Business Administration

Business administrators are the people within an organization who plan, direct and coordinate various services for the company. In essence, they manage all aspects of business and operation for their employer.

Their duties may include the purchase and distribution of consumables and supplies, supervising other administrative office personnel, recommending changes and policies that will improve the overall operations of the organization and overseeing the maintenance and repair of equipment used in the everyday operation of the facility.

Business administrators can work for educational institutions, in the healthcare industry, for state and local governments, for the finance and insurance industries and in the scientific and technical sectors.

Education Requirements

There are several degree options available to those who wish to seek a career in business administration. The level of degree one earns will directly affect the kinds of jobs for which they will qualify.

An associate’s degree in business administration will take between 18 months and two years to complete and generally is offered through community colleges and specialized business schools. Coursework included in quality business administration programs includes the basics of business such as accounting, management and software applications commonly used in business management. Students also will learn about business operations, as well as problem solving and decision-making skills. Candidates who earn an associate degree are qualified to work in most entry-level positions within the industry.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration takes four years to complete and will open more doors within the industry.
Courses included in undergraduate degree programs in business administration include business concepts, business ethics, analysis and strategic management and communications. Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration also will have the opportunity to declare a concentration that includes, but is not limited to, accounting, banking, entrepreneurship or finance. Candidates who possess a bachelor’s degree tend to earn higher salaries than those with just a two-year associate degree.

Graduate degrees in business administration, also commonly referred to as master’s degrees, take one to two years to complete following an undergraduate degree program. Master’s degree programs focus on the management aspect of the field, and prepare candidates who possess one to manage entire business departments within an organization.
Doctorate degrees in business administration are available, but generally not required to work in the industry with the exception of teaching business administration in an institution of higher learning.

Due to the nature of business administration programs, it is possible to complete the program entirely through an online school. Many colleges and universities also offer the program in a traditional setting, while others offer a combination of the two.

Regardless of the degree level chosen, students are advised to select a program that has received accreditation from a reputable accrediting agency. Accreditation guarantees the program is rigorous and relevant.

Future Outlook

Demand for qualified business administrators is expected to grow by 12 percent over the next decade, which is an average pace when compared with other business and industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average annual salary for those employed in this industry as of May 2012 was $81,080.

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