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What is Business Administration?

A woman standing at a whiteboard explains what is business administration

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, MarketingWorking 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.com’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

An infographic piece with the text Soft Skills Used in Business Adminstration: Communication ideas, giving feedback, influencing others, making effective and informative presentationsIn 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 2018–19, degrees in business were the most popular category, accounting for 390,000 degrees.

Pursuing a career in business may even result in competitive earnings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2020 annual mean wage for careers relating to business or finance was $80,680, compared to $56,310 for all other occupations.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business is a great way to position yourself in the job market and catch the attention of potential employers. The National Association of Colleges and Employers ranks business administration in the top five on its list of college majors for finding full-time employment after school, with 48.7% of responding employers saying they planned to hire new business administration graduates in the coming year.

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 of growth that employs many business professionals is healthcare administration, according to BLS.

Roles Beyond the Office

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

An infographic piece with the text Potential Careers in Business Administration: Arts, Client-Facing sales, Construction management, Fashion, Food, Hospitality management, Music, Retail Management, Sports entertainment, Technology 

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 9% in 2020, and 5.5% among holders of bachelor’s degrees.

BLS states that jobs in business and finance professions are expected to grow 8% between 2020 and 2030, adding over 750,800 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.

Susan Bogle is a marketing and student recruitment specialist in higher education. Follow her on Twitter @Suze1776 or connect 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.