Featuring coursework in the areas of operations management, finance, business plan development and opportunity assessment, bachelor's and master's programs allow for specialization in small business administration or entrepreneurship. Internships and co-op experiences may be components of some programs.
Applicants to business administration undergraduate programs must meet the minimum requirements of the educational institution, which generally require a high school diploma, a specific grade point average (GPA), and ACT or SAT scores. Admission to MBA programs is highly competitive, and applicants are accepted based on their undergraduate GPA, GMAT scores and related experience. There is no specific required undergraduate major, but those in non-business fields may need to complete various prerequisite courses in business.
Bachelor of Business Administration
Baccalaureate programs in business administration combine core general education requirements with courses that educate students in business practices. These business courses help students develop the technical and analytical skills necessary to enter the public or private sectors. Most programs are offered in traditional classroom formats, although some distance-learning programs are available. Business administration coursework is multidisciplinary and covers a broad range of topics. Specific classes include:
- Operations management
- Marketing and advertising
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Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship
Senior positions in the business world commonly require a Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA programs have numerous specialization options. Entrepreneurship programs focus upon small business development and address the challenges that may arise during such a venture. MBA programs are comprised of core courses that address high-level business management concepts. Additionally, most programs require a business plan or capstone project in order to complete the program. General course topics specific to small business administration include:
- Creating a business plan
- Launching small businesses
- Organizational behavior
- Financial management
- Opportunity assessment
Popular Career Options and Salary Info
Graduates may pursue careers in a wide range of industries, including financial services, banking and manufacturing. Specific roles might include store manager, general operations manager or department supervisor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that administrative services managers, in general, are expected to experience an 8% job growth over the 2014-2024 decade, while sales managers are expected to see a 5% growth over the same time. In May 2015, the BLS reported that administrative services managers earned a median salary of $86,110, while sales managers earned $113,860 and general operations managers earned $97,730.
Careers for MBA entrepreneurs often relate to business startup and acquisition, and generally require leadership and innovation skills. Specific roles may include:
- Business consultant
- Financial consultant
- Capital investment manager
- Business executive
Business executives must continually pay attention to changes in technology, legal and taxation issues. Several resources, such as the National Small Business Association, provide current information, guidance, education and networking opportunities for its members. The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides support for entrepreneurs in the form of financial assistance, educational tools and planning assistance.
Students in the bachelor's degree program for business administration focus on courses to develop their technical and analytical skills. Master's students focus on entrepreneurship that covers high-level business management concepts including launching small businesses and financial management.