As our economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, careers in business administration are beginning to ramp up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for all workers in business and financial operations is expected to increase by as much as 13 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022. This is higher than the 11 percent growth predicted for all occupations combined, which means that business degrees could become an especially good investment in the coming years.
Fortunately, schools have stepped up to the plate to offer a wide range of on-campus and online business administration programs that can adequately prepare students for a number of careers in the business and financial services sector. Ranging from certificates all the way up to master's degrees, these degree programs offer the experience and instruction required to get started on your career in the business world.
Online Business Administration Degree Programs
Due to advancing technology, a number of schools have begun offering excellent online business administration programs that can lead to a number of degree options. Some of these programs stand on their own, while others emulate the school's on-campus program. Programs that mimic a schools on-campus business administration program are often taught by the exact same instructors.
When it comes to online business administration degrees, several options can lead to a number of different careers. The following table includes the most common online degree options available, as well as how long they take to complete.
|Degree||Timeline for Completion||Applicable Careers|
|Certificate||From six months to two years||Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, information clerks|
|Associate's degree||Typically two years of full-time study||Information clerks, first line supervisors of office and administrative support workers|
|Bachelor's degree||Typically four years of full-time study||Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, budget analysts, financial analysts, accountants and auditors, training and development managers, training and development specialists, personal financial advisors|
|Master's degree||Typically two years of full-time study after earning a bachelor's degree||Budget analysts, financial analysts, training and development managers|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Educational requirements for business administration careers vary widely. For example, requirements for financial analysts and budget analysts can depend heavily on the specific career and employer. While these workers usually need a bachelor's degree for entry level employment, some positions may require a master's degree. In many business careers, prior experience in another industry can also be important. Students with a background in other disciplines, such as psychology or sociology, can add depth and experience to any business environment.
Career Outlook for Business Administration Graduates
Although growth in business administration careers can vary widely due to a number of factors, including your geographic location, the outlook for most business careers is solid. The following table illustrates some of the most popular career options in this field.
|Career||National Annual Mean Wage, May 2014||Projected National Growth 2012-2022|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$108,090||27%|
|Human Resources Managers||$114,140||13%|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,590||21%|
|Training and Development Specialists||$61,530||15%|
|Training and Development Managers||$111,030||11%|
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Choosing the Right Business Administration Schools
One of the first steps you should take is figuring out whether the schools are you considering are accredited. If you are having trouble locating this information, you should contact the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Either agency can provide you with up-to-date accreditation information on online business administration schools in your area.
Meanwhile, it is important to make sure you fully understand what your new degree program and school has to offer, and that's especially true when it comes to online learning and distance education. For example, does your school offer an online community where you may interact with your instructors and your peers? Also, does your new school make it easy for you to study part-time and on your own schedule, or will you be expected to stick to a format that is standard across all students?
Other factors you may want to compare and consider include job placement assistance, online networking opportunities, career support services, and access to on-campus resources, if any are available.
Budget Analysts, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-1
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/compensation-benefits-and-job-analysis-specialists.htm#tab-1
Financial Analysts, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-1
Human Resources Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
May 2014, National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#43-0000