Management is a very general term and can be applied to the leaders of nearly every type of industry, business, or government agency you can name. A management degree can be sought from the two year associates' degree level, through the doctoral level and even beyond through certifications. Many people who seek a management degree are dreaming of running their own business, or dreaming of being the boss at an already established business. Being in management can be very demanding, therefore, degree seekers are often self motivated, willing to meet challenges face on, and do not shy away from taking on a great variety of responsibilities.
Getting an online business management degree could be the path to job and career success for which you’ve been searching. While a degree isn’t absolutely necessary to find yourself in a management position, advancements in technology, ever-changing employment laws, and expanding world economies leave most candidates without a degree, lacking when it comes to applying for jobs. But maybe you aren’t sure if you are exactly right for business management, or that business management isn’t right for you.
Online Business Schools
Now that you have a general idea of what types of courses an online degree in business management can offer, and how this type of coursework can help you, it’s now time to review how to make a decision regarding which educational institution may be best for you.
One of the first things you may want to check when researching various institutions at which to pursue your online business management degree is whether the institution is ‘accredited’. Accreditation is the meeting by the educational institution of certain quality requirements regarding their academic standards. Meeting these standards can let you know that the program is serious about their educational commitment to their students. You may want to check with the U.S. Secretary of Education’s database at http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation to find out if an educational institution you are interested in is accredited. Accreditation is not the only factor to consider when reviewing or comparing various programs though.
There are a huge number of online degree options out there, and just because one of them is accredited, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right choice for you. Before you jump into anything, you should take the time thoroughly to research what other people have said regarding their experiences with the school. Ask friends or family members who may have gotten their degree online what they experienced and about the institution with which they worked. Also, consider reading online reviews (not found or issued directly by the institution itself) about a particular school or schools to find out if other students have had issues, good or bad, and how they felt about the degree they obtained as well as the process they went through to get it.
And last but certainly not least, find out as much as you can about the tuition costs and transfer policies of the program in which you are interested. While it may not be the determining factor, money can make a big difference in the degree program that you choose. If you have taken courses previously and they won’t transfer to a particular program that you’ve decided upon, you may be adding thousands of dollars in extra tuition, not to mention months or even years to your educational timeline.
While there is a ton of schools out there offering a vast variety of online degree programs, here is a list of a few of the better-known institutions out there. These institutions offer programs related specifically to online business management degrees and all are accredited. Click on their link for free information.
- University of Phoenix - BS in Business Management
- American InterContinental University - BBA in Management
- Kaplan University - BSBA - Management
- Post University - AS in Management
- DeVry University - BA in Project Management
- Western Governor’s University - BS in Business Management
Here is a more in depth review of some of the most popular accredited colleges offering online management degree programs
Devry University offers Bachelor and Master’s degrees in management with over a dozen specializations to choose from, for example, e-commerce, hospitality, or information systems management. Thirteen graduate certificate programs are also available to further enhance one’s education and career opportunities. They even have one associate’s degree in accounting, which could be a sound way to work into future management degrees, or simply enhance one’s job marketability. You can find more information about Devry’s management programs on the web at www.devry.edu or 888-653-5537.
The American InterContinental University at 866-971-TIME or aiuniv.edu offers management degrees under their Business Administration programs. AIU has associate, bachelor, and master degree programs available with concentrations in areas like healthcare management, project management, or operations management. AIU can be reached at 877-701-3800 or aiuniv.edu
Colorado Technical University Online 866-942-6555 offers four different doctorate degrees in management, and seven masters’ degree management options. Colorado Tech Online has a wide range of Business and Management degree programs at the associate and bachelor degree levels, as well. They use the Online term in their title because it is truly designed to be a fully functioning, virtual university, and a slightly separate part of the more traditional Colorado Technical University campus.
One school that prides itself on a flexible online schedule and a rich learning culture is Capella University. Capella offers five different business certificates, eleven bachelor’s degrees, eleven masters degrees, and nine doctoral degrees all in management. Their goal is to meet the learner wherever he may be on his educational journey. You can find out more about Capella University by visiting this site or 888-277-2736.
So how do you know?
Well, it can be difficult to know for sure whether you’ll be an exact match for a business management degree until you get a feel for and understanding of the types of courses and subject matter involved in obtaining that degree. Even once you have your degree, you aren’t guaranteed that you’ll find yourself immediately falling in love with management, as there are many types and variations of roles and careers in the field. The great thing about a degree in business management however, is that even once you have your degree, if you find that management is not the right field for you, the educational background you have gained from your degree has laid a foundation for moves into a variety of other jobs or career fields. So, in a way, with a business management degree, you’re kind of covering yourself either way, whether you find management is exactly what you thought it was or not.
You will find all kinds of people and personalities in management positions. However, many find that to be a successful manager, it can be beneficial if you have certain human interaction skills. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an outgoing, extrovert, type-A personality to be successful in management, but being able to deal with and interact with people on a personal, as well as a professional level, can certainly increase your chances of success in the field. While some of these interpersonal skills may be developed throughout your life and various experiences, other skills can be learned, developed, and honed through your education. This is where your coursework while gaining a business management degree can increase your skills and abilities when it comes not only to your job or career work, but in many aspects of your personal life as well.
Background and Interests
Before we get to the actual courses and subject matter involved in an online business management degree, there are other matters to consider relating to your success in obtaining such a degree. We’ve already touched on the personal skills that are important in succeeding within the management field. Many managers and those interested in getting a degree in the field find that other personal characteristics can play prominent roles in finding success in the management field.
Individuals who are energetic, self-motivated, have good organizational skills, and leadership abilities, may have a better chance of gaining an education in and working within the management field. It can also be helpful to have a general understanding of mathematic, verbal, and written communication skills. As business management continues to expand worldwide and involve global businesses and economies, having a background in a second or even a third language, can be useful as well.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself, if you are considering a degree in management:
- Do you feel you have talent and potential in a management career, but need the official training or degree to seek that next level of advancement?
- Are you the type of person who likes taking responsibility for projects, and can see yourself organizing resources to achieve goals?
- Are you looking for a salary in the $60,000 to $150,000 range?
- Are you able and willing to learn the math and content needed to perform a manager's role successfully?
- Do you want the flexibility of earning a management degree online; to better fit your lifestyle or location?
If you answered yes, to most of the above questions, you are probably headed in the right career direction with an Online Management Degree.
Business Management Coursework Requirements
So what exactly do you learn while getting an online business management degree?
While there is a variety of online degree programs and institutions that offer these programs, and the coursework involved in these programs can vary, there are certain courses and subject matter that is more heavily focused upon during most degree work. While many programs will require a certain amount of general education courses, possibly comprised of arts and humanities classes, social or natural sciences, literature, and similar or related topics, these will not be the core focus of your management curriculum. With an online degree in business management, expect to receive a general background in business related topics. These areas will likely provide an introduction to general business and give you an overview of economics, accounting, finance, business law, marketing, and public speaking. Expect these courses to lay the groundwork for more focused classes that will be geared toward the main topics within the management field.
These core classes, or at least their course titles, may vary from program to program, but you may generally expect to find yourself taking classes related to human resources, team leadership and motivation, negotiating, operations management, project management, organizational change, labor relations, conflict management and resolution, organizational behavior, business communications, and similar management focused subject matter. While you may find some programs tend to focus on certain areas more heavily depending on their institution’s particular expertise or specialization, you can expect that most coursework in business management degree programs adheres to, and is based upon the basic principles surrounding these focus areas.
Since virtually every business or agency imaginable has to have someone overseeing its operations, management degrees have a plethora of titles, so someone searching for the right degree program should take time learning the subtle differences. Several examples of different management areas include, but are not limited to, human resources, business administration, computer and information systems, engineering, natural sciences, non-profit support, and technical management. Expect every degree to include considerable accounting coursework, since a manager will usually have to keep track of the costs involved with his or her responsibilities and work within a budget. Frequently, managers do not have to do the accounting themselves, but must at least have a strong understanding of the accounting to ensure that it is being done properly is imperative.
Managers can expect to deal with a wide range of issues from finance, to hiring and firing of employees, to problem solving and decision making. Sales and marketing knowledge may be necessary, especially for managers who plan to work in a business with product to sell or distribute. Affective critical thinking skills are the foundation of a successful management degree seeker.
The fantastic part about these types of business management degree courses is that they prepare you not only for work and your future career, but they can assist you in preparing for your personal life as well. Not only will you find that having a degree makes you more desirable when searching for jobs, and more efficient in your professional life, but you can utilize the skills and knowledge you’ve gained from your degree to make better and more qualified decisions in your everyday life as well. Such aspects as leading, motivating, organizing, negotiating, and public speaking will be relevant and helpful skills whether you end up as an upper-level manager at a Fortune 500 company, as a stay-at-home parent keeping up with the kids, or when you’re setting out to buy or sell a home.
Careers and Job Advancement Opportunities
When it comes to careers and job advancement with a degree in business management, the available opportunities are almost endless. From store management to office or corporate management you have a huge variety of positions to choose from when it comes to available jobs that meet your skill set. The great part about having a degree in business management is that such a degree often makes it much easier to break into other sectors such as information technology management, healthcare management, sports management, hospitality management, and other industries.
You could find that government or administrative agencies or the military is more your style. Those areas often look highly upon those with a management background. On the other hand, you may determine that you want to work for yourself and go the entrepreneurial route. With a degree in business management, you’ll likely find that your education has already laid the foundation for starting your own business. Your education can provide you greater latitude in venturing out on your own and pursuing your dreams.
Are There Rich Employment Opportunities?
Every single business or department you can name has at least one manager to oversee it. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly all management fields are expected to show some growth in the future, however, job opportunities for computer and information systems managers are expected to skyrocket. Clearly, as technology continues to advance, technologically based companies will grow and need managers; computer and information systems managers averaged $88,000 last year. The Department of Labor cites the national average for people in management positions for 2009 was between twenty nine and thirty two dollars an hour. The largest, annual salary range for managers was $60,000 to $140,000 a year. Engineering and natural science managers averaged about $91,000 annually.
Governmental agencies of all kinds also require managers. Understandably, most governmental positions are funded by tax payers and while the positions may provide a greater sense of satisfaction to people who want to serve others, the salaries tend to be a bit lower, averaging in the $60,000 range. It appears the future for management degree holders will be rich with opportunity and financial compensation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently listed the average income for all management jobs at $100,310. While this takes into account a huge number and range of management jobs, covering many industries and sectors, the number looks favorable. Of course, you probably shouldn’t expect to start making that much money just after finishing your degree, but it’s nice to know that your education has a good chance of paying off in the future.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. May 2008 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. [Online] May 29, 2009. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm