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Associate of Arts (AA): Business Administration Degree Overview

Oct 21, 2019

Students who enroll in associate's degree programs in business administration gain foundational business knowledge and develop professional communication skills. After graduation, they can join the workforce or get more advanced business degrees.

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Essential Information

Associate of Arts (AA) programs in business administration provide students with broad business training. Students can expect to study subjects such as marketing, accounting and management. In addition to core business classes, these programs require general education courses in the humanities and other subjects. In total, they usually take two years to complete.


Associate of Arts in Business Administration

These programs include courses that emphasize critical thinking, mathematics and computer skills. Core business courses focus on subjects like finance, management, organizational psychology and communication. Other course topics include:

  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Business law
  • Business marketing
  • Information technology

Popular Career Options

Employment opportunities available to associate's degree holders vary based on past work experience and other qualifications. Positions are typically available at entry-level, including management positions. In these jobs, graduates commonly utilize skills in areas like human resources, management and administration. Some possible job titles include:

  • Assistant manager
  • Office assistant
  • Sales assistant

Salary Information

In 2019, PayScale.com reported the median annual salary for office assistants with this degree who had less than one year of experience in their chosen field was $30,592. With 5-9 years of experience, the median annual salary goes up to $34,959, and with 20 or more years of experience, the median annual salary jumps to $35,558.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals interested in continuing their business educations can enroll in bachelor's degree programs in business administration. Many schools give students the option to transfer credits obtained as part of an associate's degree towards a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. Completion of a bachelor's degree program typically provides greater employment prospects in the field of business, and these programs commonly offer specialization options in particular areas of the field, such as marketing or finance.

At the graduate level, students may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Ph.D. in Business Administration. An MBA can offer students greater specialization in an area of the field and prepare them for leadership roles in business, while Ph.D. programs commonly lead to careers in academia or research.

With an AA in Business Administration, students have the general educational background and basic business training for entry-level management positions. Career advancement opportunities can improve if students pursue bachelor's degrees, and salaries may increase with experience.

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