October 21, 2015
This is where you're at: You want to advance from your current role, but without a bachelor's degree, your chances are slim. Your boss has encouraged you to go back to school so you can move ahead. You need to be home at night with your kids, so attending classes anywhere after work is out of the question. Your best option: an online undergraduate degree.
Business administration is where you started your college education many years ago - and you think it's still the right path to pursue, given your career goals. Here's what to consider as you explore the pursuit of an online undergraduate degree.
Business administration degrees provide a broad foundation in business to prepare you for leadership roles across many industries. In fact, supervisory skills and managerial techniques are at the heart of business administration programs.
Whether it's a personal goal to complete your bachelor's degree or a necessity to remain viable in an increasingly competitive marketplace, an online undergraduate degree in business administration establishes a skill level that positions you for career growth. According to Dr. Joseph Cappa, executive director of undergraduate business programs and social sciences at Southern New Hampshire University, an online BS in Business Administration provides an opportunity to combine work/life experience with academics.
Business faculty brings real-world expertise into the online classroom, encouraging students to relate their own real-world experiences to coursework. Graduates come away with a balanced approach to business challenges and the tools, knowledge and skills to succeed. "Organizations are looking for employees, even at the base level, who can contribute to strategic goals, prepare reports for senior leaders, demonstrate critical thinking and offer new ideas," said Cappa.
While an online undergraduate degree in business administration instills the sought-after knowledge and skills employers look for in accounting, business law, human resource management, marketing and leadership, combining this degree with a specific field of concentration adds extra value. Some options include:
Concentrations take a deeper dive into particular areas of interest and give degree holders the added advantage of offering more in the way of specialization in the business sector.
As one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., healthcare is projected to offer strong career opportunities to offset the needs of an ever-rising elderly population. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projects 17 percent growth in employment of medical and health services managers through 2024.* A bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in health administration can put you on the path to be a part of that growth.
A concentration in human resources management allows you to gain practical, real-world expertise in employee and labor relations, compensation and benefit systems as well as change and conflict management. This is another field in which the BLS expects faster-than-usual job growth, with a trajectory of 9 percent for human resources, human resources managers through 2024.*
According to the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, increasing specialization in the nonprofit sector has created a demand for higher education for those who have chosen to dedicate themselves to nonprofit careers. The business of 'doing good' needs leaders with strong business acumen at the helm, and a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management combines the necessary business foundation with a strong focus on grant writing, governmental and nonprofit accounting, nonprofit management and entrepreneurship. With a 10 percent projected job growth for social and community service mangers by 2024 reported by BLS, this bachelor's degree lends an opportunity to do well while doing good for others.*
You not only love business, but you've set your sights on a top role, too. A concentration in organizational leadership may be your first step in getting there. Cut your teeth on core business courses and whet your appetite with the tools and skills needed for survival, growth, increased productivity and conflict management as the leader of an organization.
Perhaps your pursuit of an online BS in Business Administration has more of a personal intent. Sure, you'll be highly skilled to add value to any number of organizations, but you're more interested in using your skills and knowledge in a more entrepreneurial role. A concentration in small business management brings all the essentials - accounting, finance, human resources, management and marketing - into the realm of owning or working for a small business. Cappa notes that this concentration is particularly popular, as it empowers students to truly understand the intricacies of managing a small business.
Here's what you know now: An online undergraduate degree is the way to go. Business administration makes sense if you want to progress in your career plans. You understand the value of the various degree concentrations and how they can help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace. All you need to do now is get started. Why not do it today?
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh (viewed online June 23, 2017). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
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