Online Business Graduate Degrees

Among the many options for online Business Graduate Programs — yes, the Online MBA is one! — online business degrees encompass specific areas (accounting, finance, marketing) and industries (healthcare, nonprofit). Classes examine current trends and practices that may help shape or transform your career.

Online Business Graduate Programs: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re looking for a general business education or one suited to your career plans, online business graduate programs are available at all levels. Get your feet wet or rev up your business skill sets through an online graduate certificate. Or get back in the game with an online masters in business program. Aiming higher? Take thought leadership head-on with an online PhD or DBA degree.  

Business Programs Graduate Online Informationwritten by Rana Waxman

You Don’t Necessarily Need a Business Background

With or without a business background, studying at the graduate level could help you carve out a leadership style. Courses often expose students to modern managerial theories and how to approach challenges in different businesses and settings.

Sometimes, students conduct research using online databases and e-books and thus build a bank of new insights to gain an edge in a competitive job market. There is also the opportunity to embrace fresh and proven ways of conducting business in the global economy.

Graduates could come away with stronger skills to:

  • Analyze
  • Solve problems
  • Think critically
  • Present ideas clearly

In the News

Forbes recently quoted a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) that “MBAs are the most desirable hires in the coming year, with more than 26% or employers stating they intend to bring holders of that master’s degree on board. That was followed by those with Finance degrees (25%) and Accounting degrees (23.6%). ” i

Invest in Yourself Without Needing to Relocate

One of the benefits of online business graduate programs is they take the extra stress off commuting to campus.  

Usually the courses are set up on a university’s course management system – Blackboard is one example – and students log in to:

  • View recorded lectures
  • Access course material
  • Submit assignments
  • Engage with classmates and professor

Distance learners either log in when they have the time (asynchronous) or may need to schedule themselves – like a business meeting – to take part in live streaming (synchronous) lectures. Video conferencing, online discussion threads, and deadlines are some of the tools used to help keep students motivated and on-track.

Grow Your Business Skills at Your Own Pace

Many online business degree programs are offered in full-time, part-time and executive formats.

  • Full-time masters and MBA students might complete their degree in from one to two years, while an online PhD or DBA might from three to five years.
  • Part-time stretches out time to completion and many schools do set limits.
  • Executive formats (e.g. Executive MBA) are accelerated. They are usually intended for seasoned professionals who may be able to swap related work experience for university credit.

Types of Online Graduate Business Degrees

We’ve included a brief synopsis of some common types of online business graduate degrees to help you takes notes on what to ask a school advisor. Make sure you read course lists since curriculum and degree requirements vary greatly between schools.

Online Business Masters Programs

Most programs require a capstone project or thesis, while some may carry internship or fieldwork experiences.  As a general rule of thumb

  • online Master of Science MS in business programs have a technical slant and students may learn how to use statistical analysis and data to drive decisions
  • online MA programs may be broader and include various concepts which students might learn to critically examine and use

Nonetheless, it is a good practice to read course lists to make sure you understand the program’s objectives rather than relying on assumptions. We’ve listed some examples of some common types of online business graduate degrees below.  

Online Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

A common path for those who want to build technical skills is an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. Students in these programs could learn how to use professional resources to research complex accounting issues, work towards ethical solutions, and articulate findings to different audiences. Some online MAcc programs help students work towards the 150-hour requirement for the CPA exam.

Online Master of Science in Business Analytics

One of the keys to success in today’s digital economy is the ability to harness data and transform it into actionable and intelligent information to use in the marketplace. Online MS in Analytics students explore key methods for data mining and beyond.

Online Master of Science in Digital Marketing

One way to study the finer points of reaching consumers is through an online MS in Digital Marketing. Participants could learn how to use social media, mobile platforms, and big data analytics, to guide marketing campaigns while they develop strategic thinking. Creative programs may provide insight into digital storytelling, while other programs may focus on search engine optimization and analytics.

Online Master of Science in Finance (MSF)

An online MS in finance degree is built to help students deepen their business and technical finance skills and think with a global mindset. Core finance courses engage learners in the study of corporate finance and financial markets. Electives often draw on subjects such as private equity, big data and financial statement analysis.

Online Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM)

Students in an online MSPM program could stay abreast of project management software and technology. Along with several technical courses, there may be an opportunity to hone skills in team leadership and strategic decision-making.

Online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MA)

An online MA in organizational leadership aims to help students develop as effective managers for understand current management strategies and practices for business and other organizations. There’s often an examination of organizational change, workplace behavior, and a range of concentrations such as higher education.

Online MBA

The online MBA is a popular type of professional masters degree with a focus on private sector management. Online MBAs typically deliver a solid business core to provide students with well-rounded skills in operations, managerial accounting, marketing and strategy. In tandem, students could lean away from generalist knowledge through a concentration. These electives are designed to provide more insight and expertise in a specific industry (online Healthcare MBA, online MBA Marketing) or type of career (online MBA in Human Resources).

Online MPA

An online MPA (Master of Public Administration) is a sibling of the MBA though focuses on management in the public and nonprofit sectors as well as government policy. MPA students explore core topics in leadership – transparency, and ethics – while studying how to implement programs and policies to serve the community. Electives could help focus an online MPA in criminal justice, homeland security, crisis management and beyond.

Online MHA

An online Master of Healthcare Administration is designed for those who want in-depth coursework in the managerial processes that relate to the healthcare industry. The MHA degree is often compared with the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees but sets itself apart. Online MHA programs focus specifically on health administration in nonprofit, federal, state, and local levels.

Online Graduate Certificate in Business

Online graduate certificates in business are non-degree awards. They are much like a concentration in scope – just a few courses – so they may be easy to complete in one or two semesters (full-time). Also, earned credits may be applicable to a related masters degree should that be a route you want to take later. For instance, some schools offer an online accounting graduate certificate which might serve as a step towards a Master of Accounting (MAcc).

Online PhD in Business Programs

An online PhD in business programs is a research doctorate which aims to help students develop as business scholars who might help make strides in their field. Many online PhD programs in business are interdisciplinary. At the same time, they are tailored to meet the individual demands of field concentration.

Online DBA | Doctor of Business Administration

Online DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) programs build on professional business experience to help students sharpen their skills as evidence-based managers. Course plans address everyday business challenges and encourage students to excel as thought leaders. Like the MBA, online DBA students may anchor their research through a concentration such as online DBA in Financial Management.

Applying to Online Business Schools

Successful candidates for online business graduate programs must have an undergraduate degree, earned at an accredited university or college. Some programs want applicants to have a business degree in a field related to their program. They may also target students with several years of relevant, full-time work experience and/or a graduate degree. Other possible admissions requirements include:

  • Official transcripts
  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Professional letter(s) of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Application fee
  • GRE or GMAT scores

There are multiple online masters and MBAs with no GMAT/GRE requirements as well as PhD programs that don’t require GRE scores. This type of information may be found on program page or under a ‘graduate admissions’ section of a business school website.

Take the Next Step with our List of 232 Online Business Graduate Programs

Advance your career through post-graduate study with one of our online business graduate programs. Clarify your goals to select subject and degree level. Then check out all your options. Excited about several online business degrees? Great – click all of them to request info (it’s free) and you are one step closer to realizing your potential.

Source: [i]

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