Business is by definition an expansive field that encompasses a broad range of enterprises, organizations, companies, and institutions throughout the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Managing businesses involves the coordinated activities of professionals who serve a number of discrete organizational functions and who have clearly differentiated, complementary skills in critical areas of finance and accounting; resource and personnel management; sales and marketing; operations and facilities oversight; corporate governance; law and ethics; analytics and IT systems; and more.
In order to cover the knowledge and training associated with the array of business management specializations, there are dozens of different degree programs in the field, offering instruction in areas like accounting, finance, communications, marketing, human resources, and organizational leadership. These programs are inherently multi-disciplinary. They may include coursework in mathematics and statistics; behavioral and organizational psychology; theories of economics and management; modes of communication; and media technologies. These programs may also target particular areas of business and management – for example, sports management, hospitality administration, and/or international business.
Weighing the options among various types of online business degree programs can be a complex and confusing process. Programs with similar curricula may have different names, and programs with similar names may have different curricula. In addition, there are masters in business administration (MBA) programs, which are offered through business schools, as well as non-MBA master’s programs that may be offered by business schools, schools of professional studies, or by other schools within a university. Understanding the distinctions between these different types of programs is an important part of finding an appropriate program.
OnlineEducation.com conducts independent research into online business degree programs and classifies them based on clear criteria. Programs are sorted and categorized by degree level (bachelor’s and master’s programs), and by subject matter or area of focus, which is based on a program’s curriculum rather than its name. In addition, programs are evaluated and categorized as online, hybrid, or campus-based, depending on the number of campus-visits they require. Programs that require more than two campus visits per year are considered hybrid or campus programs and are not currently included on the site.
Currently, OnlineEducation.com groups online business degree programs in the following categories:
Accreditation is the process by which colleges, universities, and individual schools within those institutions receive independent approval for the programs they offer, and it is an important benchmark for online degree programs. OnlineEducation.com only includes programs offered by accredited institutions. However, there are different accrediting bodies and different types of accreditation that can be important considerations when researching online business programs.
Regional accreditation is provided by seven organizations that form the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions:
In addition, many schools of business and business administration may voluntarily seek accreditation from one of three organizations: the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Non-MBA business programs may be offered through schools of professional studies, schools of education, or other schools within a college or university that would not typically seek or receive ACBSP, AACSB International, or IACBE accreditation. Prospective students should be aware of these accrediting bodies when researching online programs, and may want to take accreditation into account when weighing various programs.
In addition to researching online business programs and maintaining a clearly delineated, up-to-date database of these programs, OnlineEducation.com provides a number of other resources for students and others who may be interested in online business degree programs. We provide detailed information on different types of programs, online instructional methods, accreditation, and other important educational factors and variables. We also interview experts in the field, and we address relevant questions related to online business degree programs in our FAQ section.
Online bachelor’s in accounting degree programs provide introductory business training as well as specialized instruction in accounting procedures, accounting skills, and other relevant topics like auditing, business law, and financial reporting.
Students in an online bachelor’s in finance program complete a major with coursework in theories and practices of financial management, investment strategies, financial reporting, and the function of banks and other lending institutions.
Students in online bachelor’s in forensic accounting and financial fraud programs learn how to use the tools of accounting to identify inconsistencies in financial reports, conduct forensic audits, and discover evidence of fraud, deception, and other illegal financial activities.
Students in online bachelor’s in management degree programs learn practices that are applicable to coordinating staff and operations in companies, non-profit organizations, and business in fields like healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing.
Students in an online bachelor’s in marketing program complete undergraduate general education requirements and take specialized coursework in subjects related to business marketing, web marketing, brand management, and public relations as part of a marketing major.
Online Bachelor of Business Administrations provide students with a designated major that includes training in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, organizational leadership, and other relevant business topics.
Online master’s in accounting programs offer professional training in financial reporting and analysis, the auditing process, tax planning, business law, and accounting IT systems.
Online master’s in economics programs offer online instruction and training in is theories of economics and their practical application in areas that include business operations and management, market dynamics, monetary policy, and consumer behavior.
Students in online master’s in finance programs learn about investing strategies and financial products, market trends, and financial risk probability modeling, as well as in the laws and policies governing securities trading.
Online master’s in financial fraud and forensic accounting programs cover a specialized area of accountancy that encompasses civil and criminal investigations, forensic audits, and the prevention of fraud, embezzlement, and other financial crimes.
Students in online master’s in HRM programs learn about the management of personnel and other workforce assets in various types of organizations, and study professional communication, employment law, and other human resource topics.
Online master’s in marketing programs provide instruction in consumer research, pricing structures, brand management, and the application quantitative and qualitative analysis methods to the crafting of data-driven strategic marketing plans.
Online master’s in organization leadership provide multi-disciplinary training in business, communication, strategic communication, and corporate governance for students interested in pursing leadership roles in the private and public sectors.
Students in an online master’s in sport management program learn specialized business, communications, and organizational leadership skills for work in professional sports leagues, college athletics, and other sports and recreation businesses.
Online master’s in taxation programs utilize distance-learning technologies to provide targeted instruction in the specialized area of accounting that encompasses tax laws, tax audits, tax code research, and tax liability management for various taxable entities.
An overview of Master of Business Administration degree programs with detailed information on program formats, program curricula, online instructional methods, and MBA specializations.
Online Executive MBA programs provide experienced business professionals with a convenient and flexible way to further their business knowledge and cultivate additional organizational leadership and global management skills.
Online MBA in accounting programs offer general business training and specialized coursework in advanced accounting skills and practices that would are not typically covered in the core MBA curriculum.
Online MBA programs with an analytics specialization provide students with advanced coursework in the use of data and data technologies to improve decision making, optimize efficiency, and facilitate better management and marketing strategies.
Online MBA programs with a criminal justice specialization offer students the option of studying issues specific to the management of criminal justice organizations while earning their MBA degree.
Students in an online MBA program with a cybersecurity specialization learn about information security and governance for businesses and other types of organizations while earning their MBA.
Online MBA in entrepreneurship provide general business training as well as a designated track of specialization courses in areas relevant to small businesses, start-ups, and other entrepreneurial ventures.
Online MBA in finance degree programs are designed to provide students with a specialized track of courses that cover advanced topics in financial analysis, investment strategies, and capital management.
Online MBA in healthcare management and administration programs provide students with specialized courses that address the complexities of operating businesses and organizations in the healthcare sector.
Online MBA programs with a hospitality management specialization offer a designated cluster or track of hospitality management coursework designed to prepare students for work in various areas of the hotel, tourism, food service, and hospitality industries.
In an online MBA in HRM program, students receive specialized training and instruction in labor law, workforce development strategies, personnel relations, organizational communication, and other subjects relevant to managing an organization’s human assets.
Online MBA programs with an international business specialization introduce students to the complexities of the global marketplace and provide advanced training and instruction in international business operations, global finance, and cross-cultural communication.
Online MBA programs with a specialization in marketing offer students advanced coursework in the principles and practices of marketing, public relations, brand management, and demographic data analysis.
Online MBA programs with an operations and logistics specialization provide students with a designated concentration of courses that address advanced topics in operations and supply chain management, logistics decision-making, and quality control measures.
Online MBA programs with an organizational leadership specialization provide students with advanced courses that address leadership concepts, organizational psychology, managerial decision-making, and business communication.
Students in an online MBA programs with an insurance and risk management specialization learn about the insurance industry, the process of analyzing and mitigating financial risk, and other ways of managing various risks to companies and organizations.