Undergraduate business administration degrees cover the theories and practices behind fundraising, employee management, accounting and economics. While both bachelor's and associate programs cover these general business topics, bachelor's programs delve into more focused areas like international trade. Additionally, bachelor's programs may allow for a specific concentration with advanced, specialized coursework.
Associate of Science in Business Administration
Associate of Science (A.S.) in Business Administration programs teach the basic skills used to manage professional enterprises. These courses can also prepare graduates for further study in the field. Many programs include introductory classes in business computer software and information systems as well. In addition to business administration classes, associate-level degree programs cover interdisciplinary subjects in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and technology. The core curriculum of the average business administration associate program involves:
- Accounting principles
- Business principles
- Business technology
- Business mathematics
Bachelor of Business Administration
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs sometimes allow students to specialize in a particular discipline, such as accounting, marketing, finance, or management. Some emphasize the liberal arts. No matter the focus, students must often complete internships to apply their skills to real-world settings.
BBA courses discuss business management, statistics, and finance. Students also learn about information management, business organization, and marketing. The following topics are usually addressed:
- Management skills
- Business law
- Information systems management
- Managerial accounting
- Corporate leadership
Popular Career Options
A.S. programs are primarily designed to prepare graduates for further education, but graduates who wish to directly enter the workforce can qualify for positions such as:
- Sales associate
- Retail clerk
- Customer service representative
- Human resource aide
- Assistant manager
BBA recipients can eventually pursue careers as operations and general managers, among other options.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for operations and general managers was $123,880 in May 2018. These professionals are projected to see a 7% increase in jobs from 2018-2028.
The BBA is considered a professional degree, and many who choose this option also wish to continue their education at the master's degree level in order to compete for higher-level management positions or start their own businesses. Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs discuss advanced concepts in employee management, business research, organizational management, and finance.
Students desiring a career in business can begin their post-high school preparation with an A.S. in Business Administration or a BBA. While both degrees impart training in business operations and theories, the BBA may open the doors to greater career opportunity or graduate study.