Associates Degree in Business Administration | ASBA Programs

An Associates Degree in Business Administration may be a wise investment of your time whether you aspire to enter the business workforce or are seeking credentials to ...

potentially advance in a current job. Many students also use an Associates degree as a major step towards completing a bachelor’s degree. If learning the fundamental skills of running a business is interesting to you a career-focused associate degree in business administration may be a fantastic fit!

Associate's Degree in Business Administration: Basics

An undergraduate academic program, the Associates Degree in Business Administration lasts 2 years. Considered to be a higher level of education that a high school diploma or GED but less than a Bachelor’s degree. Through career-oriented curriculums, students get the opportunity to develop business knowledge and learn fundamental skills in accounting, business law, human resource management and marketing.

DID YOU KNOW? At hotels that provide fewer services, candidates with an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel, restaurant, or hospitality management may qualify for a job as a lodging manager.[i]

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Types of Associates Degree Programs in Business Administration

Many community colleges, private and public colleges and universities offer two-year Business administration associate's degree programs. There are a few different types of associate’s degrees available in business administration: the Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of Arts (A.A.) are the standard programs that prepare students for both the workplace and continued education. Some schools offer an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), which has additional business classes.

A.A. in Business Administration

Typically the Associate of Arts in Business Administration (AABA) is considered a possible preparation for a B.A. in Business Administration, although you might also enter the workforce after graduation. Students might explore topics that may include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Marketing

A.A.S. in Business Administration

In an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration, business topics such as finance, management, computers, and human resources are usually covered. Additionally, there may be an addition of more science and math-oriented courses that might include:

  • Economic theory
  • Algebra
  • Computer basics
  • Business law, business ethics
  • Marketing principles
  • Organizational behavior
  • Financial accounting
  • Management

A.S. in Business Administration (ASBA)

Perhaps the most common of these associates degrees is the Associate of Applied Science, abbreviated ASBA (associate in science in business administration). It is common that an ASBA degree may prepare students to make a seamless transition into a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program.

Associates Degree in Business Administration: Potential Curriculum

An Associate Degree in Business Administration program curriculum is likely to vary between colleges, and depend on the type of degree (arts or science). Usually, in addition to core courses and electives, many schools offer concentrations so that you can dive more deeply into an area that interests you. Often you may even apply the techniques you have studied in a capstone project that has real-world relevance.

Students in an associate degree program in business administration typically complete a core curriculum covering topics that might include:

  • Business theories
  • Management principles
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Business law, ethics
  • Retail practices
  • Financial accounting
  • Management
  • Software applications
  • Human resources
  • Communication
  • Project planning

Depending on the college, concentrations in specific areas of business administration might include health care administration, human resources and information systems.

The Choice is yours: Online or On-Campus ASBA Program?

Students may choose to earn the Associate in Science in Business Administration program on a college campus or through distance-learning.

Sometimes the choice is clear cut- you are working and want to show your employer initiative by earning your degree, or you live too far from a school. Online associates degree programs provide the flexibility necessary for students to maintain their regular jobs and work schedules while taking classes simultaneously.

On the other hand, attending a campus offers you the opportunity to learn in real-time, with face-to-face instruction. In person learning tends to give you the chance to network, brainstorm with classmates, and build interpersonal skills through group projects. Plus, you have access to campus facilities such as sports and exercise, libraries, laboratories, and career counseling.

Your Search Made Simple

If you do intend to search for colleges with associates degree campus programs in business administration, conduct a location search. Use the city, state and country tabs to browse listings in your area. It is always helpful too, to request information from different schools to be able to compare their degrees and land on the ‘right’ one for you and your goals. Or just search for ‘online associates degrees’ in business administration for other listings. How simple!!

Accreditation for Business Administration Programs

Accreditation is the quality control of the education world. Choosing an accredited program may be important for employers as well as should you choose to continue your education. In the case of business programs the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) as the accrediting agency. The ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels worldwide. At present, they report nearly 3,000 programs at over 430 campuses across the world are accredited. [ii]

Take the Next Step

Earning an Associates Degree in Business Administration may be a way to open yourself to options. Perhaps you are satisfied with your 2-year foundation in business management, and want to look for work in hospitality management, as a bank teller or brokerage clerk. Or maybe your goal is to get into a Bachelors or MBA program at a future date. Why not have more options? Why not take the next step and review sponsored listings today!


sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associate_degree |[ii] acbsp.org/?page=chea_recognition | bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/tellers.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4011.00

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