Study General Management: Bachelor's, Associate & Online Degree Info

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What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's and bachelor's degree in general management? Find out degree requirements, online options and info on courses in general management.
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General Management Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

While general management bachelor's degree programs are available, at the associate's degree level, this program is often found as a specialization within a business management program. Entry-level management positions in many companies and organizations require a bachelor's degree; however, with an associate's degree and experience, you could work as a supervisor or manager in a retail store or small business. Graduates of these programs will be prepared for jobs in many different industries and fields. Careers are available as training and development managers, sales managers, human resources managers and administrative service managers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career growth in this field varies depending on the position. For example, the BLS indicated that sales managers could expect 12% growth from 2010-2020, while human resources managers could expect faster-than-average growth of 21%. Retail sales worker supervisors were only projected to see 8% growth for the same time period.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to transfer to 4-year schools or pursue entry-level management jobs Those who want management jobs with companies and corporations
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Retail sales supervisor ($41,000)
- Non-retail sales supervisor ($82,000) *
The following positions may require 1-5 years of related work experience.
- Sales manager ($117,000) *
- Human resource manager ($109,000) *
- Training and development manager ($99,000) *
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements About 20-24 courses
About 40-48 courses
Prerequisites High school diploma High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's Degree in General Management

With a general management specialization in a business management associate's degree program, students will be prepared to continue their education or enter the job market. The program teaches students basic business skills and educates them about different business practices and principles. In this program, you will have an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and learn what it takes to work in management positions. You can acquire problem-solving skills and learn about ethical business practices. These programs are suited for those just entering the workforce or for working managers who want to continue their education.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Acquire basic skills needed to pursue entry-level business positions
  • May have an advantage for advancement over high school graduates*
  • Population growth is expected to increase retail sales, which could potentially improve your chances of finding a retail sales or manager position*

Cons

  • Depending on the industry you choose to work in, you may not work typical business hours (weekends and evenings may be required)*
  • Supervisory or management positions often require work experience (1-5 years)*
  • Because many employers look for applicants with bachelor's degrees, you may have a difficult time finding an entry-level management job with an associate's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

In general management programs, students are required to complete general education requirements and introductory business classes. While general education courses include English, mathematics and humanities, introductory courses cover topics in finance, accounting and computers. Courses related to management will teach students about business regulations, performance management, project management, labor relations, human resources and employee training. You can also learn about employment law, organizational behavior and performance management. In some programs, you can expect to complete a team project to meet graduation requirements.

Online Course Options

Online associate's degree programs are available in business management for individuals who have professional or personal obligations that prevent them from completing courses on-campus. You will take the same courses in an online program that you would on-campus. Lectures and readings can be viewed online, and students will be able to complete assignments on their own time.

How to Stand Out

In order to stand out among other applicants when you enter the job market, you might want to start enhancing your skills while in school. One method is to acquire technological skills, which may improve your employment prospects. Understanding how to market and advertise over the Internet or sell products could make you a valuable member of a business. In addition to taking introductory computer classes, you could enroll in elective technology courses that teach you about spreadsheet applications, business software or personnel management software, such as PeopleSoft.

Bachelor's in General Management

A bachelor's degree program in general management teaches students how to apply management theories to practical business situations. Students will also have an opportunity to develop their communication and presentation skills in order to improve relationships with employees and create new business. Additional topics covered in the program include ethical practices, motivating employees and becoming leaders. In these programs, you can analyze real-world business concerns through business simulations or case studies, and some schools offer you options to get practical experience by participating in internships.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Critical thinking and organizational skills acquired in these programs can prepare you to oversee employees, lead a business and solve business problems
  • Careers are available in many different industries (banks, government agencies, real estate firms, insurance organizations)
  • In many management positions, you can work in a comfortable office environment

Cons

  • You'll need to have experience before obtaining management positions
  • You may be expected to work more than a 40-hour workweek*
  • Graduates may have to compete with Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates for management positions*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

In general management programs, you can expect to complete both business core courses and management courses. You'll learn about business writing, business statistics and computing. Coursework covers accounting, microeconomics, finance, international business, human resources and marketing. Specific business coursework could include:

  • Financial management
  • Law and public policy
  • Quantitative research
  • Supply chain management
  • Strategic management
  • Marketing management

You could also study customer relations, labor relations management and decision making. These programs also include a capstone experience.

Online Course Options

Students can find bachelor's degree programs in business management online. In addition to online readings and lectures, you'll have an opportunity to learn about business management through real-life case studies. These programs require you to have basic computer skills, and you will need to have high-speed Internet access and an updated Web browser. You can interact with students and professors through discussion forums or live video sessions.

How to Stand Out

In order to stand out in the field, it's important to have strong leadership and communication skills. To enhance your skills in these areas, you can take elective courses that focus on leadership or negotiation principles. You must be able to work with other companies and departments to makes sales, market products and respond to customer needs. It's also important to stay up-to-date in the latest advancements in technology to create schedules, improve communication and utilize business computer software and systems. You could take courses in computerized information systems, decision modeling or process improvement to help you prepare for your career.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Human Resources Management
      • B.A. - Organizational Management
      • B.A. - Project Management
      • B.A. - Business Admin
      • B.A. - Operations Management and Analysis
      • B.A. - Entrepreneurship
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Business Management
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Small Business and Entrepreneurship
      • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Business Administration - Management
      • Bachelor: Project Management
      • BS - Business Administration - Project Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development
      • BS - Business Administration - General
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Management
      • BBA: Project Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Applied Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Entrepreneurial Studies
      • BS in Business Admin.
      • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    8. ECPI University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Business Administration - Bachelor's
  • Online Programs Available
    9. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Project Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Operations Management
  • Gainesville, FL

    University of Florida

Featured Schools

Ashford University

  • B.A. - Human Resources Management
  • B.A. - Organizational Management
  • B.A. - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Project Management
  • BS - Business Management
  • Undergraduate Specialization - Small Business and Entrepreneurship

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • BS - Business Administration - Management
  • Bachelor: Project Management
  • BS - Business Administration - Project Management

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Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

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Kaplan University

  • BSBA in Management
  • BBA: Project Management
  • Bachelor of Business Admin

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Grand Canyon University

  • BS in Applied Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • BS in Entrepreneurial Studies

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Herzing University

  • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration

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ECPI University

  • Business Administration - Bachelor's

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