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What is Business Administration?

Business administrators have usually earned bachelor’s, master’s, MBAs, or PhD degrees in business generally or with specific concentrations in business management or business administration. Their education, no matter the level, equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to oversee the operations of their department or even an entire organization. Whether they earned their degree on-campus or through an online program, an administrator should be able to manage teams of employees and help to make their workplace more efficient overall.

Business administrators solve issues, meet goals, develop and carry out plans, and delegate tasks. They may oversee administrative and clerical personnel in either a department or the entire organization. Depending on their managerial level, they may recommend and carry out policy and procedural changes, ensuring that goals may be met more efficiently. Business administrators should be able to communicate well, be flexible and patient and have well-honed leadership skills.

Because this is a general position, which can be held by professionals across a huge range of industries, it’s hard to define exactly what tasks a business administrator may have. However, these tasks and skills are broad and will likely pertain to any administrator across many fields.

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Business Administration Education in Kentucky

Kentucky contains a large variety of industries, many of which bring billions of dollars into the state each year. Business administrators help to run individual businesses within each industry. Without their knowledge, many of the state’s industries, such as those in agriculture, could find it difficult to operate, let alone remain profitable.

As of May 2020, the state had 26,150 business professionals altogether. The annual mean wage for business administrators at that time was around $73,900.

The top industry in the state is manufacturing, which brings in $37.7 billion per year. Manufacturing contributes one-fifth of the state’s GDP. The arts, entertainment, recreation, and food services sector is the lowest ranked of Kentucky’s industries, bringing only around $7.9 billion into the state’s coffers each year. Meanwhile, the total annual gross domestic product (GDP) in Kentucky is $212 billion. While coal mining is still a major contributor of income to the state, controversy over the negative environmental impact may force this industry’s GDP down in the future.

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With $212 billion GDP in 2018, the state posted a gain of 1.4% from 2017. The diversity of industries within Kentucky puts the state, and business graduates within the state, in a positive position. This variety allows organizations to offer a wide range of positions to business administration professionals.

Associate Degree in Business Administration (ABA)

Students in a Kentucky associate business administration degree program should expect to learn small business management, accounting, supervision, and salesmanship. Depending on their circumstances, students may choose online-only, classes on-campus, or hybrid programs that include both formats.

Once students graduate, they may choose to fill an entry-level position in which they are able to handle general administrative tasks, facilitate daily operations, resolve administrative issues, help to prepare financial data, collaborate with other staff to improve operations, and implement new business procedures.

While graduates can expect to find entry-level positions in a number of fields, they are unlikely to hold supervisory positions right out of school unless they earn a higher-level degree. With this in mind, graduates may aim to gain experience while they complete a bachelor’s degree so that they can succeed in their field.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BBA)

Students entering their bachelor’s business administration degree program, whether online or in one of the best business administration schools in Kentucky, may choose to start their own business or begin working for a company in the field of their choosing, where they may move into more advanced positions as they gain experience.

At this level, business administration degrees are more likely to translate into better opportunities. If students have been working in a junior position, they may now find that they have the potential to earn a higher annual salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for managers was $110,000 as of 2020, though income is also affected by experience and location, among other factors.

At this level, professionals will also find that they have additional versatility, meaning they may be able to work in diverse professional areas. These may include credit services, financial planning and management, banking, real estate, credit services, or corporate financial management. This broad access can turn into amazing opportunity when a bachelor’s degree student takes the initiative and completes a concentration, minor, or double major in a specific industry or field, such as finance.

Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA)

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) offers a solid foundation to students looking to improve their career opportunities and gain more in-depth knowledge. Students who enter master’s degree programs have already gained the foundational skills and knowledge they need to land a managerial position in either the public or private sector. The concentration they choose at the master’s level can propel them to even better positions within their chosen industry or allow them to move into a new industry in which they have an interest. These may include public administration, accounting, finance, management, marketing, computer science, and more.

Graduates from these programs may have an easier time moving into upper management and, after gaining experience at these levels, they may even move up into the C-suites. After working for several years and qualifying to work as top executives, median annual salaries in management increase to around $105,000.

PhD Degree in Business Administration (DBA)

A doctoral degree in business administration will allow professionals to move their career toward the highest levels of management, academics, consultation, and more. Graduates will have earned the credentials needed to lead and innovate in their field.

Graduating from this advanced degree level means students learn at the highest levels of ability in business theory, practice, and research. Once they have earned their doctoral degree, graduates will have the knowledge and skills to have a major impact within their fields.

Earning a DBA means graduates may choose to follow one of several career paths that require management expertise at the highest level including C-suite positions (COO, CISO, CFO, or CMO), academic positions, research positions, and more.

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Become a Business Administrator in Kentucky

As with all other states, Kentucky does not require that business professionals hold any specific certifications or licensures. While there are requirements for those who wish to start their own businesses, those who work in general business positions need not have any certification outside what is required by their specific industry.

However, businesses can request or require managers to earn professional certifications. This may reassure customers that a small business meets certain standards or quality or performance, among other things. Or a business focused on software or computer science may require their managers to have a good grasp of the knowledge the rest of their team needs to do the work. This is where a focus on a specific industry can come in handy after you complete your college degree. Any modern organization may look for business administrator applicants with specific certifications, such as those in supply chain management, IT, or finance.

Other certifications focus on employee skills, such as the Team Leadership Certificate and the Kentucky Employability Certificate. Business professionals who are seeking ways to move up or laterally to a more-challenging position should consider earning a professional business certification.

These may include the following:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Oracle Certified Professional
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional
  • HubSpot Inbound Marketing
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional
  • Salesforce Certified Administrator
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • SAP Certified Application Associate — Business Planning and Consolidation

Certification programs generally include a period of training and learning, which helps prepare professionals for the exams that will earn them certification. Taking these courses also gives professionals more opportunities for professional development and networking. Earning certifications often allows professionals to earn more and make them more desirable to various employers. Earning certifications usually requires that professionals meet minimum requirements, such as college degrees and a set number of years of full-time management or management leadership experience.

Careers for Business Administration Graduates

  • Administrative Coordinator
    The responsibilities of an administrative coordinator include managing the company’s budget, creating and putting schedules into effect, maintaining office workflow, and communicating with other employees and/or visitors. If the applicant is skilled in active communication, this is a definite plus.
  • Maintenance Manager
    Maintenance managers handle the delegation of work duties and supervision of the workers. This particular managerial role comes with a smaller scope of responsibilities than many others as they are usually focused on physical maintenance. Maintenance managers often have tight budgets and must be skilled budget creators. They ensure that daily maintenance operations run as expected and must ensure that work is done in compliance with OSHA guidelines and company policies and procedures.
  • Branch Manager, Banking
    Banking branch managers oversee operations such as customer service, administration and sales, and human resources. They also provide coaching and training to help develop bank personnel into effective team members. Bank branch managers may also develop financial objectives, forecasts, and business plans and may be responsible for assessing the conditions of the local market and finding and identifying sales opportunities.
  • Team Supervisor, Call Center
    A call center supervisor is responsible for helping to train and motivate new and current call center representatives. These representatives interact all day long with clients, taking complaints and answering questions. The supervisor monitors the progress of their representatives and offer coaching to help them develop the knowledge and skills they need so they are able to offer the highest level of service to customers.

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  • Accounting Associate
    An accounting associate should have at least a bachelor’s degree, although some organizations may hire applicants who have a high school diploma or an associate degree as staff accountants. An accounting associate supports senior-level auditors and accountants, handles accounts payable, accounts receivable, bookkeeping, and clerical duties. They may review accounting entries and numbers for the general ledger account and review the daily lockbox report.
  • Product Manager

    At a larger organization, a product manager may work with one of many specialized teams. These include marketers, researchers, and analysts. They may also work with designers and developers who create designs, test prototypes, and correct issues. While they may help these teams consistently, they may spend more of their time getting each stakeholder to agree on a specific product.

    A good product manager understands the needs of the user, develops competitive analyses, conceives of a product, and gets each group behind the product. In the end, they should all agree on a product that fits the needs of their customer.

  • Project Manager

    A project manager plans, organizes, and directs a team in completing projects for their organization. At the same time, they make sure the projects come in on budget, on time, and without going beyond their defined scope.

    These professionals are responsible for managing projects from their beginning to completion; they may shape an organization’s direction through their work and will try to reduce costs and maximize the organization’s efficiency in order to increase revenue.


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