Business administration is a highly versatile field. The core knowledge you gain from a business administration degree allows you to pursue a variety of career paths. But what exactly is business administration? Let’s break down everything you should know about business administration and whether it’s the right path for you.
What is Business Administration?
In its most basic sense, business administration includes the general study of business principles and practices that are adopted into operations such as accounting, human resources, management, and other business functions. The most common tasks within business administration include:
- Organizing and supervising staff members
- Hiring new employees
- Reporting and overseeing the main aspects of a business
Here are some general facts from Data USA, a data visualization website that pulls information from public U.S. government data, to give you an idea of what to expect within the field of business administration:
- The most common degree awarded to people studying business administration is a bachelor’s degree.
- The industry that employs the most business majors is insurance carriers and related activities.
- The average salary for business majors is $88,037.
- Most common occupations include account managers, general managers and financial managers.
What Do You Learn in Business Administration?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people who have earned business administration degrees can be competitive in the job market. Business administration is a versatile field, and its degrees cover fundamental business topics that can be used to complete a variety of business tasks across industries like healthcare, human resources and marketing.
Bachelor’s degrees, for example, can be highly focused on a specific subject like accounting, finance or management. The curriculum offers students the right set of concepts to tackle most business operations and develop skills that can be useful in most administrative settings.
The BLS mentions that workers can benefit from earning an MBA even if an advanced education isn’t required in a particular business occupation. An MBA can allow students to achieve a greater understanding of advanced concepts, including organizational leadership, corporate ventures and operations management.
Business Administration Degree Courses
Students often complete core courses across the following subject areas:
- Business law
- Business ethics
After completing these courses, students can choose a specific subject as a focal point, such as entrepreneurship, management, marketing or business computer applications. Students then complete additional coursework in their chosen area of study, developing an understanding of the subject and applying it to business administration.
Is Business Administration the Same as Business Management?
Unlike business administration’s general focus on business operations, business management focuses more on leadership, management and human resources. People who enroll in business management programs learn topics focused on the organization, analysis and planning of business operations. So, courses will be centered around topics like organizational behavior, conflict resolution and performance management.
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What is a Business Administration Degree?
Business administration programs offer various educational paths that can help you achieve your professional goals.
AA in Business Administration
Earning a two-year AA in Business Administration can offer opportunities to break into the business world. An associate’s provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business (accounting, management, etc.). Advancement often requires a bachelor’s degree, which can be pursued while working in the field.
BA in Business Administration
Students enrolled in a bachelor’s in business administration program typically complete approximately 120 credits varying from liberal arts courses to business courses covering topics from law to economics and management. Students may combine other areas of study like human resources or computer science to have more administrative experience once they graduate. A business administration degree can also be combined with specializations or registered as a minor instead of a degree.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
For top-level positions, employers might prefer candidates with advanced degrees. An MBA in Management, an MBA in Marketing or an MBA in Healthcare Management can help position graduates to compete for senior roles. Some employers may offer tuition assistance to help you obtain a master’s degree while establishing yourself in your career.
Examples of Business Administration Specializations
In most educational settings, the term business administration refers to programs available within the business department. Specializations provide students with a variety of subject areas to advance their business knowledge. Florida Tech’s business program offers specializations that prepare students in the following areas:
- BA in Business Administration/Accounting prepares students to identify problems, make decisions and interpret results based on quantitative techniques. They also learn how to incorporate principles and procedures of internal and public accounting.
- BA in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems (CIS) offers students practical knowledge to build information systems and use them to solve business problems. Students are positioned to manage software, hardware and databases for business within their organizations.
- BA in Business Administration/Healthcare Management teaches students to apply healthcare systems trends, such as organizational structure and management. People pursuing this degree can learn all about quality standards, system designs and reporting mechanisms.
- BA in Business Administration/Management offers students an overview of the focused disciplines of management, as well as related business topics. This can help prepare students to seek managerial positions.
What Careers Are in Business Administration?
Given the variety of career paths with a business degree, students pursuing a degree in business administration can find themselves applying for managerial, financial and administrative roles. Those who excel in administrative functions may also oversee long-term strategies and projects.
The salary and job positions will vary by location and experience. Generally, jobs that business administration graduates can apply to include:
|Degree||Job Title||Annual Salary|
|BA in Business Admin/Accounting||Financial Manager||$127,9901|
|BA in Business Admin/Computer Information Systems||Systems Support Manager||$79,0573|
|BA in Healthcare Management||Healthcare Human Resources Manager||$113,3004|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$99,7305|
|BA in Management||Sales Manager||$124,2206|
|Administrative Services Manager||$96,1807|
Training and Advancement in Business Administration
Professionals in entry to mid-level administrative jobs can combine their degrees with certifications or additional training for further career advancement opportunities. Common business administration certifications include:
- Certified Manager (CM) Certification: This program developed by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers can demonstrate you could lead and manage with a professional level of competency.
- Project Management Professional (PMP®): Business administration students who graduate with a specialization may enter a profession where the main responsibilities might include project management. For these professionals, a PMP® might serve as validation of project management expertise. The scope of this certification is proof of its usefulness in most industries and project methodologies. Learn more about Florida Tech’s PMP® preparation course if this certification fits your professional needs.
- Certified Business Administrator (CBA): The American Certification Institute offers this certification to professionals interested in demonstrating their knowledge of office administration and business management practices.
Learn More About Business Administration
If you’re interested in figuring out whether it’s the right time to pursue your business administration degree, feel free to navigate Florida Tech’s business degrees page or request more information.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Financial Manager, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm?view_full (Accessed December 26, 2019).
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Financial Analyst, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm (Accessed December 26, 2019).
3System Support Manager Salary, on the internet at https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/systems-support-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm (Accessed December 27, 2019).
4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Healthcare Human Resources Manager, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-1 (Accessed December 26, 2019).
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Medical and Health Services Manager, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (Accessed December 26, 2019).
6Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Sales Manager on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm (Accessed December 26, 2019).
7Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Administrative Services Manager on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm (Accessed December 26, 2019).
National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Degree and/or certificate program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.