Types of Business Degrees: A Beginners Guide

Types of business degrees with unique major specialization helps in achieving your career goals. Read more to know about the types of business degrees.

TCM Staff

22nd September 2021

A business degree is a degree that focuses on learning basic business concepts and implementing them across industries and markets, including entrepreneurship, management, marketing, and more. Its aim is to motivate and enhance your knowledge in order to pursue a career in the business areas.

Prospective students will have to consider a few factors before choosing a type of course:

  • The quality amount of time you are ready to commit to the course.
  • Your professional goals and the degree that will assist you in achieving those goals.
  • The particular skills you want to learn from a business program.

What are the different types of business degrees?

There are different business degree programs available at every degree level.

These include associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate levels at different colleges, universities, and vocational schools. 

Basically, there are four types of business degrees. Within these, you will have to choose a unique business major specialization that helps achieve your career goals. 

Let’s walk through the four types of degrees and their major specializations:

1. Associate's Degree in Business

It is a degree in business administration that involves providing technical knowledge and necessary skills to the students in order to pursue a profession or job in just 2 years. For an associate degree in general business, most schools require students to take general education coursework, including courses in English, history, math, natural science, psychology, and sociology, in addition to business courses.

  • The average cost per year for tuition is around $3580.

  • The program length is 2 years.

  • The average income per anum is approximately $52000.

  • Credits Requirement: 60-70 credits 

Courses that can be taken are as follows:

  • Business Management

  • Business Communication

  • Human Resource

  • Finance

  • Accounting

2. Bachelor's Degree in Business

It is a degree that helps you in developing knowledge in principles and foundation of the business. It teaches how to manage operations that are taken place in a business organization. In business programs, students can learn about management, administration, leadership, international business, global diversity, and business technology. Career after doing a bachelor's in business largely depends on the area of concentration and courses you choose. But mostly students prepare their career as financial consultants, personal bankers, marketing managers, loan officers, administrative assistants, secretaries, and entrepreneurs

  • The average cost per year for tuition is approximately $9980.

  • The program length is 4 years.

  • The average annual income is over $50000.

  • Credits Requirement: 120 credits

Courses that can be taken are as follows:

  • Accounting

  • Finance

  • Economics

  • Statistics for Business

  • Ethic

3. Master's Degree in Business

As one of the most popular graduate programs in any field, the Master’s degree is designed to develop the leadership, communication, decision-making, and organizational skills that are required for upper-level management. Traditional masters require two years of graduate studies after the baccalaureate level, but there are now many different options available for earning an Accelerated MBA, Online MBA, or even an Executive MBA. 

  • You should be having a bachelor’s degree in order to admit to this course.

  • The average cost per year for tuition is around $8670.

  • The program length is 1 to 3 years.

  • The average annual income is approximately $97248.

  • Credits Requirement: 50 to 70 credits

Courses that can be taken are as follows:

  • Business Analytics

  • Human Resource Management

  • Healthcare

  • Marketing


  • Finance

4. Ph.D. Degree in Business

These are the programs that focus on preparing students for academics and to perform highly improvized scholarly research, in theory, and practical. It focuses on the development of new theories in consulting, economics, and various other related business fields. 

  • The average cost per year for tuition is approximately $10860.

  • The program length is a minimum of 4 years.

  • The average annual income is around $118000.

  • Credits Requirement: There are no credit criteria for this.

Courses that can be taken are as follows:

  • Marketing 

  • Information Systems

  • Supply Chain Management

What can you do with a Business Degree?

There is a wide range of career opportunities for students with a business degree. In any industry or company, there will be n number of job openings for graduates with this degree and few of them are as follows.

  • Human Resource Manager

  • Business development manager

  • Business administration officer

  • Business analyst

  • Marketing manager

  • Business development manager

  • Accountant

  • Supply chain manager

  • Financial advisor

  • Operations manager

  • Bookkeeper

  • Logistics manager

  • Product manager

  • Project engineer


  • Economist

Business Degree Specializations

There are many degree specializations in the field of business out of which you will have to choose on the basis of your personal interest (keeping your future in mind). Here are a few popular specializations:

  • Public relations and advertising

  • Business management

  • Supply chain management

  • International business

  • Marketing

  • Sports management

  • Hospitality

  • Economy

  • Human resource


  • Accounting 

Which business major should you choose?

Not sure which business major to pick? 


Here are some programs that are in the highest demand right now.

Business administration: One of the most recognized and respected business qualifications, this program offers a more broad approach to business and covers various business subjects. Typically this is the best step toward an MBA program.

Supply chain management: Graduates of this program manage the flow of goods and services, as well as information and money both inside and outside of a business. They deal with storing raw materials, taking inventory, and shipping finished goods.

Project management: Project managers deal with creating, planning, and supervising all stages of a project. They manage multi-disciplinary project teams within an organization.

Data analysis: Data analysts gather, organize, and interpret large sets of data within a company. They identify trends and help to develop business strategies based on existing data. This can be a great career choice for those with strength in their mathematical abilities.

Financial management: This degree is all about money. A financial management graduate can become a financial analyst, work in accounting or auditing, and create budgets and forecasts for the business. 

International business: International business study has a focus on the global business landscape. Graduates understand how law, finance, economics, and other topics vary from one market to another. In addition, they identify opportunities for a business in new or emerging international markets.

E-commerce management: Another internet-focused degree, e-commerce management graduates primarily deal with online sales for a company. They have a good understanding of sales and marketing, as well as delivery networks and supply chains. It’s a more customer-focused degree, as opposed to business-to-business.

Digital marketing: As the internet continues to grow, companies are looking to hire marketers who specialize in digital or online marketing. Digital marketing degree graduates are experts in marketing and running advertisements on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. 

Human resources management: This degree is about maximizing employee performance and happiness while also achieving the company's strategic objectives. Human resources graduates primarily deal with recruiting, training, and managing people within an organization.

Additional questions to ask yourself before picking your business major

What are your strengths? 

If you’re good at dealing with people, you might want to consider studying human resources. Those with artistic talent or a creative side may do better as marketers. Students with strong mathematical skills will do best in economics or accounting.

What salary are you looking for? 

Salaries can vary dramatically between different areas of business. If you are looking to fund a specific type of lifestyle, it’s important to keep in mind how much money you’ll need to earn each year.

What are you interested in? 

Completing a business degree takes several years, so you’ll need an interest in it to stay motivated. If you have a natural interest in business or entrepreneurial topics, you’ll have a greater chance of succeeding.

What kind of work-life balance do you want? 

Some people want to devote their entire lives to their careers. Others want an ample amount of time to spend with their families. Consider that some of the highest-paying business jobs like being in upper-management will also require a large time investment. Look at whether graduates in your area typically work a steady 9 to 5 job or if they regularly put in workweeks of 60 hours or more.

Where do you see your career going? 

Don’t just look at the entry-level position that you want to get after completing school. Think about where you want your career to be in 10 or 20 years. Some business majors have more room for advancement than others.

Online business degrees

An online business degree is exactly like a traditional business college course, but the interactions between professors and students will happen online with the help of the internet. 

This system can make use of every learning technology, from digital whiteboards to recorded classroom lectures, which helps students to understand the subjects that are related to business. 

When you are looking for an online degree program, you will have to check for a few important criteria.

  • Make sure that the college is accredited and accepted by the state or province you belong to. Accreditation ensures that the business school and program adhere to high educational standards.
  • If you're planning on transferring credits, pursuing an advanced degree, when you enter the workforce, you can feel confident that the credits and degrees you obtained from an accredited institution will be recognized.
  • Since you are learning online, it is necessary to have easy access to student support to clear all your doubts regarding the course.
  • Online courses may vary based on the programs, it is better to take advice from the enrollment officer in school regarding the resources to be provided.

Is it worth getting a business degree?

Business majors have a lower rate of unemployment after graduation than many other university programs. There’s also a wide variety and number of business positions that are being hired for in most places at any given time. 

Historically, a career in business has been a stable and well-paying one, and that trend looks like it will only continue in the future. 

Can I complete a business degree if I’m bad at math?

While you may want to steer clear of a major in accounting, economics, or finance, being bad at math won’t hold you back in most areas of business school.

No matter what your program, you will likely be required to complete introductory courses in statistics, accounting, and economics. But the math in these courses is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t be a challenge for most high school graduates.

A business major in topics like marketing or human resources will have the least math requirements.

Popular schools that offer business degrees

University of California

University of North Carolina

Georgia Institute of Technology

City University of New York

College of William and Mary

University of Virginia

Washington University

San Jose State University

University of Pennsylvania

University of Texas

Additional Reading

Accreditation Council Business School And Program

International Accreditation Council of Business Education

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