By Jennifer W. Eisenberg
If you are a customer service or sales professional, with an eye on a middle management position (and on from there), this list of the top 10 great value colleges for an online associates degree in retail and sales management is just for you. An associate’s degree is a great first step up the corporate ladder that can make the difference between being the person every customer consults with endless questions or being the person who is sought out when your subordinates can’t answer the customer’s questions. This degree prepares you for many facets of management and business operations that you would encounter at the next level of your career.
Being able to complete this degree 100% online means that you are able (within reason) to complete tasks at your own schedule while still meeting your career and personal responsibilities. (You may have to let something temporarily take a back-burner for midterms and finals.) But online class skills are different from the skills needed for traditional college. Almost every school will have a brief assessment you can take to see how you measure up to what is most helpful for online academic success.
In compiling this list of the top ten great value colleges for an online associates in retail and sales management, we looked at tuition value (10 points), relevancy of the curriculum to the current demands of the field (10 points), and the amount of stress the program puts on individual attention (as evidenced by the student to faculty ratio, 10 points). Five bonus points were awarded in case of special tuition price point for online students, national recognition for excellence in online education, or exceptional student services available for online learners. In the event of a tie on points, schools were ranked in order of decreasing tuition.
All tuition numbers in the bullet points are yearly out of state tuition rates as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, a service of the US government. The student to faculty ratios and enrollments figures are also from this website. All details of the individual programs are from the pertinent school’s website.
#10 – Sullivan University
Enrollment: 3,462 (2,419 undergraduate)
Sullivan University has been awarding associate’s degrees since 1972. They are the largest, private, accredited college in Kentucky. With a student to faculty ratio of 13:1, their online associate degree in marketing and sales management is a 92 credit hour program of study that covers sales presentations and advertising. The career services department at Sullivan University takes a personalized approach to your career, going so far as to refer your resume to employers with pertinent positions. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
#9 – Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College has been in the online degree granting game for more than 15 years. They offer more than fifty diploma and certificate programs. With a student to faculty ratio of 30:1, their online associate in applied science in retail management is a 61-63 credit hour program including coursework in techniques of supervision and merchandising. Rio Salado College’s department of career services can help you find a career path or a job. The Higher Learning Commission accredits them.
#8 – Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College is the largest school in the ten college Maricopa Community College District. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online associate in applied science in retail management is a 64 credit hour program of study including coursework in small group communication and society and business. The career services office at Mesa Community College offers help with job searches, resumes, interview prep and career planning. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#7 – National American University
Rapid City, South Dakota
National American University offers seven associate’s degrees and sixteen bachelor’s degrees entirely online. With a student to faculty ratio of 12:1, their online associate of applied science in retail management is a 104-week program of study that teaches you about customer service and marketing. As alumni of National American University, you are eligible to retake any course you have previously passed without any tuition cost so that you can stay current with any changes to your field. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#6 – Northland Community and Technical College
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Northland Community and Technical College is dedicated to quality education achieved through partnerships with students and the community. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online associate of applied science in sales, marketing, and management is a 60 credit hour program of study that includes coursework in principles of sales and small business management. At the Northland Community and Technical College career center, you can receive career counseling or utilize tools to sharpen your resume and interview skills. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#5 – Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Washtenaw Community College has been offering quality, affordable education options to Washtenaw County and the rest of southeast Michigan since 1965. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online associate in applied science in retail management is a 61-62 credit hour program of study including coursework in creating the customer experience and managing operations. Washtenaw Community College’s student resource center offers help with any barriers between you and academic and personal success. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#4 – Blue Ridge Community College
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Students who graduate from Blue Ridge Community College are eligible to transfer to any of North Carolina’s 18 public colleges and universities. With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, their online associate in applied science in business administration, marketing, and retail pathway is a 70-71 credit hour program of study that includes studies in management and statistics. Blue Ridge Community College has transfer agreements with all public colleges and universities in North Carolina, ensuring acceptance to any graduate who meets all admission criteria. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
#3 – Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers more than 70 technical and liberal arts programs online and through their four locations in the Red River Valley. With a student to faculty ratio of 22:1, their online associate in applied science in business management, marketing, and sales is a 66 credit hour program of study including the courses global business and professional selling. Minnesota State Community and Technical College charges one rate for online student tuition, regardless of residency status. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#2 – Albany Technical College
Albany Technical College has been helping people jumpstart their careers, since 1961. With a student to faculty ratio of 16:1, their online associates degree in marketing management with retail management specialization is a 62 credit hour program of study including coursework in visual merchandising and consumer behavior. The career development center at Albany Technical College offers help with resume writing as well as tips for crushing that interview. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
#1 – Southeast Technical Institute
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Southeast Technical Institute won an award in 2017 for its high rate of student retention. With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, their online associate in applied science in marketing with a sales emphasis is a 66 credit hour program of study that includes coursework in web essentials and market research. The career services department at Southeast Technical Institute offers career exploration assessments and online access to employment opportunities. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
This concludes the list of the top ten great value colleges for an online associates degree in retail and sales management.