Bachelor of Business Administration & Management Programs

Bachelor of Business Administration​ Programs offer students a foundation in business management management principles, technical knowledge and interpersonal skills. A ...

versatile credential, the Bachelors in Business Administration degree (B.B.A.) is considered a preparation for many administrative and managerial roles, as well as a potential springboard to a graduate education. If you are interested in topics like business operations, consulting, commerce, reasoning skills and finance, read on to take a look at some options for your undergraduate years.

Bachelor of Business Administration Programs: Basics

Bachelor of Business Administration Programs (BBA) are undergraduate, typically 4-year degrees that include general business courses as well as advanced courses in specific concentrations. There are some universities that also offer a combined bachelors and masters degree that takes about 5 years if you study full time.

The common prerequisites are a high school diploma or GED, possibly ACT or SAT scores, although a business school might also look for candidates with some work experience. Many programs incorporate classroom learning, participation in group projects and possibly a final internship in order to graduate.

Considered an entry-level qualification for management roles in advertising, administration, human resources and some financial positions (to name a few)[i], business degrees are career-focused by nature. Of course, if entrepreneurship is something you aspire to learn, you might focus on that as well. There are plenty of options in both business administration and business management for you to investigate. But are all programs created equal??

DID YOU KNOW? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business is, by far, the most popular field of study among undergraduates. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, more than 318,000 of the nearly 1.5 million bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2005–06 were in business.[ii]

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Business Administration vs. Business Management

If you are considering a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but not entirely sure which direction to take, it’s worth taking note of your options. Some colleges offer a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree; others offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S. or B.Sc.) in Business Management. Are they the same? What is Business Management?

First of all, both business management administration programs often include some overlap in their core course curriculum (think: marketing, accounting, economics and finance). This is so you derive an understanding of how a business works – stuff like product sourcing, manufacturing of goods, marketing and money management and how to grow a business.

The subtle difference between the two majors is that management degrees tend to zero in on planning and organizing.  Students may go on to take courses such as communications, logistics, decision-making, information systems and human resources.  This generally prepares a business management student for a potential job supervising or managing other people.

Business administration degrees tend to have a broad foundation that helps you understand business operations from a wide-angle lens plus they include the possibility to choose a concentration, also referred to as ‘specialization’, ‘focus’ or ‘emphasis’ area, depending on the phrasing of the business school.

Knowing Your Bachelors Degrees: B.B.A. | B.S.B.A. | B.A.B.A.

Yet another choice to consider is what type of Bachelors Degree program in Business Administration is right for you. The three major players in terms of undergraduate business degrees are: the bachelor of science in business administration (BSBA), the bachelor of arts in business administration (BABA) and the bachelor of business administration (BBA).

The BBA: Much like the graduate MBA, the Bachelor of Business Administration has a certain ‘formula’ – students take basic business core classes (e.g. accounting, finance, information technology, marketing, organizational leadership) as well as courses in a field of concentration that takes into account individual career goals.

The BSBA: The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration also focuses on basic business functions and essential communication skills although has a more math-oriented and analytical approach (e.g. business law, economics, human resources, corporate finance, managerial responsibilities).

The BABA: The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration may have more of a liberal arts perspective as well as a business focus; students may come away with an understanding of the social and cultural environment in which businesses operate as well as an understanding of organizational behavior. Some universities also include a foreign language requirement, which may be an asset if international business is of interest to you.

Take away? Here is where your own homework and research will come in handy. Curriculums vary between business schools, so it may be helpful to think about ‘where you want to go’ with your business degree – sales, IT, Budget Analyst, PR Manager – and then speak with an advisor to determine which track might serve you the best in accomplishing those goals. And keep in mind too that a degree does not guarantee a job, but there are different tracks because each one may be useful for different purposes.

Bachelors in Business: Potential Courses and Concentrations

There may be some similarities in Bachelor of Business Administration Programs but also variances between universities and business schools.

Potential core courses might include[iii]:

  • Accounting
  • Business law, business ethics
  • Economics
  • Financial management
  • Human resources management
  • Management information systems
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Organizational behavior
  • Business statistics & other quantitative methods
  • Strategic management

Potential concentration areas might include:[iv]

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human resource management
  • International business
  • Information technology
  • Design management
  • Management information systems
  • Operations management
  • Public relations
  • Hospitality management

Choosing a Bachelor in Business Administration: On-campus or online

Sometimes a Business School offers Bachelors of Business Administration Programs in two formats - campus and online. Other times you may have to seek out one or the other specifically. It is definitely a personal choice and one you may again have to research to see what aligns for you.

Distance-learning is certainly becoming more and more mainstream. If you are busy gaining valuable work skills or cannot commute to an accredited school, an online business degree may be a convenient and viable choice. Typically touted as ‘study from anywhere you have Internet’, your courses may be completely pre-recorded and you proceed at your own pace or live-streaming and interactive. If you are self-motivated, this might work for you.

Campus programs offer more in terms of the social learning environment. While one is not necessarily isolated as an e-learner (virtual discussion boards, web chat and so on), a campus program offers face-to-face interaction. If building your networks and meeting people and professors is important to you, this might work for you.

Some of your options? Review our sponsored listings for programs such as BA in Business Administration-Management Specialization, Bachelor of Science in Leadership, BA/Business Administration, Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.

A Word on Accreditation for Business Schools

Accreditation indicates that a college, university or program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency and works to continuously improve the quality of education provided. There are two types of educational accreditation: institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation is monitored by the U.S. Department of Education – they recognize different regional agencies who are then delegated with approval of postsecondary education.
The three main specialized accrediting agencies for business administration degree programs include:

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB): AACSB International accredits degree programs in business administration and accounting at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels[v]

Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP): ACBSP accredits business, accounting and business-related programs at the associate, bachelors, masters and doctorate degree levels worldwide.[vi]

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE): The IACBE accredits business programs that lead to associate, bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees. It does not accredit institutions that only offer associate degrees in business.[vii]

Continued Education

Depending on your career goals, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree may be a stepping stone for a graduate business administration degree, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the case of securities, commodities and financial services agents, “workers who had a master’s degree earned a wage that was nearly 90 percent higher than that for workers with a bachelor’s degree. Many of these sales agents earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), which may be required for high-level jobs”[viii]. Certainly something to think about. And it never hurts to look ahead; there are a variety of business graduate programs to choose from and taking a moment to plan your academic path may set you up for continued success.

Take The Next Step

Through career-oriented courses, undergraduate business degrees provide the tools to enter the business world as well as pursue graduate-level studies.  Whether you know you want to narrow in on corporate financing, or choose a general management degree, Bachelor of Business Administration Programs offer you some pretty fascinating options for that next step!  

sources: [i][ii] |[iii] |[iv] |[v] |[vi] |[vii] |[viii]


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