A business administration degree offers the flexibility to learn about all aspects of business from the ground up and may be beneficial across multiple fields. If you’re thinking of earning an MBA, a business administration degree is an excellent stepping-stone. And if you know you’re interested in business but just aren’t certain of a direction yet, it’s a good way to get an all-around business education.
5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide on a Business Major
1. What Do You Want to Do When You Graduate?
If you know the answer to this question, that’s half the battle. A potential manager at an accounting firm will benefit from different course material than will a person who wants to work in public relations. If you aren’t sure yet what you want to do, you may benefit more from a general business or business administration major.
2. What are the Career Opportunities for Graduates with this Major?
When determining if a business degree is worth it, go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website and look up roles that interest you. You’ll find the median pay of people with that job, the job outlook from 2018-2028, the general description of the job, and data by state and region.
3. Are there Particular Skills or Expertise You Most Want to Learn?
Even if you don’t know your ultimate goal, you probably have an idea what interests you. Are you drawn to business law? Marketing? Health care manager? Financial services? Sales? Corporate management? Do you want to work for others, or are you more of an entrepreneurial type, dreaming of opening your own business? Use your answers to these questions to guide you in choosing your major.
4. How Does the Curriculum Differ Between Majors?
Time to do a little homework. Visit the websites of the colleges or universities you’re considering and check out the curriculum for different business majors. When you find yourself looking at some course topics that strike you as something you’d be interested in learning, you’re heading down the right path.
5. Is there Someone I Can Ask to Help Me Compare Majors?
Who do you know in the business world? An accountant? A business executive? A sales representative? A human-resources staff member? Talk with them. If they have at least five years of experience, they should be able to give you an insider’s look at different aspects of your decision.
Choosing Your Business Administration Major
Let’s say you’ve decided business administration is a good major for you. There are two main paths: a general degree or a specialized degree.
General Business Administration Degree:
A degree that prepares you for entry-level jobs in a variety of workplaces. Typically, curriculum is a mix of business courses like economics, accounting, management, marketing and finance. A general business administration degree emphasizes a range of skills, including organizational behavior, problem-solving, leadership and budgeting.
This degree will give you a well-rounded foundation in business concepts, making you a candidate for many positions in a variety of fields.
Specialized Business Administration Degree:
Still a general degree, and you’ll still study all the core business classes, but many universities allow you to specialize within this degree. Some common concentrations for business administration majors include finance, human resources management, computer information systems and health care management. Your course load will still be a mix of general business classes, but will also include classes in your concentration.
Choosing to specialize your business administration degree allows you to gain the general skills as well as a foundation of industry-specific knowledge in your chosen field. If you have a specific career or field in mind, specializing is a great way to prepare for job opportunities after graduation.
Real-World Examples of When a Business Major Comes in Handy
1. During college internships
If you’re majoring in business administration, you’ll be able to apply to internships at nearly any kind of company. It’s smart this early in your career to not limit your options.
2. When you’re being considered for a promotion
When it comes to promotions, companies might consider promoting candidates who have experience in more than one area of the business. Having a well-rounded education can typically give you knowledge of multiple areas, which is usually seen as a strength.
3. When you’re planning to join a family business
A family business may focus exclusively on one product or service. But a business administration degree exposes you to other aspects of the work world, such as marketing, human resources and finance, enabling you to infuse new energy into an established company.
When determining if business administration is a good major for you, consider your goals and expectations. You may be unsure of your exact path but desire a major that offers a strong foundation and flexibility. Most college degrees are expensive, and many students graduate with a lot of debt. It can be beneficial to have a degree that may qualify you for multiple occupations.
If you know you want to work in business, a business administration degree has many applications; it allows you to apply for many positions at different companies, learn as you go, and follow the career path that develops organically over time.