Earning a business management degree online: What to expect

An online business management degree strengthens decision-making, leadership, and problem-solving skills.
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor

Are you considering earning your business management degree online? You might be wondering about the course requirements, core skills, and career paths for business management majors. Our guide walks through everything you need to know before enrolling in an online business management program.

What is an online bachelor's degree in business management?

Business is the most popular college major –– by far. Undergraduates earning an online college degree in business often concentrate in accounting, human resources management, marketing, or finance. Many colleges also offer a business management degree

During a business management program, you'll study fundamental business concepts. You'll also learn management skills through coursework in operations management, organizational leadership, and project management. 

Students can earn a business management degree online. In an online program, learners attend classes and interact with faculty and classmates virtually. They also complete internships in their local area. An online learning format gives students more options and a more flexible structure.

Some business management degree programs are synchronous, where students have to attend classes at certain times. Other programs are asynchronous, where students can listen to course lectures on their own time. Some business management degree programs provide a mix between the two options.

After earning a business management degree, graduates work as management analysts, budget analysts, operations research analysts, and managers.  

Skills taught in an online bachelor's in business management program

Business management majors learn hard skills and people skills. Programs emphasize hard skills like data analysis, budgeting, and project management. Learners also build in-demand soft skills such as teamwork and strong public speaking skills. The following skills train graduates for careers in management, finance, business intelligence, and logistics.

Hard skills

  • Project management
  • Financial analysis and budgeting
  • Business analytics
  • Budget management
  • Database management

Soft skills

  • Communication and public speaking
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork and supervising
  • Time management
  • Attention-to-detail

What to expect in online business management college courses

What's it like earning a business management degree online? If you're curious about what to expect in a business degree program, this section will answer your questions.

You will take core business classes plus electives that you are interested in.

During a business management degree, you will take core courses that cover business fundamentals. These courses may include introductory classes on finance, marketing, and accounting. Then, you'll move on to advanced business courses, which typically include the following:

  • Business finance
  • Operations management
  • Strategic decision-making
  • Leadership and organizational behavior
  • Managerial economics

Finally, majors choose electives based on their interests and career goals. The degree also includes general education requirements that strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills.

You can customize your business management major by pursuing a specialization.

After completing core business classes, you will focus your course of study through a specialization. Also called a track or concentration, a specialization prepares graduates for a focused career path. What specialization should you choose? Consider which core classes interest you the most and which careers you'd like to pursue.

Business management programs offer a variety of specializations. Common business management specializations include:

  • Logistics
  • Project management
  • Business analytics
  • Healthcare management
  • Entrepreneurship

In addition to these options, majors can often design a custom concentration by working with their program. 

Business management courses are a mix of theoretical and hands-on.

A business management degree blends theoretical and practical approaches. You will study leadership principles and management theory while also learning how to apply those theories in the workplace. Programs strengthen these practical skills through projects, real-world case studies, and internship opportunities. 

Gaining a solid understanding of business theory will help you execute practical business management skills. And the chance to practice hands-on skills during your program will provide valuable experience for entry-level careers.

Internships will allow you to stand out to employers after graduation.

Business management programs encourage majors to complete one or more internships. Undergraduates can intern with Fortune 500 companies, local small businesses, and startups. 

An internship will add valuable experience to your resume while also strengthening your practical skills. Even better, internships with local companies will expand your network and prepare you for the job market.

How hard is an online business management degree?

Is earning a business management degree hard? Some students may find classes in business economics, information systems, and finance to be challenging. The degree also includes many project-based assignments, presentations, and group projects. 

However, strong organization and self-motivation can help learners thrive in a business management program. Other key strengths include problem-solving, communication, and creative thinking skills. With these skills, you can succeed in an online business management program.

In conclusion

A business management degree builds strong analytical, problem-solving, and leadership skills. Employers in diverse industries look for candidates with these strengths. If you're interested in business or management jobs, a business management degree can help launch your career. 

The article reviewed by Alexandra Tapia, MBA

Alexandria Tapia, a blonde woman, smiles at the camera

Alexandra is a driven, high-spirited, unapologetically energetic, and optimistic person. She prides herself on her devotion to becoming a better business leader and overall human. She has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, asks a million questions, and thrives on making change.

She has reached many populations throughout her career. She's studied recidivism, helped prior criminal offenders reintegrate into society, and built trusting relationships while working at a homeless shelter. 

Her passion for education also shines through in her work. She taught younger children for many years, but has since turned her focus to higher education. She loves collaborating with others to be a disruptor in the education industry, creating and delivering programs that are unlike others — all while building a better future for her clients and students. 

When she's not working, you can find her in and around Washington, D.C., hiking on local trails, off-roading in the forest in her Jeep, or reading a good book with a homemade iced white chocolate mocha in hand (usually accompanied by her three dogs and three cats).

Tapia is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Page last reviewed on February 17, 2022.

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