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Accredited Online Business Administration Degrees

Online business administration degree graduate at workFrom approving loans to managing public relations, business administration is a field of talented professionals who allow our businesses to smoothly coordinate the many different pieces that keep them running. Administrative business professionals are behind the scenes of every industry, maintaining positive customer relationships, keeping financial information organized, and directing departments to maximize sales and profits.

An online business administration degree is the classic program choice for any student who craves a traditional, straight-laced business education. At the undergraduate level, a bachelor of science in business administration (BSBA) is the most common major for managers and future executives. An advanced degree in this field helps lower-level employees move up into administrative and leadership roles.

THE CAREER PATH

Degrees in business administration offer the widest variety of options for developing professionals. The field of business administration is a large umbrella which includes many branches, from accounting to marketing. Top executives often have a degree in business administration, usually at the master's level. Pay is sweet for these high-ranking administrators, with a median wage of $101,000. General managers typically make less, around $94,000. Experience and a reputable degree program will help ensure success.

Common careers in business administration include:

  1. Accounting — Accounting covers a few different roles that may be filled by business administration professionals, including:
    1. Accounting/Bookkeeping/Auditing Clerks — Clerks are typically entry-level accounting professionals who record financial transactions, update statements, and produce financial records as well as checking reports for accuracy. Most clerks are not required to have an advanced education other than a certification, and make an average of $40,000 each year.
       
    2. Accountants & Auditors — Accountants and auditors typically own their own business or work for a particular firm; they may prepare and examine financial records for external use (such as reporting to governments and paying taxes) or internal use (such as budgeting and financial reports) for corporations, individuals, or governments. As the economy flourishes, so does the demand for qualified accountants. Typically requiring a bachelor’s degree, accounting positions pay nearly $70,000 each year and are expected to increase by nearly 10% in the coming decade.
       
    3. Budget Analysts — After many years of experience and education, professionals can aim their career sights at becoming an analyst. Budget analysts are responsible for helping public and private institutions organize their finances by preparing reports and monitoring spending. Higher-level positions in accounting like these tend to be far more competitive, but they reward accordingly. These positions typically require either a bachelor’s or master’s level education and compensate with nearly $75,000 annually on average.
       
  2. Loan Officers — Business administrative professionals may also choose to focus on a different type of financing specialization as loan officers. Loan officers are responsible for evaluating, authorizing, and recommending approval of loan applications for businesses and individuals. It is a role that requires both customer service as well as sales, in addition to an understanding of business and finance theory. In general, positions as loan officers are fairly accessible; demand for officers is expected to increase by more than the national average, and applicants are typically only required to have a bachelor’s degree, in addition to extensive on-the-job training. It also doesn’t hurt that the average loan officer makes more than $60,000 each year. Professionals who are interested in dealing with real estate will need to earn their Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) certification. All other certifications are optional to improve a professional’s resume or enhance competitiveness.
     
  3. Sales Managers — Sales managers typically work in their industry of choice to direct organizational sales teams, set sales goals, analyze data and trends, and develop training programs for sales representatives. Careers in management tend to be both more competitive and more rewarding than entry-level positions or other specializations. The same is true of sales managers, who make nearly $120,000 on average, and must have experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree in order to be a competitive applicant.
     
  4. Human Resources Managers —The role of managers in HR is typically to oversee the planning, directing, and coordinating of HR department activities and staff. They serve as the link between management and employees, and may be the person who delegates activities related to employment, labor relations, and training. HR managers can oversee entire HR departments for smaller organizations or have a more specialized role. Successful applicants for HR management positions have acquired some level of HR experience in addition to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The BLS predicts that careers in HR management will continue to grow by almost 10% in the coming years. Average salary is more than $100,000 for these management professionals.
     
  5. Public Relations Specialists — Business administration professionals can also use their skills in various areas of public relations, working to create and maintain a favorable public image for the organizations that they represent. Professionals who pursue a career in PR will perform various tasks in order to shape public perception and increase awareness of their organization. Like most other business administration careers, PR specialist positions typically require a bachelor’s degree. Similar to jobs in finances, jobs in PR are slightly more competitive than other jobs for business administrators, and pay close to $60,000 on average each year.

WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?

One of the many great aspects of business administration degrees is that they are broad enough to allow developing professionals to change the course of their career over time as necessary. Different paths allow professionals to specialize in areas that suit their lifestyle, goals, and interests.

In order to succeed in any of these business administration careers, professionals must be ready to use their problem-solving skills to make hard decisions and set the example of leadership in whatever role they fill. Business administrators must be business savvy, but also good communicators with many different types of people.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

Many see this major as the blue chip course of study for future executives and managers hoping to crack the six-figure salary ceiling. The coursework required in a traditional online business administration degree is designed to lay the groundwork for any upper level management job. The most competitive online business administration master’s programs require a formal undergraduate major in administration. Some programs accept other majors, such as general management or or marketing. An online MBA—master's in business administration—is often earned by mid-level managers once they’ve established themselves in a specific career field.

Considering an online business administration degree, but not sure where to begin your education? An associate of science in business administration (ASBA) provides core business studies in areas such as economics, accounting, human resources and management. To advance even more, consider a bachelor's of business administration (BSBA). Expect a business administration degree to include core courses in accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, logistics, human resources, management, calculus, statistics, business law and computer information systems.

Most online business administration degree programs allow students to declare a formal minor area of study. A minor usually consists of three to four courses, all in one subject area. For the highest pay and most job security, consider earning a concentration within in a high-demand area. Salary and hiring surveys show that finance, accounting or information technology systems—the use of computers for business applications—offer the most stable employment opportunities.

COST

Our cost rankings reveal that the average cost of an online BSBA is $47,472 in the United States. However, cost varies widely. The most affordable options cost less than $30,000. An online master's in administration will generally cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

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