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What is Business Administration?

Business administrators are responsible for managing much of what goes on throughout a business. They may oversee the entire business, or they may specialize in a specific department, such as human resources or clerical departments. Their responsibilities will depend on the company they work for and how much of the company they are tasked with overseeing.

While it may seem glamorous to oversee an entire business, they must be ready to be involved with every department. They might discuss budget cuts with department heads, supervise the accounting manager and inspect financial statements and profit reports, or communicate the company needs with HR if the company plans to add a new department or downsize an existing one. They may also develop new procedures which are intended to boost efficiency, and they must ensure that effective leadership is consistently exercised while the organization works within state, local, and federal laws.

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Online Business Administration Education in Montana

Future business students who plan to earn a business administration degree will have access to a breadth of industries in the state after they graduate. These include real estate, rental, and leasing (annual revenue of $7.1 billion); professional and business services ($3.9 billion); manufacturing ($3.3 billion); and finance and insurance ($2.6 billion).

Montana’s livestock and agriculture industry is very important to the state but, as you can see, the state’s economy has diversified and spread out beyond agriculture as well. Between 2000 and 2015, healthcare and social assistance, food services, and real estate saw the biggest percentages of growth. In addition, Montana created more than 100,000 new jobs.

Montana is using its natural resources in other ways; its federal lands are marketed, which attracts tourists to sites such as Glacier National Park. And, while Montana has taken huge steps to diversify its economy and grow state revenue, this may not have happened without the educational power of its universities.

Universities and colleges in the state increase the annual wages of their graduates and those universities actively engaged in research help to contribute more insight to the state’s leaders. Taking one university in particular (University of Montana-Missoula), its interactions with state government may have contributed to adding close to 10,000 jobs. The interactions between the university and the state led to $1 billion in net income, another $200 million in state tax revenues, and $352 million in annual investment spending.

Business administration students should be able to tailor their business administration degree programs toward whatever businesses in the state may be looking for. For instance, they may work in manufacturing, real estate, government, distribution centers or transportation agencies, hospitals, banks, schools, or non-profit organizations.

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Whether or not students gain a degree in business administration, general business, or another related field, they can choose to focus their career in real estate, marketing, direct sales, accounting, human resources, or any other business specialization through their coursework and experience. Once they graduate, they may work in a small business they built on their own or for a huge corporation.

Online Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)

Community college students looking for associate degree programs in business administration will likely end up in a broad program that covers general business concepts and a few core classes in administration. Most of these programs focus most of the courses on business education and provide all necessary general education coursework, which can help those with an associate degree graduate more quickly if they choose to move on to a bachelor’s degree program.

Their online coursework introduces them to the business environment, management concepts, business law, and more. General education requirements usually include courses in English, math, communication, and science. By the time students meet graduation requirements, they should have gained managerial, communication, and organizational skills, marketing and promotion knowledge, understand the accounting cycle, financial statements, and understand the global economy and how it affects business and business opportunities. These skills should help them launch their professional career right away if they choose not to continue their education with a bachelor’s.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)

Some universities offer multiple online baccalaureate business track options to undergraduate students. Students may have already finished an associate degree or may start these programs right out of high school. They can often choose to earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in business administration or management. The majority of classes will be the same, though the arts degree puts more emphasis on humanities courses. Other similar majors include Management Information Systems, Marketing, Accounting, Management, Finance, international business, etc.

After graduation, students may find entry-level careers in marketing, accounting, MIS, finance, or management positions depending on their major and internship experience.

Online Master's Degree in Business Administration (MS)

Those students who are looking to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) will benefit after graduation by having the knowledge and skills to function and use strategy more effectively in today’s professional business environment.

Students may choose on-campus classes, online courses only, or a combination (hybrid) degree program. At universities throughout the state, students may choose to earn a general MBA or an MBA with a specialization in marketing, human resources, IT, or other vital departments within a company.

Online PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)

Doctoral students looking to earn a PhD in business administration are often working toward a position in academia. Very few roles in business require this terminal degree, though it can help add credibility if you choose to work in high-level consultation or start your own business.

These types of programs can take 4-7 years to complete depending on the school you attend and the amount of time you have to work on your courses and required research. Once you have completed all courses and written your research dissertation with the help of a faculty mentor, you’ll may need to defend said dissertation or pass a test.

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Become a Business Administrator in Montana

States don’t require any business professional to hold any type of licensure or certification, but businesses often do. Especially when they know that their business has specific needs that must be met by their employees. So, which certification should a business professional earn? That all depends on their particular role and the industry they are in. As you research certifications, narrowing down which certifications are focused in your area of expertise may help. Or, you may choose to educate yourself and earn a certification outside of your wheelhouse in order to shift your career in a new direction. Either way, there are many business certifications available to professionals and these are some common ones that apply to many business roles.

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
    Supply chain managers and specialists earn this certification to prove their knowledge of end-to-end strategy operations, supply chain concepts, and technology. End-to-end operational strategies help these professionals make efficient logistical decisions from the supplier, through the company’s process, and end with the consumer.
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
    This certification is for professionals who work in IT. This certification can help them specialize in agile, project-based work by covering scrum methodology and how Scrum Masters are able to make effective teamwork happen. Along with these skills, the ScrumMaster should also be able to help their team adapt to frequently changing conditions. Managers who have earned their CSM may be most in demand in the engineering or information technology fields.
  • Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) Certified Brand Manager
    Business professionals in marketing use this certification to show off their knowledge in prioritizing customer relationship management and making the most of brand equity and value. Employers who see that a marketing professional has earned this certification know that they view customer experience as a vital consideration.
  • American Management Association (AMA) Certificate in Analytical Skills
    Due to the amount of data that people and businesses all around the world generate every day, data analysis is becoming even more valuable. A data analyst who earns this certification and others will be more attractive to employers. This certification has three levels and teaches core principles applicable to all types of analysis and research positions.

Potential Careers for Business Admin Graduates

  • Administrative Coordinator
    An administrative coordinator assists in the creation and execution of schedules, greet and interact with guests, manage budgets, and manage effective workflow. They may also write memos and reports, file documents, send messages, and handling other clerical duties as needed.

    For this role, you’ll need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, though you’re more likely to find a position with an associate degree in office administration.

  • Maintenance Manager
    Maintenance managers supervise all maintenance operations, including repairs and installations. This professional should have an extensive understanding of electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and other skills.
  • Branch Manager, Banking
    A banking branch manager is responsible for the branch as a whole and they may develop forecasts, business plans, and financial objectives based on corporate goals. They manage distribution, customer services, sales, human resources, and administration for the whole branch, ensuring they are all operating in line with the bank’s objectives. They may also train, coach, and develop bank personnel.

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  • Digital Marketing Manager/Director
    A digital marketing manager takes charge of planning and overseeing digital marketing campaigns. These promote the company’s brands, services, and products. They also analyze metrics, identify trends, and plan out campaigns based on the data they collect.
  • Product Manager
    Product managers carry out customer interviews and user testing, work on market assessments, translate the business-to-technical requirements and back again, and perform pricing and revenue modeling tasks.

    The product manager must also be able to empathize with customers and be able to figure out the pain points a product should address.

  • Supply Chain Manager
    These professionals are involved in the manufacturing process. As soon as a product enters development, the supply chain manager becomes involved. They figure out where to obtain supplies for the making of the product, plan warehousing for parts and products, and make sure products are shipped out efficiently. They offer huge benefits to organizations by providing expertise and knowledge to increase safety, efficiency, and productivity.
  • Public Services/Works Director
    A public works director may be appointed by a city manager depending on how the city’s governance is established. They also report to the city manager. This professional holds primary responsibility for the operation and performance of the public works department. They are also responsible for the budget and oversight of department employees. This department’s functions may include street maintenance, public works construction, engineering, water and sewer utilities, and solid waste management, among others.

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