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What is Business Administration?

A business administrator is a professional who typically works for a commercial, for-profit enterprise. They oversee various parts of that business, including marketing, accounting, management, human resources, and IT. While most business administrators work in offices and sit at desks, some, such as construction managers, work outside or are often needed out of the office. These days, especially in light of the COVID pandemic, many business administrators work remotely from any place they can use a laptop computer.

Interestingly, business administration skills can be put to use in other environments. While a non-profit organization may have different goals from a for-profit firm, business administration skills are still needed to ensure that the organization is efficient and able to fulfill its mission. Business administration skills are also needed in government agencies who likewise need to stay on budget, hire the best people, manage supply chains, and even market their services.

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Online Business Administration Education in Michigan

Michigan is nothing if not an industrious state. After all, this is where the automotive industry was launched by titans such as Henry Ford. Their legacy of business excellence is unparalleled in the world. In fact, manufacturing still sits at the top of Michigan's most productive industries. Michigan's automotive sector provides a strong backbone for the rest of the state. When Michigan falters, automobile manufacturing tends to remain strong enough to support new growth and development, especially in the Detroit area.

Other industries that guide Michigan's growth are professional services, real estate, healthcare, wholesale trade, and finance, among others. Thus, Michigan needs a strong supply of business administration professionals who can keep the wider economy humming decade after decade. To provide that sort of intellectual capital, Michigan relies on its colleges and universities to hone talented minds in the state.

Since Michigan has such a strong public university system, industry has little to worry about in terms of a talent shortage. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, for instance, is one of the nation's strongest four-year universities. The rest of the U of M system is likewise well-known for funneling top talent into markets such as Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.

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Michigan also supports a strong community college system that gives students a low-cost boost into the business community. Since most of their instructors have earned degrees from schools such as University of Michigan, associate business degree students are afforded a great education at a low cost. These instructors often already have a track record of excellence working within Michigan's economy. Whether they were marketing geniuses for Chevrolet or financial planners for top automotive executives, these instructors bring a wealth of experience into the college classroom. Their knowledge and experience can help students make their best decision for internships and even entry-level jobs. With the help of career guidance counselors, Michigan's business administration students are in very capable hands, indeed.

Online Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)

A online two-year, associate business administration degree is a great first step on the way to a successful business career. Students who take this route not only are able to get their feet wet in a focus area such as marketing, accounting, human resources, or management, they also demonstrate smart business thinking because their tuition rates are far below the costs for those who attend a four-year college or university.

Employers will be happy to hire candidates who have an associate business administration degree into entry-level positions where they can gain some experience. Those who study accounting may land jobs as bookkeepers, management students may enter a management training program, and marketing students can get to work on their employers next hot marketing campaign. Those who study information technology and accounting can get to work and add certifications to their degree. Others may also find professional associations that can confer career-enhancing credentials.

Finally, an associate business administration degree includes the core college curriculum, so when students return for a bachelor’s business administration degree they can dive directly into their primary coursework.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)

Most employers look for candidates who have a BS business administration degree. Whether they are hiring accountants, financial professionals, marketing pros, or human resources specialists, a four-year degree is the preferred credential they seek. This is because those with a four-year degree from an accredited Michigan college or university have spent time diving deeper into their field. They may even have completed an internship or spent time accruing work experience while studying hard.

Depending on the Michigan college or university, students may have had the opportunity to earn a specialized degree in their business administration department. Larger four-year institutions can support major degree programs that focus on specific areas such as supply chain management, data science, business communication, or employee compensation. A bachelor’s degree also allows students to complete a minor concentration in an associated area such as public administration, mathematics, economics, or even sociology. These minor concentration areas can provide a helpful edge to one's academic resume.

Online Master's Degree in Business Administration (MS or MC)

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is the gold standard for business administration professionals. This degree has been available since the early 20th century, but it started gaining traction in the 1980s. Now it is a de facto requirement for anyone who is looking for a spot in the C-suites.

In response to the demand for MBA degrees, colleges and universities have found ways to make the degree more accessible to students. There are many undergraduate business degree programs that offer an accelerated MBA. This means that students can complete both their bachelor’s business degree and an MBA in a mere five years.

MBA programs have also been very successful in transitioning to online education platforms. Michigan offers many options for an online MBA program, including so-called hybrid programs that feature opportunities for students to meet on campus for learning and networking. There are also dual MBA programs where students can pair another graduate degree (such as an MS in engineering, computer science, public administration, or a law degree) with their MBA studies. Dual MBA degree programs are structured so that students can graduate with their two master’s degrees in a mere three years.

Online PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)

The business community has still not fully embraced the PhD in the C-suites. However, given the ubiquity of the MBA it may only be a matter of time before doctorate degrees start to proliferate. In fact, other doctorate degrees are already making significant inroads to American board rooms. In light of the immense influence of technology in the world of business, IT and computer science PhDs are rising to the top of the heap. Mathematics scholars are also doing very well. Some top billionaires were PhD candidates in mathematics who decided to transition to business rather than spend years writing their dissertation.

A PhD has other benefits, as well. Most people hold a doctorate degree in high esteem, and it will be helpful when it comes to attracting new business, especially for consultants. It will also be useful for those who desire a transition into academia. While an MBA or other master’s business degree is a qualification for a teaching position in a Michigan college or university, a PhD will enable the candidate to land a full-time, tenure-track position and a strong career thereafter.

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Become a Business Administrator in Michigan

Michigan is a terrific state for business. After all, Detroit birthed one of the world's largest industries, the automotive industry. Now, the state is full of industrious, creative businesspeople who are constantly innovating new technologies that revolutionize automobiles and other fields. Thus, it's no wonder that Michiganders are interested in becoming business administration professionals in their state. However, it's not always clear how to become a business administration professional.

Since there is no licensure requirement nor any other specific degree needed to launch a business administration career, many are puzzled as to how they might get started. One of the first things to do is to assess one's talents and abilities. As youngsters, business professionals often discover that they find that mathematics comes rather easily. In high school they may also have the opportunity to study accounting or even take a business course. When young people take and thrive in these courses, it's pretty clear that they are good candidates for business administration.

When it comes time to find a business administration college degree program, students should seek out a business school or department that suits their long-term goals. There may be students who aren't yet decided on what their business career should focus on. Those students may look for the strongest business school possible and then spend their first two years taking courses in the areas they find most intriguing. Most will have some idea of their general direction. More analytical students may take electives in accounting, computer science, and data science while others may choose management, marketing, and human resources.

Thankfully, most business administration careers don't require a license or specific credentials. The only field that does require licensure is accounting, and that's only for those who desire a CPA license. Business administration students who are seeking those credentials should consult with their academic adviser as soon as possible. They can steer students towards the best courses in their major and even to helpful electives. Since Michigan's Board of Accountancy has its own requirements, an academic adviser can help students strategize and achieve their best long-term success.

Ultimately, students should expect to work very hard, both for their degrees as well as for their employers. Business administration professionals are recognized for hard work and dedication to their careers. Those who invest their talent and effort will find a terrific return on their investment.

Potential Careers for Business Administration Graduates

  • Maintenance Manager:
    These business administration professionals may work for large property management firms. Their job is to make sure that the maintenance teams operate with utmost efficiency so that the buildings and grounds are maintained and meet the highest expectations. Students who have a knowledge of building systems as well as management practices should seek this sort of position.
  • Branch Manager, Banking:
    Students who pursue a degree in finance should strive towards a position a as a branch manager of a bank. This position will involve ensuring that a bank's branch operates with maximum efficiency and grows as much as possible. Branch managers will oversee a team of tellers, loan officers, and other vital banking professionals. Successful branch managers will rise into the regional administration of the larger banking system.
  • Team Supervisor, Call Center:
    Business administration professionals who have strong leadership skills should seek out this position. First, it will be important to have a strong track record as a call center representative. Most team supervisors rise to their position from a team member position. They work hard and produce strong results so that when it's time for promotions their track record proves their worth.
  • Financial Advisor:
    A financial advisor is a business administration professional who helps individuals, companies, and other institutions manage their money. This is a licensed position that doesn't necessarily require any specific degree but CFAs need to pass a stringent exam before they can work with these credentials.
  • Accounting Associate:
    This is a great entry level position that accounting students seek out as a way to launch their careers. Many accounting associates are recent graduates who are studying for the CPA examination. Since the licensure process often involves a period of supervised practice, accounting associates can collaborate with their supervisor and thus fulfill the Accountancy Board's requirements.

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  • Marketing Manager:
    This is a great mid-career position for hardworking marketing professionals. Marketing managers can rise through the ranks of their organization from their work as a creative or analytical marketing manager. Some may work as account managers while even media buyers can become management professionals. Though and MBA is not often required at this level, chief marketing managers should consider an online MBA program so that they can make their next move into the c-suites.
  • Project Manager:
    This position is most often found in consulting firms. Project managers work with teams of business professionals, including information technology teams, to best serve their client's needs. Project managers keep tabs on their team's progress and act as a liaison between them and the client. Project managers may also coordinate travel plans, hotel reservations, and other concerns for traveling professionals.
  • Supply Chain Manager:
    All goods need to make it through their supply chains in order to make it into the hands of a consumer. Supply chain managers are also called logisticians because they employ high-level logistical abilities to see that products find the most efficient route to their destination. This job may even entail monitoring a product's progress through the manufacturing process.

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