Are you interested in earning a business degree? Have you considered enrolling in an online program? If so, you may be wondering whether an online business degree program is worth it, or if it’s better to go the traditional route.
According to recent research comparing educational outcomes for classroom-based learners and those studying online, online students tend to outperform those enrolled in traditional degrees.
Why do online learners do so well? It seems to come down to flexibility. This means that students who learn online are better able to take charge of their learning, which in turn helps them learn more effectively.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of learning online. We’ll also cover why business degrees are ideal subjects to study online.
What do we mean by ‘business degree’?
A business degree is an associate’s or bachelor’s degree that provides foundational knowledge across all business functions.
There are various business degree programs you can pursue, such as business administration, business management, or management and leadership. You can also get a business degree that’s specialized in other areas such as accounting, finances, marketing and human resources.
If you’re looking for broad-based knowledge and skills, career flexibility or advancement to cross-functional leadership positions, then a more general business degree is your best route. On the other hand, if you want to gain specialized knowledge and skills, a clear-cut career path or advancement to departmental leadership positions, then a specialist business degree may be best for you.
Why earn an online business degree?
Careers in the field of business and finance are some of the most lucrative ones out there. Whether you’re looking to become a chief executive or marketing manager, you can enroll in a business degree program to gain a strong business foundation and a number of versatile skills that will be useful in a wide range of business administration and management roles.
Now that you understand the value that a business degree can bring, you might still be wondering why you should earn one online. It is such an ideal subject to study online because you can further your career quickly, increase your earning potential, develop in-demand skills, and get a flexible and affordable education without having to sacrifice on quality.
What’s required to earn an online business degree?
Earning your business degree involves time, energy and finances, whether you enroll in an online program or a traditional one. Depending on the course you enroll in and the degree you’re getting, you’ll have to obtain a certain number of credit hours before you graduate from the program.
For example, if you’re getting a bachelor’s degree, it typically takes about four years. But that’s if you’re a traditional student. If you’re a working professional, then the time to graduation may not be that long, depending on transfer credit and your course load.
Getting your business degree online is more than just a time commitment. It also involves dedication and discipline. This is what makes getting an online business degree so beneficial – you’re able to learn more self-discipline and accountability skills because you’re obtaining a degree online.
Because online degrees are more flexible and self-paced, it can be easy for students to get off track and fall behind on their coursework. Therefore, it takes a highly disciplined person to obtain an online degree.
Advantages of getting an online degree in business
Every industry and organization relies on the principles of business to succeed. This often involves entrusting the expertise of business majors to carry out day-to-day business functions and tasks.
Professionals who are well-versed in business administration and management can help businesses organize, plan, develop and grow. In order to obtain the qualifications to carry out those duties, you must enroll in a business degree program.
While pursuing this degree in a traditional, in-person format may be your first choice, you can get a high-quality education online. This is especially important if you’re a student with a busy schedule and need a more flexible learning model.
Below, we go more in-depth about the many benefits of earning an online business degree.
Gain access to a flexible degree program
In-person programs require you to be in class on a specific day and time each week, but when you enroll in an online degree program, you can complete your coursework at your own pace. As a result, you’ll gain the flexibility you need to carry out other roles.
For example, maybe you own a business or you’re a working parent still trying to receive a good education.
With an online business degree program, you have the flexibility of furthering your career while still being able to take care of responsibilities. As a result, you won’t be putting your life on hold to further your education and gain new skills.
Choosing an online school that offers a business degree may also be easier. This is because you won’t just be limited to schools that are in your area.
For example, you might have your eye on a particular school that offers one of the best business administration programs in your country. However, under normal circumstances, attending that school would require moving to another state or driving a really long distance.
But what if that school offered an online business degree? You would then have the luxury of attending the school you want without having to worry about relocating.
Also, many online degree programs offer the flexibility to choose how many classes to take per semester. This type of flexibility is essential, especially for busy professionals who are already trying to navigate a hectic schedule.
Get a more affordable education
One important factor that students look at before enrolling in a degree program is affordability. Usually, an online business administration degree is less expensive than participating in traditional, on-campus programs. As a result, you’ll be able to further your career without having to pay a lot in student loans.
Even though online business degrees tend to be more affordable, you might seek help paying for the program. You may qualify for assistance as a working professional.
This means that you may not even have to apply for student loans because your current employer is willing to pay for you to further your education as part of your employee benefits package.
Grow your career at a fast pace
Usually, it takes about four years to complete a traditional, in-person bachelor’s degree program. However, if you’re a working adult looking to advance your career quickly, waiting four years to graduate may not be ideal.
With some online business administration programs, students can earn accelerated degrees. These allow you to finish your degree faster. That way, you can qualify for a new role sooner than you were initially planning for.
For example, if you complete the coursework ahead of schedule, you can get your business administration degree in just two years – and the faster you finish your degree, the faster you can progress in your field and obtain your dream position.
Develop in-demand skills
Business majors are highly sought after by employers. Why? Because they have management and organizational skills – and these aspects are core components of running a successful business.
In an online business degree program, you’ll be able to take courses to advance your skillset. Whether you take a course in critical thinking or do coursework for budgeting and finance for organizations, you’ll be gaining some of the top skills that employers look for in new hires.
From leadership skills to communication skills, you’ll learn a wide range of skills that can be applied to a variety of organizations and industries.
Greater career opportunities
Because business professionals possess a wide range of skills and generalized knowledge about business administration, they tend to work in a wide range of fields. So, with an online business degree program, you’ll gain a broad set of key skills you need to be a competitive candidate.
If you don’t want to pursue a generalized role, you can choose a more specialized job as a business professional or pursue an online MBA program. Many online degree programs, such as those from Suffolk University, offer concentrations that allow you to specialize in specific fields, including human resources management, marketing, finance or accounting.
In addition, when pursuing a business degree virtually, you’ll gain access to a network of people with diverse backgrounds. As a result, you can expand your horizons and learn new things beyond your coursework.
Increase direct instructor-student time
While it may not seem like it, getting an online business degree can help foster stronger relationships with your professors. This is because everything takes place online, so instructors don’t have a choice but to communicate with you to ensure that you’re on the right track.
As a result, all interaction tends to go through emails. This, in turn, builds a more personal relationship, significantly increasing the direct instructor-student time.
On the other hand, in a traditional classroom setting, it can be very difficult for an instructor to prioritize only one student. The only way to do that is through office hours, which represent a limited window of time in which a professor has to meet one-on-one with students. These office hours are often inconvenient for students, making it difficult to work around them.
Learn written communication skills
Even though you won’t be sitting in a classroom full of students, you’ll still be taking classes with a group of peers.
The way that many degree programs are set up – whether in person or fully online – students are required to communicate with each other, listen to each other’s points of view, and work with each other to complete projects or assignments. How can this be done if your courses are fully online though?
It can be done via discussion posts. Online discussion boards allow students to post their ideas and learn from others’ posts. But beyond that, they also teach students written communication skills, which are very important in a business administration career.
You don’t have to place your future on hold to get an online business degree
Online business degree students have many advantages. They can learn anywhere and at any time. They don’t have to put their plans on hold in order to advance their career.
If you’re currently working as a business professional, you can juggle both your career and school because you have more flexibility. In the end, you’ll be able to obtain your degree and move up the ladder, procuring a higher-level role that’s more fulfilling and financially rewarding.