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What is Business Administration?

A woman standing at a whiteboard explaining business administration to her colleagues

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.

Business administration is a broad field that includes many different roles, professional settings and opportunities for growth. In simple terms, business administration is the work of managing an organization's resources, time and people.

Business administration professionals work to ensure that businesses and organizations are run effectively, efficiently and profitably. This is a balancing act that requires knowledge and skills in a range of disciplines.

Infographic piece with the text Areas Business Majors Typically Study: Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing

Working in business administration requires quantitative skills and "soft skills" such as communicating ideas, influencing others, giving feedback and making effective and informative presentations. Business professionals generally need at least a basic understanding of accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and information technology, and they often specialize in a practice area.

People who are successful in business must also be clear and effective communicators. Business administration very frequently calls for working in teams and on collaborative projects. Handling the workload is only part of the challenge: being a team member your peers and supervisors can count on is a crucial part of business success.

What Jobs Can You Do in Business Administration?

A strong foundation in business practices, paired with relevant experience, can make you an asset to almost any type of company or organization. Whether you prefer interfacing with customers, solving problems or crunching numbers, there is likely to be a job in business that fits you.

If you are a "people person," you might be interested in pursuing human resources. If you love competition, a sales role might be a good fit for you. If you love solving tough problems and coming up with strategies, you might be interested in becoming a business analyst or consultant. If you are a math whiz, you might explore possible paths in accounting or data analytics.

Some of Monster's top jobs for business majors include:

  • Business analyst
  • IT project manager
  • Sales manager

A business administration degree can even be a great path to starting your own company.

Earning a Bachelor of Business Administration

In the United States, business degrees — like a Bachelor of Business Administration — are the most popular type of degree programs for undergraduates. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that of the 2 million bachelor's degrees conferred in 2019–20, degrees in business were the most popular category, accounting for 387,900 degrees.

Pursuing a career in business may even result in competitive earnings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2021 annual mean wage for careers relating to business or finance was $82,610, compared to $58,260 for all other occupations.

Morgan Crandall with the text Morgan CrandallMorgan Crandall '22 earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration online. Both the course content and the communication she engaged in throughout her degree program have proven beneficial to her professional path.

"The value I got from the classes was incredible, but the level of communication I had with my advisor and all my professors was something that I'm carrying into the workforce nowadays," Crandall said.

The increase to remote work over the past few years has greatly changed the way we all communicate, but Crandall felt prepared. "(In) my company, a lot of our communications are over Zoom and phone calls...to have kind of an elevated sense of communication with everybody that I learned at SNHU has been super valuable," she said.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration can offer you many benefits, and provides the skills and knowledge to position yourself well in the job market. Indeed ranks business administration in the top five on its list of college majors in demand.

Find Your Program

Where Do Business Professionals Work?

Business administration professionals can work in many different fields and settings including businesses, non-profit organizations and in healthcare fields. You might imagine business professionals working primarily in small, medium and large for-profit companies, but in fact, just about every kind of organization, from hospitals to higher education, has a need for professionals who can effectively manage business practices and resources.

One major area that employs many business professionals is healthcare administration, with a job growth of 28% through 2031, according to BLS. 

Roles Beyond the Office

Is the office setting not for you? Many people in business administration also work in other environments.

  • Client-facing sales
  • Construction management
  • Hospitality management
  • Retail management
  • Sports entertainment

Crandall said her BS in Business Administration helped her in her role before she even finished her program. She was easily able to take what she was learning in her coursework and apply it to her job.

"I'm currently working at a consulting firm, and I feel like I can already see all the ways my degree has been useful,” she said.

All of these possibilities mean that you can potentially use business administration as a pathway to work in almost any arena, even finding a way to turn a passion into a career. All of these careers and many more have a business component and present possible opportunities for people with a business background.

Future Prospects in Business Administration

Companies and organizations of all kinds have a great demand for skilled business professionals, and people who hold bachelor’s degrees in business go on to earn more money and enjoy greater job security than high school graduates. According to BLS, the overall unemployment rate among high school graduates was 6.2% in 2021 and 3.5% among holders of bachelor’s degrees.

BLS states that jobs in business and finance professions earned a median annual wage of $76,570 in 2021. Professions in these fields are also expected to grow 7% between 2021 and 2031, adding over 715,100 new jobs to the economy.

Whether you are looking to step up to a leadership role or make a complete career change, or you are dreaming of one day starting your own business, a bachelor's degree in business administration is a versatile and flexible choice that will serve you well in today's job market.

A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU business program that can best help you meet your goals.

Alexa Gustavsen '21 is a writer at Southern New Hampshire University. 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.