Despite debates on the necessity of a bachelor's degree, the benefits of higher education in business management are undeniable. According to the Education Data Initiative, the lifetime median return on investment for the average bachelor’s degree is 287.7 percent. So your bachelor's degree will likely pay for itself several times over in additional future earnings.

Yet, for many working professionals, deciding whether or not to return to school is challenging. Concerns over time and financial investments, along with juggling work, family, and study commitments, often contribute to this hesitation.

If you're a working professional hoping to advance your career, but you’re uncertain if a bachelor's degree in business is the right path for you, here’s an overview of the degree's benefits, the differences between formal education and on-the-job learning, and how an online degree can maximize your investment.

Take the next step towards completing your bachelor's degree. Download our free guide!

Download Your Guide

Is a Business Management Degree a Good Investment?

Earning a business management degree is a good investment for anyone hoping to advance their career in the business world. It provides a comprehensive understanding of fundamental business practices, enhances critical thinking and strategic planning skills, and opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it can also directly enhance your earning potential. For example, professionals without a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $44,000 to $48,000 per year, while individuals with a bachelor’s degree can earn an average annual salary of almost $75,000.

“A bachelor's degree in business management doesn’t just give you a valuable credential to high paying jobs though,” says William Koehler, Dean of Regis’s Sloane School of Business and Communication. “It gives you the tools you need to be successful in the next step of your career.”

Since higher education offers so many positive career benefits, it’s important to highlight the differences between formal business education and on-the-job training.

Bachelor’s Degree vs. On-the-Job Learning

Professional development comes in many forms, but perhaps the most common methods are formal education and on-the-job training. While learning on the job is often an easier, cheaper way of developing your skill set, it doesn’t replace the insight a degree can offer you.

“When we move into any profession without a firm educational background under us we have to learn by doing,” Koehler says. “This is a tremendously valuable, lasting way of learning, but takes place with several gaps in knowledge.”

For example, while earning a project manager position at a technology company through on-the-job technical learning is commendable, it doesn’t prepare you for your future managerial responsibilities.

Formal education in business management can help you with these limitations by touching on all aspects of business—not just the ones that apply to your current role. This equips you for future positions and enhances your effectiveness in your current job.

“Too often professionals get siloed in their roles and they don't necessarily understand how what they do fits into the bigger picture,” Koehler continues.

Not every professional has the time or money to enroll in an in-person program though. Here are four ways an online degree can maximize your educational investment.

Four Ways Online Learning Maximizes Your Investment in a Business Management Degree

1. Improves Technical Expertise

An online business management degree can significantly enhance your technical expertise. By engaging with online course materials, participating in virtual courses, and completing assignments with digital tools, you can develop a skill set that's highly valued in the modern workplace.

“We want our students to be prepared for the next generation of business with our online degree,” Koehler says.

One of the most important aspects of the modern workplace is the prevalence of remote work. According to a 2023 WFH report, 12.7 percent of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2 percent work a hybrid model. As a result, enrolling in an online business management degree program can effectively prepare you for a constantly shifting workplace environment.

Technical expertise extends beyond using business-related digital tools though. It also requires the ability to analyze problems, evaluate solutions, and make informed decisions in complex work environments. This allows you to creatively and efficiently tackle challenges and innovate in any field.

“Critical thinking and creative problem solving is at the heart of adapting to new circumstances,” Koehler says. “So we're not teaching students how to use tools like Microsoft Excel, we’re showing them how these tools can help them excel in their career.”

2. Offers Flexibility

Online programs offer unparalleled flexibility compared to in-person courses. You can access lectures, course materials, and assignments at any time, from anywhere. This flexibility allows you to maintain your current job and personal responsibilities while advancing your education.

“This flexibility is so important because your education isn’t just a financial investment,” Koehler says. “It's also a huge investment in your time.”

This explains why 63 percent of higher education students choose to study online for the flexibility of virtual learning, with more than two in five online learners committing to a program that fits in with their current schedule.

Whether you’re a working parent or a young professional, there are several personal commitments that can get in the way of going back to school. An online business degree program, however, offers various paths to degree completion.

“We work with students to build a schedule term by term that meets their professional and academic needs and allows them to continue to progress at the pace they want to,” Koehler says.

3. Reduces Overall Costs

While it's a common misconception that online degrees are significantly cheaper than in-person programs, the tuition rates are comparable. However, this doesn't take into account the broader financial picture.

Some common factors that affect the overall cost of a degree include:

  • Commuting costs
  • Housing fees
  • Working while in school

These indirect savings contribute to the financial appeal of online business management degree programs for many students.

Another cost-related factor is enrolling in a bachelor’s degree completion program, which is designed for professionals with some college credits aiming to finish their undergraduate degree. These programs are especially suitable if you’ve started your education but couldn't complete it due to various reasons.

“Given the way the pricing is done for these bachelor's completion programs, it's roughly comparable to paying for community college,” Koehler says.

At Regis College, up to 90 credits can be transferred if they are above a grade of C, though this varies across institutions based on credit evaluation. To make your online education more affordable through credit transfer, contact admissions to see how many of your credits qualify.

4. Enhances Networking Opportunities

Networking is an essential element of any degree program. It opens you up to diverse perspectives from your peers, faculty, and industry professionals.

Networking in an online business management degree program offers a unique advantage by connecting students with a global community. This digital networking environment can expose you to opportunities not available in conventional, in-person programs.

“Even though the classes are online, they contain elements that get students working together,” Koehler says.

For one, effective online degree programs leverage group work to teach students how to work collaboratively in remote settings.

“All of the classes will have some elements of group work to them,” Koehler continues. “Most people despise group work with a passion, but the real world requires teamwork. And a good business program enables you to be a more effective team member and leader.”

In many ways, group work in online degree programs reflects today's workforce. Students tackle remote projects that require communication, delegation, and problem-solving across time zones and platforms to mimic common business challenges.

Is an Online Business Management Degree Right For You?

If you’re apprehensive about investing in your continued education, there are plenty of business management programs that go beyond traditional textbooks.

“Regis’ mission is focused on equity and social justice, and it’s such an important part of what we do, we end up teaching business a little differently,” Koehler says. “It's business education with a more human face, which makes it easier for our students to adapt to different environments.”

If you’re interested in taking the next steps to further your career, Regis’ Business Management degree completion program is tailored to students who want to get their education back on track. With flexible enrollment options, the program is designed to meet the needs of working individuals. Prospective students can transfer credits from past coursework and continue to expand their business management and leadership skills through Regis’s dynamic curriculum.

For more information about the benefits of completing your degree, contact an admissions counselor to find out if the Regis learning experience aligns with your career goals.

Download the free guide
Published Date