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Compare online master’s in business programs

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Why earn an online master’s in business?

Prepare to move up in your career

Gain graduate-level business acumen in a flexible format that features a blend of live online classes, asynchronous coursework, and in-person practical training.

Become a business leader

Apply your knowledge and enable growth for your organization by developing people, processes, and technologies.

Create long-term value for your organization

Use your education and access to unparalleled networks to advance your career and your organization’s growth.

Browse online master’s in business programs New

What is a business degree?

An undergraduate degree in business imparts fundamental understanding of various business disciplines, provides a strong foundation for pursuing advanced degrees, and serves as a gateway to a broad range of roles in the business world. A master’s degree in business, on the other hand, imparts extensive knowledge and skills in finance, marketing, operations, strategy, leadership, and entrepreneurship, while also cultivating critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership proficiencies in learners across diverse industries. Typically, an online master’s in business program will use flexible online learning to integrate real-world projects and case studies, enabling learners to gain significant knowledge and apply it in practical business scenarios. Master’s programs in business are also known for providing strong networking prospects and helping learners forge valuable professional relationships.

Admission requirements for an online master of business

Schools offering online master’s of business degrees will have their own individual admission requirements, including GMAT or GRE requirements. But all will be looking for candidates who are passionate about becoming experts and leaders within their organizations.

Most online master’s in business admission requirements will include the following:

  • A BA or BS from an accredited university, with a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0

  • Transcripts from previously attended institutions where credits were earned

  • Professional letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay or statement of purpose demonstrating the knowledge, goals, and career aspirations of the applicant

  • Interview

Since most online master’s in business programs will require at least some relevant work experience, it’s important that those applying have a polished résumé or CV. To get some ideas, look at these steps on how to write an effective CV. In addition, explore other relevant online master’s programs, or if you need to complete your undergraduate degree first before embarking on your master’s, browse these online bachelor’s degrees.

How to apply

Before you begin the application process for an online master’s degree in business at the schools of your choice, research the necessary application deadlines, tuition, and scholarship opportunities, and prepare for the individual school’s admission requirements. Explore online master’s in business programs to learn more about what each university offers and what their application requirements are. 

Master’s degree in business online curriculum

Although the curriculum can and does vary according to an individual school’s philosophy, there’s a typical set of courses and areas of study that you’ll need to take that includes core courses, electives, a specialization or concentration, a capstone project, and practical experience, such as an internship. Because of the online aspect of the program, you’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of self-pacing. Core courses may include, among others, financial and managerial accounting, micro- and macroeconomics, statistics, marketing management, strategy, data analysis, ethics, and conflict resolution. Some universities will offer specializations in a particular area, such as finance, marketing, or healthcare management. One of the most valuable benefits of earning your master’s in business is being able to tap into the current student and alumni network of the school you’re attending, which could have a significant impact on your future career. 

Whether you want to brush up on general knowledge and learn business skills or gain specialized knowledge for a specific career path, there are courses and programs tailored to your interests that can help you advance professionally. If you’d like to understand businesses and foster innovation, you can learn business models. If you’d like to strengthen your communication skills, you can learn business communications. Or, if launching something of your own has always been your dream, learn how to start a business or take a course to learn entrepreneurship.

Types of business degrees

A graduate degree in business is one way to accelerate your career growth and potentially up your salary. But there are various types of master’s in business degrees, and it’s important to explore the different opportunities available to you. While the general master’s in business is a time-tested, versatile degree, there are numerous other master’s programs that focus on specific areas of business, including management, finance, accounting, supply chain management, and international business, among others. To find out more, browse these online courses to learn business administration or explore accredited online MBA programs.

What can you do with a master’s in business?

A master's in business can provide learners with the knowledge necessary to advance an organization’s mission at the highest levels. This graduate-level qualification can open doors to various high-paying and influential roles across industries as varied as finance, healthcare, technology, marketing, and more. 

Here are some potential career paths to pursue:

  • Vice president of operations: Oversees and optimizes an organization's day-to-day operational processes, ensuring efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness in various departments, and often contributing to strategic planning and decision making.

  • Chief financial officer: Manages an organization's financial operations, including financial planning, budgeting, financial reporting, and risk management, while providing strategic financial guidance to the executive team and stakeholders.

  • Strategy consultant: Provides external expertise and specialized industry knowledge to help organizations analyze complex business problems, develop strategic plans, and make informed decisions.

  • Entrepreneur/Founder: Initiates and leads the launch of a new business or nonprofit venture, taking responsibility for its vision, strategic direction, product or service development, team building, fundraising, and overall growth.

  • Executive vice president of human resources: Supports an organization’s overall goals and objectives by overseeing an organization's HR strategy, including talent acquisition, employee development, performance management, and labor relations.

  • Nonprofit director: Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization, implementing its mission and strategic goals, managing resources, and ensuring compliance with regulations, all while advancing the organization's impact in the community it serves.

Frequently asked questions

While both master's in business and master of business administration (MBA) degrees target business expertise and leadership, they differ in scope. A master's in business hones specific skills within areas like finance or marketing. Conversely, an MBA is a comprehensive program encompassing leadership, strategy, and management across various business domains. Master of business programs often require less work experience than MBAs, which usually favor applicants with professional backgrounds.

A master's in business focuses on real-world application and skill development for the corporate sector through practical knowledge, including finance, marketing, and management. In contrast, a master's in economics delves deep into economic theory, statistical analysis, and policy research, aiming to develop expertise in understanding and influencing economic trends, often leading to roles in academia, government, or research institutions. While the graduate business degree offers a broad business perspective, the graduate economics degree provides specialized economic insights and analytical tools for addressing economic challenges and informing policy decisions.

Depending on the program, and your ability to take on the necessary course load, you can finish a master’s in business online program in as few as 14 months, though a more realistic timeframe for those who are working professionals and have an array of commitments would be about 24 months.

Deciding between these two master’s degrees depends on your career objectives, the financial investment you want to make, and in many cases, the scope of your existing professional background. A master’s in business focuses on skill development in specific business areas such as finance or marketing, and doesn’t require years of relevant experience. An MBA is a more versatile degree that typically requires a number of years of professional experience so that it can hone that existing knowledge and skills and take them to the next level.

A master’s degree is a significant investment of time and money, regardless of whether the program is online or in person. In the case of a master’s degree in business, if your career goals involve gaining expert-level knowledge so you can move up in your organization, this investment has the potential to pay off. Before applying to programs, consider your career objectives, the program's reputation, cost, and your ability to manage the online coursework effectively.

A master's in business is a versatile and valuable degree. It equips graduates with a broad skill set encompassing key areas of business including finance, marketing, and operations, making them attractive to the marketplace. These degrees can often lead to positions in management or consulting, and they can open doors to career advancement, higher earning potential, and leadership roles. Beyond its potential ROI, in the long term this degree fosters problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, and a valuable network of peers, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to excel in various business domains.

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