30 Best Associate’s Degree in Business Administration Online [2020 Guide]

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We’ve ranked the 30 best associate’s degrees in business administration online for 2020. Explore degree programs, careers, salaries, and job growth.

Associate's Degree in Business Administration Online

The world runs on business. Everything from the smart phone in your pocket to the food on your kitchen table is made available to you because businesses do what they do. Earning an associate’s degree online in business administration puts you in the center of it all, opening doors to a wide variety of career options in the world of business.

Types of Online Associate’s Degrees in Business Administration

If you’re interested in pursuing business administration as a career, you might be happy to know that there isn’t just one kind of Associate’s degree. There are actually several.

Regardless of the specialty you select, you will still receive a strong foundation in business administration and related courses.

Business Administration

administrative assistant working on her desk

A general business administration degree with no specialization opens the door to a multitude of career possibilities. Students learn a wide variety of things related to general business management.

Courses include things like the basic principles of finance, business intelligence, basics in human resource management, functional and project management, and even customer service.

A general business degree program relies on a versatile curriculum that exposes students to a well-rounded body of knowledge reflected in a broad skill set. The general degree with no specialization would be applicable to a variety of careers like:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Customer service associate
  • Retail store manager
  • Assistant retail manager
  • Sales support specialist
  • Relationship banker

Customer service associate cheerfully talking to a customer on the phone

The number of entry-level jobs available to business administration graduates is too extensive for us to list here. Needless to say that an Associate’s degree brings with it a lot of opportunities. Many of those opportunities could double as stepping stones to additional education and advanced business administration careers.


A general degree and the entry-level jobs related to it are well-suited to business administration students who aren’t quite sure about the career path they want to take. They are also ideal for people who want a stable career but don’t want to commit themselves to the demands of more advanced careers.

Accounting

accountant working in his office

Business administration students hoping for something more than just a general education can specialize in accounting. A degree program with a concentration on accounting typically begins with a few general business administration courses before moving on to more specialized topics. As student specializing in accounting, you could expect to learn:

  • Business math
  • Applied accounting
  • Basics of business law
  • Basics of human relations
  • Computerized accounting principles
  • Database and spreadsheet fundamentals

accountant working on invoices

Courses like these prepare students to take entry-level accounting jobs upon graduation. For example, graduates are fully prepared to apply for bookkeeping jobs. A bookkeeper handles a company’s day-to-day accounting tasks.


Other possible careers include accounting assistant and auditing clerk. These are jobs well suited to people who enjoy crunching numbers on a daily basis. Number crunching is essentially what accounting entails any way.

Bear in mind that an Associate’s degree in business management will not make you a certified public accountant, even with a focus on accounting.

Management

manager assisting a colleague

Accounting might not be your thing if you are not a number cruncher. Perhaps specializing in management is more your style. Earning an Associate’s degree in business administration with a concentration on management would put you on entirely different career trajectory. Your courses we teach you about:

  • Basic financial principles
  • Fundamentals of business intelligence and analysis
  • Fundamentals of human resource management
  • Fundamentals of project management
  • Fundamentals of customer service

team of business professionals in a meeting

As you can see, these courses are designed to prepare you to take on a management role. That might mean getting a job as a store manager with a prominent retail chain. It might lead you to a position as an executive assistant, a senior sales supervisor, or an entry-level manager in human resources.


Managing people is something you should probably enjoy if you choose to go this route. You are an ideal candidate if you have good people skills and you appreciate the management aspects of business.

Marketing

sales manager talking to a staff

Marketing is yet another specialty business administration students can pursue. Earning your Associate’s degree with a specialization in marketing prepares you to work in the sales field. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean working as a sales associate on retail sales floor.

Business administration and marketing students learn skills in basic accounting, human resources, business communications and public relations. Their studies also put a strong emphasis on marketing techniques and strategies. Remember that a marketing career is a sales career.

promotional manager discussing during a meeting


If you were to get your degree with an emphasis on marketing, you could expect to look at direct sales or sales management careers upon graduation. The types of jobs open to you would include:

  • Public-relations representative
  • Sales manager
  • Advertising representative
  • Promotional manager
  • Entry level marketing

A marketing specialty appeals to people who love the challenge of making a sale. This might be the right specialty if you have a persuasive personality and you enjoy helping people make decisions. Also consider that succeeding in the marketing field requires creativity and the ability to think outside the box.

What Will You Learn in a Business Associate’s Degree Program?

Business Associate’s Degree Program

As a business administration student in an Associate’s degree program, your curriculum will be heavily dependent on your choice of specialty. Having said that, there are a number of courses that are typical to most business administration programs.

  • Accounting – You’re likely to learn at least the basics of accounting along with business math.
  • Business Finance – Where accounting deals with day-to-day bookkeeping, business finance goes more in depth about how businesses manage their financial resources.
  • Business Communication – Communicating in a business environment requires a certain skill set along with the command of business vocabulary.
  • Business Management – You are likely to learn the basics of business management so that you better understand how companies operate.
  • Business Law – Introducing you to business law will help you better understand the rules and regulations that govern how companies do business.
  • Computer Skills – Modern businesses run on computers. As such, most degree programs introduce students to business machines and popular software.
  • Project Planning – A big part of managing a business is planning and implementing projects. You’re likely to learn at least the basics of this topic.

The courses listed here pertain only to the business management part of a degree program. Keep in mind you will probably take some humanities courses early on. You’ll also take other classes pertaining to your specialty, should you decide to not pursue a general degree in business management.

Business Administration Careers & Salaries

Business Administration Careers & Salaries

We have put together a list of 10 career options pursued by people with a business administration degree.

The salary data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for business careers. However, some employers may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for some of these positions. With an associate’s degree, you may qualify for an entry-level position in some of these business and financial fields.

Careers Average Median Salary
Sales Manager $126,640
Benefits Manager $122,270
Human Resources Manager $116,720
Administrative Service Managers $96,940
Construction Managers $95,260
Accountant $71,550
Claims Adjusters & Appraisers $66,540
Cost Estimators $65,250
Human Resources Specialist $61,920
Training Specialist $61,210

The average salaries here don’t account for years of experience. It is expected that entry-level positions will pay less Your first priority is to land a job in your field after graduation. Then you can begin building on your career by gaining experience and accepting new challenges.

You can also go on to pursue a more advanced degree even while you’re working. Advanced degrees such as a bachelor’s in business administration, an MBA, or online DBA programs could lead to higher paying jobs with more responsibility.

Accreditation

Associate's Degree in Business Administration Online Accreditation

US colleges and universities may seek accreditation as a way of proving that they offer a quality education. Accreditation is important to students, families, government institutions and even employers. Is it important to you?

Accreditation in this country is handled on a regional basis. In other words, accrediting organizations are divided into seven geographic regions for easier administration. Accreditors are private organizations not tied to government and created for the sole purpose of reviewing educational institutions and their training programs.

There are more than 75 organizations that review US colleges, universities, and training programs.

Two related to business management are:

AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business was founded in 1916. It now serves more than 840 accredited schools and 1,700 member organizations.

ACBSP – The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs was the first such organization to offer accreditation to all levels of business degree programs. It was founded in 1980.

Attending an accredited school means attending a school that adheres to high standards of educational excellence. We recommend looking for an accredited school even if you plan to earn your Associate degree in business online.

Financial Aid for Associate’s Degrees

Financial Aid for Associate's Degrees

Are you planning to enroll in the business administration program at a local college? Are you looking at an online business associate’s degree? If you are planning to do either, you’ll be pleased to know that there are numerous financial aid options available.

A good place to begin looking is at the school itself. Colleges and universities are known to offer everything from grants to scholarships for qualifying students. Contact your school’s financial aid office and see if they have anything you qualify for.

Federal and state governments make scholarships and grants available from time to time. These opportunities are accessed through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) office. You have to download, complete and submit an application in order to qualify.

Finally, there are outside organizations that sometimes offer scholarships and grants. Many of these financial aid opportunities are tied to specific schools or areas of study. You can search for them online or ask for help from your school’s financial aid office or your high school guidance counselor (if you’re still in high school).

team of start up company in a meeting

What can you do with an Associate’s degree in business administration?

An Associate’s degree in business administration will prepare you to work in a variety of fields related to accounting, business management, marketing, etc. You can use your degree to land an entry-level business administration job that will pay the bills while you continue your education.

What you learn in your degree program could also be useful in starting your own business. Even basic bookkeeping and business management skills could open the door to starting a small business you eventually grow into a large operation. What you ultimately do with your degree is entirely up to you.

business administrators meeting in a cafe

What type of Associate’s degree is business administration?

There are three types of Associate’s degrees you can earn in the business administration field. The first is the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. It is a degree intended for students who want to get into the workforce as quickly as possible. An AAS can usually be earned in two years or less.

Next up is the Associate of Science (AS) degree. It is a degree intended for people who will eventually transfer to a new school as a business major. The Associate of Arts (AA) degree is also a transfer degree. It’s intended for students who eventually transfer in order to pursue a four-year degree in a liberal arts field.

It’s important for you to know that the credits you earn in an AAS program might not be transferable should you decide to go that route. If there is any chance you might transfer in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree or another major, consider an AS or AA program instead.

administrative assistant working on her computer

How long does it take to get an Associate’s degree in business administration?

A typical Associate’s degree program runs for two years regardless of whether you seek an AAS, AS or AA degree. Some traditional universities and colleges offer accelerated programs on campus. These are programs that allow students to take courses year-round.

Another possibility for finishing up early is to earn an online Associate’s degree instead. Online programs allow students to complete coursework at their own pace. The advantage here is that students aren’t tied to the school’s schedule, thereby allowing them to graduate sooner.

What kinds of jobs can I get with an Associate in business administration degree?

The list of jobs you could get with an Associate degree in business administration is too extensive for us to list every possibility. In an office environment, typical jobs would include things like office administration, executive assistant, office manager and bookkeeper.

Sales oriented jobs could be anything from marketing representative to senior sales associate. In the management field, you can use your degree to pursue a career in human resources, retail management, project management and so forth.

Universities Offering Online Business Administration Associate’s Degrees

Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer a business administration associate’s degree online.

#1  Albany State University

Albany State University

Albany State University is a dynamic historically black university that began in 1903. Albany State University serves over 6,000 students every year and teaches social justice concepts in all of its degree programs.

Degree options at ASU include associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in over sixty-five academic majors and workforce certifications.

  • AS in Business Administration

Albany State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2  American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University opened in 1970 and has two major campus locations and a world-class distance learning program. Catering to students who need more flexible options, AIU offers a means to gain a private education that leads to an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.

Students at AIU learn by questioning and then researching for answers.

  • AA in Business Administration

American InterContinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  American Public University

American Public University

Created in 1919 as a means to assist military members in gaining career training and educational opportunities, American Public University now serves as a private online college for anyone looking to advance in their career and educational goals. API has a multitude of programs that lead to graduate and undergraduate degrees.

  • AA in Business Administration

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Belhaven University

Belhaven University

Belhaven University was established in 1883 as a private Christian postsecondary school. With over seventy major and minors, Belhaven University has an assortment of two-year, four-year, and graduate degree programs. BU offers students a low student to teacher ratio and a curriculum that blends spiritually with rigorous instruction.

  • AA in Business

Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#5  Brescia University

Brescia University

Commencing in 1925 by the Catholic Church, Brescia University began as a small school for women. Today, BU is a co-educational facility that assists thousands every year in obtaining an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree in numerous program majors.

Brescia University’s main campus is in Kentucky, but students worldwide have access to classes via an online learning platform.

  • AS in Business

Brescia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#6  Campbell University

Campbell University

Bustling with school spirit in the heart of NC, Campbell University began as a small Christian school in 1887. Today, CU is a private school that combines faith-based practices with hands-on learning to help students acquire a two-year, undergraduate, or graduate degree.

With many majors to choose from, popular programs include business, education, and technology.

  • AA in Business Administration

Campbell University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7  Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University

With roots that begin in 1906, Campbellsville University provides private education to students looking to study in a faith-based organization. Students attending Campbellsville, University have the opportunity to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in a variety of majors and minors. Online learning is also an option at CU.

  • AS in Business Administration

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Carl Albert State College

Carl Albert State College

Carl Albert State College began in 1933 and is a public vocational school that prepares working adults to advance in their education or the workforce. Offering a variety of workforce certifications, associate degrees, undergrad, and graduate degrees, CASC enrolls thousands of students annually.

Students at CASC can attend classes virtually or on-campus.

  • AA in Business Administration

Carl Albert State College is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Opening in 1969 as a public school, Cincinnati State Technical and Community serves working adults and high school students that are working toward professional and educational growth.

Offering over seventy-five associate degrees and forty certifications, CSTS enrolls thousands of students every year, some of which are dually enrolled from the local community.

  • AA in Pre-Business Administration

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#10  Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University opened its doors as a private school for all religious denominations in 1914. All associates, bachelor’s, and graduate programs offered at CCU blend spirituality, kindness, and critical thinking.

Colorado Christian University provides a traditional path and a virtual platform for busy adults. Popular programs include business, healthcare, and education.

  • AS in Business Administration

Colorado Christian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#11  Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University commenced in 1965 as a private school that has a focus on S.T.E.M. programs. Many other degree programs are offered through CTU to help students obtain a two-year, four-year, postgraduate, or doctoral degree. Colorado Technical University allows students to take online or campus-based courses to be successful.

  • AS in Business Administration

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#12  Clarion University

Clarion University

Clarion University was established in 1929 and became a public collegiate school twenty years later. Today, Clarion University sets the example for adult education, offering over one-hundred academic options that all students to acquire an associate degree, undergraduate, and graduate-level education.

Doctoral degrees at CU are packed with research and technology.

  • AS in Business Administration – General Management

Clarion University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#13  Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University found its place among private schools for education in 1898. Accepting students of all religious denominations, Dallas Baptist University offers students a path to a two-year, four-year, graduate, and doctoral degree. With small class sizes and rigorous academic content, DBU helps students achieve personal and educational goals.

  • Associate of Business Administration

Dallas Baptist University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#14  Davenport University

Davenport University

Created as a private academic facility in 1866, Davenport University service thousands of students every year. Davenport University has an array of associate, undergraduate, graduate degree programs. Many of the courses offered are an accelerated course that is completed in seven weeks to allow students the ability to complete their degrees quicker.

  • Associate of Business Administration

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Florida Southwestern State College

Florida Southwestern State College

Opening under a different name in 1962, Florida Southwestern State College is one of the region’s top institutions for higher learning. FSSC has an assortment of degree options that help students gain one of the twenty-one associates in arts or science or one of several bachelor’s degrees offered.

Offering an online learning option makes FSSC a competitive opportunity for higher learning.

  • AS in Business Administration and Management

Florida SouthWestern State College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#16  Florida Tech

Florida Tech

Florida Institute of Technology is a widely respected private research university known worldwide for its top-notch degree programs that started in 1958. Offering an array of programs that help students achieve all levels of degrees that range from an associate to doctoral, Florida Tech is rich in technology, innovation, and discovery.

  • AA in Business Administration

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Highland Community College

Highland Community College

Highland Community College was created in 1858 as a small community college. Today, it enrolls more than 3,000 students yearly and has a diverse collection of majors for student interest in obtaining an associate degree or a vocational certification. Students who earn an associate degree at HCC often choose to transfer to a four-year school.

  • AAS in Business Administration

Highland Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Indian River State College

Indian River State College

Indian River State College was established in 1959 as a public learning institution in Fort Pierce, Florida. IRSC prides itself on the work it does to help make positive changes by tackling real-world global problems.

Working with students who are seeking a track a workforce training certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees, IRSC is working to change the world.

  • AA in Business Administration
  • AS in Business Administration

Indian River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#19  Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University has called Lynchburg, Virginia home since 1971, and has been providing a world-class private education since its commencement. Offering an assortment of majors and minors over seventeen schools, Liberty University has a path to all levels of degree options, medicine, and law.

Online and on-campus program options keep Liberty a competitive opportunity for student success.

  • AA in Business

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#20  Limestone College

Limestone College

Founded in 1945, Limestone College began as a private college that only educated women. Today, this Christian university is a co-education school that accepts students of all faiths to take part in its dynamic learning experience. Offering several undergraduates and graduate degrees, Limestone College strives to meet the needs of all who attend.

  • AA in Business Administration

Limestone College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#21  Lone Star College

Lone Star College

Opening in 1973 as a public, academic facility, Lone Star College is known worldwide for its excellent program to study affordability. Students at Lone Star college can receive workforce training that leads to certifications in their field.

There are many associate degrees available at LSC to help students who need a step up in their career or educational journey.

  • AAS in Business Administration – Business Management
  • AAS in Business Administration – Human Resource

Lone Star College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#22  New England College

New England College

The New England college originated in 1946 to assist students in earning a higher education. Today, students attending New England College has an opportunity to earn an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree in more than fifty academic programs. As a private school, New England College strives to make higher education affordable to all.

  • AA in Business Administration

NEC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#23  Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University

1855 marks the state of Pennsylvania State University’s long history of proving a top-rated public education rich with research, innovation, and technology. Penn State has a more than twenty campus setting and a dynamic online platform to help students achieve undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in an array of majors and minors.

  • AS in Business Administration

Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#24  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Opened by leaders of the Catholic faith in 1889, Saint Leo University has a mission to serve others by providing a well-rounded private education for students who need a place to connect with their students and community. Offering all levels of degrees ranging from an associate to a doctoral, SLU strives to meet the needs of all who attend.

  • AA in Business Administration

Saint Leo University is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#25  Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida

Opening in 1965 with just 700 students, today, Seminole State College of Florida is a public university with four campuses that annually serves more than 30,000 students. SSCF provides associate, bachelor’s, and workforce certifications. It has thirty-nine online programs for students who need flexibility in their academic schedule.

  • AS in Business Administration

Seminole State College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#26  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University has been known for its excellence in academics since it opened in 1932. Serving students in both a campus an online format, SNHU reaches students across the US and throughout the globe.

Students at SNHU have access to more than 200 academic programs that lead to all educational levels, ranging from associates through doctoral degrees.

  • AS in Business Administration

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

#27  Strayer University

Strayer University

Strayer University began in 1892, and today is a highly respected private school with a traditional campus setting and an esteemed distance learning program. Students enrolled at strayer have access to over a hundred associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree options. Strayer works with students throughout the nation and on a global level.

  • AA in Business Administration

Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#28  Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

Established in 1972, Thomas Edison State University has emerged as a trailblazer in alternative public education. Students attending TESU earn their associate, undergraduate, or graduate degree by taking part in comprehensive exams or gaining credit through military and work experience.

Online, independent learners look to TESU for their educational needs.

  • AS in Business Administration

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#29  University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word

The University of the Incarnate Word started in 1881 and sits on 154 acres in San Antonio and Alamo Heights, Texas. UIW is a private Catholic postsecondary institution that takes pride in education. UIW has a path to a variety of degrees that range from two-year to doctoral, but it also operates several elementary and high schools.

  • AA in Business Administration

The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#30  University of Toledo

University of Toledo

The University of Toledo is a major public educational institution that opened in 1872. Building upon local partnerships, UT works with students who pursue an associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree and have hundreds of program options.

Those looking for a career in healthcare have the opportunity to study at one of the state’s largest medical centers.

  • Associate of Business Administration

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Is it worth getting an Associate’s degree in business?

business professionals talking in office

Are you wondering if getting your associates degree in business is worth it? This article began with the premise that business runs the world.

When you stop and think about it, there are very few jobs you could take that are not in some way related to business. So if you believe you are management material, getting an associate’s degree in business management might very well be worth it for you.

Consider applying to a business management program if you have any interest in how businesses operate behind the scenes. Between general degrees and the many available specialties, you just might find a degree program that ignites your passion for business.

James Chen
WRITTEN BY
James Chen