What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Management Program?

In an online master’s in management program, you can expect the same experienced instructors and rigorous curriculum that you would find in an on-campus program. Also, by eliminating the need to commute to campus, online programs provide students with more time for work, family, and any other commitments that they may have. Remember that no two online master’s in management programs are exactly alike, so looking around and finding the best option for your needs and goals is important.

Available concentrations

If you already know which industry you would like to be a manager in, you should find a program that allows you to focus your studies on this specialty. Some of the most common concentration options for a master’s in management include:

  • Human Resources: With this concentration, students learn the skills needed to deal effectively with people during various stages of the employment cycle.
  • Information Technology Management: IT managers perform many of the same tasks as traditional managers for software development, network planning, and technical support.
  • Marketing: Marketing managers develop strategies to improve awareness, sales, and customer loyalty for a company’s products and services. They run advertising campaigns and help create promotional materials.
  • Supply Chain Management: This concentration covers improving the productivity and efficiency of logistical operations.

Common degree curriculum

A master’s degree in management is similar to an MBA but provides additional information on managerial principles and introductory knowledge on entrepreneurship and leadership. 

The online curriculum for a master’s degree in management typically includes a combination of core classes and electives. Some programs may also require students to complete a capstone project or internship. While the exact curriculum will depend on which school you attend and whether you pursue a concentration, there are a few fundamental subjects covered in just about every online master’s in management program, including:

  • Financial Management: Teaches the basics of financial planning, budgeting, and investing.
  • Applied Business Statistics: Reviews how to choose the correct statistical tools to measure a company’s performance.
  • Microeconomics: Studies the behavior of individuals and firms when making decisions regarding the allocation of resources.
  • Operations Management: Focuses on planning and implementing the activities that service and manufacturing companies engage in.
  • Business Communication: Explains the industry standard for drafting memos, letters, and reports.

Certification and license preparation

After earning your master’s degree, you should consider furthering your education through professional certification programs. Such programs can help you expand your skill set, bolster your resume, and advance your career. Some of the most valuable certifications in this field include:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management: Offered by the Project Management Institute, this certification demonstrates your understanding of the terminology and processes used in project management.
  • Project Management Professional: Also offered by the Project Management Institute, the PMP certification demonstrates an advanced understanding of leading and directing projects.
  • Master Project Manager: The MPM certification signifies that you have the skills to bring about dramatic changes in a company by creating, directing, and implementing programs.
  • CompTIA Project+: This certification validates learning and skills for IT project management.
  • Certified Scrum Master: With this certification, you can prove to employers that you are familiar with the values, practices, and applications of the scrum management framework.

Program accreditation

Only apply to schools approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. If your school doesn’t have regional accreditation, you may have trouble accessing financial aid or transferring credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your program will also be accredited by an industry group such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education — these organizations have exceptionally high stands for business-related degree programs.

Program completion timeframe

Online master’s in management programs usually require about 36 credit hours. When attending school full-time, it can take between 18 months to two years to earn this degree. Part-time students may need as many as five years. 

Cohort programs involve completing courses simultaneously with the same group of students. If you want to earn your degree quickly, look for an asynchronous program instead, as this will allow you to progress at your own pace.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Management Graduates

This degree is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to earn a high income. Regardless of your industry, most management positions offer six-figure salaries.

Of course, you should adjust your salary expectations according to where you plan to work. For example, the average salary for administrative service managers in New York is over $60,000 higher than in West Virginia.

While only a bachelor’s degree is required for most management positions, earning a master’s still offers career benefits. In some industries, management roles are only expected to grow at an average pace over the next decade, which means there may be a fair amount of competition for any given job opportunity — a higher level of education will help you stand out from other candidates and improve your odds of getting hired.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers create and implement plans to generate interest in products and services.

$140,040

7%

Sales Manager

Sales managers direct sales teams by setting goals, analyzing data, and developing training programs.

$130,600

4%

Top Executive

Top executives oversee entire organizations. They supervise managers and coordinate the operational activities for all employees.

$100,090

3%

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers hire and recruit new employees and handle the administrative functions of an organization.

$130,000

5%

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers ensure that the support services within an organization meet their goals. They may supervise various office tasks, including record keeping, mail distribution, and general upkeep.

$101,870 

5%

Professional organizations

Professional organizations can help you stay current on industry trends and legislation related to management. These organizations also often provide networking opportunities, like annual conferences and online forums. Consider some of these top professional organizations for those with a master’s in management:

  • North American Society for Sports Management: NASSM assists professionals in the sports, leisure, and recreation industries and holds an annual conference for education and networking.
  • National Management Association: NMA is a nonprofit organization representing various industry managers. The group holds online seminars and connects members for networking opportunities.
  • Project Management Institute: Founded in 1969, PMI has millions of members worldwide. The organization provides continuing education, publications, and events for networking.
  • Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM is the largest HR professional society in the world. They offer certification, training, and educational programs.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Management Degree

Online degree programs are usually cheaper than traditional on-campus programs, but you still may need financial assistance. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which gives you information on grants, loans, and scholarships provided by the federal government. Many state-level agencies and private organizations also offer financial aid programs.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

Many financing options are available, and it can be challenging to determine what you should do after submitting your FAFSA. The resources listed below will help you make sense of your financial aid situation and save as much money as possible.

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Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.