What is Business Administration?
The wide world of business is changing at a lighting pace. These days, there are so many new technologies, regulations, and even currencies in play that it's hard to keep track. When you start your business career with a degree from an accredited business administration school, you'll have the foundation you need to roll with the punches. There are many degree programs to choose from, including human resources, finance, non-profit management, accounting, and many more.
Even within those fields there are specializations. A business admin professional might forge a career as a corporate recruiter, project manager, or benefits consultant who advises large and small companies. Those who specialize in management might even take many of the same positions or might rise into a managerial position from a skilled-labor position in an IT department, for instance.
Alabama is a state on the move. The state is constantly striving to attract new industries and innovators which need top intellectual talent to take them to the next level. Alabama's universities have heard the call and are always seeking to improve their terrific business schools. Their bachelor’s degree programs are adapting to provide exactly the types of knowledge and skill the current and future job markets demand. Their Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, in addition to other business-related master’s degree programs, are likewise at the vanguard of innovation. Alabama's business graduates will surely emerge as leaders of the 21st century.
This page offers a lot of information that Alabama's students need to see. Not only is there a lot of general information that illustrates various career paths, but we discuss Alabama's schools and how to thrive in the state. Keep reading more about business administration degrees in Alabama.
Business Administration Education in Alabama
Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)
An associate degree in business administration is a terrific place from which to launch a career. An associate degree is typically cheaper than a full bachelor’s degree and can help open doors to a fantastic entry-level position. The degree will provide you with the business fundamentals and core curriculum you need to thrive over the long-term.
You can use this position to learn and discover exactly where you want to go for that point. Then, if you decide to return for a bachelor’s degree, you will know exactly where to focus your energies. For instance, you might decide that marketing is your calling, but you may also decide to build a career in management information systems. Thus, an associate degree opens up opportunity but also doesn't over-commit you to a specialty before you have a chance to gain some first-hand experience or knowledge of that part of the business world.
Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)
When you complete a four-year undergraduate degree in business administration, your career will have a solid foundation for success. A four-year degree in this field will also give you a comprehensive overview of the business world. You might also complete a minor that can inform your business career. For instance, some complete a minor in accounting which compliments a finance focus. Others might minor in information technology or computer science.
The four-year time frame for a full undergraduate degree also allows ample time to complete one or more internships. Some students even find co-op programs that let them work for a term or two before returning to school for another term or two. Once they complete their bachelor’s degree, they’ll have loads of experience plus their degree.
Master's Degree in Business Administration (MS or MC)
Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree in business administration, you might consider returning to school for a master of business administration or MBA program. Some choose to work for a few years prior to returning to school, but you can make that decision for yourself. Either way, an MBA degree can help you gain a better position with higher pay and more responsibility.
Your MBA program will also likely offer a range of concentration areas so that you emerge with a degree that focuses on your area of expertise. You could concentrate in areas such as finance, supply chain management, or marketing, to name a few. On the other hand, there are a growing number of dual-MBA programs so you can graduate with two master’s degrees that complement each other. One popular choice is the dual JD/MBA so that you can complement your business acumen with a comprehensive knowledge of the law.
PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)
Though somewhat rare in the field of business administration, you might want to reach the pinnacle of business learning and complete a PhD. Your coursework will deepen your knowledge in new and exciting ways and the research for your dissertation will take your expertise to new heights. While most businesses look for an MBA degree, if your resume reflects extensive experience plus this pinnacle degree, you will be a shoo-in for a top-level position in the C-suites.
Furthermore, you can always use your PhD to teach at the college or graduate level. Many find that teaching others is immensely gratifying and can even help bring new insights into the world of business administration.
Become a Business Administrator in Alabama
To become a successful business administration professional in Alabama, it's important to start with a good idea of your talents and desires. Those with very strong mathematical abilities might first consider finance or accounting for a specialization. Those who tend to perform better in humanities courses might focus on marketing, management, or human resources. The foundation for your business administration career can be set while you work towards through your bachelor’s degree program. As you study, keep an open mind towards the new possibilities you discover along the way.
If you are in an Alabama business administration program you will likely take courses that include all or most general areas of business. Make sure to explore as many areas as you can, since you might discover a new path. For instance, you might be driven toward finance, but then discover that supply chain management is more exciting. With this in mind, try to take elective courses such as information technology that inform your business administration degree, and which may help you form new ideas about your later career.
Since most business is done in the private sector, that's a good place to start your employment considerations. However, some will prefer to work for a government agency or a non-profit organization. In fact, some may qualify for student loan forgiveness if they are able to find work for a non-profit or the government, including their local and state governments. Though salaries may be smaller when one works for the government, the benefits packages and job security can make up the difference. Furthermore, once student loans are settled, it'll be easy to transition into the private sector with loads of experience. In fact, government experience may give you special experience that qualifies you for certain industries.
Top College Programs in Alabama for Business Administration
Below are some of the best colleges offering students a wide range of degree programs in Alabama. University HQ has ranked many university programs across the U.S. and many of these colleges are on the different rankings.
- Columbia Southern University:
CSU is an online institution that offers business administration students the possibility of managing their bachelor’s degree program alongside a full-time job. If you're just getting started, you might start with an associate of science in business. They also offer an MBA when you're ready for the C-suites.
- Troy University:
TU is home to one of Alabama's top business administration programs. Their Sorrell College of Business offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificate programs in fields such as Data Analytics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, and Sports Management, to name a few.
- University of Alabama:
This is one of Alabama's most well-known universities. While most know their football program, they also have a dynamite business program. Those who are lucky enough to study in the Culverhouse College of Business can focus their studies on Accounting, Marketing, Management, or Management Information Systems, among others.
- Auburn University:
AU's Harbert College of Business is a name that will open doors for its graduates. Their eight undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs include exciting fields such as Supply Chain Management, Finance, Business Analytics, and Information Systems Management, to name a few.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham:
UAB is a relative newcomer to Alabama's public university world. However, they have very strong undergraduate business administration programs including, but not limited to Accounting, Economics, Management, and Information Systems. For your graduate degree, you can choose a Master of Accounting, Master of Business Administration, or a Master of Science in Management Information Systems.
- Faulkner University:
This private, Christian university offers students a business administration education that is fully informed by a Christian ethos. Business students can choose a Bachelor of Science in fields such as Accounting, Business Administration, Management, and Management Information Systems. Non-traditional students will appreciate business degree programs that include courses that convene at night, on weekends, and online.
Careers for Business Administration Graduates
- Chief Marketing Manager:
You can achieve this position after many years of experience. You may need to complete an MBA degree to rise to this level of management, but it will be worthwhile. Your duties can include creating dynamite marketing plans, coordinating with a variety of departments, vendors, and creative people.
- Digital Marketing Manager/Director:
Marketing is as much a science as it is an art. You'll need deep knowledge of SEO, web development, and other technologies. Naturally, you'll also need to understand the statistics that govern your firm's sales figures. To become a director you'll need a lot of experience and an MBA.
- Product Manager:
In this career path you'll have deep knowledge of your product line. Not only will you know how it's used, but how it's made, and the target markets that need and love the item. As a product manager you'll work with a variety of departments, contractors, and researchers to bring your product to market and achieve maximum success.
- Project Manager:
Project manager professionals specialize on keeping the team on task. They also coordinate with a client who needs to see certain results. There are project managers who work with IT professionals who install new networks and databases but also with accountants and management consultants. To excel in this field, you'll need a strong background in whatever industry you choose to work within.
- Supply Chain Manager:
This position is often filed under the job description logistician. Supply chain management professionals are seeing increasing demand. If you’re interested in how things get done and think you’d be good at finding the most efficient routes across a town or country, you may be a perfect candidate for a career in supply chain management.
- Non-Profit Director:
If you are passionate about a cause or simply wish to help people as a way of life, this is a terrific career goal for you. To become a non-profit director, you'll likely need to start in the trenches, even as a volunteer. However, with a degree in management or business administration you can rise to this top-level position in your favorite non-profit.
- Public Services/Works Director:
This is the sort of position that you can achieve after years of experience working for a government agency. With a degree in business administration, you will have a terrific chance of rising through the ranks and achieving this top-level position. A career in government can be wildly rewarding since you're at work serving your city, state, or nation.
- International Business:
The world is increasingly interconnected. Borders are increasingly porous, and cryptocurrency threatens to dilute the impact of sovereign currencies and central banks. Thus, you may find international business a fascinating and thrilling career option. Dive into a business administration program and major in international business, international finance, or even international business law to give yourself a leg up and start an exciting career.