The type of degree that you decide to earn will depend upon your interests as well as your goals and qualifications. There exists a wide array of different individual course options. It is important to consider that a large number of business degree programs will emphasize one specific function such as communications, e-commerce or management. There are also business degree options that are broader in nature.
Associate’s Degrees in Business
An associate degree in business is the ideal option for an individual who has not yet decided to commit themselves fully to a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration. Students are provided with a solid foundation for further coursework in the field of business through an associate’s degree in business. This degree does provide the opportunity to enhance future career options as well as provide the opportunity for credits to be applied to a bachelor’s degree in business, if you decide to pursue such a degree in the future.
Depending on the program, an associate’s degree in business can typically be completed within about two years. Both campus-based colleges as well as online colleges offer associate’s degrees in business.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Business
Generally, most entry-level business careers require a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration as a minimum requirement. Students with a bachelor’s of business administration, or BBA, will receive the preparation they need to pursue a wide array of different entry-level positions in fields such as financial services, accounting, personnel resources, economics and sales and marketing.
Students who are already employed in such fields and who wish to advance their careers or those who would like to change from a different career to one of these fields may find that an online business administration degree could be the right choice. These types of programs are specifically designed for working adults. There are even some colleges that will award college credit toward your degree based on work experience or previous coursework.
Generally, a bachelor’s in business degree will require most students, who attend full-time, about four years to complete the degree. Some students who are able to take a heavier course load may be able to complete their degrees within a slightly shorter time-frame, while other students may find that it takes five years or even longer, depending on their individual schedules.
Master’s Degrees in Business
There are several different master’s degrees in business as well as business administration which are available to students in different areas of specialization. These degrees offer the opportunity to greatly enhance one’s career; providing opportunity for advancement as well as increased earning potential. A Master’s of Business Administration or MBA program is a popular choice. This program does often entail admission requirements that are more rigid than other types of master’s level business degrees. This is particularly true for business schools that are considered to be high-profile. Keep in mind that a MBA is not a universal requirement for advancing your career, but when an employer requires a broader range of knowledge, this type of degree may be preferred.
Most MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree as an entrance requirement along with business experience that is proven. One of the advantages to many such programs is that they are self-directed. This gives you the opportunity to select the types of courses that you feel would benefit you and your future goals the most. Many MBA programs are designed especially for working professionals who are seeking to advance their careers into upper management levels.
MBA programs vary in length. Students who are able to attend full-time may be able to complete their program in just one year. Students who are also working and/or have families may find that it takes two years or longer to complete the program.
Doctorate Degrees in Business
The highest degree level that can be achieved in this field is the Doctor of Business Administration. Through this type of degree program you gain the chance to choose the courses as well as the electives that will customize your research within a specific topic. More and more Doctor of Business Administration degrees are being offered online; although, it is important to point out that a large number of programs typically do involve residencies. Such residencies, though brief, provide a chance for students to confer with professors as well as interact with other doctoral students. Through the completion of a Doctor of Business Administration degree, students are usually able to achieve advanced leadership positions, consult or teach within their specific field.
The amount of time that is required to complete a doctorate in business will largely depend upon the schedule and needs of the students. Many students pursuing this type of advanced degree also work and have families. As a result, they are often not able to attend full-time. At a minimum, it typically takes about two years to complete this program.
Certificate Programs in Business
An undergraduate certificate is a good option when you wish to enhance your career or your education. Many working professionals choose this option when they feel the need to gain additional expertise within a particular area. These programs are self-contained and are typically short in duration. A certificate program can typically be completed with as few as 16 semester hours of credit. Certificate programs are commonly offered in fields such as accounting, e-commerce and marketing, just to name a few.