Business Management And Administration: Understanding The Career

business management and administration

Business administration and management is the most popular bachelor’s degree. It’s a versatile degree that leads to well-paying careers in a wide range of industries. Here, we look at its education and training, cost of education, and career paths.

Introduction to Business Administration & Management Careers

What does business administration do for society and its professionals? It isn’t only about the business industry. It affects every aspect of modern society.

Economic Growth

Featured Programs

These professionals contribute to the economy through these roles:

  • Track the organization’s daily activities for effective and efficient operations 
  • Create more job opportunities
  • Encourage entrepreneurship
  • Promoting economic diversity
  • Improve standards of living
  • Fund government programs through taxes

Innovation and Development

Many of the breakthrough innovations in modern society are the products of businesses. Think Apple’s personal computer, SpaceX’s reusable rockets, and Tesla’s electric vehicles.

Many businesses are also at the forefront of innovative processes and services. Examples include Uber, Amazon Prime, and Airbnb’s lodging marketplace.

These innovations improve workplace productivity and quality of life.

Corporate Social Responsibility

These professionals contribute to society through charitable contributions and support for local communities.

Social Progress and Stability

Their training development programs contribute to a skilled workforce. In turn, their knowledge and skills enable them to become productive citizens.

Their commitment to consumer choice and product quality is also important. The best businesses strive to meet consumer demand through best-value products and services. 

What Is Business Administration and Management?

Business management and administration are different concepts. Business management is the overall management of organizations. Business administration is the monitoring of daily operations.

What do business administrators do? Their roles and responsibilities include: 

  • Define and carry out goals, policies, and procedures
  • Manage general activities
  • Supervise finance-related activities
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Supervise employees, supervisors, and managers
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Apply new technologies
  • Consult with staff, managers, and executives
  • Negotiate and approve contracts

Their specific duties vary depending on their position, too.

The Scope of Business Administration & Management Careers

There are several business management administration careers available.

Many business and financial occupations are entry-level jobs with a bachelor’s degree requirement. Every occupation has its specific technical and transferable skills. Be sure to check them so that you can prepare.

  • Accountants prepare and analyze financial statements. Auditors examine financial records and statements for compliance.
  • Budget analysts assist organizations in financial planning.
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists manage salary and non-salary programs.
  • Cost estimators gather and analyze cost-related data for production.
  • Financial analysts provide financial management services.
  • Fundraisers raise donations, including cash and in-kind contributions.
  • Human resource specialists recruit and hire applicants.
  • Insurance underwriters approve or reject insurance applications.
  • Loan officers recommend approval or rejection of loan applications.
  • Project management analysts oversee projects from start to finish.d

The management occupations are for bachelor’s degree holders with relevant work experience. These professionals create plans and policies and manage business operations, among other responsibilities.

  • Administrative services and facilities managers oversee daily operations.
  • Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers increase interest among consumers for products and services.
  • Compensation and benefits managers create and carry out payment plans for employees.
  • Construction managers oversee construction projects.
  • Entertainment and recreation managers are in charge of fitness and leisure activities.
  • Financial managers oversee the financial management system and process.
  • Human resources managers are responsible for people management.

Many of these professionals have also earned professional certifications. Their occupations demand continuous learning and professional development for success.

These professionals work in a wide range of organizations, too.

  • Government agencies
  • Large corporations
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Banks, insurance companies, and investment firms
  • Consulting firms
  • Nonprofit organizations

Every industry needs business professionals, too. Business professionals have specialized knowledge and skills that are essential for their growth. They are in high demand in the retail, technology, and oil and energy industries.

Essential Skills for Success in Business

When people ask, “What does a business administrator do,” we look at their essential skills, too. Being a successful business professional means applying these skills.

Visionary Leadership

This is the ability to envision the future and lead others toward its realization through an actionable plan. Bill Gates, for example, is known for his visionary leadership of Microsoft.

Financial Acumen  

The success of an organization depends on its financial capacity and sustainability. Business administrators must have a solid understanding of financial accounting and management.

Marketing and Sales Skills

Even the most innovative product or service will fail if it isn’t marketed well. Effective marketing and sales skills are a must to move products off shelves or sell services to target customers.

Communication Skills

Every business activity demands effective communication skills. These involve verbal and non-verbal communication, interpersonal skills, active listening skills, and writing skills.

Negotiation Skills

Being able to reach mutually beneficial agreements during business deals and conflicts is essential for success. Negotiation tactics can be learned in formal classes and through practice.

Leadership Skills

Leaders motivate people toward achieving common goals. Their communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills are instrumental in their success. Being accountable and responsible also makes leaders respected.

Adaptability

Business professionals must be adaptable in the ever-changing, fast-paced business world. Otherwise, getting left behind is a threat. The ability to see opportunities amidst threats and strengths amidst weakness is also a must.

Problem-solving Skills

Challenges are always present in business, even with the best plans. Thinking outside the box, working with others, and learning from every mistake are part of problem-solving skills.

Decision-making Skills

Every business activity demands effective decision-making skills, too. You must be able to analyze information, evaluate your options, and make informed choices.

Delegation Skills

Business administrators can’t do everything. Their delegation skills come into play when they assign responsibility for work completion to other people.

Networking Skills

Business networking is an affordable way of selling products, getting deals, and finding resources. The more extensive your network, the more resources available.

Analytical Skills

Business analytics skills contribute to your increased influence. If you have reliable data to support your decisions, you’re making informed decisions.

Team-building Skills

The best teams get things done. While individuals have their specific responsibilities, their efforts contribute to a collective whole.

Time Management Skills

Business administrators have their plates full. Their time management skills ensure that they are using their time wisely.

Emotional Intelligence

Being aware of your emotions and reactions is the first step toward emotional intelligence. Think of it as being a mature individual who can deal with business challenges calmly.

Keep in mind that no business skill is more important than the others. Every skill has its place in business activities.

Education and Training in Business Administration & Management

Is a business administration and management degree needed for success? We’ve often heard it because of the success of business tycoons without college degrees. Richard Branson, David Green, and Bill Gates are oft-repeated examples. But these successful business personalities are the exception, not the norm.

We can also mention that Sheryl Sandberg, Michael Bloomberg, and Satya Nadella have MBAs from prestigious universities. Indeed, earning a college degree in business administration and management is an excellent preparation for career success.

Reasons for Earning A Business Degree

Preparation for the Workforce

You gain the knowledge and skills that prospective employers look for in their applicants. But you can also use your knowledge and skills to create your own business. You will also have a competitive edge in entry-level jobs with a bachelor’s degree requirement.

Build Your Network

Your college life will be filled with opportunities to meet new people, establish positive relationships, and learn from professionals. These are excellent ways to find internship and job opportunities, establish connections for your future business, and enrich your life.

Gain Competitive Soft Skills

While in college, you will gain technical skills in business. But, more importantly, you will develop your soft skills. Think of soft skills as your competitive edge. You and other applicants will have similar technical skills, but your soft skills will make you stand out.

The bottom line: With a business degree, you can build your career with a solid foundation.

Types of Business Degrees

On another note, business administration and management degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Associate Degree

This is a two-year degree offered by community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. You can enter the business industry sooner, but usually in clerical positions.

The curriculum covers general education courses, basic business courses, and electives. The introductory business courses cover accounting, finance, business law and ethics, among others.

Bachelor’s Degree

This is a four-year degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. Many business administration jobs at the administrative and supervisory levels have a bachelor’s degree requirement.

The curriculum also covers general education and elective courses. If you already have an associate degree, you can apply for transfer of credits for general education courses. You will then only complete the major or core courses in accounting, finance, and marketing, among others.

Students in bachelor’s degree programs in business administration usually complete internships. These field placements are hands-on learning opportunities that train them for real-world situations. Depending on the internship, it may or may not be paid work.

Many programs also have a thesis or a capstone project as a culminating requirement. A thesis is a formal paper that adds to the body of knowledge. A capstone project recommends a possible solution to a real-world business issue.

Master’s Degree

The Master of Business Administration is the most popular graduate degree. You will learn more advanced business administration knowledge and skills for leadership positions. The MBA can be earned in as quick as 18 months.

Many MBA programs offer concentrations that prepare students for specialized roles. Project management, strategic management, and international business are popular options.

Graduate students usually don’t participate in internships but must complete a comprehensive exam and a capstone project. In Executive MBA programs, students are typically required to submit a strategic business plan, complete a consulting project, or make an executive presentation.

Doctoral Degree

Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. and Doctor of Business Administration or DBA are terminal degrees. Both emphasize advanced study of business concepts, take several years to complete, and open career advancement opportunities.

However, the DBA degree focuses on applied research and its practical applications in business. The PhD degree has a more theoretical research focus.

Professionals with either a DBA or PhD degree work as consultants, professors, and top executives in government agencies, colleges, universities, and private organizations.

Business Courses and Certificates

If you don’t want to earn a business degree yet, you can take standalone business courses. You may also earn business certificates. Both types are offered in community colleges, four-year institutions, and online platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udemy (MOOCs).

Many of these MOOCs are offered in partnership with prestigious business schools, too. Look for courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MIT.

Be sure to read and understand the business administration description of the programs first. You want to make the right decision about your business degree.

While these aren’t college degrees, business courses and certificates are useful credentials. You can learn specialized knowledge and skills in specific business areas, such as business analytics and intelligence.

Entrepreneurs can gain specific knowledge and skills that will strengthen their business savvy. You will gain a global perspective of your business, too. Being more aware of your business strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and of yourself is a plus.

Real-Life Insights: Interviews with Business Professionals

Of course, you can learn the knowledge and skills for business success during your college years. But getting inspiration from success stories will increase your desire for business career success. You will also gain real-life insights that can be put to use in your own career.

In Ben Meric’s 23 Life-Changing CEO Insights, the CEO and founder of IVY gave summaries of his interviews with successful businessmen. The best examples include:

  • Mike Evans, the GrubHub founder, asserts that it’s important to “understand your definition of success.” You should keep reflecting and changing your definition of personal success as your business changes, too. For Evans, success isn’t about earning millions of money – it’s about helping independent restaurants become more competitive against big chains. 
  • Andy Dunn, the CEO of Bonobos, says that disclosing “vulnerable things to your team” can change corporate culture and inspire employees. The sense of psychological safety encourages people to draw closer together as a team.
  • Nicholas Janni, a leadership development expert, business professor, and transformational coach, calls leadership an “attentional practice.” Leaders are present in the moment and pay attention to themselves and others.

Drew Harden, the founder and CEO of Blue Compass, says that you must surround yourself with the right people. Look for the right work ethic and values. Being team-oriented, positive, and intelligent, as well as eager for growth are just as important as skills when hiring people.

Indra Nooyi, the former PepsiCo CEO, emphasized the value of adaptability, lifelong learning, and embracing change. Sheryl Sandberg, the current Facebook COO, swears by the values of resilience, believing in yourself, and speaking up. Warren Buffett, the CEO and Chair of Berkshire Hathaway, also encourages lifelong learning.

Remember that their success stories are only inspirational stories. You must carve your career using your knowledge, skills, and resources. Let your own success story be an inspiration for others, too.

Navigating the Business World: Career Paths and Opportunities

The business world is and has always been competitive. While business graduates are in high demand, the stiff competition means applicants must be well-prepared. For this reason, you must start planning your business career during your college years.

Explore Your Career Paths

As you complete your business degree, you will encounter people and experience things that can change your mind. Be open to these changes and explore alternative career paths. You may, for example, change your mind about employment and be an entrepreneur after graduation instead.

  • Start by understanding your interests, values, and work ethics. 
  • Identify the roles that best fit your personality traits.
  • Explore your career options by researching them.
  • Ask for inputs and insights from your professors and current professionals in the business field you’re interested in.
  • Participate in hands-on learning opportunities to gain more clarity about careers.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, too. You may have set your heart on a finance career, for example, but decided that a technology career is the better fit.

Network, Network, Network

The value of an extensive and supportive network cannot be overemphasized.

  • Attend networking events, such as job fairs, workshops, seminars, and industry conventions.
  • Establish positive relationships with your peers and professors, as well as current industry professionals and college alumni.
  • Provide value to your network. Keep in mind that successful networking is a two-way street.

You should also consider a mentor-mentee relationship with a trusted professor, a local businessman, or an academic advisor. You will gain valuable insights that aren’t in textbooks.

Build Your Resume

Your bachelor’s degree can put one foot inside the door. But your experience-filled resume can get you inside the door. You must then gain work experience while you’re still in college.

  • Job shadowing, internships, and part-time jobs are great options
  • Participate in volunteer work, such as in community projects and nonprofit organizations
  • Join student organizations and community organizations. Be an active participant, even a student leader
  • Earn a business certification, such as Google Analytics Certification or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification

With a work experience-filled resume, you’re demonstrating your good work ethic, time management skills, and commitment to learning.

Financing Your Education in Business Administration & Management

The cost of earning a business degree, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is a significant barrier for many students. Bachelor’s degree programs can charge between $10,662 and $42,162 in annual tuition and fees (2023-2024). Master’s degree programs vary widely in their tuition and fees, too, but the average cost is $20,513 per year.

Fortunately, there are several ways of financing your business education. You must remember that your success in avoiding the student loan debt trap is in combining these strategies.

Apply for Federal Financial Aid

Even when you feel that you won’t qualify for federal aid, submit your complete and accurate FAFSA form. Colleges and universities are also using the FAFSA to determine eligibility for institutional scholarships, grants, and assistantships.

The Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Department of Education have educational benefits programs for active-duty military members and veterans. Even their spouses and dependent children can qualify for scholarships, grants, and low- to no-interest loans.

Seek Scholarships and Grants

Aside from scholarships and grants for college students, you should also consider business-specific financial aid. These scholarships and grants are specifically aimed at business students:

  • AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship Award
  • BBB Northwest Students of Integrity Scholarship
  • AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship
  • Adore Me Scholarship
  • Cargill Global Scholars Program for U.S. Students

Ask the financial aid office of your college for information about financial aid options. Look at scholarship websites, too, such as Fastweb, BrightFuture, and Scholarships.com. Ask about financial aid from local community organizations, nonprofit organizations, and charitable foundations.

Consider Work-Study Arrangements

The federal government has a work-study program that allows students to earn extra income for their education costs. You can also consider fellowships and assistantships offered by your college. In both cases, you’re earning money and gaining work experience.

Ask your employer about a tuition reimbursement plan, too. You may be asked to return the favor, so to speak, by working for the company for a set number of years after graduation.

While loans can be used to finance your business education, you shouldn’t consider them as your first option. You should instead consider off-campus part-time jobs. 

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Business Leadership

Earning a business degree brings excellent returns on investment. Both personal and professional growth are assured when you earn a business degree.

But it isn’t a walk in the park either. You must apply yourself to the challenges that come with higher education and maximize your learning opportunities. Your success in the business world isn’t guaranteed but it can be yours for the taking.