Associate of Occupational Studies in Business Administration

An Associate of Occupational Studies program primes students for the business world, instructing them in practices, procedures and management, with the opportunity to focus on a specific area of interest.

Essential Information

An Associate of Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) program helps students understand fundamental business concepts. Students have the option to specialize in areas like marketing, operations management or accounting. Students also gain skills in critical thinking, communication and professionalism. These programs are often liberal arts-based, so they provide students with a well-rounded education.

Most programs at this level take 2 years to complete and require only a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission. While it is possible to enter the job market after finishing, some programs are designed for direct transfer into a 4-year program. It is important to note that this degree may also be offered as an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Business Administration.

Associate of Occupational Studies

The curriculum of an associate's degree program in business administration involves both core business classes and general education courses, like communications and mathematics. Examples of business-related topics are:

  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Business law
  • Business ethics

Popular Career Options

After graduation from a business administration program, students are prepared to directly enter the workforce. Jobs may be found in profit and non-profit businesses. Positions that a student may qualify for include entry-level positions in management, marketing or accounting. Possible job titles include:

  • Manager
  • Marketing associate
  • Sales representative

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marketing managers had a mean annual salary of $140,660 in May 2015. Employment growth is expected to increase by 11% and 5% for accountants/auditors and sales managers, respectively, from 2014-2024. Accountants/auditors had a mean annual salary of $75,280 in May 2015, while sales managers had a mean salary of $130,400.

Continuing Education Information

Students may wish to advance their education through a bachelor's degree program in business administration, which could include specialization options in accounting, finance, marketing or management. After earning a 4-year degree, students can pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a doctoral degree in business.

A.O.S. and other associate's degree programs in provide both general education and a basic overview of the field of business. When students graduate, they are ready to join the workforce at the entry level or continue to study business at the bachelor's degree level.

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