How to Become a Business Administrator in North Dakota

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What is Business Administration?


Despite being the fourth least populous state, there are still a number of industries in which a business administration graduate could find employment in North Dakota. Some of the most profitable of these include mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; real estate, rental, and leasing; wholesale trade; educational services, healthcare, and social assistance; manufacturing; professional and business services; agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; construction, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Within any one of these industries, a new or experienced business administrator should be able to find a leadership position, given that they earn the right education and are able to obtain experience in the field.

The oil and gas industry earned $40.2 billion in North Dakota in 2019 - this supported more than 59,100 jobs in that year. Aside from what this industry added to the gross state product (GSP), oil and gas company employees spend their paychecks both locally and state-wide, adding to the overall economic well-being of the state. Future business students who are looking to enroll in a college of business and economics at their university or college may be happy to discover that there is so much variety in employment options throughout the state. Undergraduate business students anticipating graduation or looking for internships will find that their options are wide open.

A business administrator may also be called by other titles: business directors or business operations managers. Whatever their title may be, a business administrator is usually responsible for much of an organization’s operations.

They may communicate with partners, supervise daily operations, and focus on employee and organizational performance. They may also work on contracts and review financial data — all of this will be covered by your business administration degree, though there will be differences in your day-to-day responsibilities which will depend on the size of the organization you work for, your exact job title, and more. Some very large organizations have a complex leadership structure, and you may only oversee part of a department. Smaller companies usually have less structure and require their administrators to wear multiple hats. In a smaller company, you are likely to be in charge of whole departments or even the whole office.

A business administrator should have top-notch leadership skills and be skilled in analyzing data. They also need excellent interpersonal skills and be able to thrive under pressure.


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Online Business Administration Education in North Dakota


Online Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)

Future students looking for a business administration degree in North Dakota most commonly choose an undergraduate business degree program. However, an associate degree is less common than a bachelor’s, as many employers require their new hires hold a bachelor’s degree. But, in smaller communities and businesses, an associate degree can be nearly as competitive as a bachelor’s. And students can earn these degrees from a local community college or nearby state university and go on to earn a bachelor’s after they have started working.

An associate degree requires that students complete around 60 credit hours to graduate, which usually takes around two years. Students may take economics, accounting, statistics, marketing, and business law and ethics courses in their associate degree program, as well as a number of general education courses. It might be a good idea to check if your chosen college has cooperative agreements with at least one state university or other four-year institution, which allows students to transfer their credits to a four-year degree program more easily. This can save you money and time in the long run as community colleges are less expensive than many four-year institutions.

Career opportunities for graduates include sales representative, purchasing agent, labor relations assistant, accountant, financial analyst, adjuster, claims representative, appraiser, budget analyst, and bank examiner.

Rankings for Online Business Administration Associates

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)

Students who plan to earn a bachelor’s of business administration should consider taking a look at the best business administration schools in North Dakota to find what they are looking for. This is especially true if they plan to work in the state. Attending a local, well-known institution could provide you with greater access to businesspeople in your state, as the name of your school will be recognizable and might even be an alma mater for other local businesspeople.

There are Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree programs available, though you could also earn a degree with a different title and end up with a nearly identical education. It might be worth it to review the catalogs of various schools if they don’t have the degree title you think you need. Typically, bachelor’s degrees require students to earn 120 credits, which will take around four years for those attending full-time.

Rankings for Online Business Administration Bachelors

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

Graduate students may choose to earn a Master of Science in Management (MSM) if they plan to move up the professional ladder or you can earn an MBA, which is a Master of Business Administration. North Dakota has a diverse set of industries, but students should be able to use their business administration and management education in just about any industry, including manufacturing, finance, or sales. However, much of where you end up in your later career is focused on the experience you earned early on. If you are looking to shift your career into another field, an MBA with a pertinent concentration may help you to do just that. For instance, if you’ve worked in business analysis and you are looking to move into data science or security, you might take an MBA with a concentration in data science, cyber security, IT, or another similar field.

Students earning their MBA may take in-person classes or online classes offered in a synchronous or asynchronous format, depending on the program they choose. Each option aims to accommodate students who continue working, as master’s and MBAs are usually designed for working professionals.

Online PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)

Business administration professionals who plan to earn their PhD or Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) may strive to blaze new trails in the business world. PhD students gain the skills they need to branch off into new fields or move upward in their organization. However, it’s important to note that there are very few roles in business that would require a PhD. Most PhD candidates are interested in teaching positions or are looking to establish themselves as an expert in the field. Proving your expertise could help if you are looking to become a consultant in the field but will not be necessary for even the highest roles in the C-suites at most organizations..

Most PhD programs require students to complete a dissertation in order to earn their degree. This process itself offers candidates the opportunity to develop new research which applies to their work and interests. The full completion of a PhD program may take three to five years, depending on the program you choose and how much time you have to dedicate yourself to the process.

Become a Business Administrator in North Dakota


There are no specific paths that are required to become a business professional. You might start as an entry-level worker with an associate degree and work your way up using your experience to move you forward. Or you can earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree and prove to your new employer that you have the expertise they need for a specific role. No matter what path you choose, certifications can come in handy for anyone looking to succeed in their career path. There are many kinds of professional business certifications, so it’s important to choose the right ones. You might want to check which are most often required for candidates in your role, or a role you want, according to job boards. Or you might choose one because it captures your interest. No matter your reason, these credentials help businesspeople whether they are seeking a new position or working to take on more responsibility in their current job. Here are just a couple of options.

  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
    The International Institute of Business Analysis offers the CBAP, which was created for business analysts. This certification demonstrates that they have the skills to develop solutions for organizations. Analysts who plan to earn this certification should have a few years of experience in the field, 35 hours in professional development, and 7,500 hours of work experience in business analysis.
  • Professional Certificate in Team Leadership
    This certificate is intended to help administrators refine their leadership abilities and demonstrate their ability to lead others in a professional environment. Business administrators who have earned this certification may use it as a way of advancing in their careers. Candidates learn leadership styles, effective time management, positive communication, strategies to improve performance, and how to effectively lead through change.
  • Salesforce
    This is a customer relationship management (CRM) certification. Options include software development, IT, sales, and marketing. Certifications include Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, Salesforce Marketer, Salesforce Consultant.
  • APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSCP)
    This certification is for business administrators in supply chain management. It stresses streamlined operations. Candidates learn about the management of global supply chains and how to maximize Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) investments.

Careers for Business Administration Graduates


  • Maintenance Manager
    Maintenance managers are responsible for supervising maintenance workers as they take care of the needs of a building. This may include landscaping or repairs in the building, such as plumbing. The manager tracks expenses, creates and assigns schedules to workers, and reports on progress to their own supervisor. Other responsibilities may include repairs, installations, and general upkeep of the facilities. The manager also creates maintenance procedures to be used by everyone in the company.
  • Branch Manager, Banking
    A bank’s branch manager supervises the operations within a bank branch or financial institution. They manage resources and staff, deliver good customer service, increase revenue for the branch, and develop and land sales of products. The manager supervises bank employees, ensuring they are providing good customer service and selling products. The manager should have a track record of success, prior experience, and leadership skills.
  • Product Manager
    The product manager brings design knowledge, business strategy, and the needs of customers together so they are able to create a product that customers will find valuable. At all times, the product manager focuses on optimizing a product that customers will buy, meeting the goals of the organization and the needs of the user, and helping the organization maximize return on investment.
  • Project Manager

    A project manager plans, organizes, and supervises the completion of assigned projects. They are responsible for projects being completed within budget, on time, and meeting the planned scope of work.

    This manager accepts and supervises projects which may contain several sub-parts, making it more complex. The duties of a project manager rely on their organization, the projects they are assigned (construction, IT, etc.), the organization which employs them, and the industry in which they work.

  • Supply Chain Manager

    Supply chain managers in charge of every phase of their organization’s supply chain. They buy the raw materials, track them through warehousing and production, make sure the product is shipped for arrival as specified, arrange storage for products, and ensure nothing is lost or damaged.

    Their other responsibilities include staying current on organizational logistics and updating inventory. Their goal is to make sure every part of the supply chain meets the standards of the organization.

  • Non-Profit Director
    The director of a non-profit must work within their state’s laws and the non-profit’s bylaws as they direct and oversee the organization. They may live and work in a state that requires non-profits to be operated and managed by voting members, a board of directors, or a combination and the Articles of Incorporation spell out what kind of management will be used. The director must carry out their responsibilities with ordinary care, in good faith, and in the best interest of the non-profit.
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