Updated on May 7, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University HQ is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University Headquarters strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best business management programs.

Get Matched With Business Management Programs

Business is the most popular of college majors. In fact, out of every five bachelor’s degrees awarded yearly, one will be a business bachelor's degree. Some of the academic fields in business include marketing, accounting, business management and project management, finance, marketing, sales, and general business. The undergraduate program to obtain an online Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) takes three years to complete and imparts leadership skills to be able to perform leading roles for major corporations, businesses, and industries worldwide. This business management bachelor's is categorized into four majors: Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Operational Management, and Marketing Management.

Completing an online business management program can lead to a variety of different career opportunities with an average salary of $28,000 to start. Although both men and women equally obtain a degree in business management, men tend to go for business strategy, business analyst, and finance while women are more likely to focus on marketing or sales. Either way, there are plenty of management careers to find within a company that interests you. During the first year, basic business study courses will be covered that include company systems, human resources, accounting, marketing, sales, project management, and economics. After that, the courses for the following years will be based on the students’ career choice, which they can explore through academics.


Components of a Successful Career in Business Management

Even though there are many career opportunities that could stem from a degree in business management, they all include basic core components that you will need to be successful. People skills are critical to the success of any career choice involving business fundamentals. Other key components include critical thinking, problem-solving, resource management, leadership, communication, collaboration, ethics, empathy, strategic analysis, and more. It's important to assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can fill in any gaps before you get started in a business management degree program or a career. Some possible career positions include marketing or sales manager, business analyst, data analyst, project manager, operations manager and more once you prepare and gain some experience in an office environment.

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How to Earn an Online Degree in Business Management?

Also known as Chief Operating Officer (COO), a chief financial officer (CFO), and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– business executives ensure the success of their firm and provide leadership to employees.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that some business executives do not hold an online bachelor’s degree in business management, but typically one is required for this position, or at least a minimum of the bachelors’ degree courses must have been completed. A masters is preferred. In addition, many years of experience is required to become a business executive. It also helps to get a professional certification, but this is not a requirement.

If your goal is to become a business management executive, the following criteria may help...

EDUCATION LEVEL At least a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management is usually acceptable
DEGREE FIELD Business Administration, or related
CERTIFCATION Voluntary industry Certified from a trade Organization
EXPERIENCE Several years in a managerial or supervisory position
KEY SKILLS Leadership, communication, administrative, problem solving, finance, and more
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE Accounting, regulations, laws, economics, software resources, such as SAP, oracle, and more

Why Earn an Online Business Management Degree

Earning an online business management bachelor's degree opens the doors to many great career opportunities, including almost every sector of the economic industry, and could lead to something even greater.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that business degrees are the most demanded degrees today. In fact, according to results of a 2018 Job Outlook survey conducted by the NACE, Management of Finance, Administration, and Accounting are the top three demanded majors of the year. In addition, a poll conducted through the NACE found that nearly half (48.5%) of all employers in America are looking to hire those with a business management degree or it's equivalent.

According to the BLS, job growth will increase by 6% for top executives between 2014 through 2024 and in 2015 chief executives earned an annual salary of $185,850 on average. Also in that same year, some companies paid the highest annual salaries to top executives that included bonuses, such as, $251,720 for peripheral and computer equipment, $246,040 commodity contracts and securities, and $253,570 to limousine and taxi services.

After earning a degree in business management, you don’t have to stop there, you can continue to reach higher grounds and become a top executive.

Difference Between Business Manager and Executive

Business-manager There are a number of major differences between a business manager and an executive. For instance, in an organization, someone in business management or project management would answer to the executive, as the executive has a much higher standing and practically runs the business. Moreover, the pay rates are substantially different between the two careers, where an executive can earn two times that of a business manager. Not to mention the business management education and experience it takes to become an executive where a business manager only needs a online bachelor's degree.

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Typical Business Executive Degree Requirements

In the modern business world, a business management executive is required to have a four-year business management degree, at a minimum. The bachelor's degree held could be in finance, administration, economics, political science, public administration, law, English, business management, or in another related subject.

Online Associate Degree in Business Management

Online Associates Degree Sample Courses

  • Critical thinking
  • Communications
  • Business software
  • Fundamentals of Business Management
  • Project planning and implementation
Online Associate Degrees in Business Management

Online Business Management Bachelor's Degree

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management Sample Courses

  • Strategic planning
  • Organizational leadership
  • People and business management
  • Business-oriented computer applications
  • Core business subjects
  • Marketing for business management
  • Finance for business management
  • Accounting for business management
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Business Management

Online Master's Degree in Business Management

Online Master’s Degree in Business Management Sample Courses

  • Strategic planning
  • International business
  • Information technology
  • Marketing for business management
  • Organizational behavior and design
  • Accounting for business management
  • Advanced business management concepts and best practices
  • Finance for business management
  • Ethical leadership
Online Master's Degrees in Business Management

What Can You Do with an Online Business Management Degree?

An online business management degree can open a lot of doors. With a bachelor's in business, graduates can enter a management training program or quickly rise through the ranks from an entry-level job. Students will also find that their degree offers a wide range of options. While a general management degree is fantastic, students might prefer a specialized degree in an area such as hospitality, technology, or healthcare, to name but three options.

Those with a business management degree thus have many options available to them. Those options only increase when they enroll in an MBA program later. Those with general degrees might also consider a graduate certificate when they find their specialty niche. The world runs at the pace of business and this business degree will make you a pacesetter.

Business Management Fields of Study

  • Leadership: All managers need leadership skills and there are whole degrees dedicated to the art and practice of leading. When leadership skills are combined with the other aspects of an online business management degree such as accounting, finance, and business law, graduates enter the working world with tools honed for success.
  • Human Resources : This field is becoming increasingly important in today's workplace. Businesses need experts to help manage hiring, firing, and maintaining employees. There are also issues related to employee relations and workplace behavior that are best addressed by human resources professionals.
  • Healthcare Administration: While these degrees are typically found in a separate department, they can be offered under the auspices of a business management degree. While the curriculum may be somewhat similar, healthcare administration students are educated to address issues that are specific to health systems.
  • Management Information Systems : This degree focuses your management skills to the technology infrastructure of a firm. That is, with this sort of focus you can address issues related to hardware and software, databases, and networks. MIS students are clearly focused on the technology needs of the business world.
  • Marketing : Management students must all have some understanding of marketing. When this is a focus of your degree you can apply the principles of marketing to find the best consumer audience for your firm's goods and services.
  • Hospitality: The hospitality industry has special issues that are best addressed in a specialized curriculum. When students learn the economics and finances and HR needs of this industry they are prepared for success. Besides, who wouldn't want to spend a career working on a resort?
  • Finance: This field closely examines the lifeblood of any business: finances. Students study banking, financial analysis, and equity markets, among many other issues. Students in a finance degree program often benefit from a minor in accounting.
  • Entrepreneurship : There are entire business management degree programs dedicated to building your own business. Since an entrepreneur needs to know every aspect of their business, from IT to HR, this business management degree can prove invaluable whether you have a start-up or join a global corporation.

Business Management Careers and Salary

Business management careers are exciting, demanding, and lucrative. There are so many paths that fall under the heading of business management that it's hard to keep up. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a rather comprehensive overview. For instance, they list administrative services managers who help companies operate with utmost efficiency. For that work, they are paid a average salary of $97,000.

The BLS lists other salaries for various managers that range from $48,000 for preschool directors to $146,000 for computer and information systems managers. The BLS even lists CIS managers as having four-year degrees. Most management occupations are listed as earning more than $50,000 and many earn over $100,000. However, keep in mind that salaries are often contingent on one's industry and the revenues of the corporation.

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Business Management Career Options

  • HR Manager: A business management degree can help you land a spot in an HR department from where you can rise into management. The salary for this position is often quite high, sometimes into the six figures. However, you may need to consider an MBA in human resources or at least a graduate certificate.
  • Logistician: Our global economy has made this field grow in demand. You may find relevant classes under the heading supply chain management within your business management department. There are even MBA concentrations dedicated to it. Whenever shipments must arrive on time, a logistician is needed.
  • Marketing Manager: When you have a comprehensive grasp of your firm's marketing needs, you can take over as manager. This job can pay very well and will demand all of your talents. Though an MBA in marketing may help, your business management degree will certainly launch you in the right direction.
  • Entrepreneur: This is perhaps the riskiest, but also most rewarding, path to take. You can use the knowledge and skill from your business management degree and combine it with your creativity and million-dollar idea, the sky is the limit.
  • Hotel Manager: This position will demand the most of your business management skills. It will help to have some specialty courses in hospitality under your belt, if not some graduate coursework, if not a certificate or an MBA. Who could say no to managing a resort in a tropical locale?

Business Management Salaries by Career

Occupations Entry-Level Median Annual Salary Mid-Career Median Annual Salary Late-Career Median Annual Salary
Financial Analyst $55,200 $68,900 $75,100
Accountant $46,800 $55,500 $58,300
Human Resources Manager $51,300 $68,500 $75,200
Advertising Manager $48,500 $67,600 $85,600
Marketing Manager $48,400 $69,100 $80,300

Important Questions To Ask (FAQ)

How long does it take to earn an online business management degree?

business-management-degree You can qualify for an entry-level position with an associate degree in business management, which takes as little as two years. With this degree comes many options. You can choose to accept a position in business management in almost any industry from music to construction or you can continue with your education and get an online bachelor’s degree in business management in another two years.

How much does an online business management bachelor’s degree cost?

bachelor’s-degree The cost to get any business management degree varies greatly from state to state as well as from different colleges and universities depending on the specific degree you are seeking and if you already have credits to complete your goal. It also depends on whether you decide to go to a college that is located in your own state by staying on-campus or at home, or if you attend out-of-state classes. Another option is taking online courses. Overall, the average cost to obtain your bachelor's in business management degree can be anywhere from $9000 per year to $45,000 per year.

What is the Business Management Degree Coursework Like?

In general, the courses you will need to complete for an online business management degree will include the following:

  • Communication courses
  • Accounting courses
  • Strategic planning classes
  • Financial management courses
  • Business ethics courses
  • Resource management classes
  • Marketing and sales training
  • Information technology courses

To be more specific we will break down the general coursework for each busienss management degree field, including an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and the varying options for master's degree programs.

Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering?

school-consideringA major is a specific subject area that you will specialize in after getting your associate degree. Most colleges will allow you to wait until your sophomore year to choose a major for a four-year degree, giving you time to decide what your major will be. However, if you decide on getting a two-year degree, then you most likely will choose a major at the start, since this is a shorter program.

In addition, some colleges and universities will also allow you to choose a minor as well, which can include coursework in another field, usually related to your major. They may even provide their students with advisor programs, to help you decide what your major and/or minor will be. Check with the school to ensure they have the major you are seeking.

How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?

on-time The percentage of students who commit to a two-year degree program at a community college and actually graduate within two years is 5 percent.

The percentage of students who commit to a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a flagship and private/public University who actually graduate and get their degree in four years is 36 percent.

For a four-year non-flagship public university, the percentage of students who graduate on time is 19 percent.

According to the Hechinger Report, one of the main reasons why the graduation rate for getting a business management degree at the expected time is so low is due to students not taking enough hours during a semester. 12 hours of credits are considered full time during a semester — which most students commit to — but it often takes 15 hours of commitment to meet the 120 hours required to graduate in a four-year period. Yet only 29% of community college students will take 15 hours of credits or more during a semester. Moreover, 12 credits are the threshold to get the maximum financial aid, which cannot be used to catch up by taking summer classes. Still, 86% of freshmen believe they will get their degree on time, according to the American Freshman’s survey.

What kind of accreditation does the online program hold? How is it regarded in the field?

Many people don’t understand how critical it is to attend a school accredited by a reputable association. When a school is accredited, it means that a major association has approved them since they meet their high standards, after completing a thorough inspection of:

  • The schools’ learning procedures
  • What the students are taught
  • The schools' safety regulations
  • And more

Furthermore, if you get your degree from a school that is not accredited, you may find it hard to gain employment, as most employers question your knowledge after learning you were educated in a school that is not accredited. This does seem logical since an unaccredited school can teach anything they want and the information they share may not be up to date or adequate for specific fields.

Although the US Government does not personally accredit schools, they appoint other agencies to regulate accreditation. Unfortunately, there have been many online fake school frauds. Therefore, it is important that you check the credentials of a school before signing up to attend. You can check if a school is accredited by visiting the US Department of Education's website and searching their database by the school name.

Things to look out for in an institution:

  • The school or its claimed accrediting agency is not recognized by the US Department of Education
  • Credits are awarded for less work
  • Numerous complaints are made about the school
  • Students are not eligible for government grants or financial income
  • The Institute’s name is very similar to another institute

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Software/Technology/Skills Needed

Any kind of job in management requires a variety of skills in order to maintain such a position. Not only does a manager have to oversee the company’s business affairs, but they also have to lead the employees, while dealing with customers and partners.

Some of the skills required in general management are:

  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Project management and planning
  • Time management, and Delegation
  • Communication and negotiation
  • Leadership
  • Financial management
  • Customer service
  • Troubleshooting
  • Writing
  • Software

Business Management Scholarships

Many students are on the hunt for ways to pay for their college tuition without even thinking about looking into a scholarship program, since they believe that, along with grants and awards, these programs are only available to students with high academic achievements or who are in severe financial need. However, the truth is, there are numerous awards and scholarship programs offered to students seeking business degrees. Some of these benefits are directed to applicants who fit into certain demographics or specific areas of study, but there are others available to business majors as well.

The following are some of the top Scholarship programs:

  • Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
    Awards: from $2,000 to $25,000
    Awards are given to 50 freshmen attending an accredited institution who are interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry. Additionally, awards are based on financial needs as well as qualifications. Students must be enrolled in a full-time business-related bachelor’s degree program and demonstrate leadership in their local community.

    Contact: Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
    Address: 10 Main Street, New York, NY 11367
    Phone: (800) 537-4180
    Email: buickachievers@scholarshipamerica.org

  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
    Awards: $7,000
    Sponsored by Zonta International through a former Parliamentarian in Syracuse, this award is given to exceptional young women pursuing a master’s or undergraduate degree in business management. To qualify, you must be a female enrolled in an accredited University, have an outstanding academic record, have completed a minimum one year of college, and show initiative to pursue a business career.

    Contact: Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
    Address: 1211 West 22nd Street Suite 900, Oak Brook, IL 60523
    Phone: (630) 928-1400
    Email: zontaintl@zonta.org

  • Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
    Awards: from $5,000 to $10,000
    Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund is the division of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) that offers several scholarship programs nationwide. To qualify, you must be a graduate or undergraduate female student in pursuit of a business management degree and have at least sophomore status with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in an accredited American College.

    Contact: Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
    Address: 9820 Metcalf Avenue Suite 110, Overland Park, KS 66212
    Phone: (800) 228-0007
    Email: webmail@abwa.org

  • Mark Beaumont Scholarship Fund
    Awards: $2,500
    The Mark Beaumont Scholarship Fund is part of the “Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.” Each year two students who are enrolled full-time in an accredited university are given this award. Applicants must possess b moral leadership character, have an overall 3.3 GPA, and pursue a career in business management with intent to enter the gaming industry.

    Contact: Mark Beaumont Scholarship Fund
    Address: 9800 South La Cienega Blvd. 14th Floor, Inglewood, CA 90301
    Phone: (310) 484-2559
    Email: debby@interactive.org

  • MillerCoors National Scholarship
    Awards: $3,000
    Offered by the Adelante U.S. Leadership Fund to a U.S citizen of Hispanic descent seeking a degree in business management, while majoring in any of the following: accounting, public relations, economics, general business, finance, marketing, communications, international business, sales, or business management. Also, qualified candidates must be a junior or senior undergraduate, attending an accredited partnering university full-time, with a GPA of at least 3.0.

    Contact: MillerCoors National Scholarship
    Address: 8415 Datapoint Drive Suite 400, San Antonio, TX 78229
    Phone: (210) 692-1971
    Email: info@adelantefund.org

Professional Organizations

Professional business organizations offer students in the field of business a variety of benefits that can assist them on their journey down a new career path.

Joining one of these associations can help pave the way to a brighter future, as you will gain insight of important opportunities, knowledge of the latest trends and new technology, added education, legal advocacy, networking solutions and opportunities, a social presence, experience, and much more.

Whether you are pursuing a career in finance, accounting, or marketing, these top professional organizations can help lead the way to a successful career.

  • AMA
  • AMA
  • BMA
  • AFA
  • AFP


American Management Association (AMA)

If you are leaning toward a professional career in management or want to go even further into an executive role, a well-established association like the AMA can help you to take your first step. The AMA offers special benefits to its members that will allow you to learn the most recent management practices, get discounts to seminars and conferences, and access an abundance of online training.



The World Federation of People Management Association (WFPMA)

If your focus is on international business while pursuing your degree, then joining the WFPMA would be a wise choice and a great start.

The World Federation of People Management Association represents top people-management organizations across the globe. Every two years, the WFPMA holds a world congress to address people management trends globally that serves as a worldwide networking event.



The American Marketing Association (AMA)

The AMA is a well-established professional organization that offers membership to students who are interested in gaining access to special resources and information such as marketing certifications, professional development, student competitions, e-learning, and exclusive access to AMA regional conferences.



Business Marketing Association (BMA)

The BMA is one of the biggest organizations in the professional marketing industry. They target B2B marketers and provide training, regional chapters, and national marketing conferences that have many attendees and are great opportunities for networking.



American Finance Association (AFA)

The AFA is perfect for those interested in financial economics. They are the backbone of finance research journals and academic papers. They also host conferences and meetings at Universities throughout the U.S covering numerous topics such as, "Does it pay to Invest in Art?" and "Riding the Bubble with Convex Incentives.”

As part of this organization, you will gain access to exclusive recruitment opportunities on its job boards and will have the opportunity to present your own papers to be considered for publication.



Association for Finance Professionals (AFP)

The AFP is a professional organization that organizes a yearly global conference for professionals all over the world, provides job recruitment opportunities, certifications, and advocacy. By joining with this association, you will be able to view the latest industry trends from multiple webinar selections.



American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

This organization is not just for CPA’s as they offer a non-CPA affiliate membership that is very beneficial to students in the industry. The AICPA offers scholarships, advocacy at both state and federal levels, as well as career support in certain areas, such as not-for-profit organizations and information management.

Choosing an Accredited College

Choosing the right accredited college for the degree you are pursuing is crucial to your career. Therefore, take your time when deciding and be sure to do some extensive research on every University you may be considering.

The best thing to do would be to create a chart, adding each school and the important values they provide as well as what you are looking for in a university. Now that you have potential universities listed, start by ensuring they are accredited by a reputable association.

Next, check for reviews made by other students who attended the school. Then see what you can find at the Better Business Bureau website, where you should check for complaints made about the school, and more importantly, how they were handled.

Also, it is wise to visit the schools in question before making your final decision. Talk to the teachers and staff to identify their character; Do they seem like the type of people you can learn from who will be committed to your education and who you wouldn’t mind dealing with practically every day while going through at least two years of college?

After you have completed your research and filled your chart, you can then begin comparing the schools you have listed, and one just may stand out among the rest.

Online vs On-Campus vs Hybrid

Another choice you will have to make is where you will take your courses and if you are going to look for an online degree in business management. There are three options to choose from: on-campus, online, or a little bit of both (hybrid).

All three options have pros and cons associated with them, just as everything else does. Going to school on campus means you will have to show up for class every weekday at a specific time and leave at a certain time as well, and if you are late or absent, it doesn’t look good on your record. When you are taking online courses, you never have to worry about things like being late or absent, as you can take your courses whenever you like.

However, some employers do not favor taking college classes online, because it doesn’t help you to develop social skills and networking, as you would while going to a brick and mortar class. Another thing is, showing up for class each day, can help you to develop a routine and get used to repetition, where online classes deprive you of these values. Of course, you can always take some classes online and some on campus. Since every school is different, you must contact the school of your choice to find out more specifics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you expect from an online business management program?

First, it’s important to note that an online degree will be no easier than an in-person degree. After years of learning how to translate traditional degree programs into an online format, there isn’t much difference between the two platforms any longer, except for the greater flexibility and need for time management of the online version. Other than that, you can expect to complete courses in subjects such as finance and accounting, human resource management, organizational behavior, economics, and more.

What can you do with an online degree in business management?

Much of this depends on what level of degree you complete. If you finish an associate degree, you will only have access to entry-level positions, whereas those who finish graduate degrees can move into the highest levels of business hierarchies. Roles can include any of the following.

  • Account Specialist
  • Office Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Inventory Manager
  • Recruiter
  • Regional Director of Finance
  • Executive Director
  • And More

How much can a business management graduate make?

Based on the roles mentioned above and the various levels of education, a graduate with a business management degree could earn anywhere in a vast range of salary. With an associate’s, you might earn between $30-$65,000/year. With a bachelor’s degree, your average annual salary could be between $40-$115,000. And once you earn a master’s degree, your salary could land between $50,000 and $190,000 per year, depending on the role you take.

Does the College Have Post Graduate Job Placement Help & Assistance?

With so many tough choices to make and between studying, completing assignments, doing research, and more, it can be a little overwhelming to take all this on by yourself. Fortunately, most colleges have job placement service programs that can help you make important decisions, create the perfect resume, and set you up for interviews even before you graduate, among other things. Some may also help you choose a major and which degree you would like to obtain. Talk to a college recruiter to find out more about what programs and services they have available for students.

Since the early 2000’s Corporate Partnership Programs (CPP’s) have been working with college students who are on the brink of graduating and getting their degree. Their focus is mainly on assisting students to gain employment in the field of their choice upon graduating.

This service raised tensions within student development models, as some claim it is in opposition with traditional methods that offered student’s career counseling while providing them with the right skills to be able to conduct their own job searches and successfully gain employment on their own. Nevertheless, CPP’s have continuously gained in popularity and are now widespread within multiple colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Many see CPP’s as an innovative step forward, where others claim they are headhunters since some major corporations may pay them a finder’s fee for sending them good employees. But, what’s wrong with earning some cash for helping people connect? Moreover, a student’s life can get very hectic, especially towards the end of their term, why make it harder on them than it has to be by insisting they search for a job on their own when CPP’s are willing to help and already have a job all lined up for them with a noteworthy professional organization?

Why You Need to Consider How the Rating/Accreditation Can Affect Your Salary

Online colleges are usually ranked and rated by how well known they are. Of course, everyone has heard of Harvard and Stanford, which is part of the reason why these universities have such high ratings.

Another factor that contributes to a college’s rank is their accreditation. There are actually two types of accreditation: national and regional. Schools can be nationally accredited, regional accredited, or both.

National accreditations are more utilized by distance learning programs, as well as trade, technical, religious, or online schools, which doesn’t necessarily make them bad schools, but standards vary a great deal between nationally accredited organizations.

Regional accreditation is the more popular of the two and more widely used among traditional colleges and universities.

Some employers prefer to hire an employee who earned their degree from a regionally accredited university rather than national but may consider anyone with the right degree from an accredited college. However, your salary will also be determined by which college or university you obtained your degree from. Graduates of a higher-ranking college tend to receive higher salaries than lower ranking institutions. But regional accreditation may not hold much sway if you want to take your degree overseas.

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