Updated December 5, 2022

Types of Business Degrees Online vs. Traditional Learning Financial Aid Options Saving Money with Scholarships Career Paths in Business Opportunity in the diverse business field is knocking, and a degree can give you the strategic tools needed to open the door towards future career successes. Latest Rankings 13 Most Affordable Online Management Ph.D. Programs 4 ... is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Opportunity in the diverse business field is knocking, and a degree can give you the strategic tools needed to open the door towards future career successes.

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According to the BLS, around 1.2 million business and financial jobs are expected to open across virtually every industry nationwide through 2020. Though some entry-level jobs exist, at least 88% of these types of jobs have historically required post-secondary education beyond a high school diploma. College may be a big financial investment up-front, but business degrees are well-known for their lucrative potential, with business and financial operations occupations boasting a median salary of $71,020.

In this article, we'll look at the ways you can earn a business degree at a great value while advancing towards your career dreams in the boardroom.

Types of Business Degrees

Now that you know the employment facts, let's get down to business by exploring the different specialized business degrees available at each academic level.

Two-year community colleges and vocational schools often offer Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees in focused areas of business. Associate degrees are commonly used to gain entry-level positions in business or transfer into higher education opportunities.

At the baccalaureate level, universities deliver Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) programs that blend general education courses with a broad-based introduction to current practices in business.

Rankings of Small Colleges for Business Degrees:

For individuals seeking management or executive-level positions, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a useful tool offered by graduate business schools to applicants with around three to five years of related business work experience. MBA programs come with plentiful areas for concentration, such as advertising, economics, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, hospitality, human resources, information technology, international business, marketing, and project management. Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Science in Finance (MSF), and Master of Management (MiM) programs are also popular. Though very few practicing business people possess it, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs are offered for those pursuing a career in research or teaching at the university level.

Is a Business Degree Worth it?

When researching the different types of business degrees and which one might suit you best, it's important to consider the value of the degree by evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of a particular program or university. Many of the top business programs in the country are highlighted in our list of the Top 25 Ranked Business and Economics Programs With the Best Return on Investment (ROI).

Online vs. Traditional Learning

Online business administration degrees are a fast-growing alternative to their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts, especially for busy working learners. Online business courses allow students to access their learning materials at any time in their hectic schedule from anywhere with an Internet connection. Students can easily review lectures and discussions on their lunch break or at home after work without commuting to campus. Online colleges also offer students the ability to choose from a wider range of business degree concentrations that might not yet be available through nearby public or private universities.

‘I don't think it's an exaggeration to imagine that future generations will say, "Did you really go to school in a small class, where you all met in one room, had one only teacher, used paper books — and closed the door to the rest of the world?"‘

Students enrolled in online business classes often are found to perform modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction in the classroom. Many credit this to the fact that instructors are more approachable through online communications and discussions become livelier with every voice sharing their unique business perspectives. Last but certainly not least, online business degrees are cost-effective choices that help you eliminate costs for transportation, child care, parking, housing, and other traditional college expenses. (See: The 30 Best Affordable Online Colleges)

We here at Best Value Schools are continually building our database of online degrees available at a high value. Check out our list of affordable online business degrees available at the undergraduate level:

Of course business education doesn't have to stop after 4 years. The following list of online business graduate degrees is a helpful resource for the aspiring grad student.

The online education market is growing exponentially, and, as you can see, business degrees are available in abundant supply. According to, an online manager of distance learning course offerings, "comfort level with e-learning's interactive, collaborative style is expected to evolve quickly in the coming years. Jason Levine, a WizIQ instructor and ambassador, points to how his young son currently plays games online with people from all over the world, noting that for his son, and others in his generation, global interaction is the norm. ‘I don't think it's an exaggeration to imagine that future generations will say, "Did you really go to school in a small class, where you all met in one room, had one only teacher, used paper books — and closed the door to the rest of the world?"‘"

Resource: What are the Pros and Cons of Earning a College Degree Online?

Financial Aid Options

Deciding to invest in a business school degree is the first step towards a better career, but you'll likely need some financial aid to afford rising tuition costs along the way. Luckily, most accredited business schools accept federal student loans. Depending on your financial situation, you could qualify for receiving Stafford Loans, Direct Loans, or PLUS Loans to borrow money from the federal government. Simply complete the FAFSA form by the deadline to see which of the need-based loans you can receive. As a word of caution, only borrow as much money as you'll need to finance your four years because loans must be repaid with interest upon graduation.

Resource: Is it a Good Idea to Consolidate Student Loans?

If you're looking for other funding options that won't lead to debt, you should also consider applying for federal grant programs for free money to finance your business education. Most U.S. grants, like the Pell Grant and FSEOG Grant, are offered to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. For children of military members killed after 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants can be used for funding business studies. Work-study programs are another good option for financing an education by working on-campus jobs. If you're already employed, also ask your employer about tuition reimbursement to cover your business degree.

Saving Money with Scholarships

Numerous scholarships are available to reduce the financial burden of business degrees thanks to funding from universities, government organizations, professional associations, and community foundations. Ranging in value from $100 to full tuition coverage, scholarships provide gifts of money to cover tuition without any repayment constraints. Most are awarded to aspiring business leaders based on academic merit, financial need, and work experience. It's suggested that you visit your college's financial aid office and meet with your academic advisor to discover local scholarship choices. Some great national business scholarships include:

• National Black MBA Association Scholarships - To increase the pool of Black talent for businesses in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the NBMBAA provides annual awards for $1,000 to $5,000 to support students of color pursuing a graduate degree in a business-related profession.

• NBAA Charities Scholarship Program - Each year, the National Business Aviation Association offers nearly $100,000 in cash awards for students currently enrolled in accredited undergraduate or graduate programs in business aviation management.

• NBEA Scholarship Program - The National Business Education Association also grants two $1,000 scholarships annually to individuals enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program in business education to develop their leadership potential as educators.

And, of course, don't forget to spend considerable time researching the scholarship options on our State Listing of Scholarships Available to Full and Part Time College Students and at the links below:

Career Paths in Business

Due to the fact that nearly every industry benefits from hiring business-minded professionals with the skills to compete in the marketplace, career opportunities are virtually endless for graduates with business degrees. If you've got a head for numbers, you could excel as an accountant, tax manager, appraiser, banker, billing clerk, financial planner, bookkeeper, budget analyst, or economist. For those who thrive working with other people, becoming a human resources manager, customer service representative, travel agent, event manager, or labor relations specialist could be the perfect fit.

One of the best things about a business degree is that it unlocks many of the highest paid professions for a significant return on investment. We at Best Value Schools are committed to helping you find the best bang for your education buck. To that end, we've compiled a series of degree rankings that focus on ROI, such as Top 20 Ranked Up and Coming Universities With the Best Return on Investment (ROI) which highlights top-notch business programs at universities like San Diego State University and NC State.

Many graduates of business degree programs go on to achieve lucrative executive-level positions, such as marketing manager, business manager, management consultant, county administrator, and president. Though competition is fierce, becoming a Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is also in reach with an MBA. Ultimately, plentiful job options await students putting their money towards a business degree.

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