Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs

Your guide to associate business education options and career prospects

What is an Associate Degree in Business?

An on-campus or online associate degree in business is a two-year business degree program offered at various institutions including online universities, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and more. These degrees can offer students an introduction to basic business coursework and general education courses.

Students participating in an associate degree program in this field should gain an introduction to key concepts in accounting, economics, management, statistics, and computer applications. Foundational courses enable them to acquire essential skills and knowledge applicable across an array of business disciplines.

An associate degree in business can often be found online, which offers many advantages: a flexible format providing convenience for working professionals with other responsibilities and the chance to attend a school anywhere in the world from anywhere with an internet connection.

Students completing these programs will leave with the tools necessary for entry-level positions in business or continuing their education by transferring credits toward a four-year bachelor’s degree in business. An associate degree in business is an ideal path for individuals seeking a career in business and seeking a strong grounding in core principles of management. From community colleges and online universities to four-year colleges, these degree programs offer solutions for budding business professionals.

Why Get an Associate in Business

Pursuing an associate degree can be an ideal way for those starting out their careers in the business field to quickly jump-start their journey toward rewarding and successful business careers. Offering shorter completion time and lower cost than a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree provides an efficient pathway toward real world experience and many career options.

A degree in business offers several advantages over its four-year counterparts, such as its quicker completion time and lower cost; earning this degree can get students out into the workplace or further advance their careers quickly and cost effectively. In fact, an associate program may provide a more affordable education solution for many.

An associate degree in business opens numerous career options. Graduates may explore entry-level roles in areas like business administration, human resources management, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship – these positions serve as the cornerstone for further advancement within the business industry. An associate in business degree offers individuals a strong foundation of knowledge and skills required for success in business.

Different Types of Associates in Business

There are various associate degrees in business, each with its own focus and potential career pathways. These options include the Associate of Science in Business, Associate of Arts in Business, Associate of Applied Science degrees, and the Associate of Applied Business. Some of these will be entirely focused on getting you into a career, while others spend more time preparing you for further education, giving you a better chance to enhance your education and improve your career later. No matter which option you choose, earning an associate degree can provide individuals with a solid foundation and various opportunities in the business field.

An associate degree in business can provide an essential education in business principles and open entry-level roles in various business fields. Furthermore, this investment offers solid grounds for further study and career advancement – making it worthwhile while yielding significant earnings potential.

Associate of Arts in Business

An Associate of Arts in Business program emphasizes a liberal arts approach to business studies by including courses like communication, economics, and management. Graduates with this type of education could easily pursue careers in marketing, HR, or customer service because they will have more soft skills upon program completion to help them succeed in a business environment.

These degrees provide students with a solid grounding in basic coursework related to business knowledge including accounting, economics, management, and statistics, as well as courses covering fundamental principles and practices of these fields such as financial accounting, macro and microeconomics, organizational behavior, and business statistics. Students completing this degree will develop a thorough knowledge of all facets of business operation while building their resumes with essential classes.

Acquiring an Associate of Arts in Business will equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for various career opportunities in marketing, sales, human resources, finance, and beyond. Furthermore, this degree program serves as a good basis for those wishing to continue their studies with advanced degrees in business.

Associate of Science in Business

The most popular option is an Associate of Science in Business – typically two years long – covering essential workforce skills like accounting, business law, and marketing and ideal for anyone pursuing finance, management, or entrepreneurship careers as it provides invaluable foundations. Graduates may often secure employment as administrative assistants, bookkeepers, or sales representatives upon graduation.

These degree programs offer students a comprehensive curriculum covering many business-related subjects such as accounting, economics, management, and statistics but are likely to have fewer soft skills courses, such as communications, and more hard business skills. Even so, graduates should emerge with knowledge and abilities relevant to business disciplines and be ready to either start their career or move into bachelor’s business programs.

These associate degree programs equip students with a solid grounding in business principles and practices. Coursework typically includes financial accounting, macro- and microeconomics, business management, statistics, and more. This gives students a thorough grounding in these topics as they learn how to analyze financial statements, understand supply and demand principles, develop management strategies, and interpret and use data effectively. Once students have acquired the necessary skills, they will possess all the tools required for various careers in areas like finance, marketing, operations, retail management, and human resources. Graduates could potentially pursue opportunities such as accounting assistants, market research analysts, or sales associates, among others.

These degree programs also serve as a steppingstone to further study in business or business management. If students wish to continue their studies after graduating, their credits may transfer toward a bachelor’s degree in business or another related field. Furthermore, an Associate of Science in Business degree provides a strong foundation for those seeking advanced roles or advanced degrees within a business.

Associate of Applied Science in Business

An Associate of Applied Science in Business degree aims to equip graduates with practical skills and knowledge necessary for entering the workforce upon graduation, but it does offer less focus on the courses that will help you continue your education in the future. Often these programs include hands-on training programs that hone skills in business administration, logistics, or supply chain management.

These degree programs equip students with an in-depth knowledge and practical expertise related to business with an aim to allow students to immediately apply their learning in a real world business setting. This degree is different than others in that it provides students with a hands-on, practical education to prepare them for entry-level roles in business. They are highly career oriented and equip students with all the knowledge they need to immediately start a successful business career.

The curriculum in these programs may include courses in financial accounting, business management, marketing principles, human resource management, and business law. Students also aim to develop effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, as well as developing their business ethics knowledge and professional behavior practices.

Graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in Business equips graduates to pursue various career options across marketing, sales, finance, and human resources. Graduates could find employment as administrative assistants, customer service representatives, office managers, or even entry-level managers.

Associate of Applied Business in Business

These degree programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of business operations, while aiming to equip them with skills required for entry-level roles in administration, sales, or management. Students should gain a firm foundation in key business concepts through both practical coursework and hands-on training, typically including financial accounting, business management principles, business data analytics, marketing principles, business law, and human resources administration.

As part of these core courses, students also develop key skills in effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. They gain an understanding of the challenges presented by business environments while learning about ethical business conduct and professional conduct. Graduates are well-prepared for various entry-level positions in administration, marketing, finance, sales, human resources, and management including as administrative assistants, customer service representatives, office managers, or entry-level managers. They may find employment with various organizations such as small businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, or even government agencies.

Core Concepts

An associate degree in business provides students with a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip them with key skills and knowledge across several business disciplines. It covers core topics like financial accounting, management, marketing principles, law, and human resource management. Students enrolled in business courses must also satisfy a school’s core requirements or general education, such as college writing to build strong written communication skills and statistics as a quantitative reasoning foundation course. Students also usually complete some type of science elective course to allow them to explore scientific concepts and psychology or other arts and humanities courses to provide a well-rounded education and expand students’ perspectives.

By combining core business courses with their core courses, graduates of business degrees gain a comprehensive knowledge of business principles and develop essential skills necessary for entering various career paths. They should be well prepared for entry-level positions in administration, sales, and management while having established a firm academic and professional base from which further development may take place.

What Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Business?

Individuals holding an associate degree in business have various career options available to them. Common job titles for graduates with this degree include administrative assistants, office managers, and customer service representatives – these jobs typically require strong organizational and interpersonal communication skills that can be developed during a business program. These degrees can open doors to roles in human resources, accounting, and marketing, among others. Furthermore, its flexible nature enables individuals to explore a range of careers across industries.

1. Administrative Assistant

Required Education: High School Diploma, GED, or Associate Degree

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 10% Decrease

Median Annual Salary: $44,080

Administrative assistants play an essential part in ensuring an organization runs efficiently. Their duties may include scheduling meetings, answering phones calls, managing mail deliveries, performing various clerical duties, and providing administrative support to their teams and supervisors.

An administrative assistant career typically requires at least a high school diploma or its equivalent; however, having an associate degree in business can give individuals an edge and open more doors for advancement. An associate degree equips individuals with essential skills for office administration, computer applications, and communication.

Administrative assistants face a loss over the next decade, as well, which means that those with a higher level of education will have a better chance not just of earning a position in this field, but also of moving up within the business after they gain some experience.

Salary-wise, administrative assistants typically make a median annual salary of approximately $44,000. However, this can differ depending on various factors like location, experience level, and industry. An associate degree in business provides individuals with the education and skills needed to excel as administrative assistants, with a chance for advancement that reflects their contribution.

2. Office Manager

Required Education: Associate to Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 5% Increase

Median Annual Salary: $101,870

Office managers can play a critical role in overseeing the daily operations of an office or organization. Their main tasks include overseeing administrative tasks, supervising staff members, scheduling events efficiently, and overseeing efficient office processes.

Aspiring office managers must typically obtain at least an associate degree in business or business management to become successful office managers. This degree provides individuals with a solid grounding in business principles including management theory, human resource management, and business law – as well as essential communication and interpersonal communication courses, which help create successful workplace interactions.

Office manager jobs are projected to grow between 2022-2032 due to an increasing need for skilled professionals who can successfully oversee office operations and contribute toward organizational success. These managers typically earn a median annual salary of over $100,000; though this will differ depending on factors like location, industry, and years of experience. With proper skills and experience, office managers have the potential for career advancement and increased earning power. And an associate degree can provide the education and skills necessary to excel in this position.

3. Accounting Assistant

Required Education: Some College, Associate, or Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 6% Decline

Median Annual Salary: $45,860

An accounting assistant’s main duty is to assist the accounting department by performing various financial tasks such as bookkeeping, data entry, and invoice processing. These workers may also be known as accounting clerks or bookkeepers. Often, an associate degree in business, business administration, or a related field is necessary as this degree equips individuals with essential accounting and financial management knowledge.

Accounting assistant jobs are projected to grow at around the average rate from 2022-2032 due to increasing demand for professionals that can assist with financial recordkeeping and regulatory compliance. Salary-wise, these workers earn as much as a median of over $70,000. However, this can differ based on factors like industry, location, education, and years of experience. With additional education and experience comes greater potential to advance careers and increase earnings potential.

4. Sales Associate

Required Education: No School to Associate Degree (Retail, Real Estate)

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 2% Decrease (Retail), 3% Increase (Real Estate)

Median Annual Salary: $30,750 (Retail), $52,030 (Real Estate)

Sales associates play an invaluable role in the retail industry as they contribute significantly to revenue-generation by selling products or services directly to customers and assisting customers during the shopping experience. Sales associates must assist customers, address any inquiries that arise, provide outstanding service, and strive to create positive shopping experiences that lead to customer loyalty and lasting business relationships.

Employers will hire workers in these roles that have no experience and no education outside a high school diploma, but those looking for a career in which they can move up into a management position will need at least an associate degree in business or a related field; this level of education provides individuals with a firm foundation in business principles, customer service principles, and sales techniques and will let the company know that you are there for the long haul.

Sales associates can expect their job outlook to increase by just 2% between 2022-2032 – a slower growth projection than all occupations overall – but demand remains steady as there will always be need for individuals who can sell products effectively while offering outstanding customer service. Salary-wise, sales associates typically earn an annual median salary of approximately $31,000 but this can differ based on factors like location, industry, education, and even performance-based incentives.

Though a formal degree may not always be required to work as a sales associate, having relevant education and skills can improve job prospects and provide access to more possibilities for advancement in this field.

5. Account Manager

Required Education: Associate to Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 4% Increase (Sales), 6% Increase (Marketing), 16% Increase (Finance)

Median Annual Salary: $138,730

An account manager plays a pivotal role in maintaining strong client relationships and assuring their satisfaction. They must offer excellent customer service, manage client accounts efficiently, and contribute toward creating an unforgettable client experience. Many companies require that you possess a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field to earn this position. However, depending on the industry, it is possible to work your way into this position with an associate degree and plenty of experience. A degree equips individuals with knowledge and abilities in sales, marketing, and communication – but experience can also provide a plethora of knowledge in specialized industries and roles. Some employers may prefer candidates with experience as account managers or in similar capacities.

Account managers are projected to experience faster job growth from 2022-2032 than average occupations, suggesting a favorable job market outlook in this profession. Businesses continue to place greater importance on customer retention and satisfaction; consequently, demand for skilled managers who can effectively oversee client relationships will only continue to increase over time.

Account managers usually earn an approximate annual median salary of approximately $63,000; however, this can depend on factors like industry experience, location, education, and years of service. On top of their competitive pay they may also receive performance-related incentives or bonuses.

6. Customer Service Representative

Required Education: High School Diploma, GED, or Associate Degree

Jobs Outlook (2022-2032): 5% Decrease

Median Annual Salary: $37,780

Customer service representatives play an essential role in providing excellent customer satisfaction and maintaining positive relationships with clients. While formal degrees aren’t always necessary for this profession, having a solid educational background in business, business administration, or related subjects will certainly enhance job prospects.

According to industry projections, customer service representative jobs may experience a decrease over the next ten years due to a shift toward AI and despite companies’ increasing focus on providing superior customer experience as part of maintaining competitive advantage. Customer service representatives typically earn an annual median annual salary of about $38,000. However, this may differ depending on factors like industry, location, level of experience, and additional benefits such as performance-based incentives and bonuses for outstanding customer service skills.

It’s important to note that, despite the fact that you do not necessarily need a degree for these role, those who hold degrees will be more likely to gain access to these careers and find themselves put up for promotions. Customer service representative careers can be extremely fulfilling for business professionals who excel in interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and relationship management. Individuals equipped with the appropriate educational foundation and passion for providing outstanding service will do well in this highly in-demand role.


What is an Associate Degree in Business?

An associate degree in business administration is a two-year undergraduate program designed to equip graduates with an in-depth knowledge of business operations, management theory, and entry-level positions within the field of business and business administration.

What courses are covered in an associate degree program in business?

A typical curriculum for an associate degree program in business includes courses on the fundamental principles of business such as law, accounting principles, marketing, economics, finance, and management – which offer a well-rounded education in these fundamentals of the world of business.

What are the advantages of earning an associate degree in business?

An associate degree in business offers many advantages for graduates. First, it gives graduates an understanding of business principles that equips them with knowledge and skills needed for excelling in various business fields. Furthermore, this degree can prepare individuals for entry-level roles like administrative assistants, customer service representatives, or sales associates; plus, associate degree credits are often accepted as applying toward higher education degree programs, such as a bachelor’s.

What are my earning prospects with an associate degree in business administration?

Although earnings potential varies based on industry, location, education, and experience factors – individuals with an associate degree in business or business administration can typically expect competitive salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative assistants who possess such an education typically receive approximately $40,000. Through further education and experience, individuals may pursue management positions with even higher earnings potential.