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What is Business Administration?
Oklahoma may be a sparsely populated state with few urban centers, but it still runs at the pace of business. Where it was once the oil capital of the world, it’s still known for its natural resources and the state’s mining industry is #2 in the nation. It still has a strong oil industry and its wide-open spaces are often used for wind farms that create more sustainable energy.
Oklahoma's strong economy also relies on its real estate, manufacturing, professional services, and social services - including healthcare, among other industries. Thus, the state relies on its business administration professionals to get the job done for their firm and for the state. To ensure that the state continues to grow and thrive, Oklahoma supports its institutions of higher learning.
A business administrator is a professional who works in one of the many roles offered by the business community. Administrators include workers who specialize in management, human resources, operations, supply chain, communications, finance, and more. These professionals most often work in offices and hold standard nine-to-five schedules, though many start earlier and end later. Business administration professionals also work remote jobs for a single employer or as consultants. Business administration consultants also may travel great distances to visit clients across the nation or globe.
A typical day for a business administrator will vary depending on their particular role in the business community. A sales manager, for instance, might lead a meeting of their sales professionals where they strive to motivate the team to higher sales figures. A supply chain administrator, on the other hand, might be involved in solving difficult problems related to obtaining raw materials for their plant. Meanwhile, marketing managers may be receiving a report from their analytical team, who may have new insights for an upcoming marketing campaign.
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Online Business Administration Education in Oklahoma
After all, to keep businesses and the economy growing, the state needs a steady supply of fresh minds who are trained in the ways of business. Whether they are accountants, managers, salespeople, or supply chain experts, Oklahoma needs them to push the state down the path of progress. That’s just part of why the state supports public and private colleges and universities who have strong business administration degree programs.
These business colleges and degree programs, in turn, strive to attract and hire business experts who have both strong academic credentials and business experience. Experience in the Oklahoma economy is important since the state has its own particular way of regulating business. Additionally, there are industries, such as oil and gas exploration or minerals mining, that are rare in the nation. When students learn from professors that are experienced in these fields, the whole state benefits.
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Online Associate Degree in Business Administration (AS)
An online associate business administration degree is a terrific idea for those who want to get started in their career right away. Local community colleges tend to charge far less per credit hour while delivering small class sizes instructed by highly qualified academics. Students who have a long-term goal of a bachelor’s degree will be pleased to know that an associate business degree includes the core curriculum required by most four-year colleges and universities. These degrees can also pave the way to an entry-level position, in which graduates can gain experience while deciding on whether or not to complete a bachelor’s.
Community colleges offer an added benefit of being local to a student's home, however, students may find that a community college across the state has the specific business administration degree they seek. That seeming difficulty may be overcome if the school offers an online business administration degree option. Furthermore, it's also possible to earn an online associate degree from an out-of-state community college, though added fees may apply.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BS)
A bachelor’s business administration degree is perhaps the best launchpad for a successful business career. A four-year degree provides students with ample opportunity to explore multiple aspects of business administration, on top of other fields. Some bachelor’s students opt for a minor concentration in a related field such as information technology, computer science, economics, mathematics, and sociology, to name a few options.
Over the course of a four-year program, bachelor’s business degree students should consider an internship. These experiences allow them to dive into the working world with the support of their university, as well as an on-site mentor. While there is no guarantee that an internship will result in a paid position, internships do help students build a resume and a professional business network. In fact, some students are able to complete multiple internships as a way to explore more opportunities in the business community.
Online Master's Degree in Business Administration (MS or MBA)
Online graduate school is less and less of an option and more of a requirement these days, especially for those who want to reach the upper levels of management. Undergraduate students in some schools even have the option of completing an MBA as part of an accelerated undergraduate program. These accelerated programs take only five years of intense study, but the result is a reduced overall cost of education.
The traditional route, however, is to enter graduate school after one has completed their undergraduate degree and gained some experience in their field. Students can then choose whether to explore a graduate degree that focuses solely on their area of expertise, or whether to work on an MBA. The MBA route does offer students the opportunity to concentrate on their focus area, but the first year is spent studying general business topics. Since an MBA is comprehensive, it may be the preferred choice for those who wish to work as a CEO or as an entrepreneur. However, a two-year master’s business degree that focuses on a specific topic, such as human resources or management, can be just as beneficial.
Online PhD Degree in Business Administration (PhD)
Employers don't often seek out a PhD for their teams, but that may be changing. Business is becoming increasingly driven by large troves of data that inform a firm's marketing, finance, and even HR decisions. Thus, a PhD that focuses on data science may help a professional land a position with a top firm, earning top pay. Candidates with a PhD in fields such as computer science or mathematics may be highly sought as researchers or data scientists.
On the other hand, those with a doctorate degree may choose a profession outside of the business community. They may choose to work in academia, as professors who conduct lectures and grade papers or as research faculty. In fact, some academic business experts find that they are hired to work as consultants for firms who need additional assistance.
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Become a Business Administrator in Oklahoma
Business is a highly appealing career path for most Americans, and Oklahomans are no exception. Our media is saturated with news that features top business professionals and it seems that the best, most reliable, path to riches is through a career in business. However, despite the ubiquity of business in American life, it may still be confusing for those who wish to become a business administration professional in Oklahoma.
Sadly, there is no silver-bullet, sure-fire formula for business success in Oklahoma or any other state. Yet there are steps that a student can take that will help them achieve long-term success in the business community. One of the first steps is to focus on business or business-related topics even while in high school. There are business related clubs to join, and many high schools offer courses in basic accounting, economics, or even business administration. Even without those options, students should focus on advancing as far as they can in every subject, but especially mathematics. After all, business thrives on quantitative analysis.
When it comes time to find the best business administration bachelor’s degree program, the first item on every student's list should be accreditation. Their top choices should at least have regional accreditation from a CHEA-approved agency. The very best options will also have programmatic accreditation from either AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Those accrediting agencies are nationally recognized, and a diploma that holds accreditation from one of them could open doors nationwide.
While pursuing a bachelor’s business administration degree, students should keep their eye on the business journals and news media. These information resources can help them determine what trends are coming up in the business community. That can be helpful in deciding what specific major to focus on. For instance, many schools offer degrees in management, marketing, finance, and human resources, to name a few. To then bolster one's academic work, students should look for an opportunity to complete an internship with a local or national firm.
After earning an undergraduate degree, students who are still highly motivated for a career in business should look for a graduate degree program. For those seeking an MBA, make sure that the MBA degree program offers the concentration area that appeals to them. Students could also consider a master of science in a single subject area, such as management or marketing.
Careers for Business Administration Graduates
- Administrative Coordinator:
This position may be perfect for someone with an associate business administration degree. Administrative coordinators oversee the day-to-day operations in an office. They ensure that the files are in order, that departments are in communication, and may even perform some hiring duties. Administrative coordinators are often the glue that keeps a business together.
- Maintenance Manager:
Property managers not only collect rent, but they also maintain a property. Larger properties have maintenance managers who oversee a building's routine maintenance, such as changing light bulbs and yearly winterizing. They also schedule a team of handy people who take care of all matters, large and small.
- Branch Manager, Banking:
This job requires a thorough knowledge of retail banking. Branch bank managers should be able to oversee their tellers, loan officers, and more. Bank branch managers should also have strong customer service abilities.
- Team Supervisor, Call Center:
This job requires that applicants have strong leadership abilities. Tech support call centers often have to work with frustrated customers, so team supervisors need to have strong interpersonal communication skills to help solve any variety of customer problems.
- Financial Advisor:
These business administration professionals are licensed to help individuals and institutions to manage and build their wealth. To qualify for this position, most earn a degree in finance or accounting. However, an economics degree may also be helpful.
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- Accounting Associate:
An accounting associate supports accountants with administrative duties. They may be asked to do some bookkeeping, but they should also know how to prepare a variety of financial documents. Thus, an accounting associate should have at least an associate accounting degree and experience in business administration.
- Project Manager:
Project managers are administration experts who keep their teams on track. Often found in the tech industry, project managers assemble the best teams for their client's needs. Aspiring project managers should consider earning special certifications in the field to impress hiring managers.
- Non-Profit Director:
While many thing that the non-profit and for-profit worlds are light years apart, the truth is that both need business administration professionals to operate. Non-profit directors are familiar with the realities of a non-profit including how to raise funds, including using fundraising events, grants, and more.
- Chief Marketing Manager:
This title goes to marketing professionals who have loads of experience and a master’s degree. For this position, a MS in marketing is likely sufficient, but applicants might also consider an MBA with a concentration in marketing.
- Digital Marketing Manager/Director:
This specialty is becoming all the more common as every firm must use digital marketing and public relations tools to survive. The title of director most often goes to applicants with five or more years of experience in digital marketing. It's also advised to have either an MS or MBA in marketing.
- Supply Chain Manager:
After the pandemic, everyone is familiar with how important our supply chains are. Supply chain managers, often called logisticians, are expert at routing shipments and scheduling orders of raw materials they need to produce goods. They also find the best shipping methods to get their goods to customers in a timely fashion.