Business Administration Degree

Guide to Online Business Administration Degrees

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Business administration degrees help students obtain skills that are key to managerial and organizational responsibilities. Degrees can range from an associate program to a master or doctorate. Below are the top online business administration programs followed by campus programs too.

Rasmussen College – The AAS in Business Management from Rasmussen College features a curriculum that engages students through introductory marketing, finance, and communications courses. The BS in Business Management program includes courses in strategy, management, leadership, finance, and marketing.
Walden University – The Business Administration degree at Walden University teaches excellence in social awareness, cross-cultural competence, and decision making. The MBA program includes specializations in corporate finance, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and marketing, among many others. Choose from innovative doctoral degrees such as the DBA in Social Impact Management or self design your own course of study.
Kaplan University – The MBA degree from Kaplan University teaches students to integrate topics in leadership, innovation, and corporate responsibility on a global scale. The Business Administration degree offers several career focus areas that allow the specialization in a series of related courses. Students with little or no experience can begin their career in the field by matriculating into the associate degree program.
Liberty University – The online AA in Business degree at Liberty University features a curriculum that surveys accounting, business, law, ethics, and statistics. The MBA program features concentrations in Accounting, Human Resources, International Business, and Leadership. The curriculum involves group projects, which serve as excellent training tools for solving future business problems.
Ashford University – The 64 credit AA in business administration program from Ashford University helps students build a foundation in basic business acumen. The bachelor's program includes specializations in finance, entrepreneurship, and international management. The MBA program provides students with critical thinking, management, and reasoning skills. Ashford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001,

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There was a time when a degree in business administration was the key to the business kingdom. Life started with an MBA and whether you started your own company or picked a corporate ladder to climb, you probably had job security. Now, a business administration degree is the necessary base credential, and personal creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and willingness to get your hands dirty in every aspect of a company’s operation are what will drive business students to the top of the corporate food chain.

Basic Requirements for Earning a Business Administration Degree

Many schools offer business administration degrees that vary slightly depending on a student’s own area of focus, but the primary requirements are pretty consistent across programs. The two classic business degrees are the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

  • A BBA usually takes 120 credit hours, or four years of full-time enrollment, though some schools may offer accelerated programs. Business schools teach a combination of the humanities, such as ethics and sociology, and technical knowledge, such as probability and statistics and the ability to make spreadsheets to analyze and cross reference business performance metrics. Both the humanities and mathematical acumen are crucial for a successful businessperson. The core subjects taught in business school are:
    • Operations Management
    • Finance Management
    • Accounting
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Technology
    • Business Law and Ethics
  • A Master of Business Administration (MBA) requires students to have a bachelor’s or at least associate’s degree before entering the program. Your prior degree doesn’t need to be in business, but business schools prefer if you have some background in statistics and calculus, and a fairly well rounded curriculum vitae besides. Finishing an MBA at the normal pace will take two years, though some schools offer 18-month accelerated programs or a 3-2 model that allows students to finish a BBA and MBA in one five year stint. An MBA usually focuses on a particular area of business to build on the basic knowledge provided by a BBA. Possible MBA program emphases include:
    • Finance
    • Entrepreneurship
    • International Business
    • Project Management
    • Accounting
    • Economics
    • Marketing

Potential Careers for Business Administration Degree Holders

There are endless job opportunities for people with business degrees, but having the degree is just the first step toward excelling in the realm of business. Having innovative ideas and being willing to put in extra work and risk your own reputation for ideas you believe in are crucial personality traits for anyone who aims to rise above middle management.

Becoming the Chief Executive Officer of a company has always carried connotations of wealth, prestige, and a jet-setting lifestyle. Being a CEO is about more than big bonuses though. CEOs of major companies make decisions that alter the global economy, create or destroy jobs, and change many, many individual lives. As the CEO of a company, you are held accountable for ethical decision making, as well as the profitability and wellbeing of the company and its constituents. CEOs usually work long hours and make big-picture strategic decisions, while allowing their support staff and mid-level managers deal with finer points and day to day operations. CEOs do not have to keep their noses out of the nitty-gritty of their company, though. Famed Apple CEO Steve Jobs was known for participating in every level of corporate decision making, right down to the color of the paint on Apple’s factory walls.

Vice presidents, general managers, and other mid-level executives typically manage a division or branch of a company, and are responsible for keeping their segment in line with the corporations overall plan while managing routine operations.

With the recent extreme success of some entrepreneurs, especially in the field of technology and web software, it can be appealing for a business degree holder to strike out on his/her own and build a company from scratch. The ability to collaborate with both technically minded workers and big picture strategists is the key to building a lasting business.

A business administration degree can also lead to completely non-managerial careers. An MBA might get a job as an accountant, a copywriter or advertising director, or any number of positions whose main responsibilities do not include managing other people.

Median Salaries for Assorted Business Careers

Everyone knows that CEOs at big companies make piles of cash, but other careers in business can be quite lucrative too. Here’s a breakdown of median salaries for various business careers from data collected by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • General Manager/Operations Manager: $91,570
  • Accountants/Auditors: $59,430
  • Financial Analysts: $73,150
  • Insurance Agents: $45,430

Other Ways to Use Your Business Administration Degree

Not everyone with a BBA or MBA actually works in an administrative role at a business. The knowledge you will gain in a business administration school is broadly applicable to other careers as well.

  • Publishing: Writing about business is a big business in itself these days. There are hundreds of blogs offering advice on how to start and run a business, and major publications like the New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal have MBAs in their stable of writers. You can use what you learn in your business administration program, and your experience in the business world, to enter the world of business and economics journalism.
  • Consulting: If a freelance lifestyle sounds better than a 9-5 office job to you, then working as a private consultant might be the job for you. Using the business knowledge you picked up in school you can offer to help someone grow their own business, make their supply chain more efficient, or clean up their accounting practices. Working as a consultant can allow you to participate in all the aspects of business administration without putting your own money on the line.
  • Analysis: If your favorite classes at business school were probability and statistics or calculus, working as a financial or economic analyst might be the right career path for you. Analyzing macroeconomic trends for big companies or the government, or picking investments in the financial sector, can let you use your math skills in a business setting.

Other Resources for Business Administration Students

There are lots of organizations dedicated to helping you get your business degree and succeed in the world of business after you have it. Here are a few sites that may help you on your journey through business administration school and into the industry.

  • CollegeBoard offers tips for aspiring students to follow before going back to school. Their guide summarizes what business school is like and gives tips on how to maximize your learning.
  • The MBA Association accredits business education programs and offers other resources for business students and professionals. Their website includes a jobs board, a schedule of business related conferences, seminars, and networking events, and a series of informational publications.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek is a respected publication that features business news, stock analysis, political coverage and articles about new technologies that are changing the business playing field. Businessweek is available free online although some of their content may only be accessible to members or subscribers to the print edition.
  • The Harvard Business Review offers high-end coverage of business and technology. The publication also offers tips on how to be a better executive, financial analysis pointers and other instructional content for administrators at any level of the business ecosystem.
  • The Internal Revenue Service offers a list of recommended reading for small business owners which features technical publications about tax law and other fiscal regulations as well as less formal articles about how to run the best business you can.
  • Forbes Magazine has been a respected purveyor of business news, industry how-tos and lists of the world’s wealthiest people for decades. Most of Forbes’ content is available for free online, and their coverage of rising star companies and hot startups provides a good look at what spaces are growing in the business world, and where the great jobs will be in coming years.

A business administration degree doesn’t have to be the last credential you earn. Many business students go on to doctoral studies in law, statistics, finance, or economics. Studying business can open up job opportunities in diverse fields and leave you with the flexibility to choose where you work and what industry you work in.

Studying business may give you skills applicable to the job you already have, and some employers offer continuing education assistance. Check whether your current company will pay for part or all of your new business administration degree.

Below is a list of ten schools that offer online business administration degrees for busy people who want to keep their job and still go back to school.

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