Prepare for a career in business administration

January 10, 2023 · 6 min read · By ASU Online
Interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in business administration? Learn about this versatile degree and how it can help you pursue some of the fastest-growing, highest-paying business jobs on the market.

Whether you want to become a business analyst at a major consultancy, join an impactful nonprofit in your community, start your own company, or have other plans for a career in business, a Bachelor of Arts in business administration can help set you on the right path to reaching your professional goals.


What you’ll learn in a Bachelor of Arts in business program

A Bachelor of Arts in business is typically a four-year program that will provide you with a comprehensive view of business operations. With a concentration in business administration, you can expect the coursework to offer you a strong grounding in the following core areas of business:

  • Accounting

You'll gain the ability to understand how accounting information is used in business administration throughout the business cycle.

  • Communication

You'll become more comfortable with business writing, conflict resolution and negotiation processes, public speaking and international communication standards and strategies.

  • Economics

You'll learn how to perform basic macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis. You'll also study key theories, such as the theory of the firm.

  • Finance

You'll develop an understanding of the theories and practices involved in managing business finances.

  • Management

You'll gain a grasp of business law and ethics for managers, knowledge of prevalent organizational leadership theories, grounding in international business best practices and the ability to problem-solve common business scenarios.

  • Marketing

You'll become more familiar with the marketing tools and principles that drive business enterprises. Additionally, you'll develop your ability to analyze marketing-related problems in business and create effective solutions.

  • Statistics

You'll learn about methods of statistical analysis with a focus on real-life application to business.


Business administration jobs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for business and financial jobs was $76,570 in 2021. The BLS also reported that growth in this occupational field is projected at 7% over the next decade with 715,100 new available jobs between 2021 and 2031.

A career in business administration can vary depending on the individual and the industry they work in. With globalization and the rise of remote work, graduates of business administration related degrees will be well-positioned to pursue opportunities remotely or across the globe. Some of the most popular business administration jobs that this degree can help you pursue and their general responsibilities and median salaries, include:

  • Management analyst

If you thrive when working with datasets and statistics, pursuing a management analyst role could be a great fit for you. Your responsibilities would include analyzing data, producing reports on this data and effectively communicating your technical findings in a way that’s clear and helpful to clients. This role demands public speaking and a knack for distilling complex quantitative findings and information about technology into shareable presentations and documents.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management analysts had a median salary of $93,000 in 2021 and a projected growth rate of 14%, much faster than average, from 2021-2031.

  • Employee training manager

If you love to encourage, coach and inspire others on their professional journeys, a career as an employee training manager may be a career path to consider. In this role, you would work closely with human resources managers to develop, facilitate, plan and update dynamic training for new and seasoned employees.

Some of an employee training manager’s responsibilities may involve coaching teams of people on how to work most effectively together. With the rise of remote and hybrid work arrangements that demand advanced new training, this career option is set to grow at faster than most jobs on the market. According to the BLS, training and development managers had a median salary of $120,130 in 2021 and a projected growth rate of 11% from 2021-2031.

  • General manager (GM)

From a car dealership to the most popular restaurant group in town, most businesses require a general manager to handle day-to-day operations on the ground. If you thrive in a fast-paced work environment, understand accounting and don't shy away from resolving workplace conflicts, a career as a general manager may be right for you. In this role, you’ll also need to be a great judge of character and ability, as part of your job will involve hiring new employees and helping retain and promote existing employees.

If you're interested in a career as a general manager, consider adding classes in human resources, leadership and operations to your coursework as you pursue your degree.

According to the BLS, top executives had a median annual salary of $98,980 in 2021 and a projected growth rate of 8% from 2021-2031.

  • Procurement specialist

With constant supply chain issues at play globally, choosing a career as a procurement specialist, whether in the private or public sector, will demand a use of supply chain management and accounting knowledge.

It'll be up to you to source the goods and services that allow your company to run efficiently and generate maximum profits. If you're a creative problem-solver, an excellent communicator and a strategic thinker, a career as a procurement specialist deserves consideration.

According to the BLS, buyers and purchasing agents had a median annual salary of $75,410 in 2021.

  • Sales manager

In this role, you'll be responsible for setting sales targets, creating sales strategies, tracking sales performance and motivating and managing teams of customer-facing sales associates to help them hit their targets. You’ll serve as an expert in understanding and selling a product line, as well as recruiting and training sales teams.

According to the BLS, sales managers had a median annual salary of $127,490 in 2021 and a projected growth rate of 7% from 2021-2031.


Gaining work experience while pursuing a bachelor’s in business administration

Many programs also require or strongly recommend that students pick up real-world work experience along the way on their educational journey, either through paid internships or through employment during their studies. Most Bachelor of Arts in business administration programs offer career coaching and access to a diverse and accomplished network of alumni who are ready and willing to connect with students for informational interviews about their professions or offer internship or employment opportunities.

These experiences can sometimes provide opportunities for full-time employment, but at the very least they should make your resume stand out to recruiters. In job interviews, you'll have compelling examples to share about how you were able to apply the theories and skills you learned in your classes to real-world situations in business.

Some programs also offer study or work abroad opportunities to all students, including those pursuing a degree online. Whether you want to master a foreign language, intern at a company in another market or pursue a summer program in international business, the experience can give you real-world experience in the global workplace. Some internship and other work programs may earn you course credits, too.

Study abroad with ASU Online

Arizona State University's Global Education Office offers more than 300 different programs in more than 65 countries, and ASU Online students can study abroad during any term on programs as long as one semester or as short as one week.

Making use of your electives

Once you've completed your core coursework, you’ll most likely have some elective courses to select from before graduation. Electives provide an excellent opportunity to explore potential professional paths you could pursue after graduation. For example, if you see yourself as the founder of a start-up, consider focusing your electives on classes covering entrepreneurship. If you want to become a payroll manager for a government agency, taking courses on advanced accounting and government policies may be beneficial.


Earn your business administration degree concentration from Arizona State University

For those interested in a career in business administration, ASU Online offers a Bachelor of Arts in business with a concentration in business administration.

Upon graduating, you’ll have the skills and competencies needed to be successful in the field of business administration, including:

  • Building business strategies
  • Conducting skillful negotiations
  • Forecasting demand
  • Planning inventory
  • Purchasing services

This bachelor’s degree can also prepare you for graduate programs such as ASU Online’s Master of Business administration and the Master of nonprofit leadership and management.

Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes and degree programs

We’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes and degree programs at Arizona State University. Read on to learn all about what to expect from the ASU Online learning experience.


About ASU Online

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