Online Business Management Associate Degrees for 2022

Associates Degree in Business Management Career Options & Salary

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An online associate degree is usually not an entry-level degree for employment in business management. That often requires a bachelor's degree online. 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 a 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.

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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