Business administration is one of the top degrees that are most popular among university or college programs all over the world. There are reasons for this. If armed with this degree, you can get a career in almost every industry: business, consulting, manufacturing, banking, advertising, or even music.
As a BSc holder in business administration, you are most likely equipped to handle any administrative or managerial job across all industries. If you take a step further to earn a masters or doctoral degree, your next big step should be to handle leadership roles in any field. However, with just an associate’s degree, you may be restricted to get an employment in a sales or retail outlet as a management trainee, office manager or project coordinator.
Business administration courses could be offered both online and in-campus. You could make your choice based on what you want, bearing in mind that you are likely to work closely with other students as a team which enables you to put into practice, the theoretical aspect of your program.
Are you interested in this program? Let’s consider the following:
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Associate’s Degree in Business Administration
An associate’s degree in business administration may not give you all you need to explore this interesting program, but you are sure to find a bearing in the business world. It does not matter if you are looking to launch a new career or to advance in the one you’ve already got. Most of the associate’s degree programs are based on accounting, management and software application.
Taking it further, there are schools that offer specialised courses in business administration like healthcare administration, information systems as well as human resources. You could as well build the skills necessary to land a job at the entry level.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration
You will have better job roles with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. You will come away with a better grasp of business management principles and application, as well as interpersonal skills. As a student, your program could include core business subjects like general business administration, accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and ICT. Others include logistics, human resources, international business and organizational behavior. This will make you be better equipped to tackle broader job roles because there is so much to business than managerial roles.
A curriculm in business administration is designed to teach students ways to focus on strategic planning, create organisational values and master principles of finance. Real world business scenarios are also taught to enable students come in terms with what is obtainable in the business world.
With your skills and knowledge, you will be enabled to work across all sectors in private, public and non-profit organisations. Your job roles could be as a business analyst, operations manager, human resource manager, or marketing specialist. You could also find enough space as an entrepreneur, building your own business from the scratch.
It only takes 4 years to complete a bachelors in business administration. You may need to complete an estimation of 120 course credits. Accounting, business law, finance, management, and marketing are compulsory courses you must take, not forgetting that there are some elective courses involved. However, the electives are based on your chosen institution.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs
Graduates with Master of Business Administration are qualified for more extended job roles and are faced with diverse business opportunities. You could be a corporate controller, executive director, consultant, or even a business owner.
As an aspiring MBA student, you could opt for a full-time or part-time program in business administration. The full-time program typically takes two years to complete. There is also an option that allows you to enter into a BA/MBA track and earn both degrees within five years.
If you are a working professional or have limited study time, but want to earn a Masters in Business Administration, you could choose the option of studying online. This is an alternative to traditional learning. There are accredited MBA online programs that can offer you same high quality education, though with varied curriculum based on the schools offering them.
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
As a doctor of business administration, you are prepared to lead, consult and teach in corporate and academic environments. DBA degree programs build on skills acquired at the master’s level, as well as experience gained through management positions. You will have more lucrative career opportunities in leadership and management, as well as become more competent in conducting research.
It typically takes between 3 to 6 years to earn a degree in DBA. The studies concentrate on research and analysis, strategic planning, management, solution-based leadership, and more. You could also choose more specialized courses like international business, information systems, marketing, and management. Furthermore, as a student of Doctor of Business Administration, you must write a doctoral dissertation as well as defend it. It is also compulsory that you pass a comprehensive exam to qualify for the certificate.
Additionally, PhD in business administration differs from a DBA because it emphasizes research as well as preparing you to work in academic environments. While you may be restricted to work in management with a DBA certificate, PhD qualifies you for roles like professor, researcher, or an economist.
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What You Can Do with a Degree in Business Administration
The job market is a fertile ground for business administration professionals. You could find employment in fields like human resources, marketing, accounting, banking, and other related fields. The exact career path to follow is dependent on your area of specialization. You can get jobs in private, public, and other sectors.
There are many career options available in business administration and they are capable to increase with more educational certificates on the side of the graduate. A versatile business degree offers you more opportunities in various industries like consulting, healthcare, energy, and technologies. MBA graduates are better equipped for such opportunities.
The following are possible career paths that are open to graduates of business administration.
- Sales Manager
A sales manager is in charge of the organization’s sales team and as well, responsible for revenue generation in the organization. It is the duty of a sales manager to set sales goals, analyze sales data, and create sales training programs for the members of the team. In addition to that, the sales manager projects sales and assesses the profitability of the company’s products and services. Between 2020 and 2024, the job of sales managers is expected to grow by 5%.
- Financial analysts
Financial analysts are burdened with different duties such as gathering data, running financial models, and also making financial recommendations. They have a strong understanding of a particular business or industry, as well as deliver presentations that explain their investment ideas for the organization.
There are two aspects of financial analysts: the buy-side analysts who perform research and make recommendations for companies that specialize in pension funds or mutual funds. The sell-side analysts specialize in firms that manage individuals’ accounts. They also help the clients of the firm to make better options in the buying or selling of stock. Between 2020 and 2024, the job prospects of business analysts are expected to increase by 12%.
- Training and development specialist
The roles of training and development specialists include planning, conducting, and administering training programs in order to improve the skills and knowledge of the organization’s personnel. This set of specialists can work across virtually all industries. Their job is people-oriented and so, spend quality time with people, training them, and helping them better with their skills. In addition, they are responsible for assessing employees, conducting interviews, and offering consultation services. With this, they can develop programs that would meet the specific skills of each employee. The job of training and development specialists is expected to rise by 7% by 2024.
- Loan officers
The job of loan officers includes evaluation, authorization, and recommendation for the approval of loans for individuals and organizations. They obtain and analyze the financial information of those applying for loans like their credit scores and level of income. Lastly, they review loan agreements to ensure they comply with federal and state standards.
Most of the jobs of loan officers are found in commercial banks, mortgage companies, and any financial institution with related needs. The job of loan officers is projected to increase by 8% between 2020 and 2024.
- Market research analysts
Market research analysts have varieties of roles to perform for the organization. They help their company to understand their target customers, the kind of products or services suitable for their customers and different means they can promote these products and services in order to make sales and ultimately increase profit. Market research analysts are responsible for designing surveys, training, and supervising the interviewers in charge of the surveys. They work in a variety of industries and consulting firms. The job of marketing research analysts is expected to grow by 19% by 2024.
- Business consultants
Business consultants could be also referred to as management consultants. They help organizations to propose ways to increase organizational efficiencies. Their duties also include advising managers on ways to increase the profitability ratio of the organization by reducing costs and increasing revenues.
Generally, management consultants analyze the data of the problems experienced by the organization and devise solutions to such problems. Then, they recommend improved systems that would aid positive changes in the organization. The job of business consultants is expected to increase by 14% between 2020 and 2024.
- Meeting, convention and event planner
The job of these professionals includes coordinating events and professional meetings. They meet with clients in order to reach agreements on the purpose of the meeting, convention, or event and also a suitable location for such a meeting, convention, or event. The planner looks out for the event venues and vendors that match their specifications and also negotiate for payments. These planners mostly work for private companies, however, they could also be employed by religious bodies, food service vendors, or professional organizations to provide full-time or part-time services.
- Procurement officers
The procurement officer is also called the purchasing officer or procurement specialist. The procurement officer is required to acquire or purchase products that are necessary for the day-to-day activities of the organization. They need major skills in analysis and negotiation which will help in bidding the best offer for the organization at a very minimal cost possible while putting quality and duration into consideration.
A purchasing officer is required to understand the time between the purchasing or ordering of the product to the time it is expected to get to the organization for timely utilization. Before then, he is expected to do a background check on the suppliers to understand their reputation, products, or services they offer in addition to quality and pricing. Then, if need be, he should build a relationship with the suppliers for future business purposes. He must also put the company’s needs into consideration so as to guide his purchasing decisions.
In some cases, the procurement officer can deal with international logistics, if the organization operates internationally. He could be lucky to serve as a member of the executive boards too.
- Office administrator
The office administrator is a professional with a variety of options when it comes to employment. With the advent of technology and innovation, an office administrator is burdened with the duty of multi-tasking. One of the basic skills he must not joke with is the use of database and Microsft software like Word, Excel, and so on. Having a basic knowledge of reporting and accounting is not bad at all. His duties require handling of phones, clients, and employees which leaves him with little or no choice but to possess enough people skills. He can also plan and organize office space, use office equipment, and attend to some unexpected office situations.
- Municipal managers
Municipal managers cater to big cities and counties. Some big cities need administrative personnel to take care of some tasks. Municipal administration requires that professionals with business administration background take up such roles to ensure that it is run like a business. If it does not happen that way, the operations may not be run smoothly and efficiently.
Advancing Your Career in Business Administration
Once you obtain your first career in business administration, you could always find ways to improve your job and increase your salary range. This may be in form of acquiring a certification, enrolling in a master’s program, or completing a course in a continuing education program. This may be dependent on your career goals or employer’s specification.
Some business administration professionals opt for certifications to advance in their careers. This certification could be obtained in the Project Management Institute (PMI). You could also go for online certifications where you can take part in continuing education to enhance your career. There are some online programs provided at no cost or with a fee and they are developed by top professors in the university.
Through the Institute of Certified Management Professionals, you can become a Certified Manager (CM). You will need some level of experience in the field to apply for a Certified Manager certification program. Additionally, you will be required to take part in a 90-hour prep program and also pass your exams. With the CM certification, you will be able to manage and lead with competence. Your resume will also smile at you because it will help you to seek more advanced opportunities in your career.
If you seriously wish to advance your career in business administration and obtain a certification, you may have to consult with a specialist who would help in determining the best courses for you. It is advisable that you network with your peers in the same field and form relationships with individuals with the same career goals. Joining professional organizations may not be a bad idea as these could help you in securing a better job or improving your salary level.
Why Pursue a Career in Business Administration?
A career in business administration offers you so many opportunities. However, you are expected to think analytically, lead diverse teams, and perform research. You need to have a passion for the course in order to be well-grounded and be willing to sail through any storm. As a business administrator, you are advised to focus on fields that align with your expertise and passion.
Seeking jobs in business administration requires you to be willing to help your organization meet its financial goals. The salaries of business administration graduates are projected to be between $50 000 and $90 000 per annum and their employment is expected to grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028. This is quite encouraging.
Skills to Develop for a Career Path in Business Administration
You will need both technical and people skills to advance as a business administration professional. With formal training and work experience, you can acquire most of the skills you need in your career advancement.
Through training, students in business administration develop leadership skills and are better equipped in analytical, communication and problem-solving abilities. You will develop some skill-sets that would help you to critically analyze a problem and applying the necessary approach to solve the problems. Management of a large group of people who are part of a team is another skill you would develop in this field. With your knowledge, you can foster professional communications in your organization.
There are also a number of transferable skills you could develop and they include:
- An in-depth understanding of organizational structure and behavior.
- Decision making
- Written and oral communication
- Time, project and resource management
- Self-reliance and initiatives
- Ability to conduct research, interpret and use and financial data.
Learning in business administration is a continuous process. You will also learn to plan, organize, lead, and support the resources that make up the business world. With more certifications and career development, you are likely to gain better experiences and skills. Interestingly, employers are on the lookout for graduates in the field of business administration with a variety of skills.
Employers are much more interested in individuals with some level of experience. This means that you may not be fully qualified just because you have a degree in business administration. You may consider getting an entry-level job in order to get a footing in the employment world. You could also seek out some companies that offer internships to college students and apply. Many companies also offer on-the-job training to new employees. This will avail you of the opportunities to gain experiences and develop some skills in the areas of management, communication, analytical, time management, among the rest. The pay may be meager, but the experience may be what you need to land that dream job of yours.
Switching Your Career to Business Administration
If you are a professional in other fields and wish to switch to a career in business administration, it is very much easy. This procedure is more favorable to professionals in marketing, project management, economics, international business and entrepreneurship. You could transition to a business administration career by obtaining the necessary certifications or certificates. Obtaining this is made easier with the help of online programs at different levels. An MBA online programme could take two years to obtain.
Additional Career Paths
In addition to the above career options, business administration graduates could also pursue the following career paths.
- Buyer or purchasing agent
- Labour relations specialist
- Insurance and underwriter
- Franchise manager
- Advertising personnel
- Sports operations manager, and so on.
A business administration professional may consider starting his own business and towing the path of entrepreneurship. This may not be an easy task, but it does not mean that it cannot be considered at all. There are new startups in today’s world of technology. With the advancement in internet technologies, there have been varieties of online businesses one can start with just a click of the button. E-commerce, writing, dropshipping, social media management, and so on have gained enough reputation due to the constant development of online consumers.
Salary Outlook for a Business Administrator
The annual salaries of business administration professionals differ depending on job specifications, industry and locations.
The entry level salary is between $60 000 and $120 000.
The MBA graduates can earn as much as $160 000.
With more experience and degrees, graduates of business administration can excel in higher-paying job positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that the average salary of a business administration professional with a bachelor’s degree in 2018 was around $103 000. With a master’s degree, this could take a leap skywards.
In conclusion, earning a degree in business administration is one of the best decisions to take. There are a lot of options available for you and it is one of the easiest choices to make. Getting a job cut across all industries; it is only left for you to make a choice based on your preferences.