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What is Business Administration?

Jan 10, 2023

Business administration involves overseeing multiple facets of an organization, including its employees, resources, and finances and ensuring that these elements work together smoothly and efficiently.  A business administrator generally takes on a wide range of leadership responsibilities within a variety of industries and settings, applying their knowledge and skills toward the growth of a company, corporation, nonprofit, or other organization. 

A B.S. in Business Administration provides students with a strong academic foundation for possibilities in a wide range of careers in business management including in dynamic fields such as healthcare, human resources, information technology, marketing, and accounting. 

 Business administration careers can be found in nearly any company or organization in need of professionals to help manage the business. As both a marketable and in-demand degree, graduates enter the workforce with a practical understanding for the finances, marketing, and management of running a business.

Whether you’re interested in demonstrating your leadership abilities, or you want to be a player in the world of global economics management, a career as a business administrator can be both challenging and rewarding. 

What Is the Role of a Business Administrator?

The role of a business administrator varies based on the track and coursework you choose to pursue in school. Business administrators deal with the short- and long-term upkeep tasks and goals of organizations. 

Business administration involves monitoring day-to-day business operations, motivating and developing employees, interacting with external partners, negotiating contracts, analyzing financial data, and even managing information systems.  

What Jobs Can You Do in Business Administration?

A business administration degree prepares you to understand best business practices and the latest leadership, economics, and marketing theories that help companies succeed. Students who go on to become business administrators work on developing critical skills  such as the ability to analyze problems by using and applying data, and the social skills needed to manage groups of people.  

Successful business administrators are adept at fostering professional communications and will thrive in a wide variety of work environments in jobs. Here are just a few possible roles:

Procurement Officer

A procurement officer is a business professional who oversees purchasing for an organization. A procurement officer can work within almost any industry. This is a great career choice for those who want to enter a specific field and work toward career advancement. The median annual salary for a procurement officer is $58,079. 

Office Administrator 

Office administrators demonstrate strong teamwork, written and verbal communication, and organizational skills and are always in demand. As an office administrator, you would handle a variety of tasks and responsibilities, including answering phones, greeting and assisting clients, and managing unexpected office situations. Businesses rely on office administrators to coordinate the many departments and processes that make up the office. The median annual salary for an office administrator is $44,131. 

Human Resources Manager

The human resources manager is in charge of payroll, training, compliance, benefits, scheduling, retention, counseling, and strategic planning for a company or organization. Human resources managers play a critical role in any organization as companies adapt to new technologies, laws, and benefits programs.  The median annual salary for human resources managers is $113,127. 

Sports Operations Manager

Sports operations managers are meant to work in both the front and back offices of professional franchises like the NFL or NASCAR. Sports operation professionals oversee the vital functions of a sporting event, including planning, promoting, execution, and broadcasting to ensure that it runs smoothly. Highly organized and active, sports operations managers coordinate with all departments and use soft skills to negotiate and deal with vendors, lead teams of volunteers, assign tasks, and even manage emergency situations. The median annual salary for sports operations managers is $93,777. 

Advertising and Marketing Roles

Professionals working in advertising and marketing roles oversee internal marketing efforts and promotions.  Advertising and marketing roles are essential to many industries and organizations of all sizes. The median annual salary for the advertising and marketing manager roles is $133,380. 

Franchising Manager

In franchising, an individual partners with a corporate brand to open a business under the brand’s name and operates the business using their name, logo, products, services, and other assets.  

As a franchising manager, you oversee the planning side of the company to ensure operations run smoothly and for the continuous expansion of the company’s brand. Responsibilities can include reviewing contracts, enforcing licensing expectations, and supporting franchisees to improve opportunities for new franchisees to enter the company. The median annual salary for a franchising manager is $63,481. 

Business Developer/Business Consultant

Business developers utilize organizational theory to formulate and apply strategies to help companies expand their commercial footprint. Responsibilities include working with business company executives and sales and marketing teams to evaluate current market trends and propose new and innovative business ideas. Business developers earn a median annual salary of $60,058.

Business consultants are independent professionals that collaborate with companies to propose ways to improve a business’s efficiency. Serving as professional advisors, business consultants achieve their goals in a specific area of the business such as sales, IT, marketing, and human resources.  The median annual salary for a business consultant is $76,267. 

How to Know if This Major Is the Right Fit for You

Individuals ready for an exciting career focused on helping businesses succeed, or looking to explore their own entrepreneurial ambitions, may be a strong fit for a degree in business administration.  As one of the most in-demand majors for both students and employers, a business administration degree offers enhanced career prospects in a range of exciting and dynamic fields. 

What Subjects Are in Business Administration?

A degree in business administration can include courses in accounting, finance, economics, ethics, human resources, communication and strategic thinking, business law, information systems, marketing, and more. The fundamentals of finance and communication prepare you to pursue employment in many career fields, including entrepreneurship. 

What Is the Difference Between Business Management and Business Administration?

While business management and business administration have similarities (Including being popular majors for students and both being widely offered at colleges and universities), the difference lies mostly in the way these roles are applied in the business world. 

Business management focuses on the decision-making role an individual plays as a manager, and as members of the team who organize, lead, and oversee a company and its employees. A business manager is typically the team member that sets company goals, puts a strategic plan in place, and may often represent the company in public. 

Business administration, on the other hand, takes care of all the essential functions and mechanics of operating a business, from accounting and finance to marketing and human resources. Through a combination of coursework and experience, a business administrator has strong project management, organizational, financial, and leadership skills needed to support all facets of a business. Using their communication and interpersonal skills, business administrators have the knowledge and understanding for the way a business must function in order to succeed. 

Why Should I Study Business Administration? 

A bachelor’s degree in business administration can lead to a wide variety of roles. It includes courses on topics like leadership, marketing, economics, finance, and strategy.

Business administration offers a pathway for individuals to develop leadership skills, pursue high-demand careers in different industries, earn high salaries, take advantage of growth opportunities, and work in dynamic team settings.  A degree in business administration may be the right choice for students looking for a career with a strong employment outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts 715,100 new jobs, or a 7% increase, in the decade between 2021 and 2031. 


From business management to business administration, WGU programs offer ACBSP-accredited coursework designed with input from industry experts using competency-based education (CBE) to offer you the specialized learning you need to succeed. WGU’s business degrees are completely online, giving you the flexibility to work at your pace to fulfill your career goals.  

If you’re looking to grow your skills, or gain the knowledge to work for nonprofits, major corporations, government agencies, or entrepreneurial startups, WGU’s business administration degree may be the right choice for you. 

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