Is an E-Business Degree for You?
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These programs focus on the technology and online business practices of a company. Those who are interested in working in the computer technology industry or for Internet businesses will benefit most from having an e-business degree. E-business is often referred to as e-commerce, and the two are synonymous because they both rely on automatic information systems to conduct business on the Internet. E-business majors will gain a comprehensive understanding of creating, funding and managing Internet businesses. They'll learn how to write business plans, buy and sell goods or services online and collaborate with marketing and other partners to ensure profitable input and output.
The program will also teach students about professional business practices that meet customer needs and expectations. E-business majors will become familiar with specific software programs and technologies that are used in the industry for writing business plans, budgeting and scheduling. E-business degrees may have a narrow focus, but the major lessons and skills can translate to several other areas and industries.
Advice for Earning Your E-Business Degree Online
An online e-business degree is not only a convenient alternative to attending classes in person, but it's also positively viewed in the e-business job market and respected among industry professionals. An online e-business program encompasses the same kind of course work and grading requirements as traditional e-business degree programs. Online students will still have projects, tests and class assignments to do. When looking for an e-business degree program, make sure it meets your career goals and educational needs. Your online program should be flexible and should cover the same material as a traditional e-business degree to ensure that you get the most comprehensive education possible.
All e-business majors need to make sure that their degree program and online school are accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or else employers may not recognize it.
The e-business degree program combines business management with information technology. Students will often take classes in professional development, business information systems and business communication, as well as online security and business law. The degree program will also cover supply chain management, distribution and shipping. In addition to these classes, you may have the opportunity to explore Web marketing strategies and design as well as multimedia Internet presentations in advanced courses.
Common Career Paths
E-business has fundamentally changed how companies operate and has therefore opened the door to new careers. Many companies look for applicants who are e-business savvy and up to date on the latest technology and online business practices. Some common career paths for e-business graduates include (but are not limited to):
Management consultants examine and analyze businesses and identify ways to improve organization and increase profits. They consult with business managers to identify goals, analyze weaknesses, reorganize structures and develop strategies. For the consultant concerned with e-businesses, this involves implementing plans to increase a company's presence in an electronic marketplace and strategies that will allow it to remain competitive. It may also include putting electronic services and systems into place to help a business run more smoothly and improve overall efficiency. Although some management consultants may work internally at an organization, most of the time they are hired as outside consultants on a contract basis. Employment of management analysts is expected to increase 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual salary of management consultants ranges from $51,981 to $138,835 as of June 2012, according to PayScale.com.
Marketing managers are responsible for promoting a business' products or services to increase sales. This often requires them to identify potential markets, research target audiences, monitor trends, estimate product demand and oversee pricing strategies. Given the rising popularity of Internet shopping, many managers oversee marketing operations concerning e-business. This type of job requires them to oversee digital marketing and website production, which can include duties such as monitoring site visitor patterns, developing online campaigns and implementing online merchandising strategies. Often, marketing managers work in office environments at small businesses or large corporations where they are faced with demanding schedules and requirements. The annual salary of marketing managers ranges from $37,646 to $91,499 as of June 2012, according to PayScale.com.
Purchasing specialists are in charge of buying merchandise from suppliers for companies for the purpose of resale. Specialists that work within e-commerce are responsible for purchasing products for stores that have a strong online presence or act solely as a Web store. This often requires them to identify the products that will most appeal to a wide customer base, keep up with changes within online buyer behavior and find the best deals on the products they wish to stock. As online buying is a 24/7 marketplace, these types of specialists must constantly monitor sales and inventory levels to maintain an adequate stock of best selling items, as well as keep up with competitors' stock and pricing. Employment of purchasing professionals is projected to increase 7 percent between 2010 and 2020. Their median annual salary was $58,360 in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.