Business administration is a field that focuses on the management and supervision of all aspects of business operations.

This may include responsibilities in human resources, finance, marketing, management, and more—all intended to make sure business goals are met.

“There is not one specific role associated with a business administration degree; rather, the degree prepares you for a broad range of possible roles,” says Brian Barton, MBA, faculty chair of Capella University’s BS in Business program.

Here, Barton talks about business administration and career opportunities for individuals with a business administration degree.

Q. What does a business administration degree cover?

A. Unlike a specialized business degree in fields such as accounting or human resource management, a business administration degree is a general business degree. The coursework in this program ensures that graduates will have demonstrated mastery of competencies across all primary business areas.

Q. Why would one choose this degree over a more specialized business degree?

A. One reason to pursue this degree is to gain broad business knowledge and to discover which areas hold the greatest interest. Alternatively, students might select this degree because they are interested in a senior management or executive role that requires a good understanding of general business principles across specialties.

Another key reason to choose this degree is that it offers flexibility for students to customize their coursework. I’ll give a personal example from when I obtained my MBA, which was also in general business administration. I took all the typical fundamental courses (accounting, finance, marketing, HR management, etc.), as well as multiple courses in business law and in human resource management. I was already working in a senior management role and thought they might best prepare me for the future, even though I had no intention of working in either of those areas.

In hindsight, having the flexibility to take multiple courses in each of those two fields proved invaluable to me throughout my corporate career. Although mine was a master’s program, Capella University’s bachelor’s level business administration program also provides this kind of flexibility and customization.

Q. What subjects are covered in a business administration-focused program?

A. The core coursework covers business fundamentals, including management, leadership, business law, supply chain management, marketing, human resource management, accounting, and finance. Students then have significant flexibility to take additional courses to best match their chosen future career path.

Q. What can graduates do with a business administration bachelor’s degree?

A. Because business administration is a general degree program, it prepares graduates for a broad range of possible roles.

Someone with a business administration degree might work as a manager in a professional field. For example, say someone has been working in accounting and is interested in becoming an accounting manager. A business administration degree offers the skills and knowledge in strategic planning, budgeting, and employee management necessary to fulfill that function.

Someone interested in a consulting position might also pursue a business administration degree. Consultants often have to interact with clients in a broad range of business areas at all levels of the company hierarchy. A business administration degree can provide the broad business base from which to build a successful consulting career.

A person who wants to become a business analyst might also choose a business administration degree because that position often requires a broad business background be applied to specific analytical tasks.


Learn more about Capella’s BS in Business, Business Administration degree.