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What is Business Administration?

Are you considering enrolling in a business administration degree program in New York? This is an extremely popular major among students in the United States and can lead to a wide variety of professional opportunities. Graduates are typically able to pursue jobs in many different sectors including business, management, finance, leadership, and/or marketing. Business administration students also tend to gain and develop an array of valuable skills, many of which can be transferred to other professions, industries, and career fields.

Business administrators may be responsible for performing a variety of roles, depending on their workplaces. Expectations and responsibilities of vary, as every job is different. The most significant impacting factors typically include the type of industry, employer preferences/needs, and workplace size.

Professional and business services is the number one largest industry in New York. This sector accounts for $100.9 billion in revenue each year. Additionally, many other top sectors in the state are likely to employ business administration professionals such as real estate, manufacturing, wholesale trade, finance, and retail.

The median annual wage for business and financial occupations nationwide was $76,570 in May 2021. This is actually lower than the annual mean wage of $101,460 for business and financial operations occupations in New York. It’s also significantly higher than the national median wage of $41,950 as reported for all occupations. Additionally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this one industry accounted for 662,820 jobs in in the state in 2020.

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Online Business Administration Education in New York

While those majoring in business administration often have many professional opportunities, a significant portion of them seek employment in business and finance. 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 about as fast as the average for all occupations and will account for an additional 750,800 new jobs nationwide. Globalization is the primary factor impacting this growth, but economy changes and complex tax and regulatory environments will also contribute. Additionally, and companies and organizations continue to utilize business data and market research to understand clients, customers, and product demand better, more qualified professionals in this field will be needed.

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, solving problems, and completing tasks.

While colleges and universities throughout the nation offer business administration degrees, those who plan to work in New York should give preference to institutions within the state. Online learning makes it easy to enroll anywhere, and coursework can be completed wherever internet is available, but schools outside of New York may not provide a regionally appropriate education. Most colleges and universities in the state are familiar with nearby employee expectations and preferences, and often design curriculums to meet these demands. Local institutions also tend to have established relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can make finding internships and employment simpler. Additionally, schools in the state can better prepare individuals to meet New York laws and regulations for opening their own businesses.

Many colleges and universities are aware of employer expectations for business administration professionals and adapt their programs accordingly. This often allows business administration professionals to pursue work that aligns with their personal interests and/or passions. Most institutions also strive to help students become more adaptable so that they are capable of adjusting to fluctuating work environments.

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Graduates from business administration college and university programs often have expertise in many areas such as business, management, finance, leadership, and marketing. Companies and organizations in almost every industry find this type of knowledge and skills extremely valuable. This allows professionals in this field to pursue an assortment of jobs.

Industries that hire business administration graduates most, however, often include:

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

Most business administration professionals have some form of higher education. Colleges and universities throughout the state offer relevant academic programs, with options available at every level: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Many institutions also have graduate certificate programs. Ideally, prospective students should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option in relationship to their personal career goals before proceeding with enrollment.

Generally, the minimum requirement for business and finance professionals is the bachelor’s degree. There are, however, employment opportunities available to those with even limited academic experience.

Online Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)

Associate degrees in business administration generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework, which takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Every curriculum is different, but most programs provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the field while also facilitating the completion of many general education requirements. Instruction often covers the most important management principles and business-oriented theories in the field.

This type of degree can be particularly beneficial for students who are still undecided about their career goals. While it does help prepare students for entry-level employment in business and finance, the knowledge and skills obtained can be easily transferred to other fields. Alternatively, associate degrees in business administration are a good option for individuals interested in obtaining the minimum, basic skills needed to work in management and administration roles within private, public, and non-profit organizations. It’s common for graduates to become management trainers, project assistances, office managers, sales representatives, and technology specialists.

Graduates can also continue their educations by enrolling in bachelor’s degree programs. Most colleges and universities make it easy to transfer credits earned from regionally accredited institutions, often accepting up to 60 or 90 hours. This means those with associate degrees may enter four-year institutions as juniors instead of freshmen.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)

Bachelor’s degrees in business administration generally consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Those with associate degrees, however, may be able to complete remaining requirements in as few as two years. Program specifics vary, but most are comprised of both general education and subject-specific courses. Major instruction is meant to establish a fundamental understanding of business and the associated tools to ensure future success in the field. Common topics covered include finance and technology.

Many colleges and university also 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.

This type of degree is often necessary for professionals interested in business and finance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most occupations within these fields require candidates to have bachelor’s degrees. As a result, graduates at this level are likely to have far more employment opportunities than those with only high school diplomas and/or associate degrees. Some of the most common jobs obtained after graduation include accountant, auditor, budget analyst, cost estimator, and human resource specialist.

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Online Master's Degree in Business Administration (MS)

Master’s degrees in business administration generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Notably, some colleges and universities do offer accelerated programs that take as little as a few months. Graduate programs lack the general education courses included in undergraduate degrees, instead covering only relevant topics in greater depth. Students are also likely to learn more about functional business and organization operations.

Those interested in this type of degree will need to complete bachelor’s programs first. Most institutions expect candidates to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test scores.

The master of business administration (MBA) is one of the most sought-after graduate degrees in the United States. Obtaining 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.

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Online PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)

PhD and doctoral degrees in business administration generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Those enrolled will spend the first few years in classes before turning to more independent study and research. Prospective graduates will be required to write and defend dissertations.

This type of degree is far less prevalent than the others. This is because they are really only relevant for individuals planning to conduct business research and/or become academic professors in the field.

Alternatively, prospective students can enroll as doctorate in business administration (DBA) candidates. 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.

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Become a Business Administrator in New York

The first step to becoming a business administration professional in New York is determining the type of career you plan to pursue. As previously mentioned, a degree in this field can lead a wide variety of professions. It’s important to identify your ultimate goal to ensure you enroll in the most appropriate academic program.

If you are unsure which job you plan to pursue, you can still enroll in a business administration program. One of the major benefits of the major is that it typically exposes students to many different facets of and topics within the field. This can make it easier to adjust plans as you go. Most colleges and universities make it fairly easy to switch programs, add minor areas of study, and/or select concentrations.

Minors and specializations, in particular, are great ways to explore additional interests and aptitudes. 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 and minors include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing

After obtaining the necessary degree(s) in business administration, it may be worth pursuing additional professional credentials. There are many certifications and licenses available to those in this field. While not always necessary, obtaining one or more of these credentials can help you stand out among other job candidates. Additional benefits include increased employment options, more promotional opportunities, and better pay.

Notably, the field of business has no single, specific credential that all professionals must obtain in order to be relevant. Instead, professionals are generally free to pursue the certifications they find most interesting or relevant to their career goals. Some employers do, however, specify credentialing requirements in job postings. As a result, you should always pay close attention to the information provided prior to submitting applications.

It's also not uncommon for those who study business administration to establish and manage their own companies and/or organizations. In New York, starting a business required working with both the state and local government. All owners must obtain a Federal Tax ID, or Employer Identification Number (EIN). In many cases, they will also need to register as a New York State Sales Tax Vendor via the New York State Department of Taxation and Finances to get a sales tax Certificate of Authority. Depending on the nature of the business created, other licensing and permitting regulations may apply.

Careers for Business Administration Graduates

After earning a business administration degree and acquiring the necessary or preferred certifications, you will be qualified to apply for a wide variety of positions in New York. Salaries and daily duties will vary, but some of the most common career options include the following.

  • Accounting Associate:
    Accounting associates provide administrative support to accountants, auditors, and other financial experts. While a large portion of their jobs consist of bookkeeping, they often fulfill many roles and perform a variety of tasks such as inputting data input, preparing reports, and reconciling accounts. These professionals also ensure clients’ financial information is properly tracked. According to PayScale, accounting associates make an average base salary of $48,800 per year.
  • Administrative Coordinator:
    Administrative coordinators provide the companies and organizations they work for with budget management support and assistance. They often perform a variety of clerical duties that may include maintaining databases, creating reports, and composing letters. These professionals also hire new employees, as well as organize, supervise, and facilitate work assignments. According to PayScale, administrative coordinators make an average base hourly rate of $18.56, or approximately $46,200 per year.
  • Bank Branch Manager:
    Bank branch managers oversee the teams of employees who are assigned to specific bank branches. They ensure that the financial needs of clients are met and that good working relationships with staff members are fostered. These professionals also 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 are responsible for accurately maintaining financial records for their employers. They generally ensure and verify the viability of financial decisions, often utilizing accounting software to track transactions. These professionals also typically calculate, record, and balance payroll reports. According to PayScale, bookkeepers make an average base salary of $43,850 per year.
  • Certified Professional Accountant (CPA):
    Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs) work with individual clients, corporations, and government agencies to ensure that all financial processes are completed properly. These professionals often provide tax assistance, financial reporting, and auditing services. They may 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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  • Digital Marketing Manager/Director:
    Digital marketing managers and directors work to increase sales and brand loyalty among customers by creating new marketing projects. They oversee a significant portion of the process to ensure that all advertising efforts are efficient and effective. These professionals may also be responsible for utilizing new media and digital marketing strategies to implement and coordinate social and digital media campaigns. According to PayScale, digital marketing managers make an average base salary of $67,800 per year.
  • Financial Advisor:
    Financial advisors help clients assess and monitor their financial needs and develop plans/strategies to ensure fiscal goals are met. They often assist in the creation of short and long-term objectives. 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.
  • Project Manager:
    Project managers oversee various projects assigned to them by the companies and organizations they work for. These professionals typically establish project goals, timelines, and budgets, as well as dealing with any issues that arise. They also coordinate, document, and assign additional tasks to others and dispense important information to team members as needed. According to PayScale, project managers for non-profit organizations make an average base salary of $74,950 per year.
  • Supply Chain Manager:
    Supply chain managers coordinate franchise supply chains for their employers. They are responsible for developing and maintaining logistical and procedural policies to ensure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently. These professionals also mediate between sales and customer service teams and manage inventories based on customer demand. According to PayScale, supply chain managers make an average base salary of $83,950 per year.
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