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Traditional degree programs can be time-consuming and expensive, making it difficult for some students to achieve their career goals. Fortunately, online business degrees offer students a flexible way to complete their education and advance their professional careers without breaking the bank.

Online business degree programs offer the same high-quality education as traditional programs at a fraction of the cost. These programs are cheaper and let you complete coursework on your own schedule, making it easier to balance your schoolwork with other responsibilities.

To help you find the right program, here’s a closer look at the best free online business degree programs available and the advantages of earning your business degree online.

Why Should You Earn Your Business Degree Online?

Earning a business degree online offers numerous advantages, making it an attractive option for aspiring professionals.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Flexibility: Online degree programs provide the flexibility to study at your own pace and convenience. Asynchronous courses allow you to access lectures and course materials whenever it suits you best, making balancing your education with work, family, and other commitments easier.
  • Cost savings: Pursuing a business degree online can significantly reduce the financial burden compared to attending a traditional on-campus program. Online programs often have lower tuition fees and eliminate additional expenses such as commuting, housing, and textbooks. Some institutions also offer free online business degree programs, allowing you to acquire valuable knowledge without incurring costs.
  • Diverse course offerings: Online business degree programs cover various subjects, allowing you to specialize in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or international business. With many courses available, you can tailor your education to suit your career goals and interests.
  • More options: Online programs provide access to prestigious universities and business schools worldwide, allowing you to learn from renowned faculty members and network with professionals from different industries and cultures, expanding your horizons and enhancing your career prospects.

While online programs are great for some students, they aren’t the right choice for everyone. Online programs require the discipline and motivation to complete your coursework independently, making them less ideal for students who need a rigid learning structure. Attending an online program will also have fewer networking opportunities than in a traditional program.

Before choosing to pursue a degree online, consider your learning preferences carefully to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.

What Can You Do with a Business Degree?

A business degree will teach you various valuable skills, preparing you for diverse career opportunities. Depending on your career goals, you may also be able to choose a specialization, such as finance, to better prepare you for your desired position.

Earning a business degree can equip you with skills for numerous career paths. To give you an idea, here are a few examples.

Budget analyst

Budget analysts play a crucial role in organizations by helping them make informed financial decisions. They work with public and private organizations to help them plan their finances, which often includes assessing budget proposals, analyzing financial data, and providing recommendations to improve efficiency and profitability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), budget analysts earned a median annual wage of $79,940 in 2021, and the job growth for this occupation is projected to be 3% from 2021 to 2031.


Fundraisers generate funds for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other charitable causes. They develop and implement fundraising strategies, organize events, and cultivate donor relationships. Fundraisers are essential for any organization that depends on donations to continue operating.

The BLS reports that fundraisers earned a median annual wage of $60,660 in 2021, and the job outlook for this field is expected to grow by 11% from 2021 to 2031.

Management analyst

Management analysts, also known as consultants, help organizations improve their efficiency and profitability. They analyze business operations, identify problems, and recommend solutions to enhance productivity. Management analysts often spend much time traveling to meet with clients nationwide.

The BLS states that management analysts earned a median annual wage of $93,000 in 2021, and the job growth in this field is projected to be 11% from 2021 to 2031.

Project management specialist

Project management specialists are responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring projects to ensure successful outcomes. They coordinate team members, manage budgets, and ensure projects are completed within the specified timeframe. Project management specialists are essential for ensuring projects run smoothly so the organization can achieve its objectives.

According to the BLS, project management specialists earned a median annual salary of $95,400 in 2021, and employment in the field is expected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031.


Executives, such as CEOs, CFOs, and presidents, hold top-level positions and make high-level decisions that dictate the organization’s future. They make strategic decisions, set goals, and provide overall direction for the company.

The BLS reports that top executives earned a median annual wage of $98,980 in 2021, but it’s important to note that these positions often require significant experience and expertise. While a bachelor’s degree is enough for many jobs in business, you’ll typically need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a similar degree to become an executive.

The 50 Best Free Online Business Programs

Best Free Online Business Programs Badge 2024

MIT Open Learning

Harvard University

Columbia Business School

Yale University

Princeton University

Dartmouth College

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Duke University

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Rice University

University of Chicago

UC Berkeley Extension

University of Virginia

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

University of Colorado

Cornell University

University of Florida

Northwestern University

Emory University Goizueta Business School

University of Michigan

UMD Smith School of Business

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Gies College of Business

The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business

NYU Stern School of Business

The State University of New York

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies

How We Rank Schools

This list features the country’s best free online business degree programs. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution, either public or private, with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of the best free online business degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.