What Does a Career in E-Commerce Entail?
Electronic commerce is a product of the computer age. The Internet is a global communications network that instantly connects distant parts of the commercial world. People around the globe increasingly buy and sell things electronically on the Internet. E-commerce is a digital system that has capabilities for a wide range of business channels including business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business. On a global basis, consumers use mobile devices to connect to the Internet and make purchases.
As the global trends continue, the demand grows for highly trained people to fill key roles in the expanding E-commerce business. The job opportunities differ from the brick-and-mortar type of commerce. E-commerce needs web designers, digital communications specialists, and e-commerce business strategists. The career possibilities in E-Commerce expand as the electronic marketplace grows by significant numbers each year.
Business Degrees & Career Paths
Components of a Successful Career In "E-Commerce"
Structurally, websites and web designs are a fundamental part of E-Commerce. The job and career opportunities are much broader. The skills and abilities that are needed for success in traditional businesses are also in demand in the E-Commerce sector. E-Commerce is a mix of marketing, information technology, analysts, and traditional business skills like finance, accounting, and management.
Creativity is a component of a successful E-commerce career because the industry continues to evolve and find new and innovative techniques.
Communication, writing and oral presentation skills are essential. Much work must be done by collaborations, teams, and persuasive discussions. Writing, content development, and digital communications are at the core of e-commerce marketing and strategies.
Critical Thinking will help your career because E-Commerce does not abandon traditional sales, advertising, and marketing; the skills needed are similar but must be adapted to the digital sphere and a global marketplace.
Flexibility is a key component of a successful career in almost any field in the modern business environment. The Internet has transformed business organizations so that they must be responsive to charges inspired by Global conditions and agile enough to reach opportunities anywhere on the globe.
Listening and attention are critical skills in every type of business endeavor. It’s a skill that enhances all other skills and abilities.
How to Earn a Degree in E-Commerce
Students should first decide whether a career in electronic sales, marketing, customer relations, or business ownership are of interest to them.
If you plan to use education as a gateway to an E-commerce career, then you should estimate costs of education, time required, and whether it fits your goals.
Select an associate or bachelor’s degree program.
You can select programs that offer classes on a college campus, courses online, or a combination of on-campus and online courses.
The college or school should be accredited so your degree will have wide acceptance and a significant impact on your career.
What Can You Do with a Degree in E-Commerce?
A degree in E-Commerce prepares graduates for roles as entrepreneurs in the electronic marketplace, web designers and developers, and more. Four important areas for jobs are web design and development, marketing, data analytics, and customer relations. A degree in E-Commerce opens careers in a field of sales and marketing that has global scope and a history of dynamic growth.
The basics of E-Commerce is that it is an advanced technology that supports transfers of goods, provision of services, and the movement of funds. Within a given organization, E-Commerce requires people skilled and trained in management, marketing, design, development, leadership, and technical skills.
Typical E-Commerce Degree Requirements
Associate degree programs in E-Commerce require a high school diploma or GED. The field is based on electronic communications systems, and students should have a basic understanding of the internet, internet access, and mobile devices. Colleges and schools offer associate degree programs on campus, online, and a mix of on-campus and online coursework. Math and science are helpful backgrounds, and writing is a strong tool for learning and applying E-Commerce business concepts.
Bachelor’s degree programs in E-Commerce programs require a High School Diploma or a GED. Applicants should demonstrate an acumen for writing, communications, and any technical field they wish to pursue such as information technology, computer management, and web design. Programs and schools may prefer candidates with strong backgrounds in science, math, computers, software applications, and the Internet.
Typical E-Commerce Certifications Needed
Several professional organizations offer certifications for specific E-Commerce categories. The certificates demonstrate a commitment to self-improvement and professional excellence.
An undergraduate certificate in e-commerce management is like an academic concentration; it is a focus on a group of courses that provide a high-level of knowledge and skill in a particular area of study. For example, certificate programs enable non-IT managers, project team members, and other employees working on e-commerce projects to upgrade their skills. They can develop the high-level of practical knowledge needed to organize an e-commerce effort within a company and manage e-commerce initiatives.
An e-commerce management certificate program equips managers with expertise and experience needed to develop strategies, focus on organizational structure, improve control systems, and develop customer service infrastructure.
Academic Standards for an E-Commerce Degree
An Associate Degree in E-Commerce is a two-year degree that requires about 60 credit hours. The hours are divided between general education, E-commerce, and business coursework. General education includes science, math, and writing skills. The Business and E-commerce studies include an introduction to business, management, the Internet, web design, and data analytics. This degree is ideal preparation for internships and other practical learning experiences.
A Bachelor’s Degree in E-Commerce is a four-year degree that requires about 120 semester hours. The curricula divide the credit hours between general education, business, and E-Commerce. General education writing, math, science, and some computer-based coursework. Traditional business courses include accounting, marketing, and finance. E-Commerce subjects offer high levels of knowledge about web administration, web analytics, and mobile interaction.
A Master’s Degree in E-Commerce is a one or two-year degree that requires a bachelor’s degree in E-Commerce or a related field. The master’s level involves advanced studies in multimedia, marketing, finance, and business management. Master’s study prepares graduates for leadership roles and thought leadership in addition to organizational management.
Exam/Experience Needed for an E-Commerce
There is no specific exam for a career in eCommerce, but experience is a key element for entry and advancement. The essence of eCommerce involves electronic marketing and websites are a consistent and common factor in successful electronic sales and marketing. Employers value hands-on experience and a demonstrated level of capability to perform the required tasks, functions, and processes.
The field of E-Commerce is relatively new. It is a product of the Internet and information technology. As such, the models for success are also relatively new such as AMAZON, a young company that has grown into a leading global E-Commerce retailer.
Important Questions to Ask
How long does it take to earn an E-Commerce bachelor's degree online?
A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree that students can pursue entirely or partially online. If attending on a full-time basis, students can complete the bachelor’s degree in four years, particularly if taking summer session courses. Online students can graduate on time and still have a focus or concentration in an E-Commerce specialty.
How much does an E-Commerce bachelor’s degree cost?
Tuition expenses for an E-Commerce bachelor’s degree will depend on the school. Each school sets tuition and fees for its students. Online students can save or avoid living expenses such as food, housing, and local travel, but they will pay tuition generally at the same rates as other students. Based on national averages, the below-listed items describe tuition costs.
- Public four-year school in-state average tuition cost is $9,970
- Public four-year school out of state tuition average cost is $25,620
- Private four-year school average tuition cost is $34,740
E-Commerce Bachelor's Degree Coursework
The E-Commerce degree is part of a business degree program. It combines economic principles with software and technology for use on the Internet and other electronic business systems. An E-Commerce degree opens a wide range of career possibilities. The opportunities include working with existing online businesses and entrepreneurship to develop a new venture.
The bachelor’s degree coursework is divided equally between general education and E-Commerce related subjects. The E-Commerce side of the curriculum is a mix of business and technology subjects including web development, coding, digital content, and Internet operations. Some advanced concentrations include project management and Internet marketing in emerging media.
Many bachelor’s candidates benefit from applied education in real-world settings. Students gain an advantage for jobs and careers when schools offer internship opportunities and emphasize projects for individual students or student teams.
Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering?
It is important to align a student’s career goals with the choice of a school, college, or university. Each school shapes its major and minor courses and degree programs to the subjects and academic focuses they regard as important. Students should look beyond the labels to be sure that the program has elements needed for their career path. E-Commerce is a specific application of business education. Career learning for E-Commerce is a newer field than traditional business studies.
In traditional business education, people have entered the fields of retail or marketing through work experience as well as formal education. In the field of E-Commerce, students can use a two-year or four-year degree to enter the field, and a master’s degree to open up mid-level and leadership positions. When selecting an E-commerce program, students can look for the major and for concentrations that will put them in the roles they prefer.
How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?
On-time graduation is an important statistic for students when selecting a program. The experiences of other students are not always a good predictor, but when looking at the entire student body, the graduation rate and on-time graduations stand out as vital considerations. The costs of a degree in E-Commerce can increase by 25-33% for each additional year beyond the on-time graduation date.
The four-year graduation rate at public schools is 35%, and the four-year graduation rate at private schools is 53%. By contrast, the six-year rate is 58.8% for public schools and 65.6% for four-year private schools. The trends towards longer attendance are clear, and it has consequences for college costs and college debt. When selecting a program, students can use the Department of Education’s College Scoreboard to review graduation rates. They can also look at school publications of graduate and student satisfaction surveys.
What kind of accreditation does the program hold? How is it regarded in the field?
Accreditation has two major categories. There is regional accreditation, which measures a school or school program by the high standards of the leading schools in the region. And there is national accreditation, which uses a nationwide standard.
Employers and educational institutions widely accept regional accreditation; regional accreditation applies to entire schools and particular programs. The regional and specific program accreditation are important for business and E-Commerce students.
E-Commerce has a strong technical component of web development and maintenance. E-Commerce web portals require design, construction, and technical maintenance. Technical experts must sometimes perform complex changes, as events require them.
For this reason, it is important that E-commerce students have a penchant for new technological innovations. They must be comfortable using a computer and the internet and interested in advancements. Otherwise they will not be able to keep up in the field.View More About Popular Programs
Associate Degree in E-Commerce
Students can enter the E-commerce world as trainees and interns and supervised positions with an associate degree. Students in associate programs learn the basics of business, management, and marketing. They get an introduction to computer fundamentals, trade terminology, software, and hardware systems.
The basics of E-Commerce include internet marketing strategy, security, and web design and development. Students should get exposure to current legal and ethical issues for multimedia use, copyrights, and privacy rules.
- Introduction to Electronic Commerce
- Principles of Internet Operation and Internet Security
- Video and Multimedia
- Website Development and Management
- Business Economics
- Introduction to Computer Codes
The tuition costs range from about $3,900 at public schools to $14,500 for private schools.
Bachelor’s Degree in E-Commerce
The bachelor's level builds on prior business education and experience through knowledge of software and E-Commerce technology. Coursework includes real-life e-business case studies and online team projects. Students can improve Internet proficiency, learn web-based problem solving, and the inner workings of E-commerce systems. Students can take online college classes in E-commerce management to build education and work experience.
- E-Business Basics
- Writing and Communications
- Business Internet Applications
- Fundamentals of Online Management
- Programming and Coding
- Web Systems Development, Design, and Analysis
- Internships, Projects, and Team Collaborations
Concentrations for a bachelor’s degree in E-Commerce include Digital Communications, International Marketing, and Finance.
The total annual costs for a bachelor’s degree average $20,770 at public schools in-state; $36,420 at public schools out-of-state; and $46,950 at private schools.
Master’s Degree in E-Commerce
A mater’s degree requires that you first obtain a bachelor’s in either E-Commerce or a related field, such as Computer Science or Business. A master’s degree will include much of the same type of courses and group or individual work that a bachelors required, but will have a much stronger emphasis on leadership and management roles, since completing a master’s will give you quick access to these top positions.
- Security and Electronic Payment Systems
- Digital Entrepreneurship
- Advanced Web Technology
- Electronic Commerce Law and Ethics
- Mobile Commerce
- Knowledge Management
- Laboratories, Internships, Hands-on Projects
Concentrations for a Master’s Degree in E-Commerce include Digital Analytics, Marketing Strategies, and Strategic Planning.
Master’s degree tuition costs are about $8,670 at public schools and $29,960 at private schools.
Earning Potential for E-Commerce Degree Fields and Occupations
A college education can raise salaries and open opportunities for long-term career growth, more responsibility, and increased promotions. The below-listed items show the impact of educational attainment on the median annual salary.
E-Commerce Fields of Study Median Salaries
Field of Study with Entry Level Median Annual Salary and Mid-Career Median Annual Salary
|Field||Entry Level Salary||Mid-Career Salary|
|eCommerce Product Management||$78,444||$90,009|
E-Commerce Salaries by Occupation
Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree holders in eCommerce have key roles in eCommerce operations and management. This allows them to command higher salaries than their associate-degree counterparts.
Salary by Occupation
|e-Commerce/web Sr. manager||$58,500||$104,000||$122,000|
|Product Manager, eCommerce/web||$52,000||$64,000||$83,000|
|Director of eCommerce||$76,400||$102,600||$126,680|
|Project Manager -IT||$69,000||$88,000||$110,000|
|Business Manager eCommerce/Web||$51,800||$74,240||$82,560|
- E-Commerce Senior Managers oversee daily operations of software maintenance and development and collaborates with other units.
- Web Developers build the operating systems for websites and modify them to fit changing needs.
- Directors of eCommerce oversee e-commerce websites and sales operations.
- Project Managers of IT design and carry out specific research or development projects.
- Web Designers develop, create, and encode web pages and related content.
- Business Managers of eCommerce/Web research trends and analyze data for strategic planning and marketing.
- E-commerce Analysts research and analyze data to support services, sales, and operations.
Chairman’s College Scholarship
Deadline: March 15
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) is an educational and charitable organization that awards scholarships to students that work in the promotional products industry or whose parent(s) work in the industry. The organization has awarded $1.9 million to date. This scholarship fund awards three students per year entering their third or fourth year of college. Students must intend to enter a field related to promotional products.
Wikibuy eCommerce and Online Retail Scholarship
Deadline: August 21
Eligible applicants must be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited school, college, or university. Applicants must have a 3.4 GPA or higher and submit an essay on a designated E-Commerce topic. The program grants special consideration to applicants with experience in online retail and other types of E-Commerce.
Homus/Appalachian State - E-Commerce Research Scholarship
Deadline: Feb 38
The essay subject is "How E-Commerce Will Look Like in 2030 – Trends and Ideas". Eligible applicants include first year, transfer students, and second through fourth years. A student must be 18 years or older, and they may pursue any degree or major.
Amount: $1,500 per year
Deadline: Feb. 28
Applicants must write a 600-word essay on one or more of the below topics.
- Why is e-commerce good for the growth of business?
- Tell us about new business ideas that could cope well in the e-commerce world?
- How can these new ideas be beneficial to customers and make their life easier?
- Are you currently working on any idea that would ease the working of e-commerce professionals on a daily basis?
Professional Business Organizations
E-Commerce Professionals Association
The ePA is a community of professionals engaged in e-commerce or a related field or business line. Services provided to members include mentors, career development assistance, and a jobs board. The community promotes networking with regular conferences and special events that follow important industry and market trends and refresh members information.
The ePA promotes opportunities for students to learn and network with top online retailers and leaders in strategy, management, digital marketing, and web operations. They promote innovation and the creative use of technology. Students can use the ePA to get information on jobs, internships, and scholarships. As graduates, they can seek mentorship relationships that can accelerate the early career learning curve.
The E-commerce Foundation
This organization has affiliates in the leading economies around the globe. The group promotes global digital trade. They seek to promote global digital commerce by working to remove barriers, increase cooperation, and promote consumer confidence. The organization has internships and can be a source of information and networking opportunities.
For more than 20 years, WebProfessional.Org has advocated for those working in the web development profession, including designers, marketers, and technical professionals. The organization provides certifications and promotes high levels of professionalism through standards for conduct. Because the Internet evolves, the web developer must also evolve and adapt to new technology, innovation, and other challenges. The organization helps teachers, students, and other new entrants to the field by aligning resources and promoting digital literacy at all levels of education. They provide career technical training and information technology websites, conferences, and awards.
E-Commerce Network on LinkedIn
The National Association of Black Accountants began in 1969. It has promoted the development of minority professionals in the fields of accounting and finance. This group has performed valuable advocacy, education, and networking for businessmen and women from minority groups
Choosing an Accredited College
Accreditation is a key to getting a quality education and a degree that can help accomplish a student’s career goals. Accreditation is the process of evaluation of entire schools, colleges, and universities. It is also a process applied to specific programs in a school such as the Business Education department or the graduate school of business. Accreditation is a fundamental part of US education, and the Department of Education requires accreditation for schools that participate in the federal student loan programs.
The AACSB is the most widely accepted and respected accreditation agency for any business degree program, including E-Commerce programs. Degrees from regionally accredited colleges and universities also get wide acceptance and are useful as education credits nearly everywhere.
Online vs. On-Campus vs. Hybrid
E-Commerce students can choose the type of education they wish to pursue from on-campus learning, online learning, and a combination or hybrid arrangement. There are advantages to each type of learning that depend on the student’s situation, educational needs, and preferences.
Online learning is best for people that cannot easily attend a physical campus on a full or part-time basis. Many schools offer E-Commerce degrees earned entirely online. Online education works well for people who have jobs or businesses and that wish to continue working them while getting a degree in E-Commerce. It is also helpful if you have a family to take care of while you try to complete your education.
Online education is flexible, and students can access information on their schedules from anyplace on the Internet. Students can adjust the time for completing a degree online and save on the costs of living in an area near or on a physical campus location. Online learning is asynchronous, which means that students do not have to attend class at any specific time or place to participate in learning.
On-campus, or traditional, learning takes place in classroom settings where students gather at the same place and time. This synchronous learning has advantages for interaction. Some students prefer this as their accustomed method of learning. Students can combine on-campus and online education into a hybrid type program that fits their situation best.
Does the College Have Post-Graduate Job Placement Help & Assistance?
When selecting a school, students should look for job assistance, career counseling, and other helpful programs for seniors and graduates. The entire school community can be an asset for career development including alumni and corporate partners. Students should look for opportunities to network with the college’s or university’s extended community.
Why You Need to Consider that Rating/accreditation Can Affect Your Salary
Accredited schools and educational programs get wider acceptance among employers and educational institutions than non-accredited schools and programs. Graduates from accredited institutions or programs have access to a wider range of potential employers and educational institutions for further studies. The rating and accreditation affect salary by creating the maximum available choices for jobs, career, and further education.