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How to choose an online business degree

A student wears headphones and holds a pen whilst attending an online class on her laptop.

Studying online is a fantastic option for those who want the flexibility to study wherever they are, at times that suit them. Once you have decided on this route, however, you may find yourself left with too much choice.

It’s not the worst of problems to have. Choosing to learn virtually means you are not limited to studying at a university that happens to be close to you or is situated in a place with affordable rent. Instead, online study means you can study at establishments based anywhere in the world.

With so many possible universities to study your degree at, how do you choose? Here are some factors to consider when picking an online business program.

Future plans

Getting a degree in itself shows an employer that you can show commitment and determination. If you have an exact career path in mind, though, you will want to think seriously about which particular program you are going to enrol in.

At undergraduate level, you can opt for general courses such as business management or business studies. These will cover all aspects of the field, allowing you to showcase a range of skills and expertise, and leaving room for you to take time to choose your specialty.

If you are confident in what you want to do in your career, you can go for a specialized program, for example human resource management, business analytics, accounting and finance or strategic marketing.

You can study all of these programs at postgraduate level as well. Often people will do a business management bachelor’s degree and then choose a more specific program for their master’s once they get a better idea of different occupations within the business world.

Another popular program recognised worldwide is the master of business administration, known as the MBA.


A degree’s accreditation determines its value in the job market. Even if you achieved high grades throughout your studies, if your program is not recognised by an accrediting body, employers may overlook you in favor of those who have studied more reputable degrees.

Your course being accredited means it meets the standards set by an accrediting body. Often these bodies are founded by the government or are a part of well-known private players in the education sector.

When reading about a program, check to see if it is accredited. If it is, research the accrediting body and check out its reputation and employability rates.


Everyone knows that going to college is expensive and just because you are studying online, it doesn't mean you are going to do so cheaply.

Gaining a business degree is an investment so it is going to set you back. However, they will vary in price.

Work out what your budget is going to be for the duration of your studies. Will you be working alongside your degree? Are you going to pay in installments or all upfront? Knowing how much you are able to pay might give you an idea of which programs are right for you.

Remember, price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. A school that receives a lot of applicants may put up their fees just because they can, but this does not mean that you are learning any less elsewhere. You will find many cheaper universities offering similar course content and expert teaching at a price that is better value for money.


You have chosen to study online for the convenience of being able to learn from home, but how flexible are the programs you’re interested in beyond this?

Some may have strict timetables of virtual lessons that you are not allowed to miss, whilst others will provide access to session recordings so you can catch up. Some will have designated office hours to have one-to-one sessions with your tutors, whereas others will work to find a time convenient for you. Some will be full-time only, whilst others will have part-time or learn-at-your-own-pace structures, too.

Think about how much flexibility you will require. Some learners enjoy the motivation to complete assignments quickly that comes with having a full schedule. For many people, the freedom to complete their studies when they want is the desired path.

Course content

You are going to spend a lot of hours working on your degree so it is important that you actually enjoy what you’re learning.

When you research online programs, you will be able to read what modules each one consists of on their respective websites. Consider what areas of business you are most interested in and what skills you need to achieve your career goals and look for courses aligned with these.

A priority is to look at how your study will be assessed. Is it exams or essays or practical work or a mix? Everyone learns differently and has different study skills, so make sure you choose a program that is delivered and assessed in a way that will maximise your potential and will not leave you struggling.

Choose from a range of affordable, flexible online business degrees with Eton University.


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