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Career paths that put your online business administration degree to use

If you’re looking to expand your horizons and branch out into new opportunities, you may consider a new career path. Do you have an online business administration degree? If so, there are plenty of ways that you can put your qualifications to good use.

What is business administration?

Business administration is the study of business theory and applications. The main goal of business administration is to manage an organization’s resources, time and people. The key to successful administration is to ensure that companies operate effectively and efficiently.

Business administration is such a broad field with many roles, professional settings and opportunities for growth, and it requires in-depth knowledge of a wide range of aspects related to business operations. These aspects include accounting, marketing, finance, and more.

You can obtain a two-year or four-year business administration degree. You can also get a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is a postgraduate degree that sharpens the skills of current and aspiring managers and business professionals.

Looking for online schools that offer MBA degrees, such as Suffolk University, is a great place to jumpstart your career in business administration. MBA online accredited schools offer a flexible and convenient way to earn a Master of Business Administration. An online degree allows for demonstrated self-motivation, better time management, and improved virtual communication and collaboration, which are all key skills you need in a business administration career.

Why pursue a career in business administration?

As a graduate with a business administration degree, you’ll have the opportunity to work in nearly every private industry. The role is very high in demand because businesses are always looking for professionals who can help them succeed financially. You can move into different roles and work environments with confidence. This is because the skills and knowledge you gain when earning a business degree can be an asset almost anywhere.

Studying business administration can also be beneficial because it can be a successful first step towards personal growth and a rewarding career. This is because business administration offers excellent further study opportunities. From certifications and courses to master’s degrees and postgraduate diplomas, studies in business administration provide further opportunities for career growth and development.

Skills gained with an online administration degree

Business administration students study the best practices of business and management. They learn the importance and fundamentals of planning, organizing, leading and supporting the many resources that comprise a business, whether it be employees, finances or physical resources.

Central to performing the duties of this role are key skills, especially leadership skills. These skills include:

  • Analytical: Analytical skills are key to a business administration role because you need sound decision-making and problem-solving to carry out daily duties. For example, in fields such as accounting, you need analytical skills to perform duties such as calculating bottom lines and investigating fraud. In fact, you can take business analytics as a concentration at some schools. Learning this key skill helps you transform data into predictive information.
  • Math: If you plan to start a career in business administration, it’s important to have math skills. Having a basic knowledge of math concepts and being able to demonstrate financial literacy are key for business administration graduates. In fact, many people refer to financial accounting as the common ‘language of business’.
  • Project management: Project management involves defining objectives, developing plans, gathering the necessary resources, and accomplishing tasks on schedule and within budget. With proper project management skills, you’ll also be able to prioritize tasks and practice open team communication. If you plan on entering a role that requires strong project management skills, you may choose it as a specialty in your business administration studies.
  • Organizational: Organizational skills are also key skills you’ll learn when pursuing a business administration degree. Like analytical skills, organizational skills go hand in hand with other core competencies in business management, such as decision-making, problem-solving and leadership. No matter what type of business management and administration role you choose, you’ll likely need organizational skills to set goals, develop and assign tasks, and delegate duties.
  • Communication: In any business management career, you’ll need communication skills to effectively express ideas to others. This not only comes across in verbal communications, but also in written communications. You must also be able to listen well, and not just think about what you want to say next. While a business administration career path often involves being a leader, you must also have the ability to listen effectively, and not just listen as a means to respond.

Business administration career paths 

A major perk of earning a degree in business administration is the wide range of roles that require the key skills that business administration graduates possess. Consider the following positions as you work towards a business administration degree.

Accounting

As more and more entrepreneurs are launching their businesses, the demand for accountants and auditors is steadily growing. You can become an accountant with a business administration degree.

In fact, many people who become accountants don’t even have a degree in accounting. They often have a degree in a related field, such as business administration. The skills – including math and analytical skills – you learn in a business administration program can be highly beneficial in an accounting role.

However, depending on where you live, certain roles, such as a certified public accountant (CPA), require a BA in related coursework or even advanced coursework beyond the BA.

You don’t have to become a CPA though. Just having business administration skills is enough to become a successful public accountant, but you may not be able to prepare taxes or perform an audit.

Human resources 

When it comes to qualifying for human resources (HR) roles, one of the top degrees that recruiters look for is a business administration degree. If you don’t have experience in an HR role or haven’t obtained a degree in the field, you may be placed in an entry-level position.

Common entry-level HR job titles include:

  • HR analyst – junior level
  • Corporate recruiter/talent scout
  • Recruiting specialist
  • HR relocation specialist
  • HR assistant

As you gain experience in an HR role (or roles), you can work your way up to obtaining a higher-level HR job. This might include a labor relations specialist, training and development manager, compensation and benefits manager, HR manager, or vice president of HR (also known as chief HR officer).

Marketing 

Because your business administration coursework will likely cover marketing and related fields, you can pursue a career in marketing.

For example, with a business administration degree, you can become a marketing manager, where you’ll be in charge of defining your company’s target market, building its brand and setting the stage for increased sales.

You’ll also be tasked with planning marketing campaigns as well as overseeing content development (i.e., social media, email, website) and analytics.

If you’re looking for a more senior marketing role, you might pursue a certificate or a minor in marketing. Unlike a BA in business administration, marketing coursework focuses specifically on more advanced marketing topics, such as how to cater to or attract certain demographics. Enrolling in a business administration program that allows you to specialize in marketing will help set you apart from other applicants.

Office manager 

To become an office manager, you’ll typically need to gain at least one year of office management experience. However, some roles consider candidates who have obtained a diploma, certificate or degree in a business-related topic. So, with a business administration degree, you can become an office manager.

An office manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of an office and supervising office personnel. The role of office managers vary from company to company, but generally office managers hire and train office support staff and perform administrative duties, including:

  • Ordering supplies
  • Photocopying files
  • Mailing information
  • Establishing a filing system

To further advance your career in office management, you can obtain the Certified Office Manager (COM) credential. The exam covers business law, budgeting, communications, HR management and other topics.

Supervisor

For some employers, you can become a supervisor with just a high school education. However, other employers require a bachelor’s degree or better. Therefore, pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration can set you on a good path to becoming a supervisor and working your way up to a higher-level position.

Many people think that a manager and supervisor are the same, but this isn’t the case. One easy way to understand the difference between the two is to look at managers as those who determine what it is their unit does and focus on furthering the organization’s larger goals.

On the other hand, supervisors focus on day-to-day operations of how to implement management’s decisions in their unit through the work of subordinates.

Another thing that distinguishes managers from supervisors is that managers deal with groups, while supervisors deal with individuals. Managers define broader organizational goals, while supervisors assign and delegate tasks in accordance with those goals.

Procurement officer

To qualify for a job as a procurement officer, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or a related field. Depending on the employer, you might also need at least two years of experience as a procurement officer or in a similar position. However, there are some employers that offer entry-level roles.

A procurement officer is in charge of overseeing the procurement of supplies and equipment for an organization, with the main focus on cost-efficiency and quality. It’s a procurement officer’s job to manage the company’s supply inventory, compile and analyze procurement requests, develop purchase plans, and more.

Sales

Earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration provides a solid foundation for a career as a sales manager. The degree program will expose you to general business coursework that can greatly benefit you as a sales manager.

You can also pursue a BA degree with a concentration in marketing, which will help familiarize you with consumer behavior, advertising, distribution and selling techniques.

Chief financial officer 

To become a chief financial officer (CFO), you need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting or a closely related field. This is because you need a strong financial foundation to be a successful CFO.

Entering a bachelor’s degree program that focuses on the fundamentals of business and accounting will allow you to learn management fundamentals, including skills in marketing and strategic thinking.

Is a degree in business administration worth it? 

Business administration is a worthy program to study because it dominates the list of most in-demand majors. Majoring in business administration can prepare you for a wide range of high-paying careers with above average growth prospects.

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