Business Management Degrees & Schools Guide

Associate, Bachelor's & Master's Degree in Business Management Options & Salary

What Does a Career in Business Management Entail?


Business is the most popular of college majors.[1] In fact, out of every five bachelor’s degrees awarded yearly, one will be in business.[2] Some of the academic fields in Business include marketing, accounting, management, finance, and general business.

The undergraduate program to obtain a Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) takes three years to complete and imparts leadership skills to be able to perform leading roles for major corporations, businesses, and industries worldwide.[3] The BBM is categorized into four majors: Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Operational Management, and Marketing Management.

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Business Degrees & Career Paths


successful-career-In-business

Components of a Successful Career in "Business Management"

Even though there are many career opportunities that could stem from business management courses, they all include basic core components to be successful. People skills are critical to the success of any career choice involving business fundamentals. Other key components include critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, leadership, communication, collaboration, ethics, empathy, strategic analysis, and more.

How to Earn a Degree in Business Management?


Also known as Chief Operating Officer (COO), a chief financial officer (CFO), and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– business executives ensure the success of their firm and provide leadership to employees.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that some business executives do not hold a bachelor’s degree, but typically one is required for this position, or at least a minimum of the bachelors’ degree courses must have been completed. A masters is preferred. In addition, many years of experience is required to become a business executive. It also helps to get a professional certification, but this is not a requirement.

If your goal is to become a business executive, the following criteria may help...

EDUCATION LEVELAt least a Bachelor’s Degree is usually acceptable
GEDREE FIELDBusiness Administration, or related
CRETIFICATIONVoluntary industry Certified from a trade Organization
EXPERIENCESeveral years in a managerial or supervisory position
KEY SKILLSLeadership, communication, administrative, problem solving, finance, and more
GENERAL KNOWLEDGEAccounting, regulations, laws, economics, software resources, such as SAP, oracle, and more

Why Earn a Business Management Degree

Earning a degree in business management opens the doors to many great career opportunities, including almost every sector of the economic industry, and could lead to something even greater.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that business degrees are the most demanded degrees today.[7] In fact, according to results of a 2018 Job Outlook survey conducted by the NACE, Management of Finance, Business Administration, and Accounting are the top three demanded majors of the year.[8]In addition, a poll conducted through the NACE found that nearly half (48.5%) of all employers in America are looking to hire those with business administration degrees.[9]

According to the BLS, job growth will increase by 6% for top executives between 2014 through 2024 and in 2015 chief executives earned an annual salary of $185,850 on average. Also in that same year, some companies paid the highest annual salaries to top executives that included bonuses, such as, $251,720 for peripheral and computer equipment, $246,040 commodity contracts and securities, and $253,570 to limousine and taxi services.[10]

After earning a business management degree, you don’t have to stop there, you can continue to reach higher grounds and become a top executive.

Difference Between Business Manager and Executive

Business-manager There are a number of major differences between a business manager and an executive. For instance, in an organization, a business manager would answer to the executive, as the executive has a much higher standing and practically runs the business. Moreover, the pay rates are substantially different between the two careers, where an executive can earn two times that of a business manager. Not to mention the education and experience it takes to become an executive where a business manager only needs a bachelor’s degree.[11]

Typical Business Executive Degree Requirements

In the modern business world, a business executive is required to have a four-year bachelor’s degree, at a minimum. The degree held could be in finance, administration, economics, political science, public administration, law, English, business administration, or in another related subject.

Important Questions To Ask


How long does it take to earn a business management degree?


business-management-degree You can qualify for an entry-level position with an associate’s degree in business management that takes as little as two years. With this degree comes many options. You can choose to accept a position in management in almost any industry from music to construction or you can continue with your education and get a bachelor’s degree in another two years.

How much does a business management bachelor’s degree cost?


bachelor’s-degree The cost to get any degree varies greatly from state to state as well as from different colleges and universities depending on the specific degree you are seeking and if you already have credits to complete your goal. It also depends on whether you decide to go to a college that is located in your own state by staying on-campus or at home, or if you attend out-of-state classes. Another option is taking online courses. Overall, the average cost to obtain your degree in business management can be anywhere from $9000 per year to $45,000 per year.[12]

What is the Business Management Degree Coursework Like?


In general, the courses you will need to complete for a business management degree will include the following:

  • Communication
  • Accounting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Business Ethics
  • Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology

To be more specific we will break down the general coursework for each degree field, including an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and a Master of Business Administrative(MBA)

Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering?


school-consideringA major is a specific subject area that you will specialize in after getting your degree. Most colleges will allow you to wait until your sophomore year to choose a major for a four-year degree, giving you time to decide what your major will be. However, if you decide on getting a two-year degree, then you most likely will choose a major at the start, since this is a shorter program.

In addition, some colleges and universities will also allow you to choose a minor as well, which can include coursework in another field, usually related to your major. They may even provide their students with advisor programs, to help you decide what your major and/or minor will be. Check with the school to ensure they have the major you are seeking.

How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?


on-time The percentage of students who commit to a two-year degree program at a community college and actually graduate within two years is 5 percent.

The percentage of students who commit to a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a flagship and private/public University who actually graduate and get their degree in four years is 36 percent.

For a four-year non-flagship public university, the percentage of students who graduate on time is 19 percent.

According to the Hechinger Report, one of the main reasons why the graduation rate for getting a degree at the expected time is so low is due to students not taking enough hours during a semester. 12 hours of credits are considered full time during a semester — which most students commit to — but it often takes 15 hours of commitment to meet the 120 hours required to graduate in a four-year period. Yet only 29% of community college students will take 15 hours of credits or more during a semester. Moreover, 12 credits are the threshold to get the maximum financial aid, which cannot be used to catch up by taking summer classes.[13] Still, 86% of freshmen believe they will get their degree on time, according to the American Freshman’s survey.[14]

What kind of accreditation does the program hold? How is it regarded in the field?


Many people don’t understand how critical it is to attend a school accredited by a reputable association. When a school is accredited, it means that a major association has approved them since they meet their high standards, after completing a thorough inspection of:

  • The schools’ learning procedures
  • What the students are taught
  • The schools' safety regulations
  • And more

Furthermore, if you get your degree from a school that is not accredited, you may find it hard to gain employment, as most employers question your knowledge after learning you were educated in a school that is not accredited. This does seem logical since an unaccredited school can teach anything they want and the information they share may not be up to date or adequate for specific fields.

Although the US Government does not personally accredit schools, they appoint other agencies to regulate accreditation. Unfortunately, there have been many online fake school frauds. Therefore, it is important that you check the credentials of a school before signing up to attend. You can check if a school is accredited by visiting the US Department of Education's website and searching their database by the school name.

Things to look out for in an institution:

  • The school or its claimed accrediting agency is not recognized by the US Department of Education
  • Credits are awarded for less work
  • Numerous complaints are made about the school
  • Students are not eligible for government grants or financial income
  • The Institute’s name is very similar to another institute

Software/Technology/Skills Needed


software-technology

Any kind of job in management requires a variety of skills in order to maintain such a position. Not only does a manager have to oversee the company’s business affairs, but they also have to lead the employees, while dealing with customers and partners. Some of the skills required in general management are:

  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Project management and planning
  • Time management, and Delegation
  • Communication and negotiation
  • Leadership
  • Financial management
  • Customer service
  • Troubleshooting
  • Writing
  • Software

Associates in Business Management


Associates Degree Sample Courses


  • Critical thinking
  • Communications
  • Management
  • Business software
  • Fundamentals of business
  • Project planning and implementation
Read More About Associates Degrees

Bachelor's in Business Management


Bachelor’s Degree Sample Courses


  • Strategic planning
  • Organizational leadership
  • People management
  • Business-oriented computer applications
  • Core business subjects
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Accounting
Read More About Bachelor's Degrees

Master's in Business Management


Master’s Degree Sample Courses


  • Strategic planning
  • International business
  • Information technology
  • Marketing
  • Organizational behavior and design
  • Accounting
  • Advanced management concepts and best practices
  • Finance
  • Ethical leadership
Read More About Master’s Degrees

Careers & Salaries


Salaries range greatly in the business management industry, but as you can see from the chart below the more experienced you are, the higher your salary will be. The chart contains average salaries for each study of the field and occupation, so employers may pay much more or much less for these positions than what is noted.

Annual Median Salary By Occupation


OccupationsEntry LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Financial Analyst$40,000$73,000$81,000
Accountant$39,000$65,000$96,000
Human Resources Manager$36,000$66,000$83,000
Advertising Manager$63,000$82,000$94,000
Marketing Manager$62,000$98,000$1,31,000

Annual Median Salary by Field of Study


Field of StudyEntry LevelMid-Career
Health Care Management$57,000$84,000
General Management$43,000$58,000
Finance Management$56,000$98,000
Accounting Management$40,000$68,000
Marketing Management$44,000$96,000

Business Management Scholarships


business_management_scholarships Many students are on the hunt for ways to pay for their college tuition without even thinking about looking into a scholarship program, since they believe that, along with grants and awards, these programs are only available to students with high academic achievements or who are in severe financial need. However, the truth is, there are numerous awards and scholarship programs offered to students seeking business degrees. Some of these benefits are directed to applicants who fit into certain demographics or specific areas of study, but there are others available to business majors as well.

The following are some of the top Scholarship programs:

  • Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
    Awards: from $2,000 to $25,000
    Awards are given to 50 freshmen attending an accredited institution who are interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry. Additionally, awards are based on financial needs as well as qualifications. Students must be enrolled in a full-time business-related bachelor’s degree program and demonstrate leadership in their local community.

    Contact: Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
    Address: 10 Main Street, New York, NY 11367
    Phone: (800) 537-4180
    Email: buickachievers@scholarshipamerica.org

  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
    Awards: $7,000
    Sponsored by Zonta International through a former Parliamentarian in Syracuse, this award is given to exceptional young women pursuing a master’s or undergraduate degree in business administration. To qualify, you must be a female enrolled in an accredited University, have an outstanding academic record, have completed a minimum one year of college, and show initiative to pursue a business career.

    Contact: Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
    Address: 1211 West 22nd Street Suite 900, Oak Brook, IL 60523
    Phone: (630) 928-1400
    Email: zontaintl@zonta.org

  • Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
    Awards: from $5,000 to $10,000
    Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund is the division of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) that offers several scholarship programs nationwide. To qualify, you must be a graduate or undergraduate female student in pursuit of a business administration degree and have at least sophomore status with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in an accredited American College.

    Contact: Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
    Address: 9820 Metcalf Avenue Suite 110, Overland Park, KS 66212
    Phone: (800) 228-0007
    Email: webmail@abwa.org

  • Marc Beaumont Scholarship Fund
    Awards: $2,500
    The Marc Beaumont Scholarship Fund is part of the “Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.” Each year two students who are enrolled full-time in an accredited university are given this award. Applicants must possess b moral leadership character, have an overall 3.3 GPA, and pursue a career in business administration with intent to enter the gaming industry.

    Contact: Marc Beaumont Scholarship Fund
    Address: 9800 South La Cienega Blvd. 14th Floor, Inglewood, CA 90301
    Phone: (310) 484-2559
    Email: debby@interactive.org

  • MillerCoors National Scholarship
    Awards: $3,000
    Offered by the Adelante U.S. Leadership Fund to a U.S citizen of Hispanic descent seeking a degree in business administration, while majoring in any of the following: accounting, public relations, economics, general business, finance, marketing, communications, international business, sales, or business administration. Also, qualified candidates must be a junior or senior undergraduate, attending an accredited partnering university full-time, with a GPA of at least 3.0.

    Contact: MillerCoors National Scholarship
    Address: 8415 Datapoint Drive Suite 400, San Antonio, TX 78229
    Phone: (210) 692-1971
    Email: info@adelantefund.org

Professional Organizations


Professional business organizations offer students in the field of business a variety of benefits that can assist them on their journey down a new career path.

Joining one of these associations can help pave the way to a brighter future, as you will gain insight of important opportunities, knowledge of the latest trends and new technology, added education, legal advocacy, networking solutions and opportunities, a social presence, experience, and much more.

Whether you are pursuing a career in finance, accounting, or marketing, these top professional organizations can help lead the way to a successful career.

  • AMA
  • WFPMA
  • AMA
  • BMA
  • AFA
  • AFP
  • AICPA
AMA-logo-1

AMA

American Management Association (AMA)

If you are leaning toward a professional career in management or want to go even further into an executive role, a well-established association like the AMA can help you to take your first step. The AMA offers special benefits to its members that will allow you to learn the most recent management practices, get discounts to seminars and conferences, and access an abundance of online training.

WFPMA-logo

WFPMA

The World Federation of People Management Association (WFPMA)

If your focus is on international business while pursuing your degree, then joining the WFPMA would be a wise choice and a great start.

The World Federation of People Management Association represents top people-management organizations across the globe. Every two years, the WFPMA holds a world congress to address people management trends globally that serves as a worldwide networking event.

AMA1-logo

AMA

The American Marketing Association (AMA)

The AMA is a well-established professional organization that offers membership to students who are interested in gaining access to special resources and information such as marketing certifications, professional development, student competitions, e-learning, and exclusive access to AMA regional conferences.

BMA-logo

BMA

Business Marketing Association (BMA)

The BMA is one of the biggest organizations in the professional marketing industry. They target B2B marketers and provide training, regional chapters, and national marketing conferences that have many attendees and are great opportunities for networking.

AFA-logo

AFA

American Finance Association (AFA)

The AFA is perfect for those interested in financial economics. They are the backbone of finance research journals and academic papers. They also host conferences and meetings at Universities throughout the U.S covering numerous topics such as, "Does it pay to Invest in Art?" and "Riding the Bubble with Convex Incentives.”

As part of this organization, you will gain access to exclusive recruitment opportunities on its job boards and will have the opportunity to present your own papers to be considered for publication.

AFP-logo

AFP

Association for Finance Professionals (AFP)

The AFP is a professional organization that organizes a yearly global conference for professionals all over the world, provides job recruitment opportunities, certifications, and advocacy. By joining with this association, you will be able to view the latest industry trends from multiple webinar selections.

AICPA-logo

AICPA

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

This organization is not just for CPA’s as they offer a non-CPA affiliate membership that is very beneficial to students in the industry. The AICPA offers scholarships, advocacy at both state and federal levels, as well as career support in certain areas, such as not-for-profit organizations and information management.

Choosing an Accredited College


Choosing the right accredited college for the degree you are pursuing is crucial to your career. Therefore, take your time when deciding and be sure to do some extensive research on every University you may be considering.

The best thing to do would be to create a chart, adding each school and the important values they provide as well as what you are looking for in a university. Now that you have potential universities listed, start by ensuring they are accredited by a reputable association.

Next, check for reviews made by other students who attended the school. Then see what you can find at the Better Business Bureau website, where you should check for complaints made about the school, and more importantly, how they were handled.

Also, it is wise to visit the schools in question before making your final decision. Talk to the teachers and staff to identify their character; Do they seem like the type of people you can learn from who will be committed to your education and who you wouldn’t mind dealing with practically every day while going through at least two years of college?

After you have completed your research and filled your chart, you can then begin comparing the schools you have listed, and one just may stand out among the rest.

Online vs On-Campus vs Hybrid


Another choice you will have to make is where you will take your courses. There are three options to choose from: on-campus, online, or a little bit of both (hybrid).

All three options have pros and cons associated with them, just as everything else does. Going to school on campus means you will have to show up for class every weekday at a specific time and leave at a certain time as well, and if you are late or absent, it doesn’t look good on your record. When you are taking online courses, you never have to worry about things like being late or absent, as you can take your courses whenever you like.

However, some employers do not favor taking college classes online, because it doesn’t help you to develop social skills and networking, as you would while going to a brick and mortar class. Another thing is, showing up for class each day, can help you to develop a routine and get used to repetition, where online classes deprive you of these values. Of course, you can always take some classes online and some on campus. Since every school is different, you must contact the school of your choice to find out more specifics.

Does the College Have Post Graduate Job Placement Help & Assistance?

With so many tough choices to make and between studying, completing assignments, doing research, and more, it can be a little overwhelming to take all this on by yourself. Fortunately, most colleges have job placement service programs that can help you make important decisions, create the perfect resume, and set you up for interviews even before you graduate, among other things. Some may also help you choose a major and which degree you would like to obtain. Talk to a college recruiter to find out more about what programs and services they have available for students.

Since the early 2000’s Corporate Partnership Programs (CPP’s) have been working with college students who are on the brink of graduating and getting their degree. Their focus is mainly on assisting students to gain employment in the field of their choice upon graduating.

This service raised tensions within student development models, as some claim it is in opposition with traditional methods that offered student’s career counseling while providing them with the right skills to be able to conduct their own job searches and successfully gain employment on their own. Nevertheless, CPP’s have continuously gained in popularity and are now widespread within multiple colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Many see CPP’s as an innovative step forward, where others claim they are headhunters since some major corporations may pay them a finder’s fee for sending them good employees. But, what’s wrong with earning some cash for helping people connect? Moreover, a student’s life can get very hectic, especially towards the end of their term, why make it harder on them than it has to be by insisting they search for a job on their own when CPP’s are willing to help and already have a job all lined up for them with a noteworthy professional organization?

Why You Need to Consider How the Rating/Accreditation Can Affect Your Salary

Colleges are usually ranked and rated by how well known they are. Of course, everyone has heard of Harvard and Stanford, which is part of the reason why these universities have such high ratings.

Another factor that contributes to a college’s rank is their accreditation. There are actually two types of accreditation: national and regional. Schools can be nationally accredited, regional accredited, or both.

National accreditations are more utilized by distance learning programs, as well as trade, technical, religious, or online schools, which doesn’t necessarily make them bad schools, but standards vary a great deal between nationally accredited organizations.

Regional accreditation is the more popular of the two and more widely used among traditional colleges and universities.

Some employers prefer to hire an employee who earned their degree from a regionally accredited university rather than national but may consider anyone with the right degree from an accredited college. However, your salary will also be determined by which college or university you obtained your degree from. Graduates of a higher-ranking college tend to receive higher salaries than lower ranking institutions. But regional accreditation may not hold much sway if you want to take your degree overseas.

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