Technological advancements have truly transformed the world. One of its biggest impacts is changing the way business is conducted. While traditional stores are still thriving, it is a huge oversight for companies to disregard the growing popularity of online shopping.
This brings us to e-commerce. This term often refers to buying or selling products on digital platforms. All transactions in e-commerce businesses take place online, from placing orders to payment and delivery arrangements.
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The employment outlook for the e-commerce industry is favorable, projected to grow to almost 450,000 jobs by 2026. Prospective students who pursue this exciting and lucrative field may want to consider earning a bachelor’s degree in e-commerce. Like typical business programs, this degree allows students to explore economic principles. However, it involves the use of the internet and software applications to create business opportunities.
The courses under this program involve financial analysis, project management, operating systems, database management, marketing, and more. Students can expect to learn about management, research and evaluation, and organizational behavior.
Many online programs in E-Business are offered as a major or concentration, usually under business administration degree programs. Students who successfully earn the e-commerce degree program may find a wealth of job opportunities, including positions such as online merchants, search marketing strategists, market research analysts, and sales specialists, among others.
Online retail is more popular than ever and is expected to grow along with the expansion of enabling technology, and the number of established brands and startups that continue to turn to the online space to connect with customers. A degree in E-Commerce or E-Business is one of the best entry points into the field, although not many universities and colleges currently offer this program, much less in an online format.
We have gathered 5 of these E-Commerce degrees in an unranked list, which features online options that provide flexibility and convenience to students while preparing them for a variety of careers with foundational knowledge as well as specialized skills.
The schools in this list were selected based on the following set of criteria:
- Offers degree programs dedicated to E-Commerce or offers E-commerce as one of its major concentration areas, as opposed to being a business degree that has e-commerce as a single course
- Delivered as 100% or partially online bachelor’s degrees that cover the business basics, with emphasis on the digital market and web-based transactions,
- Features a curriculum that teaches students core/foundational knowledge from key business areas, as well as a wide range of specialized skillsets and tools relevant to operating online businesses,
- Focuses on preparing students for a range of careers relevant to operating businesses online, or as entrepreneurs planning to launch their own online business,
- Offers competitive and affordable tuition rates, as well as various means for students to reduce the cost of their tuition, including financial aid, scholarships, and grants
- Offered by universities/institutions with the relevant accreditation from colleges and schools commission agencies to ensure students of the quality of the education they are getting.
Read our Methodology to learn about our ranking process.
Top 5 Online Degrees in E-Business
University of the Southwest
Bachelor of Business Administration, emphasis in E-Commerce
The University of the Southwest offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program with an emphasis in E-Commerce. This 100% online degree program is designed to focus on the implementation of virtual business media and processes.
- The business administration program provides students with a solid foundational knowledge of the key processes and tools commonly used in conducting business electronically.
- The online business degree covers a wide range of topics, which range from virtual marketing, maintaining customer contact and support, and developing strategies that keep e-businesses successful and competitive.
- The University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Makes This Program Unique:
USW offers several options for how students want to earn their BBA in E-Commerce degree. Aside from the 100% online and traditional on-campus options, students can still opt for a hybrid format. Students can also create a custom schedule that lets them take their classes during their free time. Also, as a private, non-profit Christian university, USW degree programs also place emphasis on students’ character building by developing a sense of faith and social responsibility.
Did You Know?
Students can choose to stay on with the University of the Southwest if and when they decide to enroll in a graduate degree. USW offers several online MBA programs with concentration areas that can be a good continuation of their degree in E-Commerce, including the MBA in Marketing, the MBA in Data Analytics, or a Self-Designed online MBA that accommodates their current interests or intended career path.
Bachelor of Science in Commerce in Digital Commerce
Miami University (Ohio) offers a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree program, with a major in Digital Commerce, which teaches students the fundamentals of Commerce applied to the online retail space. Students are trained to develop effective digital marketing campaigns and use metrics to strategize and maximize their use.
- While this program is primarily offered on-campus, all of its courses are also offered online through the Miami University E-Campus.
- The program curriculum requires a minimum of 124 credit hours in order to graduate, with the Digital Commerce major courses taking up a total of 18 credit hours.
- Courses in the Digital Commerce major include Content Marketing, Internet Marketing, Digital Commerce, and Web and Social Media Analytics.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Unlike the typical degree in e-commerce, this program has a specific focus on small businesses. As such, graduates will be prepared to take leading key roles in these settings, which may have fewer staff taking on more than one role. Students may also take the skills learned in the program as they launch their own business ventures.
Did You Know?
Aside from the Digital Commerce concentration, Miami University’s Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree program also features other concentration areas that students may also find interesting, including Small Business Management, Sales Management, Hospitality Management, and Business Management Tech. These concentration areas are also available both on-campus and online.
University of La Verne
Online Bachelor of Science in E-commerce
A private, non-profit university in California, the University of La Verne offers a Bachelor of Science in e-Commerce under the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department. This provides students with an opportunity to prepare for a highly competitive and lucrative field. The business programming degree provides a blend of knowledge and skills from the exciting field of computer science and engineering along with a strong foundation that can aid students in navigating the world of e-business.
- The e-commerce major requires students to complete a total of 66 semester hours, with 18 of these allocated to prerequisites, 32 to core courses, and 12 for the program concentration.
- This e-commerce program is fully available online, which means a more flexible schedule for business professionals who want to earn an online bachelor’s degree at their own pace.
- Some of the courses students can expect in the program curriculum include Publishing on the Web, Internet Apps Development, and Mobile Applications Development.
What Makes This Program Unique:
The program makes it easier for students to earn relevant certificates to help them remain competitive in a growing industry. This includes Systems Engineering and Web Applications Development.
Did You Know?
Students who wish to pursue their e-business degree at La Verne will find several financial aid options to help them earn their degree. This includes scholarships, federal loans and grants, private loans, and more.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
BS in Management Information Systems – E-Commerce/Digital Business
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers a web-based Bachelor’s in Business Management Systems degree program with a concentration in E-Commerce/Digital Business. This online degree program helps students find answers while leveraging information technology within an organization to increase a business’s value and profits. Students are prepared to succeed in a rapidly expanding field in the business world.
- The program focuses on teaching students to analyze an organization’s information systems and manage these systems throughout their life cycles.
- Students must be able to conceptualize and design business solutions through the use of communication and information technologies.
- The program curriculum is composed of 120 credits, including e-commerce/digital business coursework such as e-commerce development, international business, social media marketing, systems analysis, small business management, and management of an organization’s information resources.
What Makes This Program Unique:
The online courses in the e-commerce/digital business major are taught by the same experienced faculty as their traditional counterpart. Students can enjoy a flexible schedule that can accommodate their personal and career responsibilities.
Did You Know?
The university has a generous transfer policy on offer. Students who have prior credits may transfer up to 75 credits, provided they earned them from regionally accredited colleges and universities.
Jacksonville State University
Bachelor of Science in Management: Information Management/E-Commerce
Students interested to dip their toes in the field of e-business may want to consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Information Management/E-Commerce. This program combines the strength of business and technology. Students will focus on the acquisition, storage, and use of information and the way customers interact with this information.
- The program requires students to complete a total of 61 credit hours, including general education courses, core requirements, and concentration electives.
- Some e-commerce courses include e-commerce information management, e-commerce applications, spreadsheet modeling, and virtual enterprises.
- The program is offered both as a traditional and online degree. It is also available as a minor option with a total of 18 required total hours.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Students who pursue this concentration are expected to master how to manage information, develop digital strategies, construct networks, understand data analytics, and effectively manage projects. They gain an edge over their competitors as they acquire specialized knowledge and skills that are highly relevant to their future careers.
Did You Know?
Jacksonville State University offers a block rate tuition plan as a means to enhance students; success and persistence in their academic pursuits while creating a more affordable path to graduation. This means students are incentivized to take 15 to 18 hours in the fall and spring semesters while getting charged the same rate as those who take 12 hours. Students who take advantage of this incentive get to save both time and money.
Common Career Paths for Graduates of Online e-Commerce Degrees
Since e-commerce is a common major among computer science degrees, it is understandable that they have acquired knowledge and skills for web development. As web developers, they are responsible for building and maintaining e-commerce websites. They are often knowledgeable of the back-end functionality of a website, so it is a must for them to gain in-depth knowledge on cybersecurity issues, networking, and more.
According to BLS, web developers and digital designers can earn up to $78,300 per year on average.
Students’ knowledge of e-commerce will come in handy for consultancy jobs. As e-commerce consultants, they are highly sought after by small firms who wish to start selling goods online. E-commerce graduates have the skills and knowledge necessary in setting up a small online business with the aim of expanding sales and earning profits.
Online Sales Specialist
Sales are the foundation of every successful business. Having a good sales strategy in place can make all the difference. Thanks to sales specialists, it is easier for online companies to convert prospects into paying customers. Business knowledge about market trends, global trends, and best practices can help sales specialists thrive in what they do. Online sales specialists can draw from the knowledge and skills they earned from their business administration degree online that specializes in e-commerce.
Closely interlinked with digital marketing, e-commerce degrees often touch on the importance of SEO. SEO specialists are integral to the success of an online business as they help attract prospects through the help of search engines. They make use of their expertise in using keywords to help clients rank in Google, drive traffic to their websites, and increase the opportunity of converting them into paying customers.
Typical Courses in E-Commerce Degree Programs
E-Commerce degree programs are offered either as dedicated degree programs or as concentration areas in bachelor’s in business degree programs. As such, they contain a general education component, business foundations, and e-commerce-specific major courses. Here are some of the major courses found in e-commerce degree programs:
This course typically serves as the overview/foundation course for the rest of the e-commerce-specific courses. This may include discussions on the current state of the art, the technologies currently employed by the industry, as well as principles and issues.
Some degree programs in e-commerce are founded on data science/engineering degrees, as opposed to business degrees. Given the emphasis, this course discusses the under-the-hood side involved in publishing content online.
Principles of Marketing
This course is among the set of business foundation courses. Despite operating largely in the online sphere, e-commerce operations are still subject to the same set of fundamental marketing realities that traditional brick-and-mortar businesses operate on.
Online businesses rely on being found amidst the sea of information and noise that makes up the online space, and as such are reliant on effective information-driven digital marketing campaigns. These courses teach the specific realities of conducting marketing in the online space, which may be a deeper dive than the standard.
Database and/or Management Information Systems
Online businesses are largely data-driven, not just in terms of marketing and effective message to a specific and targeted audience, but also in terms of the nuts and bolts of the operation, i.e. the systems that manage inventory, track their cash flow, and maintain customer engagement. This course may be more readily found in degree programs that have a more Engineering/Data Science foundation, as opposed to one in Business.
Web Analytics/Social Media Analytics
Effective marketing in the online space involves knowing a business’ audience and/or target market and being able to craft their marketing campaigns to best reach this desired audience, and this involves a range of processes and skills related to online data analytics.
Businesses operating online have their own unique specifics, and this includes the applications and platforms that are typically used in the online business industry to operate. These may include website/browser-based services and their mobile app counterparts.
Financial and Managerial Accounting
This course is one of the typical foundation courses common to all business degrees, teaching students accounting principles that are immediately relevant to maintaining a business operation’s financial health.
Skills Necessary to Succeed in the E-Commerce Field
Planning and Research
Setting up a business online requires careful planning and thorough research. Having this set of skills can help one succeed in the field, regardless of the position they are in. As an online business owner, one will need to plan out how they can sell their products by targeting the right audience.
Online marketing skills can help business students become effective at what they do. A lot of e-commerce aspects have to do with marketing digitally. This means having a good grasp of what it involves, including understanding pay-per-click, SEO, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing, among others.
Web Design and Development
Many online businesses need a website to house their offered products or services. Having the knowledge and skills in web design and development can help one create and maintain a website for an e-commerce business.
Social Media Management
A lot of businesses, especially online ones, turn to social media to promote their products or services. Having at least a basic knowledge of this can help one promote their products and reach as many potential customers as possible.
Business Operations Specialists
Tasked to provide expert analysis when it comes to how a business operates, business operations specialists must be able to identify the weaknesses of an organization and how to solve them while also looking for opportunities for improvement. Effective operations management is integral to the success of electronic commerce business.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to earn a degree in E-Commerce?
Typically, a bachelor’s degree in e-commerce can be completed within four years. This can, however, change depending on the course load one takes each semester and the mode of student enrollment. Students who are enrolled full-time will be able to earn the degree faster than those who are enrolled part-time. Some universities incentivize students who take on more coursework in the semester through discounted tuition costs.
Still, online learning offers students the opportunity to earn the e-business degree program at their own pace, which means some students may be able to finish it ahead of or later than their peers, depending on the schedule they choose. Some universities also offer generous transfer policies, which can considerably reduce the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.
How much do online E-Commerce degrees cost?
The tuition rate often varies from university to university. Affordable ones offer $9,000 for the average tuition cost while others can reach up to $34,000. Some also make the distinction between in-state and out-of-state students, and in-state students often get the better deal. It is best for students to consult the admissions page of the business schools they are interested in to make sure of the cost of the –commerce program.
Are there available financial aid options for online students who pursue an E-Commerce degree program?
The short answer is yes. Many universities in the country offer various financial aid options to make the cost of a business education more affordable. Some of the choices include scholarships, grants, federal and private loans, and special discounts. Students must be wise in choosing the best financial aid option for their needs. If they qualify, it is best to take advantage of scholarships as they do not have to be repaid. There might also be discounts unique to their group, such as those enjoyed by the military and veterans.
What is the key difference between online education and a traditional on-campus degree?
At the end of the day, there aren’t a lot of differences between the two formats, aside from the fact of online classes are taken remotely and many online e-commerce bachelor’s degree programs offer self-paced and/or asynchronous coursework.
Regardless of delivery format, a degree program typically follows a singular curriculum design and contains the same courses. These degree program formats are also taught by the same set of faculty.
On the part of the students, the learning environment would conceivably be different, given that there is arguably still a difference between the quality of interaction between online and in-person classes.
At the end of the day, whether students enroll in online degrees or their traditional on-campus formats, the same amount of effort and dedication is expected of them if they are to graduate. These formats have their own challenges, but universities/colleges typically have their own support services to help students with their courses.
What are the typical admission requirements for E-commerce degree programs?
Given that these are bachelor’s degrees, students interested in enrolling would need to show proof of having finished the previous educational level, typically in the form of a high school diploma. Some universities may also require students to submit transcripts. Universities may also require prospective students to attend an online orientation, to get themselves acquainted with the university and its institution and program-specific rules.
Given the ever-growing popularity (and convenience) of conducting business online, degree programs dedicated to online business/e-commerce are an interesting option for students to enter this growing field armed with the right tools and skills.
A degree in e-commerce typically covers both business-related foundational knowledge and specialized skillsets for conducting businesses online, which includes digital marketing, engaging with customers and maintaining this relationship, and using a data-driven approach to business strategy, among others. Business students are also expected to develop other competencies such as business skills and critical thinking skills.
Aside from launching their own business ventures, degrees in e-commerce prepare students for careers related to digital marketing and content creation, as well as roles involved in managing online businesses.