Whether you run your own small business, want to advance your current career, or are just graduating from high school, pursuing business administration and management training at a vocational or trade school might be where you want to start. According to The College Board, students in these programs study how businesses and organizations operate and learn about business communication, leadership and managing people. Through case studies and stories of business successes and failures, business administration students will do in-depth study on why some companies function well while others fail. There are a number of ways to specialize within the broad field of business administration and management. Concentrating in finance can train you for a career where you will be responsible for the financial health of a company -- from its day-to-day operations to its long-term investments. With a marketing focus, you will concentrate on how to position and promote your company's products or services.
Administration and management specializations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) highlights a number of different paths you can follow with a degree in business administration and management.
- Financial managers prepare financial reports and analysis that help guide a company's budgets, growth and investments.
- Marketing managers evaluate market demand and work with sales and advertising managers to create effective campaigns to drive sales of a company's products or services.
- Purchasing managers are responsible for ensuring a company has the goods and supplies it needs.
- Management analysts help companies become more efficient to maximize profits and reduce waste.
Administration and management certifications and degrees
Most administration and management careers call for at least a bachelor's degree in business administration and management. For career advancement, some positions may require a master's degree, specifically an MBA. Nearly all management positions require significant work experience as well.
Additional certifications are recommended or required for certain fields and are available through industry associations. For example, financial analysts and managers may choose to become a Certified Financial Analyst or Certified Treasury Professional. A purchasing manager might pursue certification as a Certified Supply Chain Professional or Certified Purchasing Professional.
A business administration and management degree will generally cover business basics including accounting, business law, economics, marketing and communications. Students entering an business administration and management program will want to have a solid background in math. You'll also need good communication and problem-solving skills.
Administration and management salary and career outlook
Generally speaking, entry-level business careers pay less, but are more widely available than management-level jobs. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports market research analysts earned a national median salary of $60,800 in 2013, with 32 percent growth predicted through 2022. In the same time period, management analysts earned national median salaries of $79,870, with 19 percent job growth predicted.
The BLS reports marketing managers earned national median salaries of $123,220 in May 2013, but predicted overall growth of only 7 percent. Luckily, that's not the story everywhere. Projections Central highlights three states with top growth projections through 2022:
- Utah: 32.4 percent
- Colorado: 26.6 percent
- Washington: 26 percent
Finance managers earned national annual median salaries of $112,700 in 2013 and are poised for 9 percent growth 2012 through 2022. Colorado, Arizona and Utah are all predicted to see over 20 percent growth in financial management jobs, according to Projections Central.
National median salaries in 2013 for purchasing managers were $103,780. Overall job growth is forecast at only 4 percent through 2022, but Colorado (23.4 percent), North Dakota (17.6 percent) and Arizona (14.1 percent) are all expected to experience above average growth for this occupation, according to Projections Central.
While some students go to college or trade school for business administration because they want to work in a large corporation or advance within their own company, some have a more personal reason for pursuing this kind of education. Fifteen million Americans, or 10 percent of the U.S. workforce, are currently self-employed. This may mean they are freelancing or that they own a small business. Either way, a solid background in business administration and management may be able to help provide the skills they need for their business to succeed.
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014
Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014
Major: Business Administration and Management, Big Future™, The College Board, 2014, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-management-administration-business-administration-management
Management Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014
Market Research Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014
Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014
Self-employment: What to know to be your own boss, Bureau of Labor Statistics,U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2014 Edition, www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2014/summer/art01.htm