Is a Business Administration Degree Worth It?

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Business people in a casual team meeting.

The field of business administration is growing, and the right education can provide the foundation for a successful, long-term career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 876,300 jobs existed in the management analysis sector alone in 2019. That doesn’t include the thousands of jobs in program management, business development, finance and other careers that a degree in business administration prepares graduates for. The BLS projects that employment in business and finance will grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, with the addition of almost 476,200 new jobs.

In these uncertain times, pursuing a career in business can provide stability and opportunities for growth. However, most entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Without a degree, many companies require extensive experience to ensure that employees meet their standards and are suitable for eventual promotion to higher positions. If you’re wondering, Is a business administration degree worth it?, the answer is yes: A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is certainly worth pursuing.

The Benefits of a Business Administration Degree

A BS in Business Administration introduces fundamental concepts in finance, marketing and human resources. The degree provides the opportunity to pursue jobs across industries, developing essential skills such as communication, problem-solving, decision-making and critical analysis.

The field of business administration requires organization, the ability to manage time and personnel, and knowledge about industry trends. A degree in business administration helps individuals acquire these skills and prepare for a successful career.

Management careers involve developing solutions or alternative procedures to boost company efficiency. Business administrators manage project teams, interact with clients, report on progress and ensure that their company functions efficiently day to day. Intimate knowledge of best practices and corporate structures allows individuals to seize opportunities to improve the way their company functions and increase profits.

Skills Gained with a Business Administration Degree

A business administration program offers a foundation in the skills necessary to succeed in business. Courses covering concepts such as organizational behavior, strategic management, marketing and accounting can provide knowledge of how businesses function on both a large-scale and a day-to-day basis.

The following skills can be gained from a business administration degree:

  • Analytical skills. Earning a degree in business administration can help students develop the analytical skills necessary for gaining valuable insights from data to make effective business decisions.
  • Oral and written communication. Clear, effective communication is an essential part of working with coworkers and clients to complete projects and integrate strategies that can lead to increased profit and company growth.
  • Problem solving. The curriculum offered in a bachelor’s in business administration program provides students with the opportunity to hone their skills in identifying problems in various aspects of business and finding actionable solutions.

Business Administration Career Paths

Because of the business knowledge and leadership skills developed during a degree program, the career opportunities after graduation are numerous. A degree in business administration prepares individuals to enter fields such as health care, retail, finance, manufacturing, marketing and human resources. Whether a graduate is interested in managing the day-to-day details of a business or developing large-scale procedures and strategies, opportunities are available.

General Manager

General managers oversee an entire company’s work environment. They set strategies for improvement, allocate resources and focus on building the organization and developing managers. To be a successful general manager, an individual needs to understand how the organization works, be aware of competitors’ plans and understand what kind of employees will benefit the organization and its goals. An individual seeking a career as a general manager should have strong interpersonal and analytical skills, allowing them to motivate employees and give their organization a competitive edge.

PayScale reports that, as of October 2020, general managers had a median salary of about $55,000. Most employers prefer their general managers to have a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience. However, an individual with a bachelor’s degree often will begin at a smaller company and move up to a more lucrative general manager position. General manager positions are sometimes given other titles, such as product manager or branch manager, depending on the field.

Management Analyst

Management analysts develop strategies for organizations’ efficiency and growth. They gather and organize information about problems a business has or procedures that need improvement. Management analysts interview personnel, observe how the organization functions and then recommend new systems, strategies or organizational changes. They analyze financial data, such as revenue, expenditures and employment data, to create reports for an organization’s management.

The BLS reports that management analysts had a median annual salary of $85,260 in 2019. An entry-level position usually requires less than five years of experience and may lead to becoming a partner in an organization or gaining a higher-level management position. This career path can be pursued as contract or full-time work, allowing an individual to work as a consultant or an in-house manager.

Program Manager

Program managers are team leaders. This role offers an opportunity for detail-oriented individuals to work as part of a team and oversee projects. A program manager is expected to prioritize projects, delegate tasks to team personnel, track project details, interact with clients and create schedules. Many work in-house, but consulting opportunities are available.

As of October 2020, program managers had a median salary of about $83,000 a year, according to PayScale. Because a program manager’s duties include coordinating between departments, capitalizing on opportunities for growth and tracking an organization’s progress, many opportunities for advancement are available. PMs with a business administration degree are prepared to take on more responsibility and be outstanding members of an organization.

Business Development Manager

Business development managers are hired by organizations that want to expand and increase their revenue. This job requires an in-depth knowledge of the best business practices to encourage brand loyalty and create business plans for future success. A business development manager seeks to improve customer satisfaction and increase profits. These managers conceive large-scale projects — defining their scope, reviewing their requirements and approving their time frames — as well as handle day-to-day details.

The BLS reports that the annual median salary for this position was $61,210 as of May 2019. Most organizations look to hire in-house business development managers who can work with the company long term.

Marketing Manager

A career in marketing combines technology, interpersonal relations, creativity and business experience. Marketing professionals use surveys, interviews and focus groups to develop strategies to meet, and anticipate, customers’ and clients’ needs. Individuals pursuing careers in marketing can benefit from a business administration degree because they need to understand how demographics, profits and research influence production and consumption trends.

Most marketing manager positions require prior work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions or sales and a bachelor’s degree. The BLS expects 6% job growth for marketing managers between 2019 and 2029. The median salary for this position as of May 2019 was $136,850, according to the BLS.

Discover a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree Program That’s Right for You

The field of business administration is growing, and new jobs are created regularly. Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in business should find a degree program that will prepare them for a successful, long-term career. Rider University’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration provides a foundation in the essential skills necessary to succeed. Learn more about how Rider can help you start a new career today.

Recommended Readings

Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Information Session
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Organizational Psychology
Why Business Communication Skills Are the New Currency

Sources:

Houston Chronicle, “Difference Between a Business Development Manager & a Sales Manager”
Houston Chronicle, “The Salary for Business Administration Right Out of College”
Houston Chronicle, “Program Managers Duties”
Investopedia, General Manager (GM)
PayScale, Average Business Development Manager Salary
PayScale, Average General Manager Salary
PayScale, Average Management Analyst Salary
PayScale, Average Program Manager (Unspecified Type/General) Salary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business and Financial Occupations
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Management Analysts