Is a Business Administration Degree Right for You?

If you want to learn how to be an effective business leader and get a firm grasp on all the elements necessary for a business to operate effectively and profitably, then an online bachelor’s degree in business administration is a good fit for you. Business is the single most popular major chosen by college students, and it’s not hard to see why.

It’s been listed among the college degrees that employers love because it provides a broad education that nearly any industry can build on. In addition, business administration is a good fit for students who want the opportunity to take a variety of business courses to see what they like and later specialize in a specific area as they discover their true interests.

Advice for Earning Your Business Administration Degree Online

The best online business degrees are offered by business schools that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is the oldest and most prestigious business school accreditor. Students who have already earned an associate degree or a significant amount of college credits may want to consider degree completion programs in business administration that are aimed at students who have already earned about 60 college credits. Adult students who have never taken online courses and who have been out of school for a while may wish to start out taking a part-time course load until they have a better idea of how they will go about balancing online study with their work and family obligations. Finally, we recommend students select a program that requires the completion of a business internship or portfolio so that students have effective tools in place for a future job search.

Required Courses

Business administration degrees emphasize the four pillars of business, which include management, accounting, finance, and marketing, as well as economics and business law and ethics. A specialization in one of these areas will lead to more in-depth courses in those subjects, or students can concentrate their studies in another relevant area of business, like international business, health care management, e-commerce, or entrepreneurship. Some courses you may take in an online business degree program might include:

  • Business Information Systems
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Corporate Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Statistics for Business Decisions

Common Career Paths

People with business administration degrees are hired in almost every industry, but here we’ll briefly discuss a few potential career titles. Keep in mind that salaries vary greatly by industry, the region of the country you live in, the size of the organization you work for, and your level of experience.

Accountants and Auditors

  • Expected Growth: 16%
  • Average Annual Salary: $70,130

The firm grounding in accounting that you receive in a business administration program could lead to an accounting career where you prepare financial records for an organization and handle an organization’s tax documents. An auditing career requires a different set of skills, namely the ability to spot fraud or financial mismanagement after examining an organization’s financial documents. While a degree in accounting is the most relevant qualification, many people do enter this career with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The above salary and job outlook figures were provided by the BLS.

Management Analysts

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $87,980

Management analysts, sometimes called management consultants, examine how an organization runs and make recommendations on how it can be run more effectively and profitably. Management analysts may specialize in certain areas, such as the reorganization of companies, or work in a specific industry, such as health care. While a bachelor’s degree in business is an appropriate degree to get started in this field, a master’s degree may be preferred for certain positions, the BLS explains. The employment growth projection and salary figure listed above were provided by the BLS.

Industrial Production Managers

  • Expected Growth: 9%
  • Average Annual Salary: $96,370

Industrial production managers are in charge of the daily operations of manufacturing plants, which might produce anything from toys to vehicles to farm equipment. They set goals for the plant, ensure that the goods being produced meet quality standards, hire and train personnel, and address any issues that might negatively impact production. While business administration degrees are common in the industry, work experience in the field is equally important, the BLS emphasizes. The employment growth and salary statistics listed above were provided by the BLS.

Sales Managers

  • Expected Growth: 12%
  • Average Annual Salary: $116,860

Sales managers make sure that a company’s sales team is working effectively toward the sales goals they set, and also manage sales budgets in a company. They also create and implement strategies to increase sales, such as running discounts on products or services, or training sales representatives how to sell more effectively. Sales managers typically have bachelor’s degrees, and business administration degrees provide course work in management, marketing, and statistics that is relevant toward their job requirements. The above salary and job outlook statistics were gathered from the BLS.

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

  • Expected Growth: 15%
  • Average Annual Salary: $98,810

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents often work for investment and trading firms, where they are involved in buying and selling securities, such as stocks and bonds, as well as buying and selling commodities, such as gold or oil, the BLS explains. Some of these professionals might connect businesses in need of capital to investors. Career titles under this umbrella might include brokers, investment bankers, investment banking sales agents and traders, floor brokers, and financial services sales agents.

A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or similar area can help you get started in this fast-paced field, but an MBA may be beneficial in helping you advance. The job growth projections and salary figures listed above were provided by the BLS.

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