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What is Business Administration?

Prospective students who plan to find employment in Maine will likely benefit significantly from attending a school located in the state. Online programs offer flexible learning solutions, but local institutions tend to understand the employer standards and preferences in the area better. In fact, many colleges and universities develop strong relationships with nearby businesses, coordinating with them to offer internship and job fair opportunities.

Professional and business services are the third largest industry in Maine. This sector accounts for $7 billion in revenue each year. It’s worth mentioning that many of the state’s other top industries also rely on business administration professionals such as real estate, educational services, healthcare, social assistance, manufacturing, retail, and finance and insurance.

While Maine is one of the smallest states in the country, it still has a wide selection of business administration employment opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this one industry accounted for 27,380 jobs in in the state in May 2020. The annual mean wage for local professionals in this field was $71,560, which is competitive for the field and higher than the national median wage of $41,950 as reported for all occupations.

A business administrator may play a wide variety of roles in their workplace. This is because graduates tend to gain expertise in many different areas such as business, management, finance, leadership, and marketing. These skills are highly valued by companies and organizations of every kind. As a result, those with business administration degrees are often capable of pursing and filling an assortment of positions in almost any industry.

Industries that hire business administration graduates most often include:

  • Bookkeeping and Accounting Services
  • Company and Enterprise Management
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare Services
  • Management Consulting
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Technology

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Business Administration Education in Maine

Business administration is an extremely popular degree choice among students in the United States. This is likely due to the field’s versatility, which allows graduates to select from a very large pool of potential careers related to business, management, finance, leadership, and/or marketing. Additionally, students enrolled in these programs tend to gain and develop a wide array of valuable skills that are often easy to transfer to other careers. As a result, graduates are often regarded as qualified candidates for many jobs across numerous industries.

Business administration graduates will have many potential career options, but most choose to pursue business and finance jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in these occupations is expected to increase by 8% from 2020 to 2030. This is as fast as the average for all occupations and will account for an additional 750,800 new jobs nationwide. While several factors are expected to impact this growth, the primary causes are globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment. Additionally, the continued and increasing use of business data and market research to understand clients, customers, and product demand will result in greater demand for qualified professionals in this field.

Due to the field’s versatility, it’s difficult to identify exactly what business administration professionals do on a daily basis. Every job is different, with expectations and responsibilities varying based on the industry, as well as employer size, goals, and needs. Fortunately, degree graduates are often highly adaptable and capable of adjusting to fluctuating circumstances. This also often allows business administration professionals to pursue work that aligns with their personal interests and/or passions.

Many colleges and universities are aware of employer expectations for business administration professionals and adapt their programs accordingly. To ensure graduates have the skills needed to thrive in most work environments, instruction generally focuses on the development of knowledge and skills that can be applied over many different fields. Some of the most prevalent topics include analytics, leadership, and research.

Ideal candidates for business administration degree programs and professional positions possess great organizational, managerial, communication, and mathematical skills. They also tend to be highly self-motivated learners who enjoy pursing various development opportunities. Additionally, they typically enjoy solving problems and completing tasks.

Some form of higher education is generally required for business administration professionals. Prospective students are able to choose from academic programs at every level – associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. While most jobs in the field require, at minimum, bachelor’s degrees, there are employment opportunities for graduates regardless of degree type. Prospective students should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each degree option in relationship to their personal career goals before proceeding with enrollment.

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It’s worth noting that many colleges and university allow business administration students to select concentrations associated with various aspects of the field. Doing this helps to specialize remaining coursework and training. The most popular concentration areas offered include accounting, computer information systems, finance, and marketing.

Associate Degree in Business Administration (ABA)

Associate degrees in business administration help prepare students for entry-level employment in the field. They are best suited for individuals interested in obtaining the minimum, basic skills needed to work in management and administration roles for private, public, and non-profit organization. Graduates commonly find jobs as management trainers, project assistances, office managers, sales representatives, and technology specialists.

Most associate degrees in business administration consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. While curriculums vary from institution to institution, most are designed to provide those enrolled with a comprehensive introduction to the most important management principles and business-oriented theories in the field. This can be particularly beneficial to students who are undecided about their ultimate career goals.

Graduates can also choose to continue their educations after earning associate degrees in business administration. Transferring earned credits from a regionally accredited community college to a four-year institution is generally quite simple and will drastically decrease the requirements needed to graduate with bachelor’s degrees. This option also tends to be more economical, as community colleges frequently charge less per credit hour than traditional institutions.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BBA)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most occupations related to business and financial operations require candidates have bachelor’s degrees in a related field. Programs are often designed to ensure students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to satisfy the majority of prospective employers. This means that graduates will have far more employment opportunities than those with only associate degrees. Some of the most common jobs obtained after graduation include accountant, auditor, budget analyst, cost estimator, and human resource specialist.

The majority of bachelor degree programs in business administration consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Those with 60 associate degree credits from regionally accredited institutions could be done in as few as two years, however. Program specifics vary, but curriculums generally focus on developing students’ fundamental knowledge of business and the associated tools to ensure future success in the field. Topics commonly covered include finance, technology, healthcare, and many other fields.

Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA)

One of the nation’s most sought-after graduate degrees is the master’s in business administration (MBA). While prospective students must earn a bachelor’s degree first, choosing to pursue an MBA can drastically increase employment opportunities, salary potential, marketability, advancement options, and job security. In addition to having the knowledge and skills necessary to perform most basic business and finance functions, graduates are typically qualified for supervisory roles. Some of the most common employment opportunities include information technology manager, financial manager, industrial production manager, and management analyst.

Most master’s degrees in business administration range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Accelerated programs do exist and may require less time. While the topics covered are often similar to those offered at the undergraduate levels, coursework tends to be much more involved in master’s degree programs. Instructors are also likely to place a more comprehensive emphasis on functional business and organization operations.

PhD Degree in Business Administration (DBA)

PhD and doctoral degrees in business administration are less prevalent. They are really only relevant for individuals planning to conduct business research and/or become academic professors in the field. Programs typically consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Students will be required to conduct independent studies, as well as write and defend dissertations prior to graduating.

Another option is pursuing a doctorate in business administration (DBA). These degree programs are designed to help current professionals expand their theoretical knowledge of business and business management. Graduates may qualify for advanced positions in upper management, as well as top executive jobs. DBAs generally take six years to complete.

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Become a Business Administrator in Maine

Before becoming a business administration professional in Maine, you will need to determine what kind of career you plan to pursue. There are many options to choose from and each one has its own academic standards and requirements. Once you identify your ideal position, you can select a degree program that ensures you are moving in the right direction.

Fortunately, the field is vast and you do not have to have the entire course planned out ahead of time. Majoring in business administration will expose you to a wide variety of business and finance topics. It’s not uncommon to discover more specific interests along the way and adjust your goals accordingly. Most colleges and universities make it fairly easy to switch programs, add minor areas of study, and/or select concentrations.

As previously mentioned, selecting a concentration or specialization is also a great way to explore an aspect of the field you find particularly interesting. Many institutions offer several degree options that allow you to focus on a specific subsection of business or finance.

Some of the most common concentrations include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing

Once you have obtained the necessary degree(s) in business administration, you may also want to consider pursuing one or more professional credentials. Many professionals hold certifications and/or licensures that help them stand apart from others in the field. Other potential benefits include more employment opportunities, increased promotability, and higher salary potential.

Whereas some industries have very specific credentialing expectations, most business administration professionals simply choose which optional certifications are most interesting and/or appropriate for advancing their careers. This makes it easy to pursue certifications and/or licensures that align with personal and professional areas of focus. It’s important to realize, however, that some employers do require specific credentials.

Some business administration graduates go on to establish their own companies. Maine offers numerous resources for prospective business owners, including a business answers program that provides free information about doing business in the state. Registration and licensing regulations will vary depending on the type of business being established and are managed at the town/city level in the state. Contact information for town offices and municipal websites can be obtained by visiting the Local Government portal.

Careers for Business Administration Graduates

  • Project Manager
    Project managers are in charge of the various projects initiated by the companies and organizations that employ them. They are responsible for establishing project goals, timelines, and budgets, as well as handling any issues that may arise. They also dispense important information to team members; coordinating, documenting, and assigning additional tasks to others as needed. According to PayScale, project managers for non-profit organizations make an average base salary of $74,950 per year.
  • Administrative Coordinator
    Administrative coordinators provide support and budget management assistance to the companies and organizations they work for. They are often responsible for performing various clerical duties such as maintaining databases, creating reports, and composing letters, as well as organizing, supervising, and facilitating work assignments. These professionals may also be charged with hiring new employees. According to PayScale, administrative coordinators make an average base hourly rate of $18.56, or approximately $46,200 per year.
  • Supply Chain Manager
    Supply chain managers are responsible for franchise supply chains coordination for their employers. They keep the process running smoothly by developing and maintaining logistical and procedural policies, as well as mediating between sales and customer service teams. They may also manage inventories based on customer demand. According to PayScale, supply chain managers make an average base salary of $83,950 per year.
  • Financial Advisor
    Financial advisors work directly with clients to assess and monitor their financial needs and ensure personal goals are met. They frequently help clients establish short-term objectives and long-term aims. These professionals also coordinate with financial institutions that deal with various investment types. According to PayScale, financial advisors make an average base salary of $60,050 per year.
  • Accounting Associate
    Accounting associates provide administrative support to accountants, auditors, and other financial experts, especially with regard to bookkeeping. They are often responsible for fulfilling many roles and performing a variety of tasks including data input, reports preparation, and accounts reconciliation. These professionals must also ensure clients’ financial information is properly tracked. According to PayScale, accounting associates make an average base salary of $48,800 per year.

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  • Bank Branch Manager
    Bank branch managers oversee bank branches and the teams of employees who are assigned to them. They are primarily responsible for ensuring that the financial needs of clients are met, but also must facilitate good working relationships among staff members. Additionally, these professionals often manage branch budgets and monitor banking expenses. According to PayScale, bank branch managers make an average base salary of $60,200 per year.
  • Bookkeeper
    Bookkeepers ensure the financial records for their employers are properly and accurately maintained. They are often responsible for verifying the viability of financial decisions, as well as utilizing accounting software to track transactions. These professionals also calculate, record, and balance payroll reports for their employers. According to PayScale, bookkeepers make an average base salary of $43,850 per year.
  • Certified Professional Accountant (CPA)
    Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs) ensure individual clients, corporations, and government agencies complete important financial processes accurately. All CPAs are qualified to offer assistance with taxes, financial reporting, and audits. These professionals also review financial information, prepare documentation, and ensure government regulations are followed correctly. According to PayScale, CPAs make an average base salary of $51,700 per year.

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