Business Management Degree Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2019

Essential Information

At the undergraduate levels, students concentrate on the fundamentals of running a business, with courses in accounting, marketing and business ethics through lectures and hands-on simulations. Bachelor's degree students may also explore areas such as advertising and employee management. Master's students may concentrate in a specific area, like finance, and work on team projects.

Associate's Degree in Business Management

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees in business management cover the fundamental skills needed to run a profitable enterprise. Students learn about accounting practices, business technology and human resources. Programs also discuss economics, mathematics and communication skills. Anyone with a high school diploma or equivalency is typically admitted to a program. The classes in business management associate's degree programs teach students how to operate several sectors of commercial organizations. Students learn how economic factors and theories influence an organization's finances and how to effectively formulate, communicate and execute business strategies. Courses on the following are usually offered:

  • Management theory
  • Information systems
  • Macroeconomics
  • Marketing practices
  • Microeconomics

Bachelor of Science in Business Management

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in business management discuss the theoretical and practical aspects of operating companies and corporations. Through classroom lectures and hands-on simulations, students learn to manage employees, design marketing and advertising campaigns, set budgets and raise capital. Many programs allow students to specialize in entrepreneurship, preparing them for careers as business owners. Incoming students need to obtain a high school diploma or GED and have strong communication, organization and leadership skills. Applicants also need to understand concepts in algebra, statistics and economics. The classes provide instruction in several aspects of business management, including business strategy, fundraising, budgeting and business research. Students also learn the analytical thinking skills needed to operate businesses in a global economy. Programs offer courses in the following areas:

  • Operational management
  • Business statistics
  • International business
  • Strategic management
  • Business ethics

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs offer opportunities to focus specifically on areas within management. Programs offer interdisciplinary courses that prepare graduates for dynamic careers as business leaders. Students often work as teams to complete realistic simulations, improving their collaboration and communication skills while learning valuable business skills. MBA programs may require students to have substantial employment experience and submit detailed resumes listing their achievements. Some programs require applicants to sit for interviews as part of the admissions process. Applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree in a field involving business. MBA courses emphasize skills in negotiation, management, problem-solving and ethics. Some programs allow students to choose an area of concentration, such as finance, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. The following topics are commonly discussed:

  • Financial management
  • Career management
  • Market analysis
  • Organizational leadership
  • International trade

Popular Career Options

Graduates are qualified for entry-level positions with businesses and some graduates open their own enterprises. Some career options include those noted below:

  • Administrative work
  • Retail management
  • Entrepreneur

People who earn a MBA can work in finance, human resources, consulting or international relations. Over time, graduates can sometimes achieve advanced positions like those below:

  • Chief financial officer (CFO)
  • Chief operating officer (COO)
  • Chief executive officer (CEO)

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

General and operations managers are projected to see a 6% increase in employment between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median wages for general and operations managers were $100,930 in May 2018, stated the BLS.

Students in an associate's level business management program will learn about basic business skills, while bachelor's students focus on how to operate a company through coursework and hands-on experience. Master's students tend to focus on specific areas of management.

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