Is a Business Management Degree Right for You?
Students who choose online bachelor’s degree in business management know that the success of any organization is highly dependent on the ability of its managers to provide effective leadership. Those who choose this degree may already have natural leadership abilities, but want to sharpen their knowledge and skills in interpersonal business communication, technology, conflict negotiation, and leading diverse teams. Business management bachelor’s degrees tend to teach effective teamwork through group projects in core subjects, according to the Houston Chronicle, so prospective students should be comfortable working frequently with other students. Business management is also a solid choice for students who want the flexibility to apply their degree to private companies, nonprofits, government, or even their own entrepreneurial efforts.
Advice for Earning Your Business Management Degree Online
Since so many universities offer online programs in business management, you may want to narrow down your search to business schools that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is considered the gold standard in business education. Prospective students should also put some thought into which specialization area would not only fit their career interests, but that would also be relevant to today’s career field. While traditional specializations like accounting and finance are available, keep in mind that in-demand skills are also taught in more modern specializations, like information technology or Internet marketing. Finally, look for programs that require or encourage you to complete an internship in business management before graduation, as this will enrich your resume, teach you hands-on business skills, and may even open up permanent job opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree in business management online will lay a solid business foundation with core courses in accounting, finance, marketing, management, economics, and business law. The course work in your major will vary a great deal depending on the specialization you choose. For example, a specialization in marketing and sales tends to emphasize sales technique, marketing theory, e-commerce, and advertising strategy. Some courses you may come across in a general business management degree include:
- Operations Management
- Negotiation and Conflict Management
- Risk Management
- Managerial Accounting
- Management Information Systems (MIS)
Common Career Paths
Students who graduate from business management programs have two choices — they can enter the working world or pursue graduate degrees. While graduate degrees are not typically necessary for establishing careers within management, they can help improve job prospects. However, a bachelor’s degree is often enough to secure jobs like the ones listed below. Salaries will vary based on your experience, the region of the country you live in, and the size and type of your employer.
Human Resource Managers
- Expected Growth: 13%
- Average Annual Salary: $108,600
Human resource managers are responsible for managing an organization’s employees and for directing the work of other human resources staff so that employees are effectively recruited, interviewed, trained for their positions, and retained. They may also be responsible for handling employee grievances or disputes. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area, such as a bachelor’s in business management with a specialization or course work in human resources, is required for such positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The above employment growth projections and salary figures were provided by the BLS.
General and Operations Managers
- Expected Growth: 5%
- Average Annual Salary: $114,490
General and operations managers oversee all aspects of their organizations and provide leadership by developing and enforcing company policy and handling daily operational responsibilities. These managers may direct the work of the supervisors who report to them, create schedules and budgets, and make the final decision on hiring and firing personnel. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an area of business is typical for top executives, including general and operational managers, although work experience is valued highly, the BLS explained. The above salary and employment growth figures were drawn from the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 14%
- Average Annual Salary: $126,190
Marketing managers interact with clients to determine the best way to represent a product or service. They handle the pricing and development of marketing campaigns, and usually oversee the employees who market a product or service. A bachelor’s degree is all a prospective marketing manager needs to qualify for a position; however, experience within the field is important, and internships can be highly valuable to becoming qualified for positions, the BLS emphasizes. The job growth projection and salary average listed above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 12%
- Average Annual Salary: $116,860
Sales managers provide vital leadership to a company’s sales staff by implementing sales strategies, training sales staff in effective sales technique, and driving sales through discounts and promotions. These managers may direct the work of local and regional managers, set company-wide and regional sales goals, and examine past sales statistics in making sales decisions. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of business is typical for sales managers, and most of these professionals have ample experience as sales representatives themselves, the BLS explains. The above employment growth projections and salary figures are available through the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 22%
- Average Annual Salary: $87,980
Management analysts work with the management teams of different organizations either on staff or as consultants to help them become more efficient and profitable. To accomplish this, they evaluate organizations’ business practices and policies with the goal of decreasing costs and implementing changes. While a minimum of a bachelor’ s degree is expected for entry-level positions, an MBA or other relevant master’s degree may be required for certain positions, and the Certified Management Consultant credential may also improve job prospects, the BLS explains. The job growth projections and average salary figure provided above were drawn from the BLS.