Unlike many business training programs that focus on specialty concentrations like human resource management, marketing or accounting, general business management programs provide a broader overview of all aspects of business management. These undergraduate programs, offered both at the associate's and bachelor's level, cover all core aspects of the field including human resources, accounting, management, marketing and finance. Students in this field learn effective writing and oral presentation skills and develop leadership and interpersonal communication skills useful in culturally, ethnically and racially diverse workplaces. Both degree programs require general education studies as well. Students will need a high school diploma to apply and can expect to spend two years in an associate's program and four years in a bachelor's degree program.
Associate's Degree in General Business Management
Enrollees in associate's degree programs in general business management may achieve either an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Business Administration. Each of these provides exposure to basic concepts and competencies that are essential to the successful operation of nearly all businesses. Students learn to present business ideas orally and in writing, solve business problems, conduct business research and comprehend business finance. Most associate's degree programs have a liberal arts component as part of the general education requirement. Business-related courses focus on areas such as:
- Accounting fundamentals
- Business math
- Marketing fundamentals
- Business operations fundamentals
- Business communications
Bachelor's Degree in General Business Management
Bachelor's degree programs in general business management cover a wide set of principles and practices with the aim of preparing graduates to launch a new corporate venture or provide administrative support to an existing company or non-profit organization. Coursework explores the interdependence of such core business functions as marketing, management, finance and accounting. It also examines how businesses adapt to economic cycles and government policy. Students develop teamwork skills and learn how to write a business plan. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are most common for this field at this level. Baccalaureate programs pair general education courses in the arts, humanities and natural sciences with a core business sequence. General business management classes may cover:
- Business information systems
- Business finance
- Business law
- Organizational behavior
- Operations management
- Human resource management
Popular Career Options
General business management undergraduate programs qualify graduates for a range of entry-level, business-related positions. Job possibilities might include:
- Office manager
- Marketing assistant
- Customer service manager
- Human resources assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A bachelor's degree in business management qualifies graduates for a range of supervisory and administrative services manager positions in medium and large organizations, whether private business, corporate or non-profit. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of administrative services managers is projected to increase 7% over the years 2018-2028. Demand for facility managers and contract managers will also be strong, reports the BLS. As of May 2018, administrative services managers, including business managers, earned median annual salaries of $96,180 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Those with an associate's degree can improve their employment or career advancement prospects by earning a bachelor's degree. Many schools offer bachelor's degree programs in general business and may accept associate's degree transfer credits upon matriculation. Individuals who possess a bachelor's degree and go on to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) are likely to have the strongest employment and career prospects. Schools in all U.S. states offer MBA programs in both on-campus and distance-learning formats.
Degree programs in general business management include a broad curriculum that teaches students a variety of useful skills and familiarizes them with key business concepts and strategies. Students can choose either associate's or bachelor's level programs to help them prepare for entry-level management positions.