Best Online Associate in Business Administration Degrees for 2023

Associates Degree in Business Administration Career Options & Salary

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In order to succeed in business, you will need a degree. One of the quickest ways to attain a degree in business and get to work is by completing a two-year associate degree or an accelerated option. These degrees are often found at your local community college, but they are also available online and from some four-year universities. Since an associate degree takes only two years, perhaps less with an online option, many current students see this as a quick way to get out of learning in school and into the real world and successful employment. This is true, but an associate degree, whether a business management or business administration degree program, will only take a graduate's career so far. It may be difficult to get into leadership positions with their corporate employers, but they can start earning experience and working toward their long-term goals. Keep reading to learn more about associate degrees in business administration.


    A degree in business administration at the associate level comes with many benefits. During your online or on-campus education, you will learn the nuts and bolts of business (including academics in customer service, human resources, principles of finance, etc.), along with your general education courses. Once you graduate, you will have a solid foundation on which to build a long and successful business career.

    One chief positive of attaining an associate degree is that you can complete the degree in as few as two years after you complete high school. Further, AA and AS degrees are often offered online and on-campus through local community colleges. Thus, if you live far from a four-year public school, you can still jumpstart your business career through online learning, without a lengthy commute or other inconveniences.

    Another of the chief pros of an associate degree is that degree holders can command a higher salary than those without a degree can. Your knowledge and skills in the field of business also mean that you can advance in your career faster than if you were trying to learn on the job.


    On the negative end of an associate degree program focused on business management or a degree in business administration, you'll find that, while it's great for getting started, you may hit a glass ceiling before too long. Two years’ worth of knowledge and skill only go so far. You may also find that you are ineligible to attain additional certificates. Even if you are an entrepreneur, you may find that banks prefer to loan to those with a bachelor's degree over those with a lower-level degree in business administration.

    A two-year Associate in Business Administration also limits you in that, it's difficult to broaden your knowledge on the field of business in a brief two-year span. Your time will probably be filled with core curriculum and the few business courses you're able to take for your major concentration. When you move on to a four-year bachelor's degree, you'll see that there's more opportunity to add a minor concentration and gain a breadth of knowledge you don’t otherwise have access to. For instance, you could add a minor in accounting, marketing, or even economics to increase the scope of your knowledge. Ultimately, while a two-year degree is far better than no degree at all, it's a good idea for you to progress through a full bachelor's degree in business administration, business management, or a related degree in business in order to have the career you've always dreamed of. These degrees can be completed online or in other flexible learning platforms so that you needn't stop working in order to gain more education.

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What are the Best Online Associate in Business Administration College Programs?


National University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,320
    • Out-of-State: $13,320
  • Net Price: $9,966
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,135
  • Undergrad Students: 7,648
  • Graduate Students: 9,487
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Student-to-faculty: 16
  • National University

Immaculata University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $27,750
    • Out-of-State: $27,750
  • Net Price: $28,510
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,478
  • Undergrad Students: 1,576
  • Graduate Students: 902
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • Student-to-faculty: 6
  • Immaculata University

American Public University System

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,360
    • Out-of-State: $7,360
  • Net Price: $11,916
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 48,298
  • Undergrad Students: 38,969
  • Graduate Students: 9,329
  • Diplomas Awarded: 22
  • Student-to-faculty: 237
  • American Public University System

Cardinal Stritch University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $34,762
    • Out-of-State: $34,762
  • Net Price: $17,555
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,365
  • Undergrad Students: 877
  • Graduate Students: 488
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Student-to-faculty: 3
  • Cardinal Stritch University

Saint Francis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $39,502
    • Out-of-State: $39,502
  • Net Price: $28,883
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,034
  • Undergrad Students: 2,552
  • Graduate Students: 482
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • Student-to-faculty: NA
  • Saint Francis University

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,898
    • Out-of-State: $36,476
  • Net Price: $24,012
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 88,914
  • Undergrad Students: 73,476
  • Graduate Students: 15,438
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Student-to-faculty: 15
  • The Pennsylvania State University

Marian University-Indianapolis

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $36,600
    • Out-of-State: $36,600
  • Net Price: $21,936
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,071
  • Undergrad Students: 2,980
  • Graduate Students: 1,091
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Student-to-faculty: 14
  • Marian University-Indianapolis

Florida Institute of Technology

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $43,246
    • Out-of-State: $43,246
  • Net Price: $32,314
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,830
  • Undergrad Students: 3,491
  • Graduate Students: 4,339
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Student-to-faculty: 14
  • Florida Institute of Technology

Cleary University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $22,230
    • Out-of-State: $22,230
  • Net Price: $17,978
  • Retention Rate: 50%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Total Enrollment: 751
  • Undergrad Students: 612
  • Graduate Students: 139
  • Diplomas Awarded: 18
  • Student-to-faculty: 18
  • Cleary University

Monroe College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,686
    • Out-of-State: $16,686
  • Net Price: $12,054
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,256
  • Undergrad Students: 6,445
  • Graduate Students: 811
  • Diplomas Awarded: 113
  • Student-to-faculty: 16
  • Monroe College
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Certificate vs. Associates

An online certificate in business administration is a great way to broaden your business opportunities. Certificate programs are most often offered to students who already have attained a bachelor's degree in any field plus some significant experience, often at least a year in a business environment. However, there are programs that admit non-degreed students on a non-credit basis. Non-credit options often require more experience for admission and since there is no college credit involved, you won't be able to apply your work toward a degree.

Thus, if you don't yet have an online associate degree, your best bet is to enroll in a two-year degree program and progress from that point. Your coursework will likely cover the same material as a certificate course, and you'll have college credit that will help when you move onto an online or on-campus bachelor's degree in business administration program. And earning a bachelor's degree in business will give you access to even more entry-level and higher opportunities, such as in international business, business policy creation, consumer research, as an executive assistant, customer service rep, or human resources specialist, etc.

What Online Business Administration Associate Degrees are Available?

  • Associate of Science:
    Generally speaking, an AS degree indicates that you have studied a STEM subject. Though Business is heavily math oriented, it also incorporates other elements from humanities.
  • Associate of Applied Science:
    This degree places an emphasis on applying one's knowledge and skills to a practical purpose.
  • Associate of Arts:
    An AA degree is one that is not in a STEM subject, such as Literature, Philosophy, History, or Political Science, for example.
  • Associate of Applied Business:
    If hold an AAB, your degree implies that you have studied with the sole purpose of entering the workforce. The downside of an "applied" associate degree in business administration or any other field is that your credits may not all transfer.
  • Associate of Applied Arts:
    This type of degree implies that the holder has placed a priority on job skills. An AAA degree might include coursework that does not transfer to a baccalaureate program.
  • Which Degree is Better, an AA or AS?

Admission Requirements

Each Online Associate of Business Administration program will have its own admission requirements. However, you should count on showing a high school diploma and SAT scores. Generally speaking, a GPA of 2.0 and SAT scores over 900 will suffice for many programs. However, there are always exceptions and there are programs that will accept a high school equivalency certificate and/or significant experience in business or management.

One strong suit of many two-year programs vs a bachelor's degree is that they have great flexibility in their admissions standards and will provide you with opportunities despite shortcomings in the past. However, is it vital that you make sure your program is fully accredited and has a strong reputation in academia and your local business community.

How long does it take to earn an Online Business Administration Associates?

Most online associate business degrees take two years to complete. However, many students opt to take longer by not attending full-time. While it may be tempting to prioritize your work or home life over a degree, try to resist this temptation. The faster you can complete your associate degree, the faster you can get your career in to high gear. The short term sacrifices you'll endure for the sake of education will pay off once you've graduated. Further, the faster you can complete your degree the less likely you are to incur additional charges, such as tuition increases or the rising cost of books.

Online Business Administration Course Work

Potential Careers in Business Administration with an Associates

  • Marketing Specialist:
    In this job, you will work to promote your company's products and services in the most effective ways possible. Depending on the product, you might oversee television ad campaigns, print ads, or other approaches to your target markets. The average annual salary for this job is $51,400.
  • Operations Manager:
    Your degree will help you oversee a company's operations as a manager. Depending on your company's business, you could manage all or part of a manufacturing process, warehouse facilities, or purchasing. Operations Managers command an average annual salary of $66,100.
  • Bookkeeping:
    Bookkeepers are the core of business support. You will put your two-year degree to work ensuring that all incoming or outgoing funds are appropriately recorded for later auditing. You'll need top-notch spreadsheet abilities and a quick 10-key hand, but from this position you will find many opportunities. Bookkeepers earn an average annual salary of $43,500
  • Office Manager:
    In order for any business to operate smoothly, it needs an office manager. You'll need to be able to manage a budget, have creative solutions for the best use of office space and materials, and also provide a helpful and friendly face for the business. Office managers earn an average annual salary of $48,800
  • Outside Sales Representative:
    This general job description can apply to many industries. For each, you'll follow up sales leads, meet company sales expectations, and manage your current customers. Sales Reps generally work on a strictly commission-only basis, meaning that you must produce sales in order to earn a salary. Though earnings vary depending on your industry, sales representatives earn an average annual salary of $50,000.

Options to Advance

Once you have a solid foundation set in place with your online Associate degree in Business Administration, you will have more opportunities to advance than if you had no degree at all. However, you still need to pursue added schooling if you want to add more responsibility to your plate.

You should consider taking more business classes after you've graduated with a two-year degree. While your associate degree will provide a leg-up in the business world, if you continue taking courses on a part-time basis, you may be able to complete a business admin bachelor's degree in three years or so. Your employer might be able to help with tuition assistance and they might even reward your studies with bonuses or promotions, even before you complete a baccalaureate degree.

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