Bachelor’s in business administration
There’s a reason the bachelor’s in business administration (BBA) is such a popular degree choice. It is versatile, customizable, and prepares students for jobs across multiple industries. Graduates can find work in diverse fields, such as banking, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and technology. It also provides the foundational skills needed to become an entrepreneur.
The job outlook for business and financial occupations is excellent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sector is predicted to grow by 8% from 2020-2030. Thus a bachelor’s in business administration not only opens the door to array of exciting possibilities, but is a smart choice financially.
This article provides in depth information about this degree, by comparing key metrics, explaining how the degree works, and what it takes to earn one.
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Bachelor’s in business administration program basics
A bachelor’s in business administration provides a broad overview of the business world. Generally speaking, there is less of a focus on analytical skills than a bachelor’s of business. Programs vary in structure, but typically include courses such as statistics, marketing, economics, finance, accounting, principles of management, and entrepreneurship.
What is a bachelor’s in business administration?
A bachelor’s in business administration is a 4-year program that teaches students how companies function. Participants learn general principles of business operations, while building communication and decision-making skills.
This degree often contains courses in accounting, marketing, management, economics, and law. Most programs allow students to specialize in a discipline relevant to their career goals. Concentration areas vary, but usually include subjects like human resource management, management, healthcare administration, finance, real estate, project management, and supply chain.
What can you do with a bachelor’s in business administration?
With a bachelor’s in business administration you can apply for jobs such as operations manager, production manager, or management analyst. The climb up the corporate ladder needn’t end there. Armed with a little work experience, expect advancement opportunities to present themselves quickly.
You can also use your undergraduate degree and work experience to apply for a master’s of business administration (MBA). This program offers unique networking opportunities, and the skills you learn can lead to more prestigious and higher-paid positions.
Should you get a bachelor’s in business administration?
Business is a vast field that comprises many different job roles. Some positions are more statistics- based, others require first-class communication and negotiation skills. The question may not be whether business is for you, but which specific area of business you are most suited to. Once you have made this decision, you can start researching appropriate specializations.
The table below provides a clearer picture of how a bachelor’s in business administration stacks up in terms of return of investment. It shows a short-term comparison with the entire bachelor’s degree market, using a snapshot of earnings 2 years after graduation.
Below is a longer-term estimate of degree performance. It is based on census survey data detailing people’s major, age, and salary.
The short-term picture shows earnings and the time it takes for the degree to pay for itself to be slightly below average. MBA holders earn significantly more 2 years out ($67,818).
Graduates of these programs tend to have many more years of work experience though.
For bachelor’s in business administration graduates, long term salary growth is slightly above average, making this a solid degree choice with decent long-term prospects.
An organization is defined as a small business if it has less than 500 employees and makes more than $1,000 a year.
How to pick a bachelor’s degree in business administration
It is important to choose an accredited program that meets the minimum academic standards. Future employers may check if a candidate has attended an accredited institution to ensure they have the requisite skills.
Business school accrediting bodies that evaluate academic programs include:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Another important factor is whether you wish to pursue a particular concentration. For example, some schools offer a specialization in entrepreneurship and business planning. These provide the necessary training to launch a venture, run a family business, protect intellectual property, and more. Choose a concentration like international business and you can use your acquired knowledge of private equity, debt markets, stakeholder capital, and cryptocurrency, in a career in global corporate finance. Other specializations include: marketing, financing, economics, and accounting.
Students often choose to pursue a double major, completing coursework in 2 different business fields. It usually only takes a little longer to complete a double major than a single major. Some schools require students to complete a specified number of hours before declaring a second major, others expect a high GPA.
Some popular double major combinations include:
Computer information systems and accounting
An excellent combination for those interested in information technology, auditing, or forensic accounting. This specialization can create a wide range of career possibilities, including public or private sector work, or even consultancy.
Economics and supply chain management
Students learn about aspects of supply and demand, as well as the flow of goods. The concentration prepares them to work in fields like procurement, logistics, purchasing, and forecasting.
Statistics and economics
This combination is excellent preparation for a career in computational finance or financial engineering.
Marketing and entrepreneurship
Provides the resources you need to create and launch a business. You can learn how to develop a brand image that is consistent with the intended demographic.
Online bachelor’s in business administration
Many students choose to take an online degree rather than study on-campus, because it allows for more flexibility in scheduling. Other benefits of online study include:
- the opportunity to study at a college outside of your geographical area
- the chance to develop skills needed to work in an online environment
- the possibility to continue working while taking courses
Online bachelor programs in business administration are widely available. The table below indicates they are more common than the market-wide average.
Bachelor’s in business administration
The above table shows the percentage of programs available either completely in person or fully online. Figures that do not add up to 100% indicate the existence of hybrid programs.
Two years after graduation, there is little difference between the earnings of online and on-campus graduates. On-campus students earn an average of $45,927, while online students earn $46,709. The difference in cost is also negligible: on average, online programs cost $16,016, and offline $17,675.
The best bachelor’s in business administration programs
Below you can find our ratings of the comparative earnings, costs, and payback rates of different bachelor’s in business administration programs. Please review our methodology for more information on what metrics we use, and how we determine comparative value between institutions.
The economic valuation model looks first at the number of years it takes students to ” payback” educational cost with new earnings. Then we divide this by how much more or less students earn than the average student in the same field of study and degree level – the ” degree premium”. The better a school’s degree premium and payback, the higher the school ranks on our list.
Graduation rates: Graduation rates that under-perform the average in the state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% of graduation rate nationally are pushed to the bottom of our ranking engine.
Bismarck State College
Bismarck, North Dakota
Admission rate: N/A
Grad rate: 49%
Net cost: $9,420
Vs. state average: $59,134
Economic score: 0.28
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission rate: 26%
Grad rate: 90%
Net cost: $12,352
Vs. state average: $41,924
Economic score: 0.40
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Admission rate: 27%
Grad rate: 93%
Net cost: $15,336
Vs. state average: $48,821
Economic score: 0.42
CUNY Lehman College
Bronx, New York
Admission rate: 48%
Grad rate: 59%
Net cost: $1,814
Vs. state average: $-2,793
Economic score: 0.44
University of California-Berkeley
Admission rate: 18%
Grad rate: 93%
Net cost: $15,329
Vs. state average: $44,046
Economic score: 0.50
Maine Maritime Academy
Admission rate: 53%
Grad rate: 74%
Net cost: $23,239
Vs. state average: $60,555
Economic score: 0.51
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
New York, New York
Admission rate: 41%
Grad rate: 67%
Net cost: $3,562
Vs. state average: $2,868
Economic score: 0.56
Admission rate: 11%
Grad rate: 95%
Net cost: $16,999
Vs. state average: $41,378
Economic score: 0.58
CUNY Brooklyn College
Brooklyn, New York
Admission rate: 50%
Grad rate: 55%
Net cost: $2,683
Vs. state average: $-2,683
Economic score: 0.63
CUNY City College
New York, New York
Admission rate: 51%
Grad rate: 54%
Net cost: $2,385
Vs. state average: $-4,257
Economic score: 0.63
How much does a bachelor’s in business administration cost?
See above how cost and earnings vary depending on the type of institution. Payback refers to how many years it takes students to cover the median costs while earning the median salary. Payback is calculated by subtracting the median earnings of a high school graduate from the median earnings related to this degree.
When it comes to different school types, private institutions are significantly more expensive than public. The earnings 2 years out tend to be quite similar, as does the time the degree takes to pay for itself.
Financial aid and scholarships for bachelor’s in business administration majors
Typically, the first step in applying for financial aid is filling out the FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website. This can tell you whether you are eligible for financial assistance. It is also advisable to check out the scholarships offered by the school you are applying to and other organizations.
Examples of scholarships that bachelor’s of business administration students are eligible for include:
What to expect from a bachelor’s in business administration program
The first 2 years of the program includes basic academic classes like English, history, math and science, along with some introductory business courses. The majority of business courses are provided in the third and fourth years, when more focus is given to your concentration—if you have chosen one.
What are the admission requirements for a bachelor’s in business administration?
Entry requirements vary. Highly selective schools require higher GPAs and test scores than regional universities, smaller private colleges, or online schools. To get into a top-ranked university, generally requires a high school GPA of between at least 3.5 and 4.0. Your SAT score also needs to be higher than the national average of 1051. Math is a significant component of many business courses, so strong math scores on your transcript and standardized tests may be helpful. Some schools also require the submission of a personal essay or attendance at an interview.
Although not a requirement, study abroad programs and internships can improve your career prospects. Many students choose to participate in these during their junior years or on completion of their core courses. Depending on how the program is structured, you may be able to spend a semester or an entire academic year abroad.
Your college or university may have a formal study abroad program, or you might take classes at a foreign university by way of reciprocal agreement. This is a terrific way to immerse yourself in a new culture while continuing with your degree. It may also increase the price of your tuition and housing.
Internships are different because students don’t usually earn course credits for them. Some internships pay a salary or a stipend, others provide no compensation. They often take place during the summer months, and are an opportunity to forge connections, get workplace experience, and learn new skills.
If your college is able to help with find an internship, you may be required to submit an application and compete with other candidates. Your grades, extracurricular activities, and academic recommendations tend to be factors that determine whether you are accepted.
Some companies, like JP Morgan Chase, offer pre-internships. These give students an opportunity to learn about the financial services industry and meet people who can help develop their careers. Pre-internships may last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Many larger companies routinely hire interns for full-time roles after they graduate.
What type of courses are there in a bachelor’s in business administration?
Bachelor’s in business administration degrees can usually be customized based on your career goals. Most offer a similar core curriculum of business courses, such as:
- introduction to international business
- operations management
- leading and managing
- principles of marketing
- financial accounting and analysis
- organizational behavior
- business policy and strategy
- legal and ethical environment of business
- management and corporate communication
Students can also take electives to study core subject matter in depth, expand on their interests, and learn more about trending business topics. Such courses develop skills for the business world, or to become an entrepreneur.
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What type of bachelor’s degrees are there in business administration?
The 2 types of program available are:
- Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration
- Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration
The main difference between the 2 programs is the B.S. tends to focus on the student’s major, hence the field of study is narrower, but more in-depth. B.A. degrees allow for a broader range of electives, giving students the opportunity to study a variety of fields. Often the differences between the 2 program types are minimal, and some schools use the titles interchangeably. The name of the degree may be less important than choosing a school and program that appeals to you.
What careers can a bachelor’s in business administration lead to?
A BBA can lead to various careers, many with high earning potential and opportunities for advancement. Here are some of the jobs graduates take upon leaving college; they tend to start out in junior positions and work their way up.
Financial and investment analyst
A financial and investment analyst gathers information, does research, and analyzes assets such as stocks, bonds, and commodities. They also help individuals or companies manage their investment portfolio to ensure good returns.
Insurance underwriters review insurance applications. They determine whether to offer insurance, and under what terms.
Financial service sales agents
Financial services sales agents sell products and services for companies. They may sell directly to consumers or to other businesses.
Project management specialist
Project management specialists work in a variety of industries. They are responsible for planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.
Management analysts conduct studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to increase efficiency.
Market research analyst
Market research analysts research metrics to help plan sales efforts, including pricing, advertising campaigns, and other strategic endeavors. They gather information about factors such as competitors, distribution methods, prices, and sales.
A bachelor’s in business administration is an excellent program for individuals looking to enter the world of business. Graduates can choose from a wide variety of entry-level positions, or continue their education with an MBA to increase their chances of securing a higher-level job.
Frequently asked questions
Is it worth getting a bachelor’s in business administration?
Many students find the BBA to be an excellent investment in their future. Specializing in areas such as marketing, international business, entrepreneurship, or accounting, can lead to a wide variety of career possibilities.
Can a bachelor’s in business administration help me to get into a good MBA program?
Yes, a BBA can help you get into a good MBA program. If you’re shooting for a top-tier MBA school, it might be a good idea to apply to leading undergraduate business schools as well.
What job can I get with a bachelor’s in business administration?
A BBA is a versatile degree that can open the door to numerous opportunities. These include banking, healthcare, finance, project management, marketing, and insurance.
What salary can I get with a bachelor’s in business administration?
The average salary of a BBA student 2 years after graduation is $46,709. This tends to increase quickly with further on the job training.
How expensive is a bachelor’s in business administration?
The average cost of a BBA is $17,446.
Can I get my bachelor’s in business administration online?
Many schools offer online BBA programs. Some are entirely online, others offer a hybrid curriculum that combines in-class and online learning.
What are the degrees in business administration?
At undergraduate level, students can take a bachelor’s in business administration (BBA). Some postgraduates continue their education with a master’s in business administration (MBA).
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