Best Online Associate in Business Management Degrees for 2022

Associates Degree in Business Management Career Options & Salary

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An online associate degree in business management is usually an entry-level degree for employment in business, but prospective employers prefer a bachelor's degree. However, any degree will help you gain employment and a business management associate degree can qualify you for entry into entry-level business positions. From here, you can use your gained experience to help you earn an advanced degree (such as a bachelor's degree), gain certificates, or even start your own business. An associate degree in business management online is a great way for you to take your first step into the business world and allow you to choose your specialization or industry of interest. Not only will you complete your general education courses with an associate degree, but you will also start gaining business skills as well as those in critical thinking and business decision-making. When online students graduate with an associate degree in business management, they can start taking courses in accounting, marketing, sales, human resources or human resources management, and much more if they decide to move on to a higher-level degree.


An online associate degree can be earned relatively quickly. It is considered a two-year degree, so it's a fast way to learn the ins and outs of basic business management. You'll have a solid understanding of corporate finance and accounting, marketing, business law, sales, human resources, business decision-making, and similar subjects and business skills that are vital to management and business admin.

If your high school GPA is less than stellar, an associate program will allow you to enter college without meeting the higher admissions criteria of a four-year institution. With an associate degree you’ll most likely earn more, regardless of the industry you're interested in, than someone without any degree. This means you will most likely earn more money than a coworker with the same time on the job but less education.

An online business management program will also allow you to enter a business career almost immediately, and perhaps even earn money while completing your associate degree program. This may allow you to take advantage of employer educational programs and alleviate the cost of a higher degree.

Many community colleges offer either a business management associates or a business administration program, so you can save considerably on tuition and online courses when compared to a four-year institution.


Most high-level management positions require at least a bachelor's degree, so you will not qualify for higher-level positions; many employers won't interview candidates for management positions who only hold a two-year degree, even if it is an online associate degree in business management. Although your chances of being hired in a non-management position are higher than those with no degree, they will still be lower than that of those who hold a bachelor's degree.

An online associate degree program in business may not allow you time to take advances courses, so you won't have extensive knowledge on anything outside of the basic business management subjects and skills. If you aren’t careful about the school you choose, your credits may not transfer to a four-year program. You need to make sure your online associate degree program carries the proper accreditation required by your four-year school of choice. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) covers associates along with bachelor's and degrees for graduate students, so this would be great accreditation to look for. Accreditation will also give you access to financial aid.

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What are the Best Online Associate of Science in Business Management Programs?


Cleary University

Cleary University is a very small private institution founded in 1883 as the Cleary School of Penmanship and later incorporating a business school. The campus is in Howell, Michigan, northeast of Detroit. This higher learning institution only enrolls around 600 students each year, and these students can pursue associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in mostly business majors, though there are also majors in communication, culinary arts, healthcare administration, and criminal justice.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $22,230
    • Out-of-state: $22,230
  • Net Price: $18,457
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 658
  • Undergrad Students: 509
  • Graduate Students: 149
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Cleary University

University of Toledo

The University of Toledo is a public institution founded in 1872 and located in the large city of Toledo, Ohio. Student enrollment is just under 19,700. Undergraduate students make up 79% of the student body (around 15,600 students) and graduate students number around 4,100. The student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1. Student's will have access to associate, bachelor's, master's, and private practice- and research-focused degrees, along with 1-2 year certificates, postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master's certificates.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,082
    • Out-of-state: $20,442
  • Net Price: $17,793
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,319
  • Undergrad Students: 14,406
  • Graduate Students: 3,913
  • Diplomas Awarded: 19
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • University of Toledo

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Georgia Piedmont Technical College is located in Clarkston, Georgia. It is part of the Technical College System of Georgia and offers education on multiple campuses. The school has just over 2,600 students enrolled each year. All students attending are undergraduates, as students attending this school are all earning year, 1-2 year, 2-4 year certificates, and associate degrees. The student-to-faculty ratio is low at just 13 to 1.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,178
    • Out-of-state: $5,578
  • Net Price: $4,233
  • Retention Rate: 51%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,615
  • Undergrad Students: 2,615
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 36
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Concordia University-Wisconsin

In Mequon, Wisconsin, Concordia University's Wisconsin campus provides a wide variety of associate, bachelor's, master's, and research or practice focused doctoral degrees, as well as 1-2 year and post-master's certificate programs. Mequon is a suburb of Milwaukee on the northern side of that large city. This school is part of the Concordia University System operated by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. The school educates around 5,500 students, with 3,100 undergraduates and the rest being graduate students. Students can expect a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $31,182
    • Out-of-state: $31,182
  • Net Price: $24,569
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,492
  • Undergrad Students: 3,094
  • Graduate Students: 2,398
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Concordia University-Wisconsin

Dakota State University

Dakota State University offers their students degrees that can get them started in the world right away including <1 year certificates, 1-2 year certifiates, and associate degrees. However, students could also opt for higher levels of learning with a bachelor's, master's, or research-focused doctoral degrees, as well as postbaccalaureate certificates. They offer these degrees in a wide variety of majors, the most popular of which are Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Education; and Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services. Their nearly 3,200 students can earn these degrees in one of nearly 40 majors options.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,536
    • Out-of-state: $12,606
  • Net Price: $17,861
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,186
  • Undergrad Students: 2,740
  • Graduate Students: 446
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Dakota State University

Western Kentucky University

WKU has a large, beautiful 200-acre campus that its students can enjoy all year, despite its location in the city of Bowling Green. Over 18,000 students attend each year to earn associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from this 100+-year-old institution. The most popular majors at the school are registered nursing, business administration, psycholog, and organizational leadership. However, there are many more options available if none of these catch your attention. In fact, there are over 180 options, so you can enter into nearly any career your heart is set on with a degree from WKU.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,802
    • Out-of-state: $26,496
  • Net Price: $12,705
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,517
  • Undergrad Students: 15,286
  • Graduate Students: 2,231
  • Diplomas Awarded: 2
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Western Kentucky University

Herzing University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,200
    • Out-of-state: $14,200
  • Net Price: $24,852
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 498
  • Undergrad Students: 494
  • Graduate Students: 4
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • Herzing University-Brookfield

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Georgia Northwestern Technical College was founded in 1962 and is located in Rome, Georgia, though it was moved further toward the outskirts of the city in 1940. The school enrolls around 6,600 students each year and offers them access to <1 year, 1-2 year, 2-4 year certificates, and associate degrees. Health Professions and Related Programs and Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services are the school's largest departments, though they offer nearly 100 majors across a variety of departments.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,062
    • Out-of-state: $5,462
  • Net Price: $2,200
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,608
  • Undergrad Students: 6,608
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 68
  • Student-to-faculty: 22:1
  • Georgia Northwestern Technical College

University of Antelope Valley

University of Antelope Valley is a very small institution founded just recently in 1997 and offering certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees to attending students. The student body is comprised of around 730 students, with the majority earning undergraduate degrees. Students can choose from a variety of subjects such as business and hospitality management, culinary training, health professions, criminal justice and firefighting, and more.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $63,245
    • Out-of-state: $63,245
  • Net Price: $21,830
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 731
  • Undergrad Students: 691
  • Graduate Students: 40
  • Diplomas Awarded: 2
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • University of Antelope Valley

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewis-Clark State College is a public institution that is located in Lewiston, Idaho, which is on the far western side of the state right on the border with Washington. Lewis-Clark was established in 1893, over 125 years ago, and was the last normal school in the country to make the change to a different title. They offer many degrees that span from less than one-year certificates and associate degrees through bachelor's degree programs. Students can find their ideal course of study in options including business, management, marketing, and related support services; education; engineering; health professions and related programs; and more.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,982
    • Out-of-state: $20,238
  • Net Price: $10,957
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,856
  • Undergrad Students: 3,856
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Lewis-Clark State College
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Certificate vs. Associate's Degree

Some students may consider earning a science in business certificate rather than an associate degree program. For example, if you're running your own business and need to learn basic bookkeeping, a certificate business management program may be the perfect solution. In an online certificate program you'll only take online courses specific to the topic you want to learn, skipping the core class requirements of an associate degree. This will allow you to fast-track your general business skills and knowledge base of business management, but you should verify the credits will transfer to a two- or four-year program in the future, so that you have the option to go on to earn an online business management associate's degree if you need to later. A certificate program will prepare you to enter the workforce quickly with practical business processes, albeit in a lower position.

What Business Management Associate Degrees are Available?

Choosing an online degree program can be confusing if you don't understand the difference between the degrees offered. Basically, there are four types of business degrees you might choose from: Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and Associate of Applied Business (AAB)s. The first two (AS and AA) are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year bachelor's degree program and the latter two (AAB and AAA) are stand-alone programs, designed for immediate entry into the workforce.

Within these four choices, a business management degree that include the word "Science" will have more science and math requirements and be more focused on technical areas of business management. The degrees with "Art" in the title have more generalized subject requirements. A science program courses will have specific subject requirements to choose from for your elective classes while an arts degree will typically allow you to choose from a wide range of general subjects for your electives.

Your choice may come into play at a later date when you are ready to enter an online bachelor's in business management, as there may be prerequisites that were offered in a science program but not in the arts associate's degree program.

Additional Skills and Online Courses to Consider:

  • Business law
  • Business processes
  • Human resources
  • Business operations
  • Organizational goals
  • Human relations
  • Leadership skills
  • International business

Online Admission Requirements

Generally speaking, the only requirements for an business management associate degree program are a high school diploma or GED. You will probably be required to submit your school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores as well, depending on your school of choice. If you plan to enter an online associate's degree in business you may have specific math and science prerequisites, too.

Most community colleges offer remedial courses is subjects such as English and Algebra; on the opposite spectrum, for a nominal fee you may be able to test out of some subjects if you took advanced courses in high school.

How long does it take to earn a Business Management Associates Online?

An online associate business management degree requires 60 semester credit hours (90 quarter credit hours) to earn your diploma, which typically is a two year degree program. If you attend full-time it will take two years; if you take courses over the summers, you may even be able to graduate in 18 months.

If you plan to attend community college part-time you can use the 60 credit hour rule to project how long it will take for your specific career path. For example, if you can only complete 15 credit hours a year it will take you four years to graduate. Some courses may only be offered once a year, so if your schedule isn't flexible you may have to attend an extra semester in order to take a single required class.

Additional Online Business Management Degree Coursework

Potential Careers for Graduates

Although most upper management positions in business require at least a bachelor's degree there are many lower positions you will qualify for once you earn your associate's degree. Here are a few examples:

  • Customer Service Associate:
    You’ll handle complaints and returns, answer customer questions, provide information, and handle similar interactions with customers in a wide range of industries. Within larger companies, customer service associates are often promoted to human resource department positions.
    Average Median Salary: $39,200
  • Retail Department Manager:
    You’ll oversee all employees within a specific department, handle product orders, track inventory, and interact with management to ensure your department works efficiently and runs smoothly. Typically, the employee in this position also writes the schedule for the entire department in conjunction with overtime constraints and employee seniority guidelines. Often promoted to assistant manager.
    Average Median Salary: $42,000
  • Administrative Assistant:
    You’ll schedule meetings, field phone calls, manage incoming and outgoing mail and email, prepare invoices, and cover a wide range of other tasks in order to keep a business running smoothly; often promoted to office manager
    Average Median Salary: $39,800
  • Warehouse Supervisor:
    You’ll oversee and maintain warehouse inventory by storing, receiving, and shipping it in a timely manner. Typically, employees in this position are responsible for hiring and supervising employees as well as maintaining security; may be promoted to warehouse manager.
    Average Median Salary: $51,800
  • Assistant Manager:
    You’ll represent the company while supervising employees in all aspects of a business. Assistant managers are found in a wide range of industries and must be detail oriented and have verbal and written skills as well as leadership abilities and customer service skills.
    Average Median Salary: $45,600

Options to Advance

Business management is one field where experience is as valuable as education. That being said, you should plan to continue your education if your long-term goal is a career in management. It's a good idea to earn your bachelor degree at least; if you plan to enter corporate management you'll need a master's degree to be competitive with others applying for the same positions.

If you are self-employed, an online associate in business (two year degree program) may be the only degree you need and you can take this at a community college or university. That being said, you should still continue your education and take courses such as bookkeeping, business law, and business ethics that will help your business grow and stay on the right track. When enrolling in these types of online courses, it's a smart plan to look at the big picture and take courses that can be applied to a management associate degree program in case your future plans change.

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