BBA Vs MBA: Difference, Salary & Jobs

May 31, 2020

With four years of college already under your belt, it's now time to decide whether to pursue additional education or take the plunge into the workforce. Below are some things you should know about the difference between a Bachelor's in Business Administration and a Master's in Business Administration, as well as the job opportunities and salaries both can offer.

Salaries of Common Business Jobs

Occupation Median Yearly Salary (2019)*
Financial Manager $129,890
Marketing Manager $136,850
Computer and Information Systems Manager $146,360
Human Resources Manager $116,720
Financial Analyst $85,660
Market Research Analyst $63,790

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The salaries listed above are the national median for those jobs. Those who have an MBA have the potential to earn even more than that!

Job Opportunities

Both a BBA and an MBA offer a lot of room for specialization, which can lead to many different career paths. Individuals with an MBA can work in any of the fields that someone with a BBA can, but in the long run, their advanced degree can help them access high-level management or research positions that are much less available to those with a BBA.

Financial Manager

Financial managers are responsible for leading a team of analysts who are tasked with making important financial decisions for their company. Having technical skills and a deep understanding of the principles of finance and how to apply them are vital to succeeding in this occupation. Because this is also a managerial position, it's important to have good leadership and administrative skills, since you may be called upon to train staff, interview potential hires, and evaluate employee performance.

Individuals with a BBA or MBA can be financial managers, but the difference in pay can be stark. In this occupation, those who have an MBA often make significantly more on average than those with a BBA, and some employers seek applicants who have their master's degrees.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are in charge of leading a team (or several) tasked with creating, planning, and implementing advertising campaigns. They are also responsible for doing market research, maintaining client relationships, budgeting for campaigns, coordinating efforts with other departments, and handling leadership and interpersonal tasks such as training employees and handling team conflicts.

Having either a BBA or an MBA makes this job an option, but those with an MBA are usually paid significantly more than those with a BBA.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers are primarily responsible for managing operations and overseeing their fellow IT employees. In many organizations, they are also responsible for developing and testing new applications and software as well as developing and implementing strategies for their use.

Some positions may require a graduate degree. Like many related jobs, there is often a significant pay gap between those with a BBA and those with an MBA, with the latter usually making quite a bit more in yearly salary.

Human Resources Manager

Human resource managers are responsible for designing and implementing policy, analyzing labor force trends, keeping up to date on industry pay rates, providing consultation across the department on all sorts of HR issues, and working with clients and outside organizations. Since most of the work to be done in this job involves dealing with people, interpersonal skills are a must -have!

Some positions call for a master's degree, and HR managers with an MBA are usually paid higher salaries than those with a BBA.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are responsible for making sure their organization makes good financial and investment decisions so that it can continually build wealth. Their tasks include researching trends across markets and demographics, preparing detailed financial reports, budgeting, and forecasting.

Financial analysts with a BBA might make only slightly less than those with an MBA, but the graduate degree may be required for advancement.

Market Research Analyst

As their title implies, market research analysts are responsible for analyzing demographic data, trends in the marketplace, and market research studies, as well as forecasting and identifying marketing opportunities. Market research analysts often present their findings within their own business as well as to outside clients.

Some research positions may require a master's degree. On average, market research analysts with a BBA might make slightly less than those with an MBA.

The Differences Between BBA and MBA Programs

With either a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, you can be well prepared to enter the workforce. Both educational paths provide all sorts of career opportunities, not to mention respectable salaries. However, there are several important differences between the programs to consider before deciding which course to pursue.

BBA Program Overview

A BBA is a four-year undergraduate program that consists mainly of professor-led lectures and discussions in a typical classroom format. The coursework can be diverse and is likely to include subjects like

  • Economics
  • Math
  • Accounting
  • Statistics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Business Law
  • Technology and Information Management
  • Psychology or Sociology
  • Operations Management

Many graduates with a BBA go straight into the workforce, where they can immediately begin to gain valuable experience that will help them further their careers.

MBA Program Overview

On the other hand, many students pursue an MBA after earning their bachelor's degree. An MBA is a one to two-year program that delves deeper into the practice of managing a business. Typically, this program is much more hands-on than a BBA, involving

  • Classroom work
  • Large-scale individual and group projects
  • Collaboration with established businesses and startups
  • In-depth instruction from individual professors and faculty members
  • Opportunities for further specialization

The cost of attending an MBA program is significant, but so is the possible increase in salary upon entering (or re-entering) the workforce.

There are several significant differences between a BBA and an MBA, including the time it takes to earn them, career opportunities they provide, and their earning potential. The extra financial and time investments that go into earning an MBA can certainly pay off in the future, but there are also many lucrative options out there for those who have earned their BBA and are ready to join the workforce.

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