Types of Business Degrees
There are a plethora of online programs and small on-campus programs offering business degrees, and it is easy to get confused. First of all, make sure the school you are researching is accredited by an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Secondly, when doing your research about which business schools to attend or which programs fit your goals, it is important to understand the types of degrees being offered by the school in which you are interested. Here are some definitions:
MBA - Master's of Business Administration
An MBA is a graduate degree in business. It is likely the most you will need to get to truly advance your career. (There is one level higher, called the Phd or Doctorate Degree, but very few practicing business people posess it.) An MBA can be completed in anywhere from 1-3 years based upon the type of program, although the standard for full-time students is 2 years. Most MBA candidates are required to have completed an undergraduate degree, although not neccessarily in a business-related field. They are also usually required to have around 3-5 years of related business work experience.
BSBA - Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
An undergraduate degree, also called a baccalaureate or bachelor's degree, is the first level of university degrees. This degree is beyond an associate's degree, but below a master's or doctorate degree. Depending on the course of study, one can earn a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) degree. The Bachelor of Science is the undergraduate degree usually awarded to business majors. Majors and concentration programs vary by institution, however, the BSBA is primarily a two-year program undertaken within the construct of a four-year undergraduate education.
An Associate Degree is usually a two-year degree with a very focused area of study. An Associate's degree in the Arts (AA) or a degree in Sciences (AS) can usually lead to a higher pay scale and more job opportunities than a student with a GED or a high school diploma. It sometimes leads students to new careers, or to a desire for an even higher level of education.
Non-degree programs are ideal for those who want to extend their education and learning experience, but do not want to enter a long-term formal course of study for a degree. There are many types of non-degree programs that, when taken, can improve one's employability by certifiying a mastery of a very specialized field of study. These programs include, but are not limited to:
- Continuing Education Courses