Earning a degree in business administration opens graduates up to career opportunities in every industry. All organizations need business administration professionals to oversee operations and keep an eye on the bottom line while developing strategies to make operations more efficient and effective.
The degree is a smart first step toward launching a successful business career. But it’s important to know the difference between two of the primary degree options: a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).
Here’s a look at the similarities and differences between the two.
What The Two Degrees Have in Common
Both the bachelor’s and MBA programs attract students who want to learn about core business topics such as accounting, finance, economics (both micro and macro), marketing and management.
Students gain expertise in all these areas, including understanding the differences between accounting and finance. Some of the core concepts include the following.
- Finance: The planning and directing of an organization’s financial transactions
- Accounting: The recording and reporting of an organization’s financial transitions
- Economics: Microeconomics looks at how decisions of individuals impact the market, while macroeconomics looks at how the overall economy operates and the systems that drive it
- Marketing: The different methods and multiple channels used to reach the target audience and raise brand awareness of a business, promote interest in specific products or services, and generate sales
- Management: The area of business that takes all the different operations of a company and gets them working together for long-term success
Another area focused on in both bachelor’s and master’s programs is developing soft skills, an area considered critical to success at all career levels. They include traits such as good communication skills (which include good listening skills), time management, networking, creative thinking and the ability to collaborate well with teams.
Unlike learning hard skills, it takes time and patience to learn soft skills, but it’s worth the effort. As noted by the Balance, hiring managers look for job candidates with soft skills “because they make someone more successful in the workplace. Someone can be excellent with technical, job-specific skills, but if they can’t manage their time or work within a team, they may not be successful in the workplace.”
Bachelor’s Degree Program Features
As a program designed for undergraduates, a bachelor’s degree program focuses on developing high school graduates interested in business who are taking their first steps into higher education.
According to the Census Bureau, earning a bachelor’s degree is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with the percentage of people age 25 and older earning a bachelor’s degree increasing from 29.9% in 2010 to 36% in 2019.
At Florida Tech, the core business classes in the undergraduate business administration include the following.
- Business Ethics
- International Management
- Continuous Quality Management
- Global Business Perspectives
- Business Computer Skills
- Principles of Accounting
- Applied Decision Methods for Business
- Strategic Management
- Business Plan Research
Bachelor’s degree programs also include a well-rounded curriculum with courses in the liberal arts and humanities. At Florida Tech, students choose courses in humanities, physical life sciences and social sciences. Students also take courses in first-year writing and Writing About Literature.
MBA Program Features
MBA programs are designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree and want to take the next step in their career. While students learn about some fundamentals, the focus is on advanced skills that prepare graduates for leadership positions.
Some students enter an MBA program directly after earning a bachelor’s degree. However, the program also attracts those who hold an undergraduate degree and have worked in the business world for some, gaining experience.
At Florida Tech, the MBA curriculum includes:
- Essentials of Business Development
- Managerial Economics
- Managerial Accounting
- Financial Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Marketing Management
- Strategic Management
Both programs provide excellent educational opportunities for those with an interest in business administration. Depending on where you are in your educational journey and career, either program may provide the business skills and knowledge needed for success.