Online Associate Degree in Business Management

An associate degree in business management not only gives students a strong professional foundation, but it also prepares them to earn more advanced degrees. In addition to general education courses, students in these programs learn several facets of business, including leadership and organization.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial occupations look to grow at rates faster than the national average and earn average salaries nearly double that of the average occupation. Partly because of these reasons, business represents the most popular undergraduate major, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Read on to learn more about the business management associate degree, along with the career outlook that follows.

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

Each school and business management degree offers students something unique. The curriculum and outcomes also change with the individual learner's choices. In general, however, these programs provide students with core business and liberal arts training. To make this degree as useful and widely applicable as possible, programs feature courses and deliver training required by many organizations and professions.

The following information outlines common courses in the program, plus skills that result from it. Students should seek out courses and skills that best help them meet their career goals.

Common Courses

Marketing

Marketing courses walk students through the purchasing process, teaching them about consumer behavior, product research, pricing, and advertising and promotion. Students learn how to understand what their customers need and how to develop products and services to meet these needs. Professionally, marketing skills apply to many business careers, including sales, management, and advertising positions.

Communication

Students in communications courses learn how to build interpersonal relationships, how to utilize common communication technologies, and how to create and understand business documents and reports. Learners can apply this training in most business and related professions.

Business Law

In this course, students learn about laws that govern businesses and business operations. They explore how organizations interact with these policies and why governing bodies and agencies develop them. With this knowledge, students can make informed decisions in management; they can also better understand sales, marketing, and general business processes.

Accounting

Accounting courses offer students in-depth training in handling various financial documents, such as payroll, benefits, and investing. They also teach learners to look at business operations for inefficiencies and areas of improvement. In addition to accounting positions, students can employ this training in various consulting and management professions.

Economics

Economics courses teach students about financial markets and trends. Students learn to analyze business financial operations, diagnose issues, and spot future opportunities or risks. With this training, students can employ their skills in management, marketing, and accounting professions.


Core Skills

In an online associate degree in business management, students gain critical-thinking skills, communication skills, and business operations training, all of which may help students acquire and thrive in entry-level business careers or with advanced academic training.

For example, learning the ins and outs of business operations -- overseeing organizations, assessing problems, arriving at realistic and efficient solutions -- should yield graduates careers in sales, marketing, and management. Similarly, communication courses taught during an online associate degree should help business professionals communicate successfully with coworkers, customers, and employees.

The core skills and competencies gained in associate business management programs also serve as solid foundations for further education in business, information technology, and/or finance. With education business fundamentals, students can specialize their training and direct their career path through education and professional experience.

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

Graduates with an online associate degree in business management gain access to a range of careers and professional opportunities. The decisions that students make in school, the courses they take, and the experiences they gain can all influence their eventual career path. The following information covers potential careers and salaries available to graduates.

Potential Careers and Salaries

While most industries employ professionals with business management training, certain industries seek out these graduates more commonly. According to the BLS, companies and enterprises, accounting services, consulting services, financial organizations, and government agencies represent the largest employers.

Within these industries, business management graduates may acquire a variety of entry-level positions. This list highlights some of those options and the median annual salaries associated with them. Students should note that some positions and salaries may require additional training and experience.

Sales Representatives

Sales representatives work in organizations selling goods and services to businesses and individual consumers. These professionals may require training in sales, communication, and marketing.

Average Annual Salary: $61,660

Administrative Service Managers

Administrative service managers oversee the administrative and supportive services of an organization. In addition to training across all core business disciplines, these professionals utilize business operations and leadership skills. A bachelor's degree may be required.

Average Annual Salary: $96,180

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives look to satisfy a customer's needs. They listen to complaints, solve problems, and oversee orders and purchases. These professionals often need training in sales, marketing, and communication.

Average Annual Salary: $33,750

Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents manage advertising space and needs for organizations. They should understand the marketing and sales processes, and they may need design experience. For employment, these agents often need college-level training.

Average Annual Salary: $51,740

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers oversee the buying and selling of property. They create listings, communicate with buyers and sellers, and negotiate deals. They need an understanding of the sales process, advertising, home-buying laws, and communication.

Average Annual Salary: $50,300

What Is Next After an Online Associate Degree in Business Management?

Equipped with an online associate degree in business management, graduates can pursue an entry-level career, or they can look to develop their education. Again, an associate degree provides general education and some core business training that may transfer easily into four-year degrees. The following information covers some of the best educational options available to associate degree graduates and the processes involved with pursuing them.

Transferring to a Four-Year Degree Program

After graduating with a business management associate degree, students can transfer into a bachelor's program, but they should begin the process well before commencement. While some four-year programs feature transfer agreements with associate programs, others feature minimum grade requirements for transfer credits or prerequisites. Students should work with an academic advisor to ensure they take the best path to their bachelor's degree.

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

Business management associate degree-holders can go on to earn different business-related bachelor's degrees. These three options represent four-year degrees into which students can transfer.

Business Management

A bachelor's degree in business management delves into core business disciplines in greater detail than an associate degree. In addition to earning transfer credits, associate degree graduates can use their former business training to inform them on what areas of business they enjoy most.


Information Systems

These degrees provide students with an understanding of computer information systems from design to implementation. Within a business setting, information systems training can be used to solve problems and improve processes and efficiencies.


Economics

Economics degrees provide an understanding of financial markets and commerce. Students with a business background can apply their advanced understanding of the interaction between people and markets to a business career, or they may apply their business training to a career in economics.