20 Best Online Degrees for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs to Get

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Thinking of starting a business? Want to go back to school as a seasoned entrepreneur?

You find some of the best degrees for business owners online. These business degrees improve your professional and individual growth. They sharpen your skills and make you a better business owner. And they do it by allowing you to take flexible classes that don’t interfere with your busy schedule.

But there’s no single degree or standard educational plan for entrepreneurs. Instead there are different degree paths for everyone. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a business owner degree.

What degree do you need to be a business owner?

Today’s small business owners have global perspectives. They manage their online presence. They also add a personal touch when branding their products and services.
 
Success in today’s market requires small business owners stand out among their competitors. They have knowledge that helps them succeed in everything they do.
 
But to help them succeed, they need to earn a college degree. Below is a list of the 20 best online degrees for business owners.
 
In these degree programs, you learn how each equips you for entrepreneurial ventures. You also learn which schools offer online business degrees in each discipline. We hope you’ll find this list helpful as you move toward your business goals.  

#20 – Online Bachelor’s in Human Resources

In business, you need certain skills for success. These skills include:

  • Leadership and delegation
  • Networking
  • Project management
  • Strong communication abilities

Skills help you improve your ability to lead in business. And leadership is essential to running your own company or owning your own business.

An online bachelor’s in human resources is a useful online degree for business owners. It prepares students with important skills and training needed for success. You not only learn about the hiring process, but how to look for quality team members that will help grow your business.

HR degree programs cover topics in:

  • Human resource management
  • Human resource strategy and development
  • Principles of management

You can use these skills in any business venture. They also help you achieve your goals of managing a team of professionals. As a result, HR is one of the best majors for business owners.

Schools with online bachelor’s in human resources:

#19 – Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science

Environmental science makes the cut for best degrees for small business owners. Why? Because this major is great if you want to make green improvements to your business.

As an entrepreneur, this degree helps you understand how sustainability improves your business. Today, environmental entrepreneurs work in many different businesses and organizations. They help make beneficial, green changes that lead to savings and growth.

As an environmental science major, you study topics such as:

  • Environmental ethics
  • Environmental principles and field methods
  • Fundamentals of chemistry
  • General biology

You take courses that are relevant to many different science disciplines. You can even earn a concentration in a specific area of environmental science.

But how do these concentrations help you get ahead in business? Concentrations help you meet career goals by focusing on a niche. If you’re interested in a particular area of science, you can expand your degree and your knowledge in that area.

Popular concentrations include:

  • Natural resources and conservation
  • Policy change

Schools with online environmental science degree:

#18 – Online Bachelor’s in Engineering

You might wonder how an engineering degree is beneficial for a business owner. As technology changes, the engineering field is becoming more multidisciplinary. It’s the skills that you gain in an online bachelor’s in engineering degree program that help prepare you for business administration.

These skills keep your mind sharp. They help you think and reason through complex problems. You need these skills in business.

Engineering is one of those versatile degrees, but you should have strong math and science skills. In high school, plan on taking as many math and physics courses as you can. You will feel prepared when you enter a college engineering program. Important courses to take in high school include algebra, calculus, and physics. If your school offers statistics, take it. Statistics improves your ability to reason through problems in math and science.

Popular engineering programs and business degrees for entrepreneurs are:

  • Civil engineering
  • Computer science engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Other areas of engineering

Some engineering programs have concentrations in areas outside the engineering discipline. Online engineering programs offer add-on studies in:

  • Business
  • Computer science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance

You can even earn a computer science degree with a business minor. In these programs, you learn valuable skills in:

  • Communications
  • Leadership
  • Quality management
  • Research

You even learn how to run your own engineering firm or your own business.

Schools with online bachelor’s in engineering:

#17 – Online Bachelor’s in Psychology

Psychology helps you understand people and their behaviors. Many top executives, sports agents, and tech entrepreneurs hold psychology degrees. So it’s no wonder that it’s important in the business world.

In a psychology degree program, you learn how to:

  • Identify and address problems
  • Inspire your teams to perform better
  • Motivate people based on their personality traits

These applicable skills help improve your relationship skills, which you need on the job. After all, you’re in the people business.

In an online bachelor’s in psychology program, you take courses like:

  • Behavioral psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Psychological assessment

You can also earn a concentration that fits with your interests or career aspirations. Popular concentrations include:

  • Behavioral psychology
  • Cognitive and perceptual psychology
  • Engineering psychology
  • Industrial and organizational psychology
  • Sports psychology

Concentrations allow you to learn more about a subject. You can also nail down a career goal. Many think psychology is a best degree for business owners because the program prepares you to better understand people and their behaviors.

Schools with online psychology degree:

#16 – Online Bachelor’s in Construction Management

If you’re interested in a construction career, consider a degree in construction management. This degree prepares you for work in building. You learn how how to manage and supervise construction projects and sites.

You also cover business aspects, including:

  • Controlling
  • Planning
  • Scheduling

Graduates with business ownership aspirations gain:

  • Ethical perspectives
  • Leadership skills
  • The abilities to guide organizational decision-making

Courses you take in this degree program include:

  • Advanced construction graphics
  • Construction equipment operations
  • Construction project administration and management
  • Green building trends and technology

You learn about business while also learning how to manage a job site. These business skills help you lead on the job. They also help you take on an administrative role. This is helpful as you age. While you may be used to climbing and working around construction sites now, later you might prefer a desk job. Having a degree will help you advance to a leadership role where you aren’t needed on the job site.

Schools with online bachelor’s in construction management:

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#15 – Online Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a business major that trains graduates in areas of:

  • Logistics

Logistics is the overall process of managing resources within a business. It is a detailed coordination that involves people, facilities, machines, and supplies. It might involve transportation of goods, warehousing, and storage. It might also include order fulfillment and managing inventory. Learning about it before you start a business helps you face challenges and grow your company.

  • Product development

Product development is the process of taking a product to market. It might also include renewing an existing product or bringing in an old product that you want to present to a new market. During development, you identify market needs and build a roadmap for launching the new or old product. You learn how to collect feedback, get insight, and build a successful path forward for your product.

  • Production

Production is the process of creating and producing an item you want to sell. It is important for small business owners, whether working in computer science, web development, or another area of business. In business terms, production is the act of “creating an output.” In supply chain degree programs, you learn the importance of production. You also learn how it drives your end result.

  • Sourcing

Sourcing includes vetting and selecting the suppliers that will help you with your product. It is closely related to supply management, but sourcing has more to do with supply than demand. Also, you need suppliers before you can manage the flow of goods. When learning about sourcing, your classes teach you how to choose suppliers. They also teach you how to negotiate contracts, what to look for in a contract, and how to manage a contract.

  • Supply chain management

Managing the flow of goods and services within a business or company is supply chain management. It is critical to any business. As a result, you learn about this important aspect when earning your degree. Your products or services are only as good as your supply chain. If you want to run an efficient business, know how your supply chain impacts it.

There aren’t too many online programs for undergrads in this discipline. But a few accredited ones exist. These programs offer classes for future business people. You learn how to run a successful business.

Your courses include:

  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Internet marketing
  • Logistics management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Strategic decision making

Graduates gain valuable management skills in this program. You also learn how to keep a business afloat during tough economic times. It’s no wonder why some consider this subject a best major for business owner people. But since there are few online programs, look for accredited ones that are in good standing. Employers value accredited business programs.

Schools with online bachelor’s in supply chain management:

#14 – Online Bachelor’s in Public Relations

A PR degree equips aspiring business people with:

  • Exposure to different kinds of media and consumers
  • Knowledge in event planning and coordination
  • Strong and effective communication skills

Graduates of online bachelor’s in public relations programs:

  • Are proficient in social media outlets
  • Know how to construct press releases
  • Understand how to network with journalists

These skills help you to communicate better. They also help improve your writing skills.

Courses you take in an undergraduate program include:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Media writing and journalism
  • Principles of marketing
  • Public speaking

You can even couple this degree with a business concentration. Some business degree like a BBA offer a concentration in public relations. But both serve entrepreneurs and aspiring business people as they pursue their goals.

Schools with online PR degree:

#13 – Online Bachelor’s in Advertising

With an advertising bachelor’s degree, you learn how to communicate with clients and the people who work for you. It’s your communication skills that can take your business to another level. In business, you build and develop relationships. These relationships are important to your business. 
 
You build customer loyalty when you are an effective communicator. Most advertising programs, as a result, emphasize communication. It is in such as degree program that you learn how to effectively communicate with your team of professionals, clients, and the community. 
 
Top advertising programs offer courses you can use in different areas of business, from computer science to your own business online. These courses cover topics like:
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Brand management
  • Consumer behavior
  • Media and target markets
  • Research and analytics
And as stated above, you take many communication classes. But you also learn to communicate in business and advertising classes.
 
In these classes, you also learn how to ignite your passions and creativity. You can then bring these new passions into your professional life.
 
And, while you’re earning your business degrees, you can uncover a new passion. Programs offer concentrations that allow you to not only major in business, but also add on a focus area. This means that you can major in business and add on a focus in advertising. You can also do the opposite.
 
New focus areas evolve as business changes. The future of advertising has brought in new concentrations. These include:
  • Social branding
  • Social media

Schools with online bachelor’s in advertising:

#12 – Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management

You need strong business sense to operate a healthcare facility. Healthcare managers find ways to balance patient care and profitability.
 
If you want to work as a healthcare manager, you need a college degree. Your degree blends both healthcare management and business.
 
In such a program, you learn how to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. You gain skills needed to lead and manage teams. You also learn how to handle challenges in this unique business setting.
 
You take courses that cover many business practices. These courses cover topics like:
  • Accounting and budgeting
  • Health administration and management
  • Health information systems
  • Human resource administration
  • Strategic planning
When you graduate, you’re ready to lead a team in a hospital, doctor’s office, or other health setting. You’re also equipped with a unique set of skills to bring with you into other areas of business. 
Healthcare management is a growing field with a favorable job outlook. As the baby boomer population ages, the demand for healthcare managers increases. Now is a great time to go into this field.

Schools with online bachelor’s in healthcare management:

#11 – Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership

Another small business degree online for aspiring business leaders is in organizational leadership. This degree helps you improve your communication skills. It also helps you qualify for entry-level jobs in business.
 
You take courses that cover topics like:
  • Business ethics and law
  • Conflict management
  • Human resources management
  • Leadership communication
  • Recruiting and hiring
These courses help you gain skills to run a business or manage an organization. They focus on resolving conflict and handling challenges. You also learn what it means to be a good leader.
 
You learn what motivates people. You also learn how to motivate your employees or team members. Over time you will develop your own styles and approaches to leadership. But after school, you will have skills needed for business.

Schools with online bachelor’s in organizational leadership:

#10 – Online Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA)

A best degree for small business owner or aspiring business people is the BBA. In this program, you get an overview in business education in four years. You can also take electives or get a specialization in an area of interest.
You can pick up a specialization to help your own business in areas like:
  • Business law
  • Computer science
  • Small business management
With a specialization, you get to explore an interest or uncover a new passion.
 
But the BBA degree program lays a solid foundation for most entry-level business jobs. You take classes like:
  • Accounting principles
  • Business administration
  • Economics
  • Human resource management
In these classes, you gain knowledge of business processes that impact your own business. You also learn different marketing principles that will help you launch your business. But you will also learn strategies for running both small and large businesses.
 
As a best degree for starting your own business, a BBA will help you grow and succeed.

Schools with an online business administration degree:

#9 – Online Bachelor’s in Marketing

Marketing is another best degree to start a business. Why? Because in a marketing degree program, you learn how marketing drives your own business. You also learn how it improves growth and profit.
 
A marketing degree prepares you with your own business foundation. In such a program, you study:
  • Communications
  • Marketing strategies
  • Market research
You learn how to determine which factors impact business. You take classes like:
  • Brand management
  • Consumer behavior
  • Internet marketing
  • Leadership and management
You can then take your knowledge and apply it to your own business venture. Aspiring business owners learn about consumerism and behavior. You might even take a psychology class on consumer behavior.

Schools with online bachelor’s in marketing degree:

#8 – Online Bachelor’s in Business Technology

In today’s business world, few organizations operate without an internet presence. Learning business technology is essential for a successful business owner. That’s why a degree in business technology helps.
 
In this program, you take courses like:
  • Business systems analysis
  • IT management
  • Operations management
  • Strategic planning
You learn how technology systems help your small or large business. You also learn how to use these technologies in a meaningful way.
 
But you also gain knowledge that gives you an edge over your competition. You not only learn about good business practices, but also about technology. This technology improves efficiency. It also improves productivity.
 
Business technology is one of the best degrees for business owners.

Schools with online technology degree:

#7 – Online Bachelor’s in Economics

Another top degree for business owners is a bachelor’s in economics. In this degree program, you learn about theories behind business practices.
 
You also learn about economic principles and future business trends. You need this knowledge to run your own business or manage one.
 
Common courses you take include:
  • Accounting
  • Business statistics
  • Economic theory
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
If you’re interested in a certain area of business, you can pick up a specialization. You can also take electives that explore your interests.
 
But all economics courses teach you how to:
  • Analyze trends
  • Forecast growth or decline
  • Improve business performance
No matter what area of business you want to pursue, an economics degree will help.

Schools with online economics degree:

#6 – Online Bachelor’s in Finance

Finance is a specialized area of business. Accredited online business degrees in finance prepare you for business ownership. It also prepares you for work in other areas of business.
 
Students gain foundational and in-depth skills in:
  • Financial analysis
  • Statistics
  • Taxation
You can apply these skills in any area of business, including small business.
 
Because of the preparation a finance degree offers, you can apply this degree to jobs as:
  • Independent financial analysts
  • Portfolio managers
  • Risk managers
Why is the degree so versatile? Because you explore different business topics like:
  • Business law
  • Ethics
  • Financial modeling
  • Portfolio management
Since most businesses fail due to cash-flow problems, having an edge in finance helps. This degree teaches you how to succeed in business and mitigate risks.

Schools with online finance degree:

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#5 – Online Bachelor’s in International Business

International business is for students who want to learn global business practices. This degree benefits business owners because it covers global commerce.
 
But you also take plenty of foundational business classes. Courses cover topics like:
  • Business ethics
  • Communications
  • Global commerce
  • International marketing
Like most online business programs, international business programs offer flexible schedules. You can enroll full- or part-time, depending on program requirements. This flexibility is good for current business people.
 
Some students pick up a specialization or a second major. The major doesn’t have to be in business. But some students find a foreign language helpful.
 
Other students take foreign language classes while majoring in business. You study Spanish or Korean. You learn a language you love. You also learn a language that will benefit your future business.
 
If you’re interested in global operations, a degree in international business might help.

Schools with online international business degree:

#4 – Online Bachelor’s in Communications

An online communications degree helps business owners learn how to communicate. You learn how to motivate people. You also learn about team dynamics.
 
The business world needs effective communicators. Communication is critical for entrepreneurs and business owners. That’s why this degree helps. Effective communicators know how to brand their message. They also target specific audiences.
 
In a communications program, you develop strong interpersonal skills. You also learn how communication improves performance.
 
You study topics like:
  • Business communication
  • Mass media
  • Public relations management
This degree helps you learn how to operate a successful business. Because without good communication skills, your work relationships can fail.

Schools with online communications degree:

#3 – Online Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship

One of the top online degrees for business owners is an entrepreneurship degree. You can earn a standalone degree in this subject or combine it with a BBA.
 
Entrepreneurship programs prepare you with management skills. You learn how to start, grow, and manage a business. You also learn how to keep a business growing when there’s a downturn in the economy or you face challenges. 
 
As a business owner, the degree helps. You take courses that lay a foundation for running any type of business. From running an engineering firm to a craft store, you can pick up useful skills that will help you understand your business from the ground up. You also gain useful leadership skills that help make you a team leader. 
 
You take courses in:
  • Accounting
  • Business management
  • Business strategies
  • Marketing
  • Organizational management
  • Performance management
Current business owners may find that an online entrepreneurship degree offers flexibility unlike an accounting degree or another degree in something specific like:
  • Computer science
  • Financial aspects of business
  • Web development
In an online computer science program, for example, you also take classes in entrepreneurship. Flexible classes don’t disrupt your business affairs.
 
But some programs are flexible in other ways. Some let you design your own program. You take classes that help you fulfill specific career goals. You might take a class in social media branding. You might also take more management classes.
 
But the end result is a degree that helps you succeed in business.

Schools with online entrepreneurship degree:

#2 – Online Bachelor’s in Small Business Management

Small business management provides a degree path for aspiring business owners. It’s considered one of the best online degrees for business owners.
 
In this program, you explore topics in:
  • Business ethics
  • Sales and marketing
  • Strategic development
  • Taxation
You learn the ins and outs of running a small business. You also learn what it takes to operate a business and how to succeed in a competitive market.
 
You take courses that explore topics in:
  • Accounting
  • Business management principles
  • Financial aspects
  • Marketing strategies
If you’re already a business owner, you learn how to hire employees. But beyond hiring, you gain insight into what makes a good team. You also learn the principles of leading a team.
Even if you aren’t planning to launch a business, a degree in small business management can benefit you and your plans. This degree prepares you with useful skills for any industry. From HR to health management, your business degree can open doors to a successful career path.

Schools with online small business management degree:

#1 – Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree

An online MBA from an accredited college is one of the best degrees for business owners.
 
MBA programs combine leadership and business knowledge. You learn how to grow your business in emerging markets.
 
Plan on taking classes that cover topics like:
  • Business perspectives
  • Economics for global decision makers
  • Organizational leadership
  • Strategic management
In an MBA program, you can also pick up a specialization. This is an area of focus that meets your career goals or interests. You can tailor your degree program to a specific niche like:
  • Finance
  • Information technology
  • Marketing
  • Project management
With a specialization, you graduate with an MBA in a particular focus area. Your degree becomes more versatile with the added focus.

Schools with online MBA degree:

No Degree? Take This Business Class

You are valuable to your business if you have the right schooling and training. But what happens if you don’t want to earn a degree? Can you take a business class that will help you with your career?

Yes. There are other ways to gain skills without earning a college degree. And one of those ways is to take a class that will teach you what you need to get started in business.

1. Introduction to business management

In any introductory class, you learn principles that lay a foundation. In a business management class, you learn the basics of business. This is an introduction to the private enterprise system.
You learn basic business principles and the fundamentals of other subjects, such as:
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
You don’t delve deeply into these subjects, but you do cover the basics.

BDP Staff

April 2022

Related:

This concludes the 20 best online degrees for business owners.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief