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The most popular online degree is Business Administration, according to US News & World Report. One of the reasons could be the versatility of the degree, since students study topics ranging from analytics to management skills. The degree also affords the choice of specializing in specialities as accounting, finance, management, or marketing. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 6 million working Americans hold a bachelor’s degree in business. Also, the compensation is attractive as PayScale.com reports the median salary for a finance manager, for example, at $90,000. Another consideration is the gap between the earnings of full-time workers whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree and those of high school graduates grows from 54% or $15,200 for those 25- to 29-years-old, to 86% ($32,000) for those 45- to 49-years-old.

A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration degree program offers working adults the opportunity to develop their business acumen through advanced courses. Colleges offering programs with minimal prerequisite requirements and no time limits on transferable units may be completed in a few as 16 months. We stress that this quick completion is dependent on any prior college credits that may be transferred. Particularly, if you have an associate degree in hand. The system used by the ‘fast-track’ business degree programs is through a 5 to 10 week semester. Some schools offer the choice of 7.5 and 15 week classes. Many online schools have year-round start dates or rolling start dates for classes.

As we mentioned above, there are specialties under the business umbrella, such as finance. Students interested in this area can complete an online bachelor’s in as few as 18 months. Some schools offer what has been referred to as competency-based education (CBE). Self-paced CBE courses focus on efficiency and relevancy, and emphasize project-based assessments and real-world scenarios. This format is designed by professionals in your field of study to make the courses directly applicable to real-world situations. Also, the benefit of a self-paced format is that you can take 2 weeks or 10 weeks to complete a course. You set the pace and the number of courses you take simultaneously. This format is not unique to business degrees, but is utilized among a variety of college programs.

Another accelerant for your bachelor’s degree can be work or military experience or current certifications. Online colleges may provide credit for past or present employment, for example, you are or have worked for an accounting firm or department. This experience may be credited as college transfers, which will decrease the total courses needed to graduate. Also, if you’ve earned your Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, this may be transferable as credits towards your finance/business degree. Check with an admissions advisor with your prospective college/university for an assessment of applicable work experience, certifications, military and corporate training, and even volunteer work. Military personnel and veterans may request a copy of their Joint Service Transcript (JST) be sent directly to your selected school’s Office of the Registrar.

There are also a limited number of schools offering a format wherein you study the material with no required assignments or mentor interaction. After studying a section of the materials, you take an online quiz. Your score does not count towards the course final grade, but it allows you to concentrate on areas you need to study more. Plus, there is no limit to the number of quizzes you may take. Formats of this type may allow you to complete your baccalaureate degree within 2 years.

If an undergraduate degree is what you desire, and speed is what you need, then we invite you to read our article on the fastest online bachelor degrees. Or if a top affordable online bachelor’s degree in business is your preference, please check out our piece on this topic.