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What Is Business Administration? (+What to Do With Your Degree)

November 8, 2019

“So, what are you going to do with your life?”

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that before I went to college, I would have paid off my student loans a lot sooner.

Depending on your interests and career goals, the answer could be anything from an astronaut to working in the business field.

If you answered the latter, you’re probably interested in business administration, what kind of schooling you’ll need, and the kind of career path you’ll take. We have that all laid out for you in this article, so let’s get started.

What is business administration?

In the education system, business administration is the course of study taken in college that prepares you for managerial roles in various companies and organizations.

For those who have a passion for leadership and excellent organizational skills, a degree in business administration could lead you to a rewarding career in the future.

Getting a business administration degree

If you’re interested in getting a degree in business administration, you’ll want to get your bachelor’s degree in business. This degree will incorporate practical and quantitative courses that will provide you with skills you can take to a future organization.

Colleges and universities that offer this program typically require around 120 credit hours. In addition to general education classes, like college-level algebra and English composition, other courses that are often required for this degree are:

Taking things further, you can continue your education in business administration at the graduate level with a Master’s of Business Administration, also called an MBA. To get into the program, you’ll need to get into business school, so you’ll take either the GMAT or the GRE.

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Once accepted, full-time MBA programs can take two years to finish, while it may take part-time students at least three years. Courses can range but will likely consist of accounting, economics, marketing, business law, international business, and more.

What’s the difference between business administration and business management?

It’s easy to get business administration and business management confused, as the two are similar and can sometimes be used interchangeably. However, the two do have some key differences:

  • Business administration: Concentrates on the overall operations of the business. Students on this path can specialize in one area by choosing an area of concentration.
  • Business management: Focuses on interpersonal aspects of business. This is ideal for those who are interested in supervising or managing people.

The core curriculum for both degrees have similar courses related to business fundamentals, such as marketing, economics, finance, law, and ethics.

Business administration jobs

One of the great things about earning a degree in business administration is that there is a wide range of career opportunities at your fingertips. Some business administration jobs include:

Business administration salary

A business administration salary is going to depend on the type of career path you choose. These are the salary averages, according to Payscale, for the most popular career choices:

Office manager $43,000
Loan officer


Accountant $51,000
Advertising executive $52,000
Public relations specialist $59,000
Financial officer $60,000
Sales manager $60,000
Market research analyst $65,000
Human resources manager $67,000
Small business administrator $70,000
Commercial loan officer $72,000
Business analyst $76,000
Management analyst $82,000

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business administration field will grow 10% from 2016 to 2026.

Growth of Business Administration Field

It’s a business world

And we’re just living in it. Getting a business administration degree is a great way to kickstart your career in the business world. With so many potential career paths to take, the world is your oyster.

What Is Business Administration? (+What to Do With Your Degree) Interested in the world of business administration? Learn more about what kind of degree you'll need, what jobs await, and what your salary could look like.
Mara Calvello Mara Calvello is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Elmhurst College (now Elmhurst University). Mara's expertise lies within writing for HR, Design, SaaS Management, Social Media, and Technology categories. In her spare time, Mara is either at the gym, exploring the great outdoors with her rescue dog Zeke, enjoying Italian food, or right in the middle of a Harry Potter binge.

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