What Are the Different Types of Business Management Degree Programs?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 30 June 2019
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Business management degree programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level by online and traditional colleges and universities. Certificate and diploma programs are fairly prevalent through distance learning and online education providers. Students can usually pursue a variety of concentrations with a degree in business management. Some of those concentrations include finance, accounting, marketing, and e-commerce.

At the undergraduate level, one of the most common business management degree programs is the Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration. Many universities offer a general business administration concentration, in addition to computer information systems, marketing, and accounting. The curriculum of these programs usually takes four years to complete and includes courses that teach an overview of basic accounting, marketing, and technology concepts. In addition to four year programs, community and junior colleges may also offer two year programs that lead to the equivalent of an associate's degree.

Graduate business management degree programs usually lead to an MBA or Master's of Science designation. These are usually two year programs that focus more heavily on research and applying business theories to real-world scenarios. While traditional full-time MBA programs are still widely available, part-time and online degrees have become more accessible options for those who cannot afford to put their careers on hold. Some traditional universities offer part-time distance MBA programs that mimic the campus-based curriculums.


Certificates and diplomas are also viable options among the various types of business management degree programs. While usually more prevalent at the graduate level, certification can be a way for a working professional to gain insight into general business practices. Certificates are a lighter version of a degree program since the coursework typically covers the basic principles of business theory. For example, a certificate program in general business administration might require the completion of five core classes distributed among several disciplines.

Professionals often find themselves specializing in one of the areas of business practice. For this reason, business management degree programs are available in several concentrations which expand upon concepts related to marketing, finance, and computer information systems. A marketing concentration could include courses in e-commerce, market research, and advertising. Computer information systems majors might take electives in programming languages, network design, and database servers.

Even though a concentration can prepare a student for work in a specific discipline, general business management degrees also exist. These degrees are more generalist in nature and provide the student with an overview of core concepts related to the various business disciplines. Students usually have more flexibility in choosing their electives with a general business management degree.



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