What Can I Do with a Business Administration Degree?
Business education provides versatility because it can be applied to a variety of industries and organizations, including new businesses, rising startups, small businesses, nonprofits, health care organizations, schools and large corporations.
A business administration degree teaches business fundamentals and business management best practices. Students get a broad understanding of business fields, such as finance, marketing and human resources. Students will likely learn how to plan, organize, lead and support various aspects of a business.
There are lots of things you can do with a business administration degree, from owning a business to an increased leadership role at an organization. Here’s a look at the potential skills a business administration degree can offer.
Why Study Business Administration?
Business degrees are the most popular choices for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (2016-17). Business administration knowledge can apply beyond working for the corporate business world. Business administration expertise can be used to help charities succeed, to launch startups, start new businesses or take over family businesses.
Business Administration vs. Business Management
A business degree offers a broad business background and typically provides students with the ability to choose a business concentration to focus on. Business administration degree programs will usually cover management principles from a high-level view.
In a business management program, there’s more emphasis on business planning, organizing and management. Business management students take courses based on managing and supervising people and operations.
Both programs will have some overlap, but a business manager program will focus more heavily on management, while a business administration program will focus more on general business practices and whatever concentration is selected.
Contemplate Your Business Administration Career Path
As you think about careers with a business administration degree, remember that all types of organizations need managers to lead projects and teams and delegate resources. Business administrators can work for government, nonprofits, international businesses and the private sector. Within a variety of organizations, there are leadership roles in areas like accounting, data analytics, human resources, marketing and product development.
Many business administration programs enable students to choose a concentration that aligns with their career goals. Concentrations you might consider include:
- Human resources
- Health care management
- Business analytics
- Project management
- Operations management
- Information systems
- Real estate
- Supply chain management
Depending on the role you want and type of organization you want to work for, you can learn core business administration principles and then choose a concentration that directly relates to your career goals.
You might also consider a dual degree program. Structures can vary, including programs where you earn a bachelor’s degree in one subject and a Master of Business Administration degree, or where you earn two master’s degrees in one program. Here are a couple examples:
Engineering and Business Dual Degree
If you want to be a business leader with an engineering background, a dual degree in engineering and business can help you land leadership roles in engineering. There are some programs that focus on engineering for the first few years, then on business administration, then synthesize the subjects to help engineers grow their organizations.
Pre-Law and Business Dual Degree
Aspiring lawyers who want to apply legal knowledge to organizations or who want to work with business clients might be interested in a pre-law and business dual degree. Graduates with this dual degree might pursue careers as corporate lawyers or specialize in business legal matters at law firms.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Degree in Business Administration?
With a degree in business administration, there are job opportunities in a variety of industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of financial operations and business occupations is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average for all occupations. About 591,800 new jobs are expected to be added in roles like:
- Accounting and auditor jobs: Auditors and accountants analyze and prepare financial records.
- Budget analyst jobs: Budget analysts assist in finance organization, prepare budget reports and monitor spending.
- Financial analyst jobs: Financial analysts assess investment performance and help businesses and individuals make investment decisions.
- Human resources specialist jobs: Human resources specialists manage employee relations, training, benefits and compensation.
- Management analyst jobs: Management analysts, also called management consultants, analyze businesses to make recommendations for reducing costs and increasing revenue.
- Market research analyst jobs: Market research analysts forecast and monitor sales and marketing trends.
- Training and development specialist jobs: Training and development specialists create and conduct programs that train employees.
There are also management positions in a variety of businesses. The BLS reports employment of management positions is also projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, with 706,900 new jobs added. Management positions include:
- Administrative services managers
- Advertising, promotions and marketing managers
- Compensation and benefits managers
- Construction managers
- Financial managers
- Food service managers
- Human resources managers
- Industrial production managers
- Medical and health services managers
- Public relations and fundraising managers
- Sales managers
- Training and development managers
Some business administration degree holders go on to pursue top executive positions. The BLS projects 150,600 top executive positions will be added from 2018 to 2028, a growth rate of 6%.
Other business administration degree holders start their own businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, there were 30.7 million small businesses (PDF, 1.3 MB) in 2019, which made up 99.9% of U.S. businesses and employed 59.9 million workers.
5 Skills You Obtain from a Business Degree
In a business administration degree program, you will learn about common business functions, including accounting, marketing, operations, finance, budgeting, product pricing, management and human resources. This can help you understand how businesses form and operate, and why they’re likely to succeed or fail in certain market conditions.
Your program may also help you develop soft skills like communication and leadership. The following are skills you can expect to learn in a business administration degree program:
1. Organizational Leadership and Management
Business administration students can expect to learn skills related to problem-solving, goal-setting, task creation and planning, responsibility assignment, group behavior and team-building.
2. Critical Thinking
Analytical skills like decision-making, financial analysis and data analysis are covered in a business administration program. Students may be able to choose a concentration that delves deeper into topics like these.
3. Financial Skills
Accounting, finance and economics are typically covered in a business administration degree program. Students learn about cash flow, capital markets, financial risk and other related topics.
Business administration students may learn about effective communication via a variety of channels, including public speaking and presentations, written communication and business documents, and team communication through collaboration.
A business administration program might also teach students about customer demand and target markets and how to successfully price, promote and distribute products and services.
Is a Bachelor of Business Administration in Demand?
Most companies and organizations can benefit from business skills to keep the organization operating successfully. As you consider whether business administration is a good choice in major, skills like leadership, management, communication, finance and marketing will likely apply. There are programs that enable students to tailor the curriculum to their unique career goals.
Last Updated July 2020