Thinking about a degree in business administration? We break down your options and look at your prospects once you graduate.
Looking for a degree that gives you the knowledge you need to thrive in a business environment? A degree in business administration will give you the fundamental business principles you’ll need to prepare you for a variety of roles. But, before we get to that, let’s spend a little time unpacking what exactly we mean by business administration.
What is business administration?
Business administration is the name used to describe all the tasks you do every day to keep a business running efficiently. You’ll be involved in pretty much any aspect, most typically including:
What’s the difference between a business administration degree and a business management degree?
The difference between these two different disciplines is in the name. A business administration degree focuses on the tasks to get you from one day to the next – courses will include aspects of planning and organisation, focusing less on strategy.
A business management degree, however, will focus on strategy. These courses give students the skills, confidence and knowledge to lead businesses and drive growth. In truth, there is a lot of crossover when it comes to these two subjects. Graduates will often combine elements of each, especially when taking on roles in smaller businesses.
Business administration salary expectations
It goes without saying that salaries vary greatly by business size and industry. If you work for a small independent cafe, for example, you’ll likely earn less than if you’re working for an international clothing retailer.
To give you an overview, we’ve taken a look at the average annual salaries of business administrators in a few countries around the world:
What types of business administration degrees are there?
A business administration degree can help your career in many different ways. It can either get your foot in the door or help you climb the ladder in your industry, depending on the level and subject you study.
We’ve taken a look at your options at the two primary levels of study below:
If you decide to study business administration at undergraduate level, you’ll probably apply for a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Despite the name, this degree doesn’t involve science but it will give you a good understanding of the way a business works.
At undergraduate level, you can expect to cover topics including:
- Quantitative studies
- Marketing techniques
- Information technology
In the US, you also have the option of studying for an associate degree. These are two-year courses offered by institutions like community colleges. They fall somewhere between a high school diploma and an undergraduate degree. For an in-depth understanding of different degree types in the UK, check out our types of degrees in the UK article.
One of the most common postgraduate degrees is the MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). Like a bachelor’s degree, they can either be specialised or more generalist.
It’s also possible to study for a PhD in Business Administration. At this level, students will often focus on solving high-level problems in international business. So, this qualification is seen as very valuable for potential employers.
What jobs can you do with a business administration degree?
A degree in business administration is incredibly useful for anyone who wants to work or is currently working in a private business.
In the UK, around 61% of the job market is taken up by people in SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which means a lot of people need support. Your job prospects with a business administration degree might include:
1. Project manager
If you like when each day is different to the next, then a career in project management could be for you. Working with specialist staff in your industry who have the skills to execute your plans, you’ll manage time and resources to make sure each project is managed effectively.
2. Business development manager
Business administration is often about looking for ways to help your business grow. So, it can be great preparation for a role as a business development manager or BDM. You’ll focus on attracting sales, building relationships and finding innovative ways to adapt to new challenges.
3. Supply chain manager
A supply chain manager looks at every aspect of a business’s supply chain cycle. So, if you’re creating a physical product, that would mean looking at everything from buying materials to the production of the product and even down to the packaging. Your job is to get the best deal for your organisation every step of the way.
4. Marketing manager
As part of any business administration degree, you’ll cover marketing in some way. By understanding how your business works on a deeper level, you’ll know what areas to focus marketing resources on. Plus, you’ll also learn the most effective marketing techniques.
Once you’ve built up a bank of experience in business, you may decide to move into consultancy. You’ll look at how a client’s business works and advise them on the ways they can improve results and maintain an efficient business. Essentially, people pay you to give them advice – it’s a win-win!
Studying business administration with FutureLearn
We work with leading universities and business experts to provide a range of business administration degrees to boost your career prospects. Studying exclusively online, you can work from anywhere in the world and gain qualifications alongside other commitments.
Online business administration degrees at FutureLearn
- Master of Business Administration (Marketing) by Coventry University
- The Global MBA by Ducere Global Business School
- The Executive MBA by Ducere Global Business School
- MBA International Human Resource Management by Coventry University
Are you looking to gain a business administration degree online? Check out our range of online business administration degrees and start your journey towards a new career from the comfort of your own home.