Can I Get a Business Degree Online

You can pay your taxes, make a dinner reservation, and buy your groceries online—can you get your business degree on the web, too? Many schools offer certificate and degree programs with an online component, and some are even offered with an option to never (or only occasionally) need to set foot on campus.

If you’re searching for a business degree program and want to pursue your education online, what do you need to know? The Imagine America Foundation has come up with this list of three things to consider when looking at online business programs.

Cost

Online degree programs often come with a cost saving since the overhead costs for the school are typically lower. But that’s not always the case! They still have to hire experienced and expert instructors, fund useful curricula and updated back-end technology, and maintain their own accreditation and certifications. Take a look at the total cost of the program and figure out how that number breaks down over the duration of your education—it might help you to accelerate your timeline if some fees grow the longer you’re enrolled.

Some employers can also help with the cost: many companies have tuition-reimbursement programs or offer other incentives to help their employees continue their education. These can often be particularly helpful if you’re considering a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, program. As a helpful tool for navigating many different career paths in the business industry, an MBA can be a great way to distinguish yourself from your peers and to continue climbing your career ladder.

Always stop by (whether in person, online, or over the phone) your prospective school’s financial aid office to discuss tuition fees and all program costs. They can also help you explore payment options for funding your education, including federal financial aid, scholarships and grants (like the IAF scholarship programs! [link to https://www.imagine-america.org/students/scholarships-education/]), and loans.

Course requirements

Since most business programs are less likely to have a hands-on component (when compared to, say, a nursing program that will require you at some point to actually perform a blood pressure test or draw blood in real life), it may be that you can really complete the degree requirements, beginning to end, on-screen. But some programs may require a course or two, or even just the occasional class session, on campus or as a face-to-face meeting with your instructor or your peers. Make sure you’re prepared to meet those scheduling requirements, any equipment and textbook necessities, and program timelines and limits. Some schools ask that you complete a program within a certain timeframe, like two or three years, or have course software that is only compatible with some devices.

Online programs can be a great convenience, but don’t forget to read all the fine print so you’re prepared to fully commit!

Accreditation

As online business degree programs become more and more available, it can mean great things for accessibility and flexibility for students, but it can also mean higher risk for shams. Before you enroll, make sure your business school has institutional and (if applicable) programmatic accreditation that is current and in good standing. This will help ensure that you’re getting an education that teaches what is intended, that it meets industry standards for quality and compliance, and that it is eligible to receive federal aid.

Talk to your enrollment advisor or guidance counselor and do a little bit of research: IAF is here to help you with a list of accredited partnership institutions that offer online business programs [link to https://www.imagine-america.org/business-administration-school-training/]. We can help you find the right school for you!

Whether you’re seeking an MBA to stay competitive in your established business career or an associate’s degree to make the jump from another industry or line of work, pursuing a business degree online can be a great way to continue your education and improve your career path from the comfort of your own home.

Business degrees can be earned on your way to become an accountant, a manager, an entrepreneur, a marketer, or a business administration or human resources professional.

Ready to look for a school? IAF has many partner institutions that offer online business degree programs: take a look:  www.imagine-america.org/business-administration-school-training/ and see which one is right for you!

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