Best Online Business Degrees 2021

Best Online Business Degrees 2021

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Due to its versatility, a bachelor's in business online remains the most popular college major in every state.

Business is the most popular major in higher education, leading to varied careers after graduation. Some graduates with business administration degrees online pursue jobs in management or finance, while others go on to pursue master of business administration (MBA degrees).

The U.S. employs more than eight million business and finance professionals, primarily in executive management and financial management positions. These workers earned a mean annual wage of $78,130 in 2019 — well above the national average. Top executives with at least a bachelor's degree and work experience are among the highest earners in the business sector, especially chief executives, who earned a median income of $184,460 in 2019.

Online business programs offer concentrations in fields like human resources (HR), sports, and healthcare management, and graduates can pursue both corporate positions and niche entrepreneurial endeavors. The following schools rank among the nation's best online business degrees.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Programs 2021

#1 Penn State World Campus University Park, PA
#2 University of Wisconsin–Whitewater Whitewater, WI
#3 Trine Online Angola, IN
#4 Indiana University–East Richmond, IN
#5 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
#6 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
#7 Missouri State University–Springfield Springfield, MO
#8 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
#9 University of Northwestern Ohio Lima, OH
#10 Troy University Troy, AL

What Is an Online Business Degree?

Students who earn online bachelor's in business administration (BBA) degrees can pursue positions in management and finance. Bachelor-level business administration degrees meet the minimum education requirement for most business jobs, though graduates interested in executive positions may need to earn MBAs.

Online business degrees help students develop the skills needed for management careers. Employers consistently rank marketing, sales, and business analytics — all of which are included in BBA core requirements — among the most desirable job skills. Online business degrees also typically offer management, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship concentrations.

What Is the Difference Between a BBA, BSBA, and BABA?

Students pursuing online business degrees can choose from three types of degrees: BBA, bachelor of science in business administration (BSBA), or bachelor of arts in business administration (BABA).

BBA programs typically focus on business and management principles, while BSBA programs emphasize technical business skills, covering mathematics, statistics, and science. BABA programs balance foundational business courses with more general liberal arts courses. All three degrees can lead to successful business careers.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Program

There are several factors you should consider when choosing between online business administration degrees. First, make sure your potential program is an accredited online business degree; without accreditation, your degree might not be recognized by employers or graduate schools.

Next, check that the program offers concentrations that suit your unique goals and career aspirations, while still using a learning format that works for your schedule. Schools typically offer a variety of concentrations and enrollment options for online business degrees. You can learn more about common considerations for distance learners at the links below.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Program?

While programs vary by school, many business administration degrees online include core coursework in accounting, marketing, and communication, with concentrations in fields like entrepreneurship, HR management, and international business. The following list explores popular courses and concentrations you may encounter while earning a business degree online.

Online Business Administration Curriculum

  • Business Ethics and Law: This course explores legal and ethical issues affecting trading and commerce. Topics include limited liability companies, contract law, and international business.
  • Leadership Theories and Application: Students in this course examine the behaviors of successful leaders in business, finance, and management, developing their own philosophies of leadership. Coursework typically uses case studies to illustrate leadership theories.
  • Accounting: Accounting coursework trains students in how to prepare and maintain financial reports, manage payrolls, and provide basic bookkeeping services. Topics can include financial, management, corporate, or tax accounting.
  • Economics: Economics coursework typically covers both macro- and microeconomics, which are critical to a business administration degree. This includes exploring business analytics and economic theory and policies, seeking to understand how consumers interact with wealth.
  • Marketing: This course explores practical and theoretical approaches to business marketing. Coursework covers advertising strategies, promotion development, social media marketing, and consumer research and analytics.
  • Operations Management: Operations management is an umbrella category that includes supply chain management, project management, and quality compliance — all essential functions for manufacturing, industrial, and general managers.

Online Business Degree Concentrations

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship concentrations emphasize small business leadership, HR management, and financial accounting, preparing students to build a business from the ground up. Programs explore issues relevant to aspiring entrepreneurs, such as creativity and innovation, venture capital, multicultural markets, and new product planning. Most programs also include an entrepreneurship practicum, which often involves writing a business plan.

Information Systems

Information systems concentrations help students develop strong business and IT management skills. Industry-specific courses include application development, software quality, database systems, technological collaboration, and electronic commerce. Coursework also covers soft skills like teamwork, interpersonal relationships, and project management.

Accounting

This concentration prepares students to work as public, private, or government accountants. In addition to foundational accounting coursework, this concentration explores advanced statistics, micro and macroeconomics, and calculus. Topics also include taxation, auditing, and cost management. Graduates typically qualify to sit for the CPA licensure exam.

Human Resources Management

HR management concentrations begin with core coursework in business communications, managerial accounting, and contemporary management practices. Advanced coursework covers employment relations; social, regulatory, and ethical issues in business; negotiation and conflict management; and leadership and organizational behavior.

Finance

This concentration suits students aspiring to careers in financial management or investment analysis. Many programs require applicants to satisfy prerequisites in financial management. Coursework includes corporate finance, investment analysis, tax and regulatory environments, collection and disbursement, and fundraising. Some graduates pursue certified financial planner credentials.

Supply Chain Management

Concentrations in supply chain management have gained popularity due to the globalization of business markets and practices. These programs focus on project management, supply chain analytics, and logistics management, with an emphasis on subjects like global sourcing and innovation, international aviation, and managerial economics.

Marketing

Among the most enduring traditional business specializations, a marketing concentration can lead to positions in advertising, public relations, sales, or social media. Marketing programs develop basic business skills in economics, statistics, and communications while also exploring modern consumer behavior, brand management, market research, and advertising strategies.

International Business

International business concentrations have become increasingly relevant with the rise of a global, internet-driven economy. This program builds on core business concepts in leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork, all taught from a global perspective. Coursework covers international business finance, global ethical leadership, international trade and policy, and international supply chain management.

Business Careers

Online business degrees are among the most versatile academic programs, preparing students for careers across many industries. Graduates of business programs can pursue roles in finance, accounting, sales, and analytics — all roles that arise in most industries, including real estate, insurance, and public relations.

Below, you'll find some of the most popular careers for business graduates.

Career Median Pay (2019)
Accountants and Auditors $71,550
Advertising and Promotions Managers $135,900
Budget Analysts $76,540
Buyers and Purchasing Agents $69,600
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists $64,560
Credit Analysts $77,450
Financial Examiners $81,090
Fundraisers $57,970
Human Resources Specialists $61,920
Insurance Underwriters $70,020
Management Analysts $85,260
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists $63,790
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners $50,600
Personal Financial Advisors $87,850
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists $73,570
Property Appraisers and Assessors $57,010
Purchasing Managers $121,110
Sales Managers $126,640
Tax Examiners $54,890
Training and Development Specialists $61,210

Business Professional Organizations

Joining an organization for business professionals can help graduates access networking opportunities and career development. This can include organizations like the Business Professionals of America and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which offer access to guest speaker events, mentorship opportunities, and annual industry conferences.

Students may find it especially helpful to join professional organizations related to their business concentrations. The more specialized an organization is, the more useful and relevant it will be for aspiring professionals in that field.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Degree Programs

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4

Indiana University–East 

Richmond, IN Apply Now

About this school

IU East became an extension campus of the Indiana University regional system in 1971. The university now offers over 50 academic programs for its more than 4,500 learners annually.

IU East's online bachelor of science in business administration is a collaborative degree, meaning it is provided through several of IU's campuses. It comprises 120 credits of coursework, including 27 credits of business foundations courses, plus 34 credits of core business classes.

Applicants may transfer up to 60 credits from a two-year college or 90 credits from a four-year institution into the online bachelor's in business. Candidates must provide transcripts for consideration.

Graduation Rate
41%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
Online Enrollment
78%
5

Maryville University of Saint Louis 

Saint Louis, MO Apply Now

About this school

Maryville opened its doors in 1872 and now boasts a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. With more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, Maryville enrolls nearly 11,000 learners each year.

Maryville's online bachelor of science in business administration trains students for careers in the fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Core business classes in accounting, management, and marketing accompany specialty courses in finance, business law, and statistics.

Students can also choose concentrations, such as healthcare, cybersecurity, or organizational leadership. Transfer students can complete Maryville's 128-credit business administration degree in as little as two years.

Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
Online Enrollment
56%
6

Clayton State University 

Morrow, GA Apply Now

About this school

Opened as a junior college in 1969, CSU became a four-year institution in 1986. With four academic colleges, CSU offers nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate programs to over 7,000 enrollees annually.

CSU's business administration bachelor's degree allows students to major in five areas. The 120-credit program helps students builds fundamental skills while also developing advanced competencies in accounting, management, marketing, or supply chain management. CSU also offers a general business online degree.

Each candidate must submit transcripts, a certificate of immunization, and SAT or ACT scores to apply.

Graduation Rate
30%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Online Enrollment
54%
7

Missouri State University–Springfield 

Springfield, MO Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1905, MSU has four physical campuses as well as online offerings, serving 26,000 students through 170 undergraduate and graduate programs every year.

MSU's online bachelor of science in general business prepares students for careers in banking, financial services, real estate, and sales. Transfer students with enough credits can earn the online business degree in just two years, while first-year students complete the 120-credit curriculum in four years.

Applicants must provide transcripts and ACT or SAT scores for consideration. For admission to the college of business, learners must complete prerequisite coursework in accounting, economics, and business communications.

Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
Online Enrollment
37%
8

Kansas State University 

Manhattan, KS Apply Now

About this school

K-State opened its doors in 1863 as the first and only land-grant institution in Kansas. Today, K-State offers over 400 undergraduate and graduate programs at three physical campuses and online.

K-State's online bachelor's degree in business administration includes concentrations in business analytics, human resource management, marketing, and operations/supply chain management. Each curriculum combines finance, accounting, and management essentials with specialized coursework to prepare learners for niche business careers.

First-year learners must submit high school transcripts and ACT scores for consideration. Transfer applicants must provide documentation of a minimum 2.0 GPA from at least 24 credits of previous college coursework.

Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
Online Enrollment
25%
9

University of Northwestern Ohio 

Lima, OH Apply Now

About this school

Home to five academic colleges, UNOH offers career and technical programs alongside over 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Established in 1920, UNOH now serves nearly 4,000 students annually.

UNOH's online bachelor's degree in business administration includes 120 credits of coursework. Learners can earn a general business administration degree or choose from three concentrations.

The agribusiness management concentration emphasizes strategies, policy, and entrepreneurship in agribusiness, while the automotive management and aftermarket curriculum focuses on automotive dealerships, parts and service merchandising, and manufacturing and retail. Learners specializing in marketing explore consumer behavior, international marketing, and internet and service marketing.

Applicants provide transcripts and ACT or SAT scores for consideration.

Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
Online Enrollment
16%
10

Troy University 

Troy, AL Apply Now

About this school

With origins extending back to the 1880s, Troy now operates learning centers around the world, plus an online campus that offers nearly 100 degrees.

Troy's online bachelor of science in business administration builds a comprehensive understanding of business on a global scale. The 120-credit program incorporates classes in accounting, marketing, and management, along with coursework in the economics of globalization, leadership and change, and global human resource management.

Applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Individuals must also apply separately to the Sorrell College of Business.

Graduation Rate
43%
Percent Receiving Loans
63%
Online Enrollment
52%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Bachelor's in Business a Good Degree?

Earning a bachelor's in business qualifies graduates for a variety of interesting careers with steady job growth and high salary potential. For students interested in entrepreneurship or working in a corporation, earning a business degree online can be a smart career move.

What Jobs Can I Do With a Business Degree?

A business degree is the minimum education requirement for most jobs in finance and management, and graduates can also find employment as accountants, HR managers, and marketing specialists.

What Is the Highest Paying Business Job?

Advertising or sales managers earn the highest salary rates among business professionals, particularly at the executive level. Purchasing managers and personal financial advisors also earn high salaries.

Is a Degree in Business a BA or BS?

Schools may offer BA or BS programs in business. Though BS degrees are more common and cover more technical concepts, BAs offer a broader education and approach to business, including more liberal arts coursework in subjects like English, history, and communication.

What Is the Best Business Concentration?

While all business concentrations have broad career applications, students specializing in entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance enjoy especially diverse employment options.

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