Business management is a discipline focused on running the day-to-day operations of a business. This entails financial management, directing the activities of an organization’s marketing team, devising strategies for increasing profits, and more. Business management is a good fit for individuals who are natural leaders, excellent communicators, and analytical thinkers. It may also be a strong option for individuals who are interested in starting their own business.
The best online colleges for business management include Arizona State University, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, and Brandman University, which led the U.S. News & World Report’s honor roll for top online graduate business programs. According to the U.S. News, the top online colleges for business management are strong in the following areas: faculty credentials and training, student engagement and accreditation, student services and technology, and admissions selectivity. Top rated online colleges also tend to have their business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is considered the gold standard for business and accounting programs.
Business Management Course Work Basics
Many top accredited online colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs in business management. Course work in a bachelor’s program consists of general education requirements, general business courses, and courses in the student’s chosen specialization. Specializations include accounting, finance, healthcare management, international business, and marketing, although required courses will differ based on the specialization chosen. A few courses you may encounter in an undergraduate program include:
- Financial Accounting: In this course, students learn how to record and report financial information for an organization.
- Principles of Marketing: This course introduces students to established methods of marketing goods and services to consumers.
- Strategic Management and Planning: In this course, students learn how to design and evaluate strategic plans based on reliable data in keeping with the organization’s mission and vision.
- Operations Management: This course explores the varying facets of an organization’s supply chain and the decision-making processes behind keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently.
- Principles of Economics: In this course, students survey the principles of micro- and macroeconomics, including how and why markets work as they do.
Accredited online colleges for business management also offer graduate programs, the most well-known of which is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). These graduate programs often include courses in financial analysis, managerial economics, and leadership. Course work will vary depending on specialization, which could include options such as corporate finance, global supply chain management, sustainable enterprise, or investment management. Students are also introduced to graduate research in business management, and they learn how to analyze and conduct independent research in the field. These programs typically conclude with a capstone project in which a student must identify a real-world business management problem, research the underlying issues, and devise possible solutions to the problemby drawing from what the he or she has learned in the graduate program.
Careers for the Business Management Graduate
Since business management is such a broad field it encompasses a wide range of careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a sampling of management occupations includes: financial managers, industrial production managers, sales managers, and top executives. Entry into any of these four career areas typically requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, although some positions may require a master’s degree. In addition, experience is essential to management positions as job candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the industry and leadership capability in order to move up into these top-level jobs. This experience is reflected in the high pay scales of these business managers.
Financial managers earned a median annual salary of $103,910 in May 2010, and employment in the field is expected to grow by 9% through 2020, which is slower than other occupations. Industrial production managers earned a median salary of $87,160, with employment growth of 9% expected as well. Sales managers reported a median salary of $98,530, and jobs in the field are expected to grow by 12%. Top executives earned $101,250, and are projected to experience 5% job growth through 2020. Keep in mind, however, that salaries can vary significantly by experience, location, educational attainment, and the size and type of organization, and condition of the economy.