Career Woman

3 Reasons to pursue a business management degree from home

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More and more women are choosing to pursue business degrees. According to the Department of Education, women accounted for around 44% of all Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in 2007, which represented an increase of 75% from just a decade before. While a 2019 report from the Graduate Management Admission Council found that the percentage of women in full-time and part-time MBA programs had since cooled (38% and 37%, respectively), it also revealed some incredible numbers for women when it came to non-MBA business graduate degree programs.

Women made up 65% of marketing graduate degree programs, 61% of accounting graduate degree programs and 52% of business management graduate degree programs. According to GMAC, these numbers have held steady from 2012 to 2016. These numbers represent thousands and thousands of women hitting the market with shiny new business degrees. Should you join their ranks? Let’s look at a few reasons to say yes.

1. Business management degrees are more convenient than ever

In the old days, getting a business degree often meant upending your life; moving to a new town, commuting to a campus several times a week and carving time out of work to fit a class schedule. If you had a full- (or even part-time) job and/or a family, the time and energy drain was enough to send a person to the madhouse.

Thankfully, online degree programs are now available and they’re more polished and ubiquitous than ever before. Nearly every major business school in the country offers hybrid or completely online programs. Some may ask students to log in at specific times of the day to “attend” classes virtually (synchronous programs) while others allow students to complete coursework when and where it’s most convenient for them (asynchronous programs). Feel at your freshest and most productive in the early morning hours? Have peace and quiet at night when the kids are in bed? Got an extra-long lunch break? You can knock out your learning and assignments at times that fit your schedule and style the best.

2. Business management degrees can lead to higher pay

The numbers are pretty clear: getting a degree — even one outside of business — can increase your paycheck significantly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2018 that those with an associate’s degree made $496 more per month than those with a high school diploma. Bachelor’s degree holders made $1,348 more per month than associate’s degree holders, while those with a master’s degree made a median monthly salary that was $912 higher than those with a bachelor’s degree. Stretched out annually, that means getting an associate’s degree can increase your yearly median salary by nearly $6,000 and graduating with a 4-year bachelor’s could net you another $16,000.

But that’s all degrees. What about business degrees in particular? While the BLS doesn’t have data on this, it does provide salary data on common business management careers by degree level. For instance, with an associate’s degree, business management careers in food service or lodging are common, where professionals made median salaries of $54,240 and $53,390 in 2018, respectively.

At the bachelor’s degree level, many can pursue careers as medical and health services managers ($99,730), human resources managers ($113,300) or administrative services managers ($96,180).

A master’s degree in business management can qualify you for careers as an Executive, a postsecondary education administrator and higher-level financial manager positions. Executives working in management fields made a median annual salary of $104,240, postsecondary education administrators took home $94,340 and financial managers netted $127,990.

3. Online business degrees are more affordable than you think

Aside from the time and energy involved, the cost can be the most prohibitive factor in getting a degree. The National Center for Education Statistics puts the average cost per year for a 4-year degree from a public institution at $19,488. For private nonprofit and for-profit institutions, students pay an average of $41,468 per academic year. Using those numbers a traditional degree could set you back anywhere from $80,000 to $164,000.

While online degrees might have the same tuition (they typically charge a per-credit rate and technology fees), they don’t come with the same costs associated with an on-campus degree. In fact, there’s no room and board and meal plan, which are two of the biggest expenses college students incur while studying. When you drop those two costs, the average price for an online degree comes closer to $30,000.

And that’s just an average; there are ways to get a shiny new degree for even less. For instance, women in the Tarheel State can get an online bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Carolina – Pembroke or Western Carolina University for under $6,500. Degrees at places like Daytona State College (FL), College of Coastal Georgia and University of Florida are all under $15,000.

Financial aid and scholarships can drop that price even lower. Scholarships and grants for women and online students are available across the country — the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship, the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter WTS Undergraduate Leadership Scholarship and the Women’s Re-Entry Scholarship from the American Association of University Women are just a few of hundreds.

If you’re worried an online business education isn’t as valuable as a traditional one, don’t. Those days are gone. In fact, one survey found that 77% of educators felt an online education was as good or better than an on-campus education. 70% of students in these programs said the same thing. What’s more, over 6,700,000 students are enrolled in an online course, which represents 30% of the students in this country. By pursuing an online degree, you can join their ranks, pursue new career opportunities and boost your salary.

About Dana Tran

danat@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Dana Tran is an advisor at Study.com, and aims to deliver women a better way to learn — one that lets you learn what you want, the way you want, and in a way you can afford. She wants to empower you to become that better version of yourself education is supposed to allow.

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