Every student who plans to walk the path toward a serious business career has different options to get there. Enrolling in a four-year traditional college program is one option, though some students want to earn a formal degree in less time. Luckily, students can get foundational knowledge and develop their business skills with an online associate degree in business – all without commuting to a campus!
An online business degree takes approximately two years of full-time, year-round study to be completed and allows students to maintain a good work-study balance. An online program may be especially useful for students with a fuller plate due to personal and professional responsibilities, because they can find ample time to study thanks to the flexibility and convenience of online classes.
An online associate degree in business administration widens a student’s business acumen, helping them achieve prolific business careers. And for that very reason, earning a degree may be challenging at times. However, studying can be more convenient and feel manageable with the comfort an online business degree brings.
So, is earning an associate degree hard? How about earning a business degree? Even more – is it hard to earn an online associate degree in business? To present a clearer picture, we’re here to discuss the reality of earning your business administration degree online.
How Long Will It Take To Earn a Business Degree Online?
It usually takes about four years for a student to earn a bachelor's degree in business. A graduate degree, such as an MBA, might require an additional two years or longer to complete, though some master's programs provide options that allow students to finish a program in just one year. But you don’t have to study for four or more years to get a degree in business: in just two years, you can earn an associate degree in business that can put you on the path to further study or a lucrative career!
Exploring different college degree options can help you better understand what degree best fits your goals. The duration of time it takes to earn a business degree depends not only on the type of degree but also on the student’s enrollment status. In general, full-time students graduate more quickly since they take more credits each semester. However, part-time study may be a better choice if you're a student with a busy routine. Studying part-time opens doors for more income streams, but it could mean taking longer to complete the degree.
A bachelor’s degree in business will help you build skills that apply to a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, hospitality, health care, and more. Bachelor’s degrees are more in-depth than associate degrees, with more options for specialization and diving deeper into subjects. Bachelor’s degrees are often required by many employers as well, though pursuing them right from the start can mean more time and more money.
That’s why starting your academic journey with an associate business degree online is a great choice. Normally, 60 credit hours are needed to pursue an associate degree, which generally requires two years of full-time study with 15 credits per semester spread across two semesters per year. Such an online degree program takes at least two years, particularly if you're a part-time student, but you may have more flexibility because of the convenience offered through online sessions. Many of the students in the Campus online associate degree in business program work either full-time or part-time while taking classes since sessions take place in the evenings, and they expect to graduate two years from their first term so long as they are full-time students year-round.
As you work towards your degree, you’ll have the opportunity to learn what aspects of business interest you the most, and you’ll be able to explore the types of jobs you can get with an online associate degree in business. Potential careers include administrative assistant, relationship banker, customer service associate, sales support specialist, and store manager, just to name a few. Employers look for the right education, skills, and experience when reviewing candidates. Pursuing further education, like moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree, after an associate online degree program can improve your job prospects.
That being said, you should be mindful when selecting a traditional or an associate online degree program if you want it to be well worth the money, time, and effort you put in. Consider the different options and pathways and choose the one that’s best for you.
Is Earning an Associate Degree in Business Administration Online as Rigorous as Traditional Degree Programs?
In recent years, an associate degree in business administration online has gained popularity and credibility. Nowadays, a large number of accredited educational institutions provide exceptional online programs that are just as demanding as their conventional alternatives.
In fact, students who decide to earn an associate degree in business administration online need to be more self-motivated, organized, and disciplined to thrive in an online, remote learning environment. Taking classes online can help build those business skills, since those are also applicable to being successful in a remote work environment, too.
As a student, it is common to wonder: What will I learn in an online associate degree in a business program? That’s because people have preconceived notions that programs don’t cover enough relevant material in an associate degree vs a traditional one. The reality is quite the reverse.
An associate degree in business administration online has a career-focused curriculum and identical core courses to traditional degrees. An associate degree in business administration online also gives students the chance to participate in virtual meetings and presentations, participate in group discussions, and work with professors and peers remotely.
The study intensity of an associate degree in business administration online may even be considered higher for some learners vs that of an in-person program, since a lot of their pacing relies on self-motivation and discipline. As it is completed in a shorter timeframe, the goal of a two-year program is to teach the foundational aspects of business. Most institutions that offer an associate degree in business will concentrate their programs in either business administration or management. Business management focuses more on the interpersonal side of the business, whereas business administration tends to lean more toward strategy.
Depending on the program and the institution, the prerequisites and required courses may change, but the following courses are typically found in associate programs leading to a business degree:
- Human Resource Administration
- Financial Management
- Business Communications
- Information Systems for Businesses
- Business Ethics
It’s important to note that online business degrees still allow for credit transfers, meaning earning your degree online does not automatically eliminate your chances of having credits transferred from one institution to the next. In fact, earning credits through a more affordable online program can be a cost-effective way of earning your degree.
Of course, at the end of the day, the policies of the institution of interest determine whether credits can be transferred across institutions. The criteria and rules for accepting transfer credits vary greatly between universities and are specific to each one. Plus, accreditation can play a big role in this process. Be sure to research your online program and confirm that the institution is accredited. In our case, Campus is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Online Business Degree Programs Can Be More Flexible for Working Students with Busy Schedules
Online business degree programs offer flexibility for working students, making it simpler for them to submit assignments and attend class. As long as they have an internet connection, students can access course materials and lectures. They don't have to bother with strenuous commutes to a physical campus right after their work shifts and can instead plan their education around their career and personal commitments.
Today, institutions offering online business degree programs use technological advancements to provide a range of tools necessary to help students achieve their educational goals.
Working students can enjoy numerous support services through online business degree programs, including online tutoring, academic advising, and library access. These tools can support students when they need them and keep them on track with their coursework.
Working students who pursue online business degree programs have more control and accountability over their education. They are free to choose their learning location rather than being required to attend a class in person. In addition to enabling individuals to schedule their education around their responsibilities, this control guarantees that they are learning most effectively based on their lifestyle.
For instance, certain students might perform better at night, but traditional schooling limits them by leaving time only during the day for studies – and if there are night classes, they’re specific to a course and are not often an option in the first place. Some working students prefer to take courses online as well because they can have the professor and whiteboard right in front of them, versus in person where you could be a bit further from your instructor. They also have the opportunity to type or submit their questions versus having to verbally ask for clarifications, which can help alleviate a lot of stress.
Feeling at ease in your studying environment can directly impact your learning outcomes and overall student experience. Consequently, being in an environment that you personally set aside for school can help you be productive. While students love the ability to tailor a program to their schedule and study preferences, those are just two benefits of earning an associate degree in business online. Additional benefits, including those related to cost and the student experience, help make an online business degree the best choice for many busy students.
Earning an Associate Degree in Business Administration Online Isn’t Hard
Well, that’s to say that it’s not any harder than earning any other associate degree – online or in person! Earning any degree requires dedication, and online degrees are just as rigorous as traditional degree programs. However, if you choose an online program, you’ll get much more flexibility embedded into your classes, which is especially beneficial for working students and students who may have other obligations throughout the week.
If you are planning or trying to decide whether or not you should get an online associate degree in business, check out our online community college program or request more information here. We offer an associate business degree online that’s made for students looking to launch their careers through quality online learning.