Online Associate Degrees in Business Administration

Article Sources

Administrative Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Construction Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012


The world of business covers a wide range of occupations and fields, including accounting, finance, human resources, public relations and management. An associate degree in business administration may help open the door to many of those positions by offering the skills and knowledge necessary to move successfully through the business world. Whether you dream of running a Fortune 500 company or heading up a nonprofit that makes a difference, earning an associate degree in business administration from an online college can be a good first step to prepare for leadership positions that can shape the future of business.

What are Online Associate Programs in Business Administration like?

Online colleges typically offer three primary types of associate degrees in business administration, all of which generally take two years to complete. The Associate of Science (A.S.) and the Associate of Arts (A.A.) both focus on business courses as well as general education courses, providing a well-rounded curriculum that might be used as a stepping stone to the bachelor's degree. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) focuses more on business courses that can be used immediately, thus offering students a potential opportunity to move right into the workforce upon graduation.

No matter the degree chosen, most online business administration programs include courses such as marketing, communication, mathematics, statistics, management and business law. General education requirements might include courses in English, physical sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and mathematics. Though electives are usually offered in a wide variety of subjects, it could be advantageous to choose electives that fit in with one's specific area of interest. For instance, students interested in marketing might choose to take an elective in journalism to bolster their public relations skills.

Online associate degrees in business administration can be a viable alternative to the traditional classroom setting. Online programs often offer flexible scheduling, which can be a major draw for busy parents or working professionals. Online courses can also provide easy access to materials posted online, message boards and forums to communicate with peers and teachers, the ability to study at convenient times and an enhanced knowledge of the various Internet platforms and programs used to administer online learning. In addition, online education often requires a great amount of self-discipline, time management and planning, which can be valuable qualities for those who want to pursue a career in the business world.

Jobs You Can Get with a Online A.S. Degree in Business Administration

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers may prefer, or even require, an applicant to hold a bachelor's degree for entry-level work in a management-related position. However, there are some management occupations that can be moved into with only an associate degree. Since business administration encompasses so many fields, possible career paths for degree holders can be broad and varied. Potential opportunities include retail, finance, administrative support, and accounting.

For instance, construction managers and administrative services managers are two careers that may be pursued by those with associate degrees in business administration. Construction managers generally oversee either a part or the entirety of a construction project. This can include ordering supplies and making budgets. Administrative service managers plan, direct and coordinate support services such as call centers, facility operators and mail services, just to name a few. The BLS notes that while some prior experience is generally necessary for these positions and entry-level work may be difficult to find (bls.gov, 2012). For admin careers that don't usually require a college education, such as an office clerk or secretary, an associate degree can be a good way to stand out among applicants who don't have the credential.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an employment growth of up to 17 percent for construction managers and up to 15 percent for administrative services managers, nationally, from 2010 to 2020 (bls.gov, 2012). As of May 2012, construction managers and administrative service managers made a national median annual wage of $82,790 and $81,080, respectively (bls.gov, 2013).

Finding Online Colleges with Associate Degrees in Business Administration

The online colleges listed below can give you more information on career options, program specifics, entry requirements and more. Those who wish to pursue an online associate degree program in business administration can learn more through any of the online schools listed below.

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