The Tar Heel State enjoys a booming business environment with strong projected growth, low unemployment, and an engaged workforce. This has created innumerable opportunities for business students in North Carolina to apply their skills at establishments both large and small.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, North Carolina small businesses employ over 1.6 million people, which is just over 15 percent of the state's population of 10.38 million residents. The state is also seeing an increase in individual proprietors, as well as a greater private startup entry versus exit rate. Graduates of online business schools in North Carolina can also enjoy career opportunities with larger companies. Livability reports that top employers in North Carolina include Merrill Lynch & Co, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Wells Fargo, and Duke Children's Hospital.

Whether you're getting ready to graduate from high school or looking to change careers later in life, online or hybrid business degree programs in North Carolina — at the certificate, associate, bachelor's, and master's level — can help prepare you to work in business-related fields.

North Carolina Business Fast Facts

How to Pick a Business Major that's Best for You

Business school is a lofty goal that promises exciting, lucrative opportunities for graduates. But the business field is a broad one, with many different disciplines that cater to different strengths and skill sets. Here are a few suggestions to help you understand what business specialization might work for you.

Most Popular Business Degrees in North Carolina

Best Online Business Schools in North Carolina

Many business schools in North Carolina offer flexible degree programs to kick-start your higher education journey, but not all programs are created equal. Our ranking methodology analyzes specific IPEDS data points — including tuition costs, retention rate and availability of alternative tuition payment plans — in order to determine which online colleges provide the best business-related options to prospective students.

We only considered accredited business schools in North Carolina for this list, and in order to be considered an "online college," each school had to offer at least one business-related degree program in either an online or hybrid format. After analyzing the data and crunching the numbers, we have selected the following schools as the best online business schools in North Carolina.

1. North Carolina Central University

Business-related programs at North Carolina Central University blend classroom learning at the university's Durham campus with online course options for flexibility and accessibility. Traditional semester-long courses benefit from an interactive, community-driven learning environment created by the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). Meanwhile, NCCU's Career Services and Outreach office supports students outside the classroom, creating opportunities to network with nationwide employers.

Students with an interest in business and decision-making may enjoy NCCU's unique decision sciences program, which aims to help students better understand how decisions are made in business and beyond. Graduates of the program also walk away with a job-focused SAS certification intended to improve their skills and expertise in quantitative analysis. Alternately, those with an interest in both IT and business may want to consider the school's interdisciplinary B.S. in computer science and business degree program.

2. East Carolina University

The East Carolina University (ECU) B.S.B.A. in management program allows four-year students who have completed their first two years of eligible coursework at community colleges to complete the second half of their degree program online. The B.S.B.A. in marketing with a focus on operations and supply chain management is also worth a look, as Forbes reports that some 1.4 million supply chain workers are needed to meet demand.

Like NCCU, ECU runs semester-long courses, including two summer sessions. Delivery of coursework is at the discretion of professors, who may use tools including Blackboard, Webex, McGraw Hill Connect, independent blogs and other digital resources to facilitate ease of learning.

3. Western Carolina University

Students looking for online business schools in North Carolina should also be aware of Western Carolina University. This institution features a unique business administration and law program, available in two different forms: as a B.S.B.A. major and as a minor. The program offers hands-on experience in business, strategy and policy, along with the pre-law foundation necessary for future law school entrance. The B.S.B.A iteration of the program is unique to the University of North Carolina system and is the only one of its kind east of the Mississippi.

WCU relies on the Blackboard LMS system, through which professors individually design courses using a combination of self-paced and time-sensitive assignments. Undergraduate students are accepted on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity. Once the program is full, students may be waitlisted to the school's Fall, Spring or Summer sessions.

4. Piedmont International University

Through its Spurgeon School of Online Education, Piedmont International University offers students the ability to take courses through flexible seven-week sessions that have six predetermined enrollment dates throughout the year. While Piedmont's online courses are all delivered through the Blackboard LMS, the university offers several distinct course models:

  • Integrated classes allow distance students to join in and participate in classroom lectures being taught on campus.
  • Traditional classes involve viewing video courses and engaging with other students through digital forums.
  • Flipped classes enable students to work with professors on homework assignments after viewing traditional class course materials.

Professional Business Organizations in North Carolina

It's never too early to think about joining professional business organizations to help bolster your career. Students attending any of the best business colleges in North Carolina can look to the state's numerous organizations for networking, seminars and local event opportunities.

Sources and Methodology