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What Can You Do With a Business Administration Degree?

With a degree in business administration, you can explore a range of careers. Roles such as administrative services manager, financial analyst, human resource specialist and market research analyst might appeal to you.
A professional with a business administration degree, standing in front of a laptop.

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

A business administration degree prepares you to tackle today’s most demanding business challenges by teaching you the quantitative knowledge base and management skills you need to contribute to the bottom line of any organization.

Business administration refers to managing a company’s assets — including its properties, people and finances. To run an organization efficiently, profitably and ethically requires a variety of skills.

For example, you need strong analytical skills to make data-informed business decisions, and you need communications expertise to present those decisions effectively. A bachelor's degree in business administration is a popular business degree that can help you learn the business basics and develop your leadership ability at the same time.

Is a Business Administration Degree Useful?

A blue infographic piece with the text Choose from 12+ business administration concentrationsA business administration degree helps you develop the fundamental skills you need to become an entrepreneurial thinker and decision-maker. Most business programs include coursework in accounting, marketing, finance, human resources and information technology.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), business continues to be one of the most popular undergraduate degree program in the U.S. Of the 2.1 million students who completed bachelor’s degrees in the 2020-2021 school year, 19% were business majors.

Business administration programs may cover a wider range of topics than other programs, but they also allow you to specialize in a specific content area after completing a core of business and general education courses.

For example, at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), you can choose from more than a dozen business administration concentrations, such as:

Specializing in a particular business area can help you tailor your degree to the industry you plan to enter after you graduate.

Find Your Program

If your goal is to become a manager, you could consider advancing your education with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) after earning your undergraduate degree. An MBA degree program builds upon your foundational skills and helps you in roles that require critical thinking and problem-solving.

It can also lead to greater salary potential. According to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), MBA graduates tend to out-earn their undergraduate colleagues from the start.* The survey found that the expected median starting salary of MBA grads was $125,000 in 2023, approximately 67% more than that of people with only a bachelor’s degree (GMAC PDF source).*

Beyond potential career and salary advancement, there are several other good reasons to get an MBA, including an opportunity to gain new perspectives and grow your professional network.

Business administration degrees can prepare you for jobs in business that capitalize on your strengths. So whether you enjoy analyzing numbers, motivating teams or developing sales strategies, earning a business administration degree can put you on the path to a rewarding career.



What is the Job of a Business Administrator?

Depending on your role at a particular company, you may use your business administration background to contribute to the finance, sales, human resources or operations departments in various sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, government or nonprofit agencies. You may also take part in long-range strategic planning or work on special projects to guide your company in making critical business decisions.

According to O*NET OnLine, business administrators have responsibilities that include:

  • Analyzing and overseeing key components of a business unit
  • Managing operations
  • Setting departmental goals and standards
  • Training and supervising team members
  • Working effectively both individually and as part of a team

A business administration degree doesn’t constrict you to an office setting, either. You can find professionals with business administration backgrounds working in hospitals, hotels, on construction sites or in the arts, to name a few.

What is the Best Job for Business Administration?

A graphic with a blue background and a white briefcase iconEarning a degree in business administration can pay off, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).* BLS reports employment in business and financial operations occupations are projected to have approximately 911,400 annual openings between 2022 and 2032 — a rate that's faster than the average for all occupations.*

In addition, BLS reports the median annual salary for those employed in business and financial occupations in 2023 was $79,050 — higher than the median salary for all occupations of $48,060.*

Here are a few popular jobs you might consider with an undergraduate degree in business administration.

Accountant

If you enjoy crunching numbers, you can find work as an accountant in a wide variety of industries. Accountants can examine a company’s financial statements, review accounting systems, ensure regulatory compliance and analyze ways to reduce costs and increase revenue, according to BLS.

They earned a median salary of $79,880 in 2023, BLS reported, and the field is expected to grow by 4% through 2032.*

Consider what else you can do with an accounting education.

Administrative Services Manager

As an administrative services manager, your job could include supervising a team of administrative staff or overseeing a department or facility, BLS said. Administrative service managers also analyze company operations and recommend changes to increase efficiency and ensure compliance.

According to BLS, administrative services managers earned a median salary of $104,900 in 2023.* Jobs for administrative services managers are projected to grow 5% through 2032, BLS reported.*

Financial Analyst

As a financial analyst, you look at financial data and economic forecasts to help your organization make important business and investment decisions, according to BLS. Financial analysts will also increasingly look at global investment opportunities as the economy grows and companies continue to expand internationally.

Employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 8% through 2032, and, in 2023, they earned a median salary of $99,890, according to BLS.*

See how you can become a financial analyst.

Health Services Manager

If you pursue a concentration in healthcare administration, you may be prepared for a role in one of the top medical careers, including health services manager.

Individuals in these roles may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice on behalf of a group of health care providers, BLS said.

According to the BLS, medical and health services managers earned a median salary of $110,680 in 2023.* The job is projected to grow 28% through 2032 — much faster than the national average for all occupations, BLS reported.*

Human Resources Specialist

As a human resources specialist, you could help shape your organization's future by recruiting and retaining workers essential to the growth of your organization. Human resources specialists may also communicate company policies and procedures, maintain employment records and administer benefits, BLS said.

According to BLS, human resources specialists earned a median salary of $67,650 in 2023.* Additionally, BLS reported that jobs for human resources specialists are projected to grow 6% through 2032.*

If a career in human resources interests you, you might also consider how to become a human resources manager.

Management Analyst

Management analysts or consultants look for ways to improve an organization’s efficiency and profitability, according to BLS. By interviewing people, analyzing data and making recommendations, they help companies stay competitive and enter new markets.

According to BLS, management analysts earned a median salary of $99,410 in 2023, and jobs in this field are projected to grow 10% through 2032.*

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts examine and evaluate market conditions to determine how products or services will perform, according to BLS.

In 2023, market research analysts earned a median of $74,680, BLS said, and jobs are projected to grow 13% through 2032 — much faster than the national average for all occupations.*

Learn more about what a market research analyst does.

Marketing Manager

As a marketing manager, you can help define a company’s target market, build its brand and set the stage for increased sales. Marketing managers conduct studies, plan promotional campaigns and evaluate email marketing and website content development and analytics, BLS reported.

Marketing managers earned a median salary of $156,580 in 2023, according to BLS, and the field is expected to grow by 6% through 2032.*

Explore other careers in marketing.



How Long Does It Take to Earn a Business Administration Degree?

A clock on an blue backgroundEarning a bachelor’s degree in business administration might not take as long as you think. While bachelor's degrees are often referred to as "four-year degrees," the amount of time it takes to earn your bachelor's in business administration will vary.

For example, the number of courses you take each term, the number of terms your program offers each year, and the number of college credits you've already earned will all factor into how long it will take you to finish.

If you already have some classes done and are looking to transfer credits to another college, you'll want to look for a transfer-friendly university. For example, SNHU will accept up to 90 transfer credits toward your undergraduate business administration program, which may help you finish your bachelor's degree faster.

Enrolling in an online business administration program may also allow you greater flexibility to fit classes into your schedule. You can complete coursework each week at the times that make sense for you as well as slow down or speed up your pacing by switching between part-time and full-time course loads.

Discover how online classes can work with your life.

Is a Business Administration Degree Worth It?

An icon of a graduation cap.If you wonder what the career potential is with a business administration degree, consider this: Several of the top undergraduate majors in demand by employers were business majors, according to results of a 2024 survey published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Of those majors, business administration/management ranked among the top five, with 59.3% of employers intending to hire from that educational background.

In addition to analytical insight, employers seek complex problem solvers and professionals who exhibit strategies for active learning and can quickly adapt to changing situations, according to the World Economic Forum. These are all soft skills you can expect to further develop in a business administration program.

Whether you’re looking to enter the job market or step up to a management role, a business administration degree is versatile enough to equip you with the knowledge and skills today’s hiring managers are seeking.

Discover more about SNHU’s bachelor's in business administration: Find out what courses you'll take, skills you’ll learn and how to request information about the program.

*Cited job growth projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Actual salaries and/or earning potential may be the result of a combination of factors including, but not limited to: years of experience, industry of employment, geographic location, and worker skill.


Krysten Godfrey Maddocks ’11G is a writer who covers K-12 and higher education topics, including policy and the role of digital technology in education. She spent almost a decade working in various marketing roles at an educational assessment company before launching a strategic marketing company. Maddocks earned a master's degree in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor's degree in English/ journalism from the University of New Hampshire. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About Southern New Hampshire University

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.