Is a Business Administration Degree Right for You?

It’s easy to pick a major, but not so easy to be sure it’s the right one. Business-related degrees are quite popular—probably because they seem like a degree that offers a wide range of potential jobs.

But the degree you choose has wide-ranging consequences, and choosing one you don’t understand now can be a big mistake in the future. Here are a few tips to help you figure out if a business administration degree is right for you.

What is Business Administration?

A business administration degree is meant to teach you a broad overview of the inner workings of a business. From management to marketing to ethics to economics, you’ll get a basic understanding of the necessary aspects of business, including computer systems and programs that apply to different industries. Some programs even help you understand how to get loans, do your own taxes (to an extent), and learn how things like labor and inventory work. Additionally, you’ll learn how to hire and fire, manage personnel, and even be an entrepreneur.

Do You Have a Specific Career Path in Mind?

One of the great things about a business administration degree is that if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, it qualifies you for a great deal. That doesn’t mean you’re going to walk out of college and into a CEO position, but it is a good degree to get if you already have a business job and want to get promoted; or are looking to start a business but have no idea how to get it off the ground.

However, business administration is also an extremely—in some schools, the most—popular program. This means that every job you are qualified for has dozens of other candidates who are just as qualified as you. If you know the specific path you want to aim for in companies, like being an accountant or creating ads, getting your degree in that specific aspect of business is probably going to be a better course of action. On the plus side, if you change your mind down the road, a lot of the core classes of business administration will carry over to other majors like economics or marketing.

How Far do You Want to Advance Your Education?

Another great thing about business administration is that you can choose how long you want to stay in school—you can graduate from a business administration program with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate. This qualifies you for a range of different positions, depending on which level of education you choose. Associate programs generally focus more on the accounting and management aspect of business, along with the computer programs you need. Bachelor’s degrees begin to include human resources and practical application, such as managing your resources, planning, and organizing.

Master’s degrees generally qualify you for higher positions in large organizations. Some schools offer programs that combine bachelor and master’s degrees, making them less time consuming in the long run. Online options are great for some people too, especially if you’re returning to school while still in the career world. A doctorate prepares you to teach others how to enter the business world and sets you up for consulting or leadership positions.

What are Your Goals?

Ultimately, the question you have to ask yourself isn’t if the degree is for you, necessarily, but what it is that you want. If the variety of positions a business administration degree offers appeals to you, if you like the potential to opt out after 2 years or continue on for a decade, if you know you want to be in the business field but aren’t quite sure where you’ll fit best, if you’re already in the business field and want to move up in your company, a business administration degree might be just the thing for you!

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