Business Degree Programs
Notwithstanding a slower than normal economy, job growth in some industries has continued to go up. Job opportunities still exist in community relations, marketing, and other business related jobs for individuals who successfully complete a business degree from an accredited college or university. Receiving a formal education or specialized training for a business related career is an effective way to position yourself as an attractive candidate for a large variety of career opportunities in business.
Business Degrees and Career Options
Students can earn an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree in general business, or a degree in an array of business specializations. Even most general business programs offer students the ability to select a concentration. Job applicants who have an associate's or bachelor's degree in business are prepared for entry-level career positions in business and variety of other industries. However, a bachelor's degree is currently the degree of choice among employers seeking to fill entry-level positions.
Students who complete a master's or doctorate degree in business enjoy more management and career advancement opportunities than those with only an undergraduate degree in business. Individuals who earn a PhD in business usually conduct research and teach at colleges and universities.
For business graduates, there are many career opportunities including operations manager, general manager, consultant, technical support specialist, project manager, marketing specialist, investment analyst, and financial planner, to name just a few. Many business graduates will end up working as independent consultants or launching their own business venture. There is a growing need for business managers with expertise in technology. If you want to increase your marketability as a business professional, you may consider earning a business degree with a specialization in a technical discipline.
While most colleges across the nation offer campus-based business programs, a growing number of institutions now offer business degrees that are entirely online. Online business degrees are flexible, convenient and the perfect option for working professionals who want to earn a degree in business while they focus on their career.
Business Degrees by Specialty
Below you can explore business degrees and programs by specialty and concentration.
Job Outlook and Salary Figures for Business Managers
During 2012, according to the BLS, there were nearly 583,000 business managers with community relations, marketing, and sales responsibilities. Of these managers, about 30 percent more worked in sales than marketing. It is projected that opportunities for managers specializing in sales, community relations, and marketing will increase more than 12 percent until 2020, equaling the nation's average growth rate for all career fields.
During 2012, business managers with the following specialties averaged the following median salaries: community relations, $97,170; marketing, $113,400; sales, $106,790. Individuals that specialize in technology are usually paid higher annual salaries since they have rare, specialized skills.
Coursework and Online Study Options
Depending on the specialty, courses assigned for each program will vary. During the initial couple years, students usually enroll in general education courses. For the remainder of their college careers, students usually enroll in finance, economics, and other business related courses, depending on their specialty, and some students obtain internships with successful companies.
People working full time or unable to attend classroom lectures can take online courses. Students utilizing this option can complete their education quicker and complete their courses at their convenience. At the same time, students will improve their computer skills and knowledge.
Featured Business Degrees and Programs
Below you'll find a comprehensive selection of our editor's top picks for undergraduate and graduate degrees in general business, business administration and business management. To learning more about a school or program listed below, simple click on the "Request Info" button directly to the right.
Highest Paying Degrees in Business
Earning a degree in business takes a lot of times and money–it's a significant investment. To maximize your return on investment, we recommend pursing a degree that will position you for a career in an area of businesss with the highest earning potential. Below we've listed the business degrees that we believe, based on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provide graduates with the highest salary and long-term earning potential.
- 1. Entrepreneurship - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Entrepreneurship
Earning a degree in entrrepreneurship prepares students for lucrative careers in managing the daily business operations of small businesses and new ventures. Entrpreneurship courses include the basics like marketing, finance, PR, human resources and accounting, as well as more advanced topics like capital management, product development and leadership. Students with a degree in entrepreneurship can advanced to positions of upper management or even CEO, and make anywhere from $60k to $200k a year, or more.
- 2. E-commerce - B.S., M.S. or MBA in E-commerce
E-commerce continues to be a leader in the area of new business growth, development and innovation and career opportunities abound for those with an advanced knowledge and skill set in e-commerce management, technology and application. Earning a B.S. M.S., or even MBA in e-commerce will positions students for a variety of top paying job positions and career opportunities. Students of e-commerce programs will take courses in e-commerce technology, e-commerce project management, e-commerce policy, analysis and design of information and E-systems, Internet technology, and database systems, among others. E-commerce management and business specialists can earn up to $127,000 a year.
- 3. Marketing - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Marketing
It may not be the new thing on the block, but marketing is the backbone of every successful business. Those with advanced skills and aptitude for marketing are always in high demand and earn top salaries. The best preparation for a career in marketing is a formal degree in marketing from a reputable college or university. An experienced marketing manager can earn up to $112,800 a year.
- 4. Finance - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Finance
Money is the life blood of every corporation in the world. Earning a degree in finance helps students develop the skills required to raise, manage and generate money. Common areas of focus in finance degree programs include corporate finance and valuation, investments, capital markets, and financial accounting. A degree in finance will also include basic business courses in marketing, business law, project management and supply chain management. Graduates with a degree in finance can find employment opportunities as financial analysts, budget analysts, financial advisors and financial consultants. Finance graduates with a M.S. or MBA in Finance can expect to make over $90,000 a year.
- 5. Economics - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Economics
Economics is at the core of business strategy, growth and projections. Without an understanding of global and industry specific economics, corporations are unable to make accurate predictions and correctly allocate resources. In an business economics program, students will learn about business and economic forecasting, government policies, macroeconomics, econometric methodologies for business analysis, applied time series, labor economics, international trade, economics of developing countries and international macroeconomics. Business professionals with an understanding of economics will find employment opportunities as market analysts, investment bankers, credit analysts and economists. They can earn anywhere from $60k to $100k a year.
- 6. Healthcare Management - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Healthcare Management or Administration
Healthcare is an evolving industry that is growing in breadth of offering and complexity. Healthcare managers are required at every level to ensure operations run smoothing and profiably and to ensure the best possible health care to patients and customers. Healthcare management degree programs typically include courses in economics of health care, health care law, risk management, health care informatics, and health care management and administration. Graduates of top healthcare management degree programs will find careers as healthcare managers, healthcare administrators, hospital administrators, or consults. In this capacities, they can make anywhere from $70k to $150k a year.
- 7. Human Resource Management - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Human Resources
Human resource managers are responsible for managing corporate and organizational responsibilities relating to recruiting, hiring, interviewing, training, motivating and retaining employees. They often develop and management employee compensation and benefits plans. Undergraduate and graduate degree in human resource management offers courses in human capital management, organizational strategy, leadership, talent management, global business, human resource management systems and technnologies, and strategic human resource management. Human resource managers and specialists can earn up to $97,000 a year working with today's top firms.
- 8. Global Business - B.S., M.S. or MBA in International Business
With the advent of the internet, enhanced global communication technologies, and ease of international travel, global trade and business is booming. Corporations, domestic and international alike, depend on the expertise and knowledge of business managers to adapt and thrive in a global marketplace. Degrees in global or international business include courses in global entrepreneurship, multinational business management, emerging financial markets, global banking and capital markets, international monetary policy, and central banks, among others. Business managers and executives who specialize in global business earn between $60,000 and $120,000 a year.
- 9. Business Administration - MBA in Business Administration or Management
While it may not seem flashy anymore, the MBA in Business Management is still the most sought after degree by aspiring business managers, entrepreneurs and executives. Earning an MBA in businness management or administration gives graduates the tools and knowledge required to manage, operate and lead an organization to maximize efficiency and profits. Most importantly and MBA teaches students how to think analytically. MBAs are able to apply their knowledge and skill in just about any industry. Common topics covered in an MBA program include economics, corporate finance, human resource management, global business, investment finance, financial accounting, leadership, financial decision making, operations management, marketing and applied statistics. Graduates from top ranked MBA programs can earn a first year starting salary from $70,000 to $140,000.
- 10. Accounting - B.S., M.S. or MBA in Accounting
Accounting is the language of money, and money is the lifeblood of business. Every organization, corporation, or non-profit requires accounting. Earning a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting offers graduates the opportunity to work in a variety of business capacities. Topics covered in most accounting degree programs include accounting basics, managerial accounting, financial statement analysis, information systems, auditing, microeconomics, taxation, applied statistics and financial decision making, among others. Graduates will find employment opportunities as accountants (CPAs), auditors, tax consultants, financial representatives, management accountants, fraud investigators, bookkeepers and business managers. Accountants with a degree in acccounting can earn anywhere from $45,000 to $90,000 a year.