Best online associate degrees in management 2021

    Management programs provide students with a broad understanding of business operations and practices.

    This degree prepares graduates for different managerial roles in the various business departments and sectors. An associate degree in management provides comprehensive introductory knowledge in accounting, marketing, and human resources.

    Demand for well-rounded business professionals grows with the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of more than 750,000 new jobs between 2020 and 2030.

    Here, we explore the associate degree in management and the best available programs in the discipline.

    The best online associate in management degrees

    The ranked list below was created using ZDNet’s ranking methodology. We weighed information curated from publicly available and federally-reported datasets. ZDNet also leverages expert insight from industry and educational professionals.

    Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

    1. Georgia Northwestern Technical College

    Rome, Georgia

    About the program: For GNTC’s online associate degree in business management, students complete 63 credits at minimum. They can specialize in social media, service sector management, operations management, marketing, logistics, or human resource management.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 34%
    • Avg. annual net price: $2,148
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Georgia Northwestern Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    2. Gulf Coast State College

    Panama City, Florida

    About the program: Students pursuing GCSC’s online associate degree in business administration complete 60 credits in courses like financial accounting, economics, and leadership.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 34%
    • Avg. annual net price: $2,779
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three+
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Gulf Coast State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    3. Palo Alto College

    San Antonio, Texas

    About the program: PAC’s online associate degree in business management requires learners to complete 60 credits. Students take courses in strategic management, customer relations, and organizational behavior.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 16%
    • Avg. annual net price: $4,986
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Palo Alto College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    4. Colby Community College

    Colby, Kansas

    About the program: The online associate degree in business administration from CCC features 62 credits. Classes include principles of selling, customer service, and human resource management.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 42%
    • Avg. annual net price: $9,905
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not required
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, synchronous and asynchronous

    Accreditation: Colby Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    5. Northeast Mississippi Community College

    Booneville, Mississippi

    About the program: Students in Northeast’s online associate degree in business management technology earn 60 credits. The program includes training in entrepreneurial problem-solving, business communications, and computer applications.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 36%
    • Avg. annual net price: $8,307
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Northeast Mississippi Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    6. Morgan Community College

    Fort Morgan, Colorado

    About the program: MCC’s online associate degree in business offers accounting and business administration emphases options. The 60-credit business administration concentration features courses in supervision and interpersonal communication.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 37%
    • Avg. annual net price: $8,211
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not required
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online and synchronous

    Accreditation: Morgan Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    7. Florida State College at Jacksonville

    Jacksonville, Florida

    About the program: For FSCJ’s 60-credit online associate degree in business administration, learners must complete courses in business statistics, public speaking, and microcomputer applications for business.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 35%
    • Avg. annual net price: $3,916
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Florida State College at Jacksonville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    8. Central Georgia Technical College

    Warner Robins, Georgia

    About the program: CGTC’s 63-credit online associate degree in business management has specialization tracks in general management, human resource management, operations management, service sector management, and small business management.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 36%
    • Avg. annual net price: $1,954
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

    Accreditation: Central Georgia Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    9. Foothill College

    Los Altos Hills, California

    About the program: Students in Foothill’s online associate degree in business administration complete 90 units. Core courses include investment fundamentals, web marketing, and foundations of leadership.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 24%
    • Avg. annual net price: $3,859
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not required
    • Enrollment periods per year: Four
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Foothill College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

    10. Moraine Park Technical College

    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

    About the program: For MPTC’s 65-credit online associate degree in business management, students train in business decision making, business and employee relations, and business logistics.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 33%
    • Avg. annual net price: $9,143
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Moraine Park Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    11. Northwest Florida State College

    Niceville, Florida

    About the program: NWF State College’s online associate degree in business administration includes courses in business calculus, microcomputer applications, and statistics.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 33%
    • Avg. annual net price: $6,240
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Northwest Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    12. Lake Region State College

    Devils Lake, North Dakota

    About the program: Students pursuing LRSC’s 63-credit online associate degree in business administration choose among concentrations in management, accounting, and marketing.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 48%
    • Avg. annual net price: $9,564
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Lake Region State College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    13. Northeast Community College

    Norfolk, Nebraska

    About the program: For Northeast’s 60-credit online associate degree in business administration, learners train in business law, microeconomics, and fundamentals of information technology.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 44%
    • Avg. annual net price: $8,749
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Northeast Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    14. Lakeshore Technical College

    Cleveland, Wisconsin

    About the program: LTC’s 60-credit online associate degree in business management includes courses in personal branding, human resource management, team-building, and problem-solving.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 54%
    • Avg. annual net price: $10,780
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Lakeshore Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    15. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    About the program: Students in NWTC’s online associate degree in business management take courses in career planning, operations management, and supervision.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 51%
    • Avg. annual net price: $10,340
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

    Accreditation: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    16. Niagara County Community College

    Sanborn, New York

    About the program: The training for NCCC’s 62-credit online associate degree in business administration includes courses in speech communication, management, and business law.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 34%
    • Avg. annual net price: $5,491
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not required
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Niagara County Community College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

    17. Peninsula College

    Port Angeles, Washington

    About the program: PC’s online associate degree in business administration features tracks in accounting, management, and entrepreneurship. Management track courses include managerial finance, principles of management, and international business.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 46%
    • Avg. annual net price: $5,639
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: One to three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Peninsula College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

    18. Dakota County Technical College

    Rosemount, Minnesota

    About the program: Students pursuing DCTC’s 60-credit online associate degree in business administration take courses in managing diversity, project management, and principles of marketing.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 41%
    • Avg. annual net price: $11,063
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Dakota County Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    19. Northern State University

    Aberdeen, South Dakota

    About the program: Students in NSU’s online associate degree in business administration can specialize in management information systems. The concentration includes courses in the legal environment of business, spreadsheet data analysis, and telecommunications and networks for business.

    • Acceptance rate: 84%
    • Graduation rate: 45%
    • Avg. annual net price: $15,851
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: 470-620
    • Minimum GPA: 2.6
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three+
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Northern State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    20. McHenry County College

    Crystal Lake, Illinois

    About the program: For MCC’s 60-credit online associate degree in business management, students take courses in experiencing management decisions, professional selling, and creative leadership.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 34%
    • Avg. annual net price: $7,048
    • Time to completion: One to two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two to four
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: McHenry County College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    21. Moberly Area Community College

    Moberly, Missouri

    About the program: The training for MACC’s 62-credit online associate degree in business administration includes courses in management, human resource management, and payroll accounting.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 23%
    • Avg. annual net price: $7,143
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

    Accreditation: Moberly Area Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    22. West Georgia Technical College

    LaGrange, Georgia

    About the program: WGTC’s online associate degree in business management features specialization tracks in general, human resource, marketing, and service sector management.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 27%
    • Avg. annual net price: $1,665
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: West Georgia Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    23. National Park College

    Hot Springs, Arizona

    About the program: Students in NPC’s 62-credit online associate degree in business take courses in public speaking, business calculus, and business statistics.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 26%
    • Avg. annual net price: $9,424
    • Time to completion: 18-24 months
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: 3.5
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online and hybrid

    Accreditation: National Park College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    24. Eastern Florida State College

    Melbourne, Florida

    About the program: During EFSC’s 60-credit online associate degree in business administration, students can specialize in management, marketing, and human resources.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 40%
    • Avg. annual net price: $4,955
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: 2.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
    • Course delivery methods: Online, synchronous and asynchronous

    Accreditation: Eastern Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    25. Minnesota West Community and Technical College

    Worthington, Minnesota

    About the program: The training for MWTC’s 60-credit online associate degree in business management includes courses in business law, business communication, and human resource management.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 50%
    • Avg. annual net price: $11,952
    • Time to completion: Two years
    • SAT range: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two+
    • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Minnesota West Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    What to expect in an online associate in management degree program

    Management programs provide leadership training and business foundations. In an accredited program, students learn the principles of business sectors, including finance, sales, and economics. They also develop analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.

    Associate-level training typically combines theoretical and practical learning. Students learn concepts and then practice them via projects and internships. They may work with spreadsheets, business information technology systems, and case studies.

    Students pursuing an associate degree in management may have the option to formally specialize in a management subdiscipline, such as human resource or marketing management. Learners can also strategically choose electives to create a similar outcome. The independence of online learning may call for additional self-motivation and ambition from certain students.

    Associate degree in management courses

    A business management degree at the associate level equips learners with well-rounded entry-level skills. Students can then build on this knowledge and specialize through experience and additional training.

    Courses in an associate degree in management familiarize students with standard roles, practices, and operations within a business. Degree-seekers also learn to analyze data, manage people, and communicate effectively.

    Principles of accounting

    This course teaches students basic accounting duties, including working with spreadsheets, using software, and analyzing the financial health of an individual or organization.

    Marketing foundations

    In this course, students learn how to examine and analyze markets, develop marketing strategies, and implement effective communication campaigns. They also learn how to evaluate consumer satisfaction and brand strategies.

    Principles of management

    Students in this course learn how to analyze a business’s operations and performance and plan and strategize its upcoming steps. The training also explores effective communication and leadership strategies and motivational and training techniques.

    Microeconomics

    This course teaches students microeconomics fundamentals, including the basic concepts, theories, and analysis methods. Learners look at supply and demand, consumer behaviors, and other market forces in play.

    Management degree levels

    Degree-seekers can pursue management programs at every level. The depth of training and the postgraduate career opportunities grows with each subsequent degree.

    Associate and bachelor’s degrees often prepare graduates for entry-level positions, whereas advanced degrees prepare graduates for management and teaching roles. The following section looks at the main training paths available.

    Certificate in management

    Length: 2-12 months

    Cost: Free-$10,000

    Post-grad careers: Bookkeeper, financial advisor, and project manager

    Management certificates may offer introductory lessons or graduate-level training. They may also explore more general business management practices or focus on a subdiscipline, like human resources and accounting.

    Certificates usually feature condensed and practical training for maximum postgraduate applicability. Depending on the level of training, certificates may provide graduates with access to entry-level positions or help experienced professionals advance their existing careers.

    Associate in management

    Length: One to two years

    Cost: $11,389/year in 2018-19

    Post-grad careers: Customer service representative, claims adjuster, and financial clerk

    Students take introductory lessons in various business sectors for an associate degree in management, including marketing, economics, and sales. They also develop leadership and communication skills to establish their management potential.

    Most business and financial occupations require a bachelor’s degree, but associate degrees can lead to support and administrative positions. Graduates can also continue their training in a bachelor’s program.

    Bachelor’s in management

    Length: Three to four years

    Cost: $28,123/year in 2018-19

    Post-grad careers: Human resources specialist, accountant, and financial examiner

    An online management degree at the bachelor’s level covers business topics like finance, human resources, accounting, and marketing. Students learn the subdisciplines’ fundamentals, along with specific management strategies for each.

    Through hands-on assignments and internships, learners develop practical skills they can apply to their careers. Graduates qualify for most business and financial occupations, including administration, analyst, and management roles.

    Master’s in management

    Length: One to two years

    Cost: $19,792/year in 2019-20

    Post-grad careers: Human resources manager, financial analyst, and management analyst

    Within a master’s in management program, students delve into advanced business theories and practices. They build on undergraduate training, learning specific management strategies, analysis methods, and communication techniques. Master’s programs feature substantial practical training via projects, workshops, and internships.

    At this level, most management programs come in the form of a general MBA, though subdiscipline specializations are available. Graduates can qualify for most business and financial occupations, along with management and consulting positions.

    Doctorate in management

    Length: Three to six years

    Cost: $19,792/year in 2019-20

    Post-grad careers: Postsecondary teacher, top executive, and economist

    A management program at the doctoral level provides the most advanced business training available. Students typically develop a specialization and aim to contribute something new to the field through their research and dissertation projects.

    Students pursuing a doctorate in managementcan pick between a doctor in business administration (DBA) or a Ph.D. The former focuses primarily on practical training, whereas the latter emphasizes research. DBA graduates tend to pursue top executive and consulting roles, whereas Ph.D. graduates pursue teaching and research careers.

    In conclusion

    Management programs like those ranked above deliver broad and applicable business training in many fields. Students learn how each business sector functions and operates daily. They also develop some management strategies for each subfield.

    If you want more information about any of the listed programs, reach out to the schools directly.

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