If you’re researching potential bachelor’s degree programs, then rest assured that business administration remains a popular choice for a reason.
Courses in this major will prepare you with a broad range of skills that can be applied to numerous, distinct areas of business and a variety of industries. Through a concentration or specialization, you may also have the opportunity to increase your expertise in a particular area.
Core Courses and Requirements
Most bachelor’s degree programs include a portion covering foundation knowledge, which depends on the discipline you’re majoring in. For business programs, your core classes will certainly include a broad spectrum of business-related study. This is because the accredited body responsible for granting business degrees, AACSB International, requires that a minimum of 25% of the program provide general business coursework in order to be classed as a business degree.
Thus, your foundation-level courses will normally provide you with a broad overview of the many areas of business that exist within most organizations. This could include financial analysis and accountancy, marketing, law and ethics, product management, and human resources management, for example. Bear in mind that while some degree of focus on management and leadership is likely to be included, the curriculum will normally cover more day-to-day operations management or strategic management. In fact, leadership and personnel management is more heavily emphasized in business management degrees than in business administration.
Don’t forget that there is a range of skills all graduates should improve prior to entering the workforce, including communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. As a result, degree programs typically include some level of education in the liberal arts and sciences. For example, you might take courses in writing and composition, laboratory science, and math.
Specializations or Concentrations
Though the opportunity is not necessarily offered by every institution, in most cases you’ll have the choice of an area of focus, which is usually called a specialization, concentration, or track, depending on the college or university. Should you choose to specialize in one given area of business, you’ll complete unique coursework in that subject area. This might also include the opportunity to complete a practical work placement or internship in that area, which can be indicated on your resume after graduation and is highly desirable to potential employers.
As an example, let’s look at the top-rated university business school in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. This is the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which is tied for No.1 as of 2021. At the Wharton School, you can specialize in 18 different concentrations, including popular choices like Accounting, Business Analytics, Marketing, and Statistics. More niche concentrations include Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability; and Operations, Information & Decisions. Within some of these concentrations, there are also additional tracks. For example, OID students can further specialize in Decision Processes, Information Systems, and Operations Management.
To summarize, there is a wide range of opportunities to fine-tune your degree program so that it is tailored to your career goals. As you begin to take on upper-level coursework as part of the curriculum, you’ll focus less on general business and more on these specialized courses, assuming you haven’t opted to ignore concentrations and remain on a general business track.
What Are the Most Popular Concentrations in a Business Administration Major?
If you research the most popular business administration concentrations, you’ll likely find the same subjects mentioned time and again. These include healthcare management, general management, finance, accounting, and marketing. It’s easy to see why these are some of the top choices for graduates, given the hottest careers in business right now.
According to Money, one of the most popular careers for business graduates is that of the medical and health services manager. With a median annual salary of around $100,000 and strong projected growth in demand for qualified professionals, you don’t need a master’s degree to be academically qualified for this role.
Continue through the list published by Money, and you’ll notice a pattern emerging. Some of the most popular careers in business are offering strong growth prospects and annual salaries between $80,000 and $130,000 annually. What’s more, most are attainable with a bachelor’s degree in one of the most popular specialties outlined above, including financial management, financial advising, and operations research analysis, each of which is within the top five most popular careers for business administration majors.
As a business administration major, you’ll complete a number of general business courses, which will make up around 25% of your curriculum due to requirements set out by the degree-awarding body. You’ll also learn essential soft skills that are needed by any graduate through liberal arts and sciences courses. As your program progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to refine your knowledge through concentrations or specializations. The good news is that there’s no shortage of highly paid roles in the world of business, all of which are waiting for you after graduation!