Informed decision-making and the ability to communicate and coordinate actionable plans are cornerstones of effective management. Cultivating these skills requires broad understanding of organizational structures and group dynamics; social, political, and business environments; and the various operational aspects of businesses and other enterprises. Students who engage in the formal study of management learn to apply analytical skills and theories of social and behavioral science to the challenges of running different types of organizations. These challenges may include logistical, financial, and personnel issues, as well as the coordination of sales, marketing, public relations, product and service delivery, and other key business functions.
A bachelor’s in management is an undergraduate degree program that provides students with general education coursework as well as targeted training in business, leadership, and analytical decision-making. Students in a bachelor’s in management program take a range of general education courses in the arts, sciences, and humanities as a foundation for the management curriculum, which typically includes introductory coursework in accounting, business technologies, finance, marketing, operations and logistics, and organizational communication and leadership. At the undergraduate level, training in management also includes more advanced instruction in areas like human resource management (HRM), organizational behavior, and social dynamics, as well as case studies in effective management.
While there are general leadership, personnel, and strategic planning concepts associated with the field of management, there are also industry-specific competencies that are unique to companies offering healthcare, hospitality, recreational, and technology products and services. Management majors may specialize as undergraduates in one or more of these areas, or focus their studies on entrepreneurial enterprises, international businesses, and/or non-profit organizations.
Online bachelor’s programs offer all or most of their coursework using distance learning technologies. This allows students to complete an undergraduate degree without relocating to be near a college/university or commuting to a school’s campus. For students who cannot or would prefer not to attend a traditional campus-based program, online programs provide a convenient and flexible means to study management while earning a bachelor’s degree. Students in an online program are given access to lectures and other course materials through a learning management system (LMS), which is an interactive, Internet-based platform for the delivery of instructional activities. In addition to streaming lectures, a school’s LMS typically allows students to complete assignments, participate in group discussions, and communicate with instructors online, providing undergraduates with a means to earn a bachelor’s in management degree from anywhere with an Internet connection.
OnlineEducation.com researches online bachelor’s programs and classifies these program based on their curricula, their structure, and other important factors. Programs on the site must be offered by regionally accredited, non-profit colleges and universities, and they must offer all or most of their coursework online. Bachelor’s programs that require students to attend more than two campus sessions per year are considered hybrid programs and are not included at this time. A bachelor’s in management program must offer a clearly delineated management major. Designations for these programs include:
Bachelor’s in management degree programs offer students an integrated curriculum of business, mathematics, statistics, and communication courses. The management curriculum is designed to familiarize students with various business functions, including accounting and finance, sales and marketing, business computing, and project and personnel management, and provide students with leadership and decision-making tools. There may be additional specialized coursework in E-commerce, international business, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, and other specific applications of management science. Some bachelor’s in management programs incorporate internships and/or applied capstone projects that encourage students to apply what they have learned in the program to practical problem solving.
Specific classes, course descriptions, and electives vary by program. However, there are core courses that are found in most bachelor’s in management curricula. The table below offers an overview the types of management courses that are typically offered at the undergraduate level.
|Managerial Decision Making||An introduction to the art and science of decision making under constraints such as limited data, uncertainty, and competing objectives.|
|Information Technology in Management||An overview of business IT systems and their use in management.|
|Organizational Behavior||The study of organizational structures and group dynamics with a focus on motivation, performance evaluation, decision-making, and goal setting.|
|Human Resource Management||The relationship between internal and external labor market concepts and their impact on organizational manpower planning.|
|Social Environment of Business||The interrelationships among business, government, and society and how these relationships impact organizational management. Through case studies, students learn about power dynamics, corporate responsibility, business ethics, and the regulatory environment.|
|Cross-Cultural Management||The role of culture in international business relations; applied principles of intercultural communications, negotiations, and management; and regional approaches to business relations.|
|Leading Organizations||A comprehensive overview of leadership, including leadership research and its applications to organizational management.|
|Problem Solving & Actionable Analytics||Foundational skills for exploring unstructured business problems, analyzing business challenges, and employing decision-making tools and systems.|
|Negotiations||The tools of effective negotiations and how they are applied in various business situations.|
|International Management||The dynamics involved in international business management, including political, legal, and labor issues, strategic planning and organizational design, and the role of managers and others in successful international operations.|
While admissions policies and criteria vary by program, the baseline requirement for admission to an online bachelor’s in management program is a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs may require students to submit SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and/or a written essay or personal goals statement as part of the application process. Programs with selective admissions policies may weigh an applicant’s class rank and/or grade point average in relevant high school coursework. Prospective applicants should examine each program’s admissions criteria to ensure they meet the requirements. Students who are transferring into an online bachelor’s in management program may have different admissions requirements than those who are entering from high school.
There are differences in online bachelor’s degree programs that can impact the relative convenience and/or flexibility of a particular program and that may be important considerations for applicants who anticipate scheduling conflicts due to work or other commitments. For example, there are two methods of online instruction, which can determine whether or not students must be available for classes at specified times. There are also different enrollment options that affect the time it takes to complete an online bachelor’s degree and the number of courses that students take per semester. Finally, online degree programs may include one or two campus visits per year, which is something that prospective applicants may want to factor in to their decision making process.
Instructional Methods: Synchronous instruction is the designation for a method of online teaching that requires students to be logged on to the program’s LMS at specific times in order to view lectures and participate in discussions and other activities. Synchronous instruction provides students with a structured learning experience that is analogous to attending campus-based classes, but it can cause scheduling problems for students who have work or other commitments outside of school. In contrast, asynchronous instruction allows students to access lectures and other course materials 24-7 by logging on to the LMS at their convenience. Students have more flexibility in a course that utilizes asynchronous instruction, but they are responsible for managing their time, staying up-to-date with lectures, and completing assignment by set due dates.
Enrollment Options: An online bachelor’s degree is the equivalent of a campus-based bachelor’s degree in terms of crediting requirements and the amount of coursework students must complete. Graduating from an online bachelor’s in management program generally requires eight semesters or four years of full-time enrollment, which means taking four or five courses per semester. However, students in online programs may be able to graduate in less that four years by taking courses year round, including over the summer. There are also online bachelor’s programs that do not adhere to the traditional academic semester system. These programs have shorter terms (six to ten weeks), during which full-time students take one or two courses at a time. For students who would prefer to attend school part-time, there are also options. Many online programs allow part-time students to enroll in two or three courses per semester, thereby lengthening the time to completion by a year or more. Prospective applicants should examine enrollment options for each program in order to find a program that fits their needs.
Campus Visits: Online degree programs may incorporate a limited number of on-campus orientation or instructional sessions as part of the required curriculum. Online bachelor’s degree programs typically do not require campus visits, but prospective applicants should check with each program they are considering in order to determine whether or not they will be required to attend any campus sessions while earning their bachelor’s degree.