Overview of a Bachelor’s in Business Administration
A bachelor’s of any kind is the most common degree type earned by students all over the country. As most management positions (project management, operations management, or another type) require a higher level of education in general, a bachelor's in business administration provides an excellent entry into management. You'll be prepared to jump right into an assistant or general business manager position and ready to start taking courses toward a master's degree with a concentration of your choice. You might even be able to start a new position with a bachelor's in business administration degree program, and then have your employer cover part or all of the cost of your master's degree in order to increase your usefulness to the company. This is a great way of earning certifications and credentials.
It's not just those looking to earn a master's with a concentration who can focus the curriculum of their business degree. Those earning a bachelor's degree in a business administration program could also choose to earn a minor or take extra courses in a niche within the field to deepen their professional knowledge when they graduate, including:
- Business Analysis
- Strategic Decision Making
- Business Communication
- Project Management
- Business and Financial Operations Management
- International Business
- Human Resources Management
- Managerial Accounting
- Organizational Behavior
- Business Statistics
Business administration programs support a part of the field of business that’s in high demand, one in which you have a variety of avenues on which to focus. Even at the bachelor’s level, your business degree will give you the opportunity for excellent annual earnings.
If you choose to focus on business, a bachelor’s in business administration program allows you to benefit from your knowledge and understanding of this field. You’ll be able to accept employment in a non-profit organization, work with federal tax law, or begin working in management.
The diversity of a BSBA allows you to benefit from a variety of career opportunities. Your education gives you the tools and knowledge to work for an employer or start your own business. You’ll also learn skills that will take you into other positions. These include leadership and entrepreneurial skills. You’ll be able to use what you learned in your BSBA to help get you into MBA or master's in business administration programs.
If you choose, you can work in a field related to business administration. If the right opportunity develops, you may work in research and development, marketing, human resources, business statistics, international business, public relations, operations management, business communication and decision making, or you could even start your own business depending on what curriculum or concentration you choose.
Six years in college, more or less, is a lot of time learning about a new career. While you will have many more options with a more-advanced degree, does this come with drawbacks? I certainly can, depending on your goals.
First, if you’re happy at your current level, why return to school for another two years? It means you’re going to acquire a much larger amount of student loan debt—something you may not wish to do. Next, you may not want to take on the headaches of middle or senior management. These are business management levels for which you would need a master’s degree or higher.
If you have a family and a full-time job, then returning to school for your MBA means that you are going to be spending many hours away from your family, and your desk at work, especially if you choose to attend classes on-campus. The effort required to earn your MBA may be challenging, verging on difficult.
Certificate vs. Bachelor's
You have a choice of whether to earn a certificate or degree for your BBA. Why not earn both? A certificate will only add another two semesters to your time in school, and you will enhance your breadth of knowledge in business. It can also be designed as a stand-alone if you want to expand your understanding in one particular area of business.
Choosing a major in business, you will embark on a full educational experience with general education, core, and elective classes. This option equips you fully for your career.
What Business Administration Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?
You have a few degree options from which to choose before you enroll in a university. You aren’t limited to those titled “Bachelor’s of Business Administration” (BBA). However, if the degree you choose has a different name, read through its descriptions to make sure that it gives you the same outcome.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—This degree is very similar to the BBA. It will also prepare you to work in a business environment. You’ll learn to develop and use critical thinking skills, all about business functions, group behavior, communications, and help you become an effective business leader.
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration—Here, you’ll focus on accounting, business administration, finance, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, international business, human resource management, marketing, management, advertising, public relations, or sports management.
Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business (BBA-GB)—In this major, you’ll learn everything you need, picking up on the business tools that will help you get started in your career. Even better, you’ll get a head start on your MBA.
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)—This business credential gives you a healthy foundation in the business skills you need to begin your career. You will learn the basics of managing and operating a business.
You’ll learn about the admission requirements of each program as you work through applications to the schools that interest you. Pay careful attention—if you miss a step, you risk being rejected for admission even if you meet all their requirements.
Though requirements differ from school to school, there are standards that tend to exist across the country. You’ll likely have to take and pass your ACT and/or SAT exams and earn a certain score for admission. At one school, you’ll need to have an SAT reasoning score of 1230, an ACT composite score of 25, an overall and unweighted high school GPA of 3.6, and a high school class ranking within the top 8%. If you are currently in college, try to meet several minimum qualifications to get into a BBA program.
How long does it take to earn a Business Administration Bachelor's?
One university offering an online BBA estimates that most students will complete their programs in three years. These students take two consecutive 8-week courses per semester, for a total of 6 credit hours.
The majority of bachelor’s degrees are considered earnable within a time frame of around 4 years. However, the recent trend in graduation is toward a longer period of time, more like 6 years. Even the government uses 6 years as the standard for “on time” graduation. If you take credits on a full-time basis and do not skip any semesters, it should be possible for you to complete the degree in 4 years. If you need to take time off or go to school part-time in order to work or care for family, then it may take you 6 or more years to complete your schooling.
Potential Careers in Business Administration with a Bachelor’s
- Sales managers are responsible for managing the sales of their team within the company. it is up to them to ensure revenue comes in. They set sales goals, create sales training programs and analyze sales data. The sales manager also has to project future sales and determine the profitability of products and services for which they are responsible.
Annual median salary: $44,000
- Financial Analysts’ work focuses completely on data—financial models, earnings releases, and financial recommendations. They know about every aspect of a particular business sector or industry so they can create and deliver presentations regarding investment options. They may either be sell-side analysts or buy-side analysts (working for mutual fund or pension fund companies).
Annual median salary: $59,000
- Business Consultants or managerial consultants assist client companies to develop and propose methods of improving their business’ efficiency. The entire role is to consult with managers and provide advice on helping their companies become more profitable, reducing costs, and making more revenue. They organize information about an identified problem and devise an improvement procedure.
Annual median salary: $81,000
- Market Research Analysts assist companies in developing an understanding of their customers, what products their customers want, and how to best promote those products. To complete their work, they design surveys, then train and supervise interviewers who will give the surveys. They analyze the research and give the results to the management of the company. While these professionals don’t develop marketing campaigns, they enable clients to learn what they need to know so they can build such campaigns.
Annual median salary: $53,000
- Human Resources (HR) Specialists focus primarily on the hiring of new employees. They recruit for, screen, interview, and hire new employees. If they are trained in all HR functions, they will take responsibility for other activities. These include compensation and benefits, employee relations, and training. They may also process payroll and administer employee benefits.
Annual median salary: $50,000
Options to Advance
After earning your BBA and working for some time in your chosen field, you may want to move up into management or an executive position. In order to do so, it would be best to go back to school and earn your MBA. Ideally, you should be in school for no more than two years.
If you are working as an accountant after earning your BBA, then earning your master’s in accounting may be the next natural step. You’ll solidify your managerial accounting and financial knowledge; learn new, strategic-level skills that allow you to adapt and encounter advanced concepts in accounting.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” While you may hear this in a job interview, it is a valid question if you plan to advance into a leadership or executive role. You may choose to move into the C-suite or begin working as a corporate advisor. For all of these, you need an MBA so you can decide where you want to be in five years. Ask yourself where you want to be in X years so you can plan accordingly.
Best Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BBA) Programs
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
UIC is located in one of the world’s best-known cities. It provides a vital part of the culture, education, and technology to an entire region of the United States. As a public research university, it houses 15 colleges and serves 30,000 students.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass)
UMass Amherst is one of the best-known research universities in the U.S. It is widely regarded as one of the top public research campuses in the country, giving many cultural experiences while being located in a rural area.
- Bachelor of Business Administration
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
Founded in 1949, GCU began as Grand Canyon College with only 16 faculty members and 100 college students. The first campus was located in Prescott, AZ and moved to its present location in 1951.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
UMich has more than 100 graduate programs that fall within the Top 10 in the country. This university boasts a 97% freshman retention rate.
- Bachelor of Business Administration
University of California-Berkeley (UC-Berkeley)
UC-Berkeley was founded in 1868, after the California State Constitution decreed that that the new college would contribute over and above the gold being mined. Currently, 23% of freshmen are first-generation college students. College faculty hold 8 Nobel Prizes.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Business Administration
Temple University began as a night school in 1884 and has since evolved into a university that is well-regarded internationally. Its research and higher education are respected all across the country, with about 40,000 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students.
- Online Bachelor of Business Administration (Online BBA)
Florida International University (FIU)
FIU is designated as a top-tier research institution, with research being the main component within its mission statement. It is Miami’s only public research university. FIU has carefully placed itself as an anchor institution in South Florida.
- Bachelor of Business Administration Online (BBA Online)
University of Texas-Permian Basin (UTPB)
UTPB, the only university named after a geological formation, hosts more than 7,000 students and employs 250 teaching faculty. Its location has the potential to affect technological advances and economic growth.
- Bachelor of Business Administration-Management, Online (BBA-M, Online)
University of South Dakota (USD)
Vermillion, South Dakota
USD is the flagship university of South Dakota. Offering both on-campus and online programs, USD works to ensure that its non-traditional students can take advantage of its most popular programs. The USD administration knows that it’s not easy to return to school.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Arizona State University (ASU)
ASU has made a commitment to help its students to succeed academically and throughout their lives. It provides access to learning in such a way that graduates will continue to learn in any environment. The ASU philosophy is “students first.”
- Online Bachelor of Arts in Business (Business Administration)
Business Degrees & Career Paths