A management degree is essentially a one-way ticket to job security, a comfortable salary, and the opportunity to shine as a leader in your chosen field. A manager is tasked with overseeing (or managing) a group of employees. It sounds simple but there is a lot that goes into filling this role. You may be responsible for managing promotional endeavors at your company, evaluating employee productivity, holding your employees accountable for hitting their targets, and more. A management degree will prepare you to step into a management role in the industry you choose and that is just the first step. There are typically plenty of opportunities to advance your career from within a company as well.

There are a lot of ways you can customize your management degree, too, in order to tailor your studies to your field of expertise. Programs are offered across a wide variety of disciplines including Public Administration, Healthcare, Sports Management, Engineering, Information Technology, Human Resources, and more. The most common management degree programs are in business and many universities will offer additional concentrations. Some concentrations you may be able to choose from are things like Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Multinational Management, Supply Chain and Operations Management, or Marketing/Advertising/PR Management.

The core curriculum in a management degree program is going to cover the fundamentals of business and management. That means you’ll take courses like Strategic Planning & Operational Analysis, Business in a Changing Society, Organizational Behavior, and more. The concentration or electives that you choose will build upon that foundation and result in you having a relevant and professionally applicable education.

Doctorate Degrees in Management

Despite the massive growth in management as a career field, there are few options for advanced education. Your best option is generally to earn a Doctor of Business Administration. However, degrees like Doctor of Management, or a PhD in Project Management do exist. A doctorate degree in management is going to put you ahead in an increasingly competitive job market and could also prepare you to teach the next generation of leaders in business.

Doctorate programs in management are advanced programs that dive deep into management and leadership theory, business operations, and often include a research component. For this ranking, we focused specifically on management programs and not DBA programs as a whole. There are plenty of online options if you’d like to earn a general DBA, which would also prepare you for a career in management. Many of these are hybrid programs that would require you to come to campus sometimes on occasion, or sometimes as much as ten times per academic year.

With a doctorate in management, you would have better opportunities for career advancement. You could work conducting research for the field, as a professor at a college or university, as part of a government agency, in an executive position in the corporate world, or create your own business as an independent consultant. This advanced academic preparation will ensure that you’re ready for anything your professional life throws at you — or anything you want to aspire to become.

Earning an Online Doctorate Degree in Management

If you are at the point in your career that you are ready to move on to a management position, it is like that you have a pretty packed schedule and maybe even a family that you take care of. That is a lot to have on your shoulders when you want to earn a doctorate degree. Doctorates take a lot of in-depth studying and can take up a pretty significant chunk of your time. There is also the hurdle of actually getting to college. Can you relocate your whole family? How would you have time to balance classes and work? It is a stressful position to be in.

While there are a lot of hurdles that come with earning an advanced degree, you can do it and it is definitely worth it. Online education programs are not going to solve all of your problems but the opportunity to study at a distance makes a doctorate in management so much more accessible. By choosing to study online, you can allay your fears of having to relocate or juggle work and school. That is because you can complete your coursework wherever you have an internet connection and often, you can login and work on your classes at any time of the day or night that works for you.

Another benefit of online education is that there are typically fewer costs associated with it because there are not as many fees to pay and you won’t be living on a college campus. Online students are often still eligible for financial aid, scholarships, and a host of amazing student services offered by the institution they are digitally attending. If an online doctorate in management seems like a good fit for you, check out the programs we’ve ranked below. All of the schools featured were ranked according to the following.

Methodology

Ranking the best online doctoral programs in management began with compiling a list of all of the schools that offered at least one such program, either in a fully-online or hybrid delivery format. We also made sure to include only those schools that are based in the United States, hold proper accreditation, and do not operate with a for-profit model. The schools that met our initial ranking criteria were then scored out of a possible 300 points. The scores were calculated using the following factors.

  • Freshman Retention Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Graduate Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Affordability (⅓ of final score)

Once each school had a final score, we ranked them according to that number. Some schools that may have otherwise ranked could have been omitted due to insufficient information being available or according to their own wishes. We do not award preferential treatment to any institution, at any time, for any reason.

All of the information used to compile scores and discuss the programs was taken from the schools’ own websites whenever it was available. In the even that we couldn’t find what we were looking for, additional resources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News & World Report, Niche.com, and Collegedata.com were used.

  1. MERIT: 215
    View Profile Average Cost: $45,752

    Doctor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Management

    George Fox University offers an online DBA in Management. The university describes this program as being presented in a hybrid format; however, there are only two residencies per year. The first is eight days long and takes place in May and the second is only four days long and will fall towards the end of July or beginning of August each year that you’re in the program. Outside of those requirements, the entire program is accessible online.

    The degree program consists of 56 total credits and can typically be completed in four years. The curriculum is broken down into a Doctoral Core (21 credits), an Education Core (nine credits), a Management Concentration (nine credits), Research Courses (nine credits), and a Dissertation (eight credits). You will progress through the program in a cohort; however, it is presented in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous components.

    George Fox University assures that you can maintain full-time employment while you study. You will have ample networking opportunities, but you won’t miss out on the overall convenience of an online degree program. The featured courses you’ll take in management are Strategic Management, Organizational Theory and Behavior, and Human Resources Development.

    More Information
  2. MERIT: 214
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,028

    Regent University

    Doctor of Strategic Leadership

    Regent University was the first institution of higher learning in America that offered an online Doctor of Strategic Leadership. The university is also ranked among the top three in Virginia for their online graduate programs in business according to U.S. News & World Report. This isn’t a traditional management program, but it focuses on communication, leadership, structure, and team building in business.

    There is a multitude of concentration areas you can choose from. These include Ecclesial Leadership, Healthcare Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Strategic Leadership, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Human Resource Development, Servant Leadership, Global Consulting, and Strategic Foresight. You can also create an individualized concentration so you can get a tailored education to your goals.

    There are multiple start dates to choose from throughout the year. In total, the program consists of 60 credits and will include two residencies. Each one lasts for a duration of four days, and they’re held on campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Courses cover topics like venture development, leadership theory, leadership analytics, change management, and more. You could see career opportunities in executive leadership and management, consulting, government agencies, and more.

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What is a Management Degree?


A management degree can refer to several different types of degree that all surround the area of management. A manager is responsible for leading people and guiding them to meet their objectives to complete tasks and work projects. There are a lot of responsibilities that come together for that overarching goal. A management degree gives you the understanding of organization, allocating resources, formal hierarchy, and the basic functions of a business. You can pursue these degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Management degrees have a basic curriculum that will cover topics like business analytics, leadership, organizational psychology, and more. Some of the core classes you may encounter when you’re in a management degree program include Management Accounting and Control, Strategic Organizational Design, Social Relations in the Workplace, Technological Innovation Management, Management in the Global Business Environment, and Organizational Behavior.

There are several different types of management degree, and the type that you pursue has to do with the field that you want to enter. If you want to work in human resources, for instance, you would pursue a human resources management degree. If you want to focus specifically on project management, you would pursue a project management degree. You can also choose to add an area of concentration to your degree. The concentration you choose will tailor your education to the career you’d like to obtain in the future after you graduate. Finance management, information systems management, and marketing management are all things that you could consider. Every field needs managers, and there is likely a degree program that will fit your academic needs to fill that role. If there is not a designated program, electives and minors make it easy to get what you need out of the degree program you select.

What is a Business Management Degree?

A business management degree is a type of management degree that focuses on business. You may be able to add a concentration to this degree, but all of your options are going to center around the field of business. A typical option for business management degrees are Business Administration degrees. These programs will equip you with a strong set of skills that will help you to grow, develop, and effectively lead businesses.

A business management degree is not going to be very particular. The core curriculum is going to cover everything from economics to human resources, from analytics to organizational psychology, and beyond. Some of the classes you may encounter in a business management degree program include Global Business Management, Business Systems Development, Accounting Information Systems, Negotiation and Decision Making, Corporate Financial Policy, Compensation and Reward Systems, Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Brand Management, and so much more. These programs are designed to give you all of the knowledge that you need to truly take the reigns and manage a business.

The most common business management degrees are the Bachelor’s in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Business Administration. MBA degrees are some of the most universally applicable degrees that you can obtain.

What Can You Do With a Management Degree?


Management degrees make you incredibly competitive in the job market, and the variety of things you can do with it is virtually limitless. A management degree will give you strong background knowledge in areas like business, finance, marketing, economics, and more. On top of that, the curriculum will also provide you with great skills in communication, organization, leadership, critical thinking, and decision making. These are skills that you can take with you into any job and do well, which is part of what makes this such a versatile degree.

Another thing that makes management so versatile is that there is not one business in the nation that doesn’t require managers. You can use electives, minors, or even entire degree specializations or additional certificates to tailor your program of study to fit the industry that you would like to work in. Risk manager, social media manager, management consultant, and production manager are just some of the positions you would be qualified for with a management degree.

Of course, every organization and every field are going to have their own set of requirements that they have when it comes to filling roles in their businesses. However, here is a look at some common jobs you could get with a management degree.

A risk manager is someone whose job it is to advise businesses on risks to their profitability, reputation, security, and safety. Your job would be to identify and analyze threats to any area of the business and then craft solutions to safeguard a company against those risks. Enterprise risk and corporate governance are some areas you could specialize in as a risk manager.

Production managers are in charge of planning and coordinating manufacturing processes. You could see yourself designing jobs to fit a certain budget, managing teams of people as they do the hands-on production work, ensuring that targets are being met according to the allotted time frame, and more. Textile processing and food production are common industries that employ people in this position.

One of the most straightforward career paths you could choose with your management degree is to go into management consulting. Management consultants use their academic background to analyze a business and help it to improve. You could even be involved in helping build a business from the ground up. You would be tasked with offering objective advice on things like corporate strategy, business structure, operations procedures, and more. This is a research oriented job where you would collect and analyze data from businesses and synthesize that data into actionable advice.

Marketing management, social media management, non-profit management, and several other positions are available to you once you’ve earned your degree in management.

What Can I Do With a Doctorate or PhD in Management?


A PhD is the highest degree that you can hold in any field. By earning a doctorate degree, such as a Doctor of Business Administration or a PhD in Management, you will distinguish yourself as an expert in the field of management. With this advanced level of education, there are a lot of high-level positions that become available to you. Generally speaking, there is no position that you won’t be more than qualified to handle once you’ve graduated from a doctorate program in management. Some benefits of earning a PhD in Management or some other management doctoral degree are increased salary, greater job opportunity and security, and the ability to truly specialize in the area of management that you’re most passionate about or interested in.

Management consulting is one of the most common positions for those with a PhD in Management. This is because companies trust management consultants to be completely self-sufficient. They do not typically report to anyone, and they are in charge of doing what they are hired to do without much oversight at all. In addition, the future of a business is literally in the hands of the management consultant that they hire. Businesses rely on the expert advice that these consultants provide, so the higher your level of education is, the more likely you are to be able to land such a job. This position is sometimes also called a management analyst. It is a very research-driven job. The fundamental research skills you will gain while earning your management PhD are invaluable for this type of work.

You could work as a high-level executive for a company. You could see yourself in charge of the organizational development and direction of a corporation or designing company policies and strategies that keep things moving towards the targets that a business has set for itself. Working as a C-Level executive takes a lot of knowledge, expertise, and experience. A doctorate degree in management will certainly give you all of that and more.

Another obvious option that is sometimes overlooked is that a PhD is the perfect preparation to teach at a college or university, even for managers. You could also become an economist, a market research analyst, and so much more. A PhD in Management is a very widely applicable degree.

What is the Average Management Degree Salary?


Management is a varied field, so the salary that you could see yourself earning is going to vary as well. Different fields within the scope of management and the things you can do with a management degree may have drastically different levels of pay. Of course, your location, level of education, and level of experience in management are all going to have an effect on your salary as well. According to Glassdoor, the average salary in the field of business administration is $63,948 per year. However, because there is no predetermined set of careers you can hold with a management degree, there is not truly a median salary for that degree. It is so widely applicable that something like that is simply impossible to figure.

Instead, we are going to explore some of the common careers in management and the average salary for those careers.

  • Financial Management: $121,750
  • Food Service Management: $50,820
  • Health Care Administration: $83,810
  • Human Resources Management: $106.910
  • Marketing Management: $131,180
  • Sales Management: $117,960

With a management degree, the level of that degree is going to translate to better job opportunities and thus, higher salaries. It has been reported that a BBA can add as much as $5,000 per year to your salary, and an MBA can add as much as $11,000 per year. With a doctorate degree in management, you can also expect to see those numbers go up. When you have a graduate degree in management, you are qualified for higher level positions in the field, which may also lead to better benefits, bonuses, profit sharing, and more. All of these would tip the salary scales even more in your favor.

The highest paid careers you can hold with a bachelor’s degree in management include the following. Adding a concentration area to your degree will prepare you for these careers.

  • Management Information Systems: $59,642
  • Actuarial Science: $56,114
  • Economics: $55,964
  • Logistics/Supply Chain Management: $55,694
  • Finance: $55,609

Of course, you can get a more specialized education at the master’s level, and some of the highest paid careers you can get with an MBA include the following.

  • Marketing: $86,318
  • Business Administration/Management: $81,685
  • Management Information Systems: $75,433
  • Economics: $73,665
  • Human Resources: $73,655

The average salary for someone who holds a Doctor of Business Administration is $71,977. The low end of the spectrum starts off around $45,000 per year, and the high end caps off at $108,000 per year according to Payscale. When accounting for bonuses, profit sharing, and commission, the total pay comes out to around $112,000.

What Management Associations and Organizations Can I Join?


Joining an association or organization in your field can be a very beneficial thing. It allows you to connect with like-minded people, provides you with great networking opportunities, and more. You can also pursue professional development through the group that you join and will have something great to add to your resume.

The organizations available to you depend on your area of specialization. If you want something more general, you have the American Management Association. There is also the Turnaround Management Association, which may be a great choice for a management consultant. There are close to 20 different organizations for those of you whose career is centered around sales or marketing.

If you work in Information Technology, there are 21 different associations and organizations. There are close to 25 in finance or accounting. Your options will vary depending on what area you have focused your management degree in. Some other options to consider include the Society for Human Resource Management, American Society of Administrative Professionals, Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals, and the International Association of Administrative Professionals.