Accredited Online Business Degree

Earning an accredited online business degree can open doors to lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities. With the flexibility of online learning, professionals can upskill while balancing work and life commitments. This complete guide explores accredited online business degrees, from associate to doctoral levels.
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Accredited Online Business Degrees: A Complete Guide

Earning an accredited online business degree can open doors to lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities. With the flexibility of online learning, professionals can upskill while balancing work and life commitments. This complete guide explores accredited online business degrees, from associate to doctoral levels.

What is an Online Business Degree?

An online business degree is a college degree in business that is earned primarily through distance learning. While some online business programs may require occasional in-person sessions, most coursework and learning is done remotely. This allows students to study on their own schedule.

Online business degrees are offered at all levels, from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. They cover core business topics like accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. Depending on the program, students may be able to specialize or customize their degree.

Accredited online business degrees carry the same credentials as traditional on-campus programs. Graduates earn the same respected degrees that appeal to employers.

Benefits of Earning an Online Business Degree

Pursuing an online business degree offers many advantages:

  • Flexibility – Online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own time, from anywhere. This enables professionals to advance their education while working.
  • Affordability – Online degrees eliminate commuting and housing costs, making them a budget-friendly option.
  • Global networking – Online classes enable students to collaborate with peers from around the world. This offers diverse perspectives.
  • Self-paced learning – Students can pause lectures and rewind as needed when learning remotely. This facilitates comprehension.
  • Latest technology – Online programs utilize modern tech tools that prepare students for the digital business landscape.
  • Wide selection – Students can choose from a vast array of online business degrees, specializations, and concentrations.
Accredited Online Business Degree
Accredited Online Business Degree

Accreditation for Online Business Degrees

When researching online business degree options, accreditation status is key. Accredited programs have been rigorously evaluated to ensure they meet strict quality standards. There are two types of accreditation:

Regional Accreditation

Regional accreditation is the highest standard of accreditation most colleges and universities strive for. There are six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Schools are only accredited within their specific geographic region. Regional accreditation is important because it makes transferring credits seamless and enables eligibility for federal financial aid. When researching online business degree programs, look for regional accreditation.

Programmatic/Specialized Accreditation

Specialized accreditation evaluates specific degree programs, like business, engineering, or nursing. In business, the most recognized specialized accreditor is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

AACSB accreditation signifies that a business school’s curriculum, faculty, and other areas meet the highest standards. It is an indicator of teaching excellence and real-world applicability. Many employers specifically seek out graduates of AACSB-accredited business schools.

Associate Degrees in Business

An Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) in Business is typically a 2-year program requiring about 60 credits. Coursework provides a foundational overview of essential business topics.

Some common courses in an accredited online associate business program include:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Microeconomics
  • Business Law
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Communications
  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Computer Applications

Holders of an Associate of Business degree can enter the workforce in entry-level business roles or transfer into a Bachelor’s program. Common careers with an Associate in Business include:

  • Administrative Assistant – Provides administrative support to professionals in various industries. Median salary: $37,290.
  • Bookkeeper – Handles financial records, transactions, and documentation for companies. Median salary: $42,410.
  • Executive Assistant – Assists executives with scheduling, correspondence, projects and presentations. Median salary: $60,670.
  • Retail Sales Manager – Oversees operations and staff in retail stores. Median salary: $46,720.
  • Receptions – Greets visitors, answers calls and performs clerical duties in professional settings. Median salary: $29,680.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Business

A Bachelor’s degree in business typically takes 4 years and 120 credit hours to complete. Core curriculum provides broad foundational knowledge of business principles and functions. As the degree progresses, students take more specialized courses in their concentration or major.

Common major concentration options in an accredited online business Bachelor’s program include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Supply Chain Management

General business degrees without a concentration are also available, providing more flexible career preparation.

Here are some typical courses found in an online Bachelor’s in Business program:

Core Business Courses:

  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Statistics
  • Finance

Advanced Courses in Chosen Concentration:

Accounting: Tax Accounting, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Advanced Financial Accounting

Finance: Investments, Corporate Finance, Financial Institutions, Financial Modeling, Money and Banking

Marketing: Advertising, Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics

A Bachelor’s degree in Business opens doors to a plethora of career paths. According to PayScale, average early career pay for business degree graduates is $55,000. Many ascend quickly into management roles.

Here are some common positions held by business degree holders:

  • Financial Analyst – Analyzes financial data to guide business decisions. Median salary: $81,590.
  • Market Research Analyst – Researches market data to forecast sales, analyze trends, and set strategic direction. Median salary: $65,810.
  • Accountant – Prepares and examines financial records and taxes. Median salary: $77,250.
  • Operations Manager – Oversees day-to-day business operations and workflows. Median salary: $70,360.
  • Sales Manager – Leads teams to meet sales goals and develop new business. Median salary: $71,730.
  • Human Resources Manager – Recruits talent and oversees HR policies, compensation, and training. Median salary: $70,720.

Graduate Degrees in Business

Offered through business schools, accredited graduate degree programs in business include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), and doctorate degrees. These advanced degrees prepare graduates for leadership roles in business.

Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA is the most popular graduate business degree. MBA programs develop analytical, leadership, and management skills needed to advance in business careers or transition into new roles.

Full-time MBA degrees usually take 2 years to complete, while part-time online MBA programs can be completed in 2-3 years. Here are some highlights of a typical online MBA curriculum:

  • Leadership Development
  • Managerial Economics
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Managerial Finance
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Human Resources Management
  • Business Strategy and Policy
  • Business Analytics
  • Organizational Behavior

Common concentrations and electives allow MBA students to customize their degree, which may include:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Supply Chain Management
  • International Business
  • Healthcare Management
  • Project Management
  • Agribusiness
  • Arts Management

An MBA opens doors to lucrative management and executive-level roles across all industries. According to Forbes, the average starting salary for MBA graduates is $115,000. With an MBA, graduates pursue positions such as:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Finance Manager
  • Operations Director
  • Product Manager
  • Accounting Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Management Consultant

Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

A Master of Accountancy degree provides advanced accounting expertise, preparing students for the CPA exam and leadership roles in corporate accounting or public accounting firms.

Coursework covers topics like:

  • Advanced Auditing
  • Business Law for Accountants
  • Tax Research and Planning
  • Applied Professional Research
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • International Accounting
  • Fraud Examination
  • Ethics for Accountants

Pursuing a MAcc degree enables students to meet 150-hour requirements for the CPA exam in most states. Careers for MAcc degree holders include:

  • Public Accountant
  • Private or Corporate Accountant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Forensic Accountant
  • IRS Agent
  • Accounting Manager

According to PayScale, accountancy master’s degree graduates earn an average early career salary of $61,000. With licensure and experience, salaries can reach well over $100,000.

Doctorate Degrees in Business

The doctoral degree is the highest academic degree in business, designed for those pursuing careers in academia or high-level research. Two main options are:

PhD in Business

The PhD in Business prepares graduates for research-focused careers as professors, researchers, analysts, and consultants. Programs take 4-6 years and require intensive original research and dissertation work. Coursework emphasizes research methodology and advanced analytical skills.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The DBA has an applied, professional focus aiming to develop skills for executive leadership. Curriculum covers areas like organizational behavior, strategy, marketing, accounting, finance, and operations. Programs take 3-4 years on average.

Graduates pursue careers such as:

  • Business Professor
  • Business Researcher
  • Chief Strategy Officer
  • Senior Business Consultant
  • Economics Analyst

According to PayScale, those with business doctorates earn an average salary of $105,000.

What to Look for in an Online Business Degree Program

When researching online business degree options, here are some key factors to look for:


Regional and specialized AACSB accreditation verify program legitimacy and quality.


Specialized concentrations and electives allow customization for career goals.

Faculty Credentials

Faculty should have advanced degrees and extensive professional experience.

Active Student Community

Cohort models and networking opportunities provide community.

Internship Opportunities

Internships for real-world experience are invaluable.

Career Development Resources

Resources for honing soft skills and job placement prep are ideal.

Applications of Online Business Degrees

An online business degree opens doors to well-paid careers in virtually any industry. Business majors possess versatile leadership, analytical, and strategic skills.

Here are just some career paths an online business degree can lead to:


  • Sales Representative
  • Sales Manager
  • Account Executive
  • Business Development Manager


  • Marketing Manager
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Public Relations Manager

Accounting and Finance

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer


  • Operations Manager
  • General Manager
  • Store Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager

Human Resources

  • HR Manager
  • HR Business Partner
  • Recruiter
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Training Manager

Information Technology

  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • CRM Manager
  • IT Project Manager


  • Management Consultant
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analytics Consultant
  • Strategy Consultant


  • Small Business Owner
  • Freelance Consultant
  • Startup Founder

The Bottom Line

Whether looking to advance your current career or switch industries, an accredited online business degree is a flexible and proven path to reach your goals. With full-time and part-time options, professionals can upskill on their own timeline.

With rigorous curriculum, experienced faculty, and career development resources, accredited online business programs empower graduates to propel into new, lucrative roles across virtually any industry. By selecting an AACSB-accredited school with concentrations aligned to your interests, you can maximize your career potential.

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