1 - Washington D.C.
- Employment in the business field, per thousand jobs: 153.06
- Annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations: $91,780
Besides the fact that it's our nation's capital, Washington D.C. is also a mecca for highly educated and well compensated professionals. In fact, according to BusinessInsider, D.C. had the highest median worker earnings in the nation, as per the Census Bureau's 2012 statistics. What's more is that the capital is also home to top-notch colleges and universities including Georgetown University (ranked 24th top business school by Bloomberg), American University, George Washington University, and Howard University, among others.
Upon graduation, students with business chops can seek employment with major corporations, including Fannie Mae, Danaher Corporation, and The Carlyle Group, L.P.
#2 - Virginia
- Employment in the business field, per thousand jobs: 68.33
- Annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations: $80,390
Virginia offers some of the most innovative business education in the nation. For example, Virginia Tech's recently launched Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers students a unique, hands-on business learning experience. According to USAToday, business graduates in Virginia go on to do quite well for themselves. Washington and Lee College business grads make average starting salaries of $51,000 and midcareer salaries of $104,000, while business majors at William & Mary report average starting salaries of $43,000 and midcareer salaries of $107,000.
Beyond college, there are many well known Fortune 500 companies that call Virginia home including Freddie Mac, Capital One, Altria Group, and CarMax, to name a few.
#3 - Colorado
- Employment in the business field, per thousand jobs: 67.70
- Annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations: $73,790
While you might not automatically associate Colorado with business, two of its business schools are ranked by Bloomberg to be among the top 100 programs in the nation: University of Colorado Leeds School of Business and the University of Denver. In fact, Leeds is one of the oldest business schools in the nation.
In addition to prestigious business education, the "Centennial State" is also home to Fortune 500 companies including Dish Network, Molson Coors Brewing Company, and Western Union. Apartments.com also lists Denver first in the "Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates."
#4 - Maryland
- Employment in the business field, per thousand jobs: 63.05
- Annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations: $78,450
With Maryland Fortune 500 corporations including Lockheed Martin Corporation, Marriott International, T. Rowe Price Group Inc., it's no wonder that the state is a big player when it comes to business career opportunities. Luckily, Maryland business students have strong programs of study to prepare them for the corporate world, including the University of Maryland Smith School of Business, which ranks 17 on Bloomberg's top business school rankings, and Loyola University Maryland.
Downtown Baltimore is consistently chosen as a top-pick city for Millennials to live and work in, making it a hot choice for business grads.
How to Find Online Colleges with Business Programs
Below is a list of colleges that offer online degrees and programs in business. You can also filter by a specific concentration by clicking on one of the subjects in the right rail. If you see a program you are interested, then please choose one of the options to get more information. After filling out a form we will put you in contact with a representative who will answer any questions you may have.
- "The 10 colleges with the highest paid business graduates", http://college.usatoday.com/2014/08/15/the-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-business-graduates/
- "The 13 Best Cities for Brand-New College Grads," http://www.businessinsider.com/best-cities-for-college-grads-2014-5?op=1
- Fortune 500 2014, http://fortune.com/fortune500/
- Full-Time MBA Programs, http://www.bloomberg.com/bschools/rankings/
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes130000.htm
- Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates, http://renters.apartments.com/top-10-best-cities-for-recent-college-graduates
- Top Maryland employers, http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-rg-mdbusiness21-story.html#page=2
- "Virginia Tech ramps up student entrepreneurship opportunities," http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/blacksburg/virginia-tech-ramps-up-student-entrepreneurship-opportunities/article_75a82ed6-2c4a-5b70-8005-01a45b082704.html
- Washington, DC Profile, http://www.forbes.com/places/dc/washington/