Online Associate Degree in Business Administration

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Earning an online associate degree in business administration provides students with a strong career outlook, including faster-than-average job growth and higher-than-average salary potential. For that reason and more, business degrees have become the most popular degrees in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. With an online associate degree in business administration, graduates can access entry-level positions in the field or further develop their education with an advanced degree.

Business administration comprises training in accounting, sales, communication, operations, finance, and leadership. The broad training and diverse skills earned in the program make for a solid foundation, both professionally and educationally. The following information highlights what students can expect from an online associate degree in business administration, along what they can look forward to after graduation.

What Will You Learn in an Online Business Administration Associate Degree Program?

Depending on the school and the program, a business administration degree can cover a variety of material. Typically, a business administration associate degree covers general education and business fundamentals. To serve as foundational training, these programs provide students with a broad understanding of several core concepts.

The information below outlines what students might see in their business administration program and what they might gain from it.

Common Courses

Business Communication

This course considers the role of communication in business. Students learn effective communication techniques, like preparing formal reports, utilizing communication technology, and employing business etiquette. Students can use these skills in nearly every business career and many other professions.


In this course, students learn concepts and techniques related to statistics. They learn to employ statistics to solve problems, improve business operations, and evaluate performance. Learners can apply the skills gained in these courses to careers in finance, accounting, and management.


Marketing courses teach students about the best practices in the industry. Learners explore marketing strategies, look at consumer behaviors, and examine the entire sales process. Equipped with this training, graduates can apply their marketing skills to careers in management, sales, and advertising.


In accounting courses, students learn how to prepare and use financial statements to evaluate operational efficiencies and spot areas for improvement. In addition to accounting careers, graduates can apply these skills to careers in management and purchasing.

Business Law

This course examines the laws and policies that impact businesses, including changes to laws and organizations and agencies that oversee the rules and legislation.

Students can use this knowledge in many business careers, including management, accounting, and consulting.

Core Skills

In a business administration associate degree, students gain core skills and knowledge in communication, business operations, and problem-solving. Communication training enables students to form interpersonal relationships and understand client and employer needs. Business operations skills enable students to manage elements of an organization, such as marketing and accounting. Finally, problem-solving skills allow learners to use reason and logic to arrive at useful solutions.

These three core business skills offer students the chance to enter a range of careers. While business administration training prepares students for entry-level careers in business (e.g., payroll, sales), learners develop a solid foundation they can build upon with their career and work experience. Many employers seek out candidates with core business training since they know those prospective employees possess fundamentals they can develop further.

Not only do these skills provide access to a variety of careers in the business world, but they also pave the way for further education. Students with an associate degree can often transfer seamlessly into a bachelor's degree in business, moving from introductory studies into more advanced training. They can also move into more specialized fields, such as human resources, marketing, or information technology.

What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Business Administration?

A business administration associate degree can present graduates with a variety of career options. To help inform decisions, the following information highlights career opportunities available to graduates and the potential salaries that come with them. Students should note that neither the career nor the salary is guaranteed, and some employers may require additional training.

Potential Careers and Salaries

Nearly every industry hires business graduates for their diverse skills and highly applicable training, but some employ these professionals more often than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies and enterprises, the government, accounting services, and consulting services represent the largest employment industries for business and financial professionals.

While the job requirements depend on the individual employer, the following list outlines popular options available to graduates, including median annual salaries associated with them.

Sales Representatives

Sales representatives sell their organization's goods and services. They negotiate with customers, prepare sales documents, and collaborate with their coworkers. Sales representatives may need some college training in sales and business operations.

Average Annual Salary: $61,660

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives work with consumers to help them resolve issues and satisfy their needs. Depending on the environment, they may take orders, handle customer complaints, or answer questions. While many positions require only a high school diploma, college training can lead to better positions and salaries.

Average Annual Salary: $33,750

Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents promote and sell their organization's advertising services. They typically require a solid understanding of sales and marketing, along with some design experience. Some employers may accept applicants with a high school diploma, but many look for college-level training.

Average Annual Salary: $51,740

Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerks

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks may manage an organization's payroll and handle its financial documents. They need accounting and financial training to complete their tasks. While some employers hire high school graduates, many require candidates to possess college training.

Average Annual Salary: $40,240

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers help their clients buy and sell properties. They create listings to attract buyers and engage in negotiations with clients and other agents. In addition to licensure, real estate brokers often need college training in real estate, sales, and marketing.

Average Annual Salary: $50,300

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What's Next After an Online Associate Degree in Business Administration?

While an online associate degree in business administration can lead to several entry-level positions, the degree also serves as a stepping stone for advanced training. In addition to the general education training, an associate degree in business administration provides students with core business courses that typically transfer seamlessly into a variety of bachelor's degrees. The following information covers degrees graduates can pursue.

Transferring to a Four-Year Degree Program

In a business administration program, students complete business fundamentals courses, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, and economics. Not only do general education core courses typically transfer to four-year programs, but also core business courses often earn transfer credits for students moving into business-related degrees.

To ensure the process runs smoothly, students should work with an academic advisor before completing their associate degree. Many four-year schools feature transfer agreements with associate programs that allow students to earn the maximum number of transfer credits from their training.

What Degrees Can You Pursue After Earning an Associate in Business Administration?

Business administration graduates can leverage their training in many ways, but the following degrees constitute solid options available to them. These bachelor's degrees build off the foundational training in an associate degree and allow students to focus their education and careers in a specialized area.

Business Management

A business management degree provides training in a variety of business disciplines. The degree allows students to develop their business training, getting more in-depth knowledge and acquiring additional management and leadership training.


A marketing degree trains students in the sales process from beginning to end. Equipped with general business administration skills, students delve into more complex topics like purchasing, consumer behavior, and communication.

Human Resources

Human resources degrees help students develop skills in labor law, employment recruitment, and business planning. Not only do these programs carry on the broad training from a business administration degree, but they also specialize in many management tactics and employment policies, such as leadership, training, and health and safety.

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