Are you considering a career in business management? If you have an interest in business and are looking to broaden your education or earn additional credentials, pursuing this degree is likely a good idea. Most online business management degrees of this level focus on the various methods utilized to enhance a company or organization’s efficiency. This may include tactics or techniques to boost productivity, drive sales up, or increase overall profitability. Business programs help students develop various leadership competencies and give them a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive job market. They are also designed to prepare graduate students who are already business professionals who have a background in business to expand their career paths and successfully control the operational areas of a company or organization in the real world. Prospective students considering traditional or online degrees can expect to take courses in management and leadership, organizational behavior, international business, and human resources while gaining strong analysis skills that will serve them well in business and management. MBA programs offered by an online school of business will offer concentrations in a variety of subjects, such as international business or business and management.
While professionals with a master’s degree in business management can often find full-time work in nearly any industry after gaining an advanced business education and management degree, they frequently have careers that deal heavily with sales, production, marketing or administration.
There are numerous business-related career opportunities to choose from. Many entry-level positions do not require a graduate degree in a management program, but only a bachelor's degree. While this level of education is not required in order to have a successful career in the field, it can be exceptionally helpful. As with all academic and career ventures, however, there are advantages and disadvantages to earning a master’s in business management from a business school or university.
There are many reasons to consider an online masters in business management program. One of the most alluring benefits is the potential for a higher salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many occupations pay employees with graduate degrees better than they do employees without them, especially with a background in business. Additionally, business fields had some of the highest wage premiums for business students who graduate with a master's.
Earning a management master's also provides professionals with the ability to earn additional certifications, which can also be earned online in many cases, that can increase the number of employment opportunities available. While credentials vary based on fields of interest, it is common for graduates to pursue the following:
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Financial Risk Management (FRM)
- American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
- Confluence Certified Recruiter (CCR)
Higher levels of education, especially when combined with additional certifications, often make job advancement easier. In fact, some companies and organizations will not even consider professionals without a graduate degree for certain promotions.
Additionally, a master’s degree is often required in order to pursue a doctorate. Those who plan to become management analysts, professors, economists, or executives should plan to earn one.
While there are numerous reasons to consider pursuing an online master’s degree in business management, there are some drawbacks as well. One of the most important disadvantages to keep in mind is that earning this type of degree requires a significant time commitment, even with asynchronous online courses. It takes most full-time graduate students two years to complete the graduation requirements. Those who plan to take classes on a part-time basis, however, may need even longer.
Further, because some entry-level business positions are attainable without a graduate degree, it can be argued that a master’s is not worth the expense. An individual with an undergraduate degree may not earn as large a salary as someone with a graduate degree, but he or she will be receiving a consist salary instead of paying for two additional years of education.
Overview of an online Master's in Business Management
What Business Management Online Master’s Degrees are Available?
While specific degree titles can vary from institution to institution, many colleges and universities offer a Master of Science/Master of Arts and/or an online MBA. These degrees help prepare graduates for employment in the field, but there are a few distinct differences you should be aware of before enrolling.
- Master of Science (MSc) in Business Management
This degree is ideal for individuals interested in exploring the scientific side of the business field. These programs are designed to focus primarily on business theory. Most MSc in business degrees take two years to complete.
- Master of Arts (MA) in Business Management
This degree is generally geared toward students without an undergraduate degree in business or a related field. Curriculum often includes various liberal arts courses, such as literature, history, and philosophy. Most MA in business degrees take two years to complete.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
This degree is intended for individuals interested in exploring broad but extremely applicable advanced topics in business. These programs usually help students develop the leadership, communication, decision-making, and organization skills required to be successful in upper-level management positions. While most MBAs are completed in two years, there are some accelerated degree options available.
- Master in Management (MIM)
A Master in Management (MIM) is usually designed specifically for individuals interested in entering managerial positions in the business world. Students often gain a more in-depth understanding on ethical decision making, business law, global business, workplace security, corporate crime, business culture, human resource management, and marketing. These programs can take less time to complete, some requiring only a single year’s worth of coursework.
Online Admission Requirements
In most cases, colleges and universities have established requirements that graduate degree candidates must complete before enrolling into the college of business. While these vary from school to school, they often include some variation of the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in business or a related field
- Minimum overall academic grade point average (usually 3.0 or higher)
- Two to three years of professional experience (depending on degree type)
- Passing GMAT or GRE scores
- Professional/academic resume
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
Some college of business institutions have fewer admission requirements than others. They may also offer exemptions from certain expectations. It is worth noting that many unaccredited colleges and universities have less rigorous application processes. These schools may not, however, provide you with the education or credentials you need to be successful in the field.
How long does it take to earn a Business Masters Online?
In most cases, it takes approximately two years to earn an online management degree. Programs typically consist of 60 credit hours of coursework. The two-year projection does assume, however, that the student is enrolled full-time. People who opt to take classes on a part-time basis due to personal or professional responsibilities will likely require additional time. For some part-time students, earning a graduate level degree can take between three and five years.
It is worth noting that some colleges and universities offer accelerated graduate degrees in business. These can take full-time students as little as a single year to complete.
Potential Careers in Business Management with a Masters
There are numerous employment opportunities available to individuals who have earned a graduate degree in business. Some popular options include financial analyst, brand manager, general sales manager, production manager, and marketing manager.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts are responsible for helping a company or organization make smart investment decisions. They frequently study marketplace trends, as well as demographics and microeconomics, in order to make more accurate financial predictions. They may also assist with issuing bonds and splitting bonds. According to PayScale,
the average salary for a financial analyst is: $61,400.
- Brand Manager
Brand managers usually oversee one or more branded trademarks for a business or corporation. They are responsible for controlling and managing how their assigned brand(s) is presented to the public. These professionals are expected to find ways to incite positive responses to the brand from consumers. According to PayScale,
the average salary for a brand manager is: $71,000.
- General Sales Manager
General sales managers are in charge of a company’s sales department. They are often responsible for hiring, training, and managing sales staff members, as well as compiling and organizing sales data to present to upper management. These professionals must also help ensure that the company is bringing in an adequate amount of revenue. According to PayScale,
the average salary for a general sales manager is: $65,000.
- Manufacturing Production Manager
Manufacturing production managers are responsible for overseeing operations at a company or corporation’s manufacturing plant. They are in charge of scheduling and managing project workloads, as well as supervising and evaluating employees. These professionals must also maintain safety regulations and ensure safety protocols are being followed. According to PayScale,
the average salary for a manufacturing production manager is: $72,200.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers oversee the creation of advertising and merchandising sales campaigns for products produced and sold by a company. They may be in charge of a single product, a product line, several products, or all products for a company. These professionals usually manage the work done by a variety of creative, sales, and research teams. According to PayScale,
the average salary for a marketing manager is: $65,900.
Options to Advance
After earning a graduate degree in business, some may choose to pursue either a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration. These programs prepare graduates for senior management and consulting positions, especially in government, education, private, and non-profit sectors.
In most cases, the opportunity to advance comes from within the company or organization itself. Managerial professionals often covet promotions into executive positions, but job titles and command structures vary significantly from industry to industry. It is worth noting, however, that advancement opportunities are more readily available to professionals employed by large corporations.
Best Online Master of Science in Business Management Programs
There are many colleges that offer traditional business programs. These programs require students to take courses in person, as opposed to offering a distance learning alternative. Some of the most prominent colleges and universities with this type of program include:
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania offers an MBA program that gives students the business and leadership skills they need to achieve their career goals. The program boasts high rankings and incredible networking opportunities. It is designed to focus on rigorous analysis, actionable knowledge, and responsible leadership.
- Public Policy
Stanford University offers a two-year MBA degree for students interested in contributing to society through leadership in business and government, as well as the non-profit sector. The program provides a brief but significant exploration of social science principles and management functions. Students can earn certificates in both Global Management and Public Management. Stanford University also offers an accelerated master’s degree that can be completed in one year.
- Business MBA
- Stanford MSx One-Year Master’s Program
New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University offers several business management programs, as well as a variety of other related programs. The Yale School of Management seeks to help students build the skills necessary to positively contribute to the world of business. Coursework is specially designed to teach graduates how to understand and solve big challenges.
- Advanced Management (MAM)
- Systemic Risk
- Global Business & Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a masters, along with several other related programs. MIT strives to bring leaders together to solve complex solutions. Enrolled students are encouraged to analyze their personal strengths, interests, and values in order to better market themselves in the business world.
- Business Analytics
- Leaders for Global Operations
- System Design & Management
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago offers a general and executive management programs. The MBA is renowned for its flexibility, as students are encouraged to build upon their unique academic and professional backgrounds. Those enrolled are taught problem solving and decision making techniques that will allow them to define their impact on the world.
- Executive MBA
Traditional Schools Offering an Online MS in Business Management
There are many colleges that offer online master’s and graduate level degrees. These programs are convenient because they do not require students to take classes on campus, instead offering hybrid or full distance learning options. Some of the most prominent colleges and universities with this type of program include:
Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is home to several online graduate business degrees. The programs are demanding and rigorous, but offer working professionals much-needed academic flexibility. Most students graduate in two to four years. It is important to note, however, that those enrolled in the MBA program are required to participate in on-campus connection weeks.
Master's Degrees Offered:
- Business Analytics
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Strategic Management
- Global Supply Chain Management
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University offers two online graduate programs, one focusing on supply chain management and the other focusing on management, strategy, and leadership. The programs have different curriculums, but both provide students with a practical education experience, useful skills, and critical industry knowledge.
- Management, Strategy, & Leadership
- Supply Chain Management
Boston University offers numerous online business school degrees and related fields. The programs are designed to provide students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience within their area of interest. Many of the degree options offer concentration options. Additionally, there are several graduate certificates available.
- Applied Business Analytics
- Enterprise Risk Management
- Global Marketing Management
- Project Management
- Supply Chain Management
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University offers an online master of science busienss degree. Additionally, the institution has other related programs focusing on project management and supply chain management. All of these programs strive to incorporate business strategies, collaborative teamwork, and strategic leadership into an interactive curriculum.
Master's Degrees Offered:
- Project Management
- Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management
- Strategic Management and Executive Leadership
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, New Jersey
Stevens Institute of Technology offers an online master of science in business. In addition to this MBA, there are several other business programs available. These graduate programs aim to combine the technical prowess with analytical skills necessary to lead teams and create new business opportunities.
Master's Degrees Offered:
- Executive MBA
- Enterprise Project Management
- Network & Communication Management & Services
- Technology Management
- The University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 from
- Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 from
- Hospitality Management Associate. Youngstown State University.. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 from
- Master’s Business Programs. Stevens Institute of Technology. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 from
- Yale School of Management. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 from
Business Degrees & Career Paths