Graduates with an online retail management degree are prepared to buy, develop, and sell products that meet the demands of the average 21st century customer. Today's globalized economy means that retail professionals must have the knowledge necessary to succeed in the domestic and global marketplaces. Retail management bachelor's degree program teach students the technical, problem-solving, and leadership skills required to serve consumers who rely on your goods and services.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in retail trade will grow about 7% by the year 2022, which means adding more than 1 million positions. The field is booming thanks to the emergence of online retail in recent years.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S DEGREES IN RETAIL & SALES MANAGEMENT?
Oregon State University
|Corvallis, OR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Oregon State University's retail management degree online program integrates a multidisciplinary curriculum to prepare graduates for careers in the retail industry. The school offers fully online classes and a blended learning option for students living in the Portland, Oregon, area.
The 180-credit degree takes four to six years to complete. The curriculum includes a 62-credit business core, ensuring students possess a strong understanding of business principles and theories before taking their focus area courses. The retail management concentration requires 24 credits in areas of human resources, supply chain management, consumer behavior, and business management. Electives provide supplemental instruction in project management, negotiation, market research, and supply and sourcing.
OSU's college of business houses the C2C Marketing Lab, a research facility dedicated to market research and consulting services for markets, businesses, and consumers. The lab provides insight for faculty and learning opportunities for students.
The college also boasts an award-winning Blueprint instructional model that ensures student coursework aligns to the needs of businesses, with a focus on professional and leadership development. Students participating in the 12-credit sequence enjoy higher retention and graduation rates and ongoing career support. The college of business, accredited by the AACSB, reported that 85% of graduating seniors found employment last year.
The OSU ECampus serves more than 23,000 students each year with 1,200 online courses and 55 fully online degrees. The research unit continually evaluates opportunities to improve the online learning experience and guide faculty in creating engaging, relevant online courses. Students also enjoy access to success coaching, library services, tutoring support, and career guidance.
|Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Retail management degree online students at Liberty University enjoy fully online courses taught by faculty with relevant industry experience and respected academic credentials. The school's online offerings feature affordable, accessible, and academically challenging courses leading to a business administration bachelor's degree with a marketing and sales management focus.
The school's core business curriculum ensures students understand the principles of business law and ethics, human resource management, financial accounting, and strategic planning. Specialization courses explore consumer behavior and the latest market research. Electives allow students to explore related business areas or gain a better understanding of the elements of retail management. The school meets requirements for ACBSP accreditation with high-quality instruction. Faculty continuously updates their courses to stay up-to-date with industry changes and demands.
Christian evangelical minister, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, founded Liberty in 1971 to offer higher education with a Christian worldview. The distance education department launched online courses in 1985 through the School of Lifelong Learning. Liberty took a leading role in online education, offering fully online degrees in the late 1990s.
Online students enjoy state-of-the-art digital resources, such as access to more than 750,000 electronic journals, peer-reviewed articles, and ebooks. The online writing center and tutoring services help students succeed in their courses, and online student communities allow them to develop strong relationships with their peers.
The school remains dedicated to affordable education, with tuition discounts for military personnel. All undergraduate students save on textbook costs with free e-textbooks. The transfer-friendly school also allows students to transfer up to 90 credits toward their degrees. Liberty accepts credit earned by exam and military or professional training.
Arizona State University - SkySong
|Skysong, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
Arizona State University offers its retail management online degree through its AACSB-accredited business school. The curriculum blends foundational business courses in areas of law, finance, and human resources management with specialized study of organizational leadership, quality management, and business sustainability.
While the program offers a focus on retail management, students also gain an understanding of food retailing and services marketing. Students complete 51 upper-division credits in business and retail marketing taught by an award-winning faculty with combined academic credentials and relevant industry experience. Students leave the program ready to take on work as administrative service managers, first-line supervisors, fashion designers, and sales managers.
ASU serves more than 26,000 students each year through its online campus. Students receive ongoing support and guidance from their faculty adviser and enjoy access to comprehensive student services to help them succeed. These services include virtual career advisement sessions, academic success coaches, and library resources.
ASU welcomes transfer students and accepts credits earned from accredited institutions. Students must hold at least a "C" grade or higher in previous coursework relevant to their majors. The college also offers credit for military training, and students can use their life experience or professional experience to earn credits by a challenge exam.
The online courses feature lectures, discussions, and group projects. ASU's accelerated 7.5-week course scheduling allows students to complete more credits over a year while providing a balance for work and life commitments.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
The fashion retail management online degree from Southern New Hampshire University combines a sense of style and ability to spot market trends with business management instruction. The program ensures students graduate with a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges of fashion merchandising management. The online bachelor's degree requires 120 credits and students typically graduate within four years.
Faculty with real-world experience cover topics such as color and textile theory with data collection and analysis. Students study theories of consumer behavior and hone their decision-making skills to create visual retail displays and manage the supply and production process. Students build on 10 core business competencies in international business, finance, marketing, leadership, and operations with electives in global fashion merchandising, retail management, and consumer promotion. A fashion merchandising internship provides a capstone experience for senior students.
SNHU helps students accelerate their degrees with eight-week terms and flexible, asynchronous classes. The school's generous transfer policies allow students to bring up to 90 credits to their programs with options to earn credit for military or professional training.
SNHU offers more than 200 online degrees from its main campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. Small online classes feature class lectures, readings, and discussions with classmates. More than 85,000 students enroll in online programs each semester, and the school caters to the unique needs of distance learners.
Students work collaboratively with their academic advisers and can access expert tutoring as needed. The library makes research materials available online. Additionally, a virtual student union provides networking opportunities, and online student clubs offer enrichment activities.
Saint Joseph's College
|Standish, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Students seeking a sales management degree online from Saint Joseph's College in Standish, Maine, benefit from a professionally-focused curriculum, generous transfer credit policy, and flexible course scheduling. Online courses follow a self-directed learning model with start dates offered at the first of every month. Over the 15-week semester, online students complete a variety of assignments through the Brightspace learning management system. Though students work independently, the online platform offers collaboration and communication with fellow students through discussion boards.
The business administration degree sales and marketing management track includes 63 business-specific credits. Students build on the business principles and theories gained in the business core curriculum, such as business law, finance, human resources management, and organizational behavior, with focused courses in customer relations, marketing research, and advertising. Electives also allow students to explore other topics like international management, creativity and innovation, and social media marketing.
The private Catholic college welcomes students from all faiths and ages. SJC boasts online programs that meet the needs of students balancing professional and family obligations with higher education. The college serves roughly 2,500 students online and delivers personalized academic advising with a student support specialist. The school also offers tutoring and writing support through SMARTHINKING. The library features support via email, phone, text, and chat for distance learners.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management?
Retail management bachelor's degree programs prepare students for a variety of careers in the field, such as buyer, product developer, and store manager. While each school offers a slightly different curriculum, all graduates enter the workforce with the critical thinking and customer service skills needed to achieve long-term success in the field. The following are common courses that you should find in any online retail management program:
- Retail Strategy: In this course, students learn how fundamental strategies for increasing return on revenues and creating economic value for owners and stakeholders. These skills are necessary for a career as a store buyer.
- Retail Innovation: This course explores new customer interaction channels and distribution systems, with an emphasis on improving a business's competitive edge while meeting their client's needs. Students also study ways that market changes drive both opportunities and threats in retail. This class is ideal for those who plan to become apparel product developers.
- Principles and Theory of Management: Students who complete this course leave with an understanding of theories and concepts in planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling. They will also learn how both classical and contemporary management theories operate in today's businesses.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Retail & Sales Management Degrees
When searching through retail management bachelor's degree programs, be sure to choose a program at an accredited institution. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) are responsible for overseeing the nation's accrediting agencies. These agencies evaluate and determine that accrediting bodies are following certain standards. The ED and CHEA oversee six regional accreditation bodies that serve all parts of the nation.
There are three different types of academic accreditation: regional, national, and programmatic. Regional accreditation is usually obtained by nonprofit public and state schools, while national accreditation is generally earned by for-profit colleges and vocational or trade schools. Regional accreditation is regarded as more prestigious than national accreditation. Finally, programmatic accreditation is offered by private organizations in a specific discipline and denotes that a program prepares graduates with up-to-date methods. For example, retail management programs may reside in a university's school of business or management that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Both the ED and CHEA monitor institutions to assess the quality of their offerings. The ED reviews accrediting agencies and ensures they enforce accreditation standards. The CHEA is comprised of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities as well as recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. Both the ED and CHEA maintain full lists of accredited institutions on their respective websites.
Career Opportunities for Bachelor's in Retail & Sales Management Graduates
Graduates with an online retail management degree are prepared to become recognized leaders who possess creativity and top decision-making and critical thinking skills. They can pursue careers in a variety of positions in the field, including store management and product development. Below are some of the most common career opportunities for graduates with a bachelor's in retail management.
A buyer evaluates merchandise for price, quality, and market demand to help their business determine what they should purchase. In addition, a buyer negotiates contracts, interviews vendors, and visits their production facilities to learn about the manufacturing process.
- Store Manager
A store manager is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating all store operations. These professionals help to set and enforce customer and employee policies, oversee daily activities, and manage human resources activities.
- Account Executive
An account executive creates interest in brands and products through promotions and advertising. They also help negotiate advertising contracts and initiates market research to better understand consumers.
- Merchandise Displayer
A merchandise displayer plans and erects commercial displays in retail settings such as store windows and interiors as well as exhibitions at trade shows.
- Sales Manager
A sales manager directs sales teams, sets sales goals, analyzes data, and develops training programs for sales representatives to help support their success. They also assign sales territories for their teams.
BACHELOR'S IN RETAIL & SALES SALARY
Your salary will depend on your occupation, your years of experience in the field, and the specific company you work for and city you reside in. The table below showcases PayScale data for five career paths that graduates with an online bachelor's in retail management can pursue.
Median Salary by Experience
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Retail & Sales Management Program
Nearly every students must obtain some amount of financial aid to be able to finance their online retail management degree. The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Doing so will qualify students to obtain federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to help pay for college. You should also check with your school's financial aid department to learn about scholarships and fellowships. You might also qualify for reduced tuition if you are a veteran of the armed services or an active duty member of the military.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 2 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 3 Arizona State University-Skysong Skysong, AZ 4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 5 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
- Best Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 2 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 3 Arizona State University-Skysong Skysong, AZ 4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 5 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA