Business Administration Degree & Business Graduate Programs
At the graduate levels, business administration degree programs offer the opportunity to earn valuable and versatile credentials that might enable individuals to earn better wages and seek higher level positions across different industries.[i] Whether you are interested in commodities and consulting, market research or property management, graduate business programs offer advanced theory, critical thinking and leadership skills that may appeal to the entrepreneur, the executive or the scholar.
About Graduate Business Administration Degree Programs
Business Administration Degree Programs are available as Pre-MBA, MBA, EMBA, DBA and business graduate certificate options. From accounting and finance, to marketing, economics, statistics, human resources and decision-making, the goal at each next level of business administration degree is more in-depth understanding and preparation for all the facets and functions associated with planning, directing, organizing and controlling firms and organizations in the private sector.
What is Business Administration?
As a field of study, a business administration degree program is devoted to the study of what is required to help businesses operate efficiently and profitably. From quantitative analysis to purchasing, product sourcing, negotiations and strategy, a business administration major is grounded in management theory and its application in a variety of fields.
Business Administration or Business Management?
Business graduate schools may use different language when referring to a business administration degree, some using it interchangeably with business management. While there are similarities, there are also distinguishing features which students might familiarize themselves with.
Both business management and administration degrees commonly integrate the same core subjects (think: marketing, accounting, economics and finance). These topics give students a background in how businesses operate, from product sourcing and manufacturing to the marketing, profit and money management. Sometimes the difference between the two is subtle, but nonetheless, notable.
Business Management degrees tend to emphasize planning and organization. Students then might take additional courses in related areas, with coursework that may include communications, logistics, decision-making, information systems and human resources
Business administration degrees tend to focus on a broad understanding of related topics and then allow a student to concentrate on a single aspect of business (finance, accounting, marketing, human resources etc.)
DID YOU KNOW?
Per Data USA, 371,261 Business Administration, Management and Operations Degrees were awarded in 2014![ii]
Business Graduate Programs: Choosing a Concentration
Students may wish to pursue a general business administration or business management curriculum, or, choose a concentration area. Current or aspiring business administrators typically select an area that they want to develop expertise in. For instance, a business administration degree with a concentration in marketing might offer core business courses plus courses in public relations, consumer analysis and pricing theory. Choosing a concentration might prepare students to pursue a potential career path within a specific business or industry (e.g. entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare, technology).
How Long is a Graduate Business Administration Degree?
In general, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree might take 1 to 2 years of education beyond the Bachelor’s degree to complete. Beyond that, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree or a PhD in Business degree might take 3-6 years after the master’s degree. Often, students in business graduate programs are working professionals, so time to completion might vary depending on whether one pursues their degree full-time, a part-time MBA, or finds an accelerated program option. Additionally, each business graduate school may have its own requirements.
Types of Business Administration Degree Programs
Business administration degree programs build on prior knowledge and skill-sets. Some business graduate programs are offered for experienced executives. Other programs are designed as preparatory programs for the Masters of Business Administration.
Graduate Business Certificates
Graduate certificate in business administration programs tend to be shorter term than full business degrees. Graduate business certificates might offer a preparatory academic step towards an MBA, where students take the core MBA courses; credits might then be transferred (though this is subject to each business school’s requirements). Others graduate certificates in business might be offered to experienced candidates as add-on credentials.
A Pre-MBA degree program is often used as a way for undergraduates to prepare for the challenges of an MBA degree program. Some are short and others could take a year or so. You might find a program that is geared to GMAT or TOEFL preparation, whereas others may emphasize writing, communication or technical skills. If you are considering working towards an MBA, some business graduate schools require students to choose a concentration area. Being sufficiently ready might help go confidently towards graduate school, armed with a distinct idea of where your interests lie (e.g. finance vs. health administration)
Executive Masters of Business Administration | EMBA Programs
An Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is a graduate degree like the MBA but designed with the working executives, managers, business leaders and current entrepreneurs in mind. Some EMBA programs are full-time 1-year programs for professionals with about 5 years of work experience.
Masters of Business Administration | MBA Programs
Originating in the United States as a response to industrialism, the MBA - Master of Business Administration is considered a professional and terminal degree. Students take elective courses in an area of interest, though primary emphasis is on analysis and strategy in business topics that span fields such as accounting, finance and economics to operations and marketing. Look for Accelerated MBA, Part-time MBA, 2-Year Full-Time MBA, and Dual Degree MBA options.
Doctor of Business Administration | DBA Programs
Past the master’s level, the highest business administration degree awarded is the Doctor of Business Administration, or DBA degree, which is equivalent academically to a PhD in Business Administration. While the PhD is a research-focused degree where participants must contribute original thought and a dissertation, the DBA is a professional practice doctorate. Students conduct research with the goal of applying to specific issues in business and management.
Are Online Business Degrees Available?
An important decision is the issue of how to best earn your business administration degree.
Campus business graduate programs allow for face-to-face interaction that might be a useful way to network or gain valuable one-one times with a professor. Many campus programs offer formats to accommodate working students
Hybrid business graduate programs are blended learning programs that offer a combination of distance-learning with onsite requirements. These are low residency and flexible in general.
Online business graduate programs are either non-interactive, pre-recorded or live teleconference formats. These often suit someone who is working, has a family or lives too far from an accredited business school.
Use the on-page navigation to find accredited business graduate schools by location; select a city, state or country for sponsored providers in that area. Otherwise, choose your program level (Masters, Doctorate, Certificate) and review sponsored program listings in the format of choice. Expect a bit of variance from Business Schools; use the green ‘request info’ tab to connect with a prospective graduate school and find out what makes them unique.
Understanding Business School Accreditation
Whatever level or format of business administration degree you pursue, business school accreditation should be on your priority checklist. Accreditation by a national or regional accreditor distinguishes in as an institution of higher learning that adheres to high quality standards. National accreditors for business graduate programs include the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). To find out if a business school is accredited, check the accreditation agency’s website to see if their status is current.
Why Consider a Business Administration Degree?
While many management occupations require a Bachelor’s degree as the entry-level education requirement[iii], earning an MBA or DBA degree might prepare graduates for positions of seniority or higher wages.[iv]
- Chief Executives (e.g. CEO, CFO)[v]
- Business Administration Professor, Researcher[vi]
- Business Analyst[vii]
- Management Consultant[viii]
Take the Next Step
GradSchools.com has an extensive directory of business administration degree programs to choose from. Whether you are ready for an MBA, EMBA, DBA or PhD in Business or are preparing for a business graduate education through a Pre-MBA or business graduate certificate. Get all the information you need by requesting it directly from prospective business graduate schools. Take the next step in your business administration and management education today!
[i] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm |[ii] datausa.io/profile/cip/5202/#top |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/ |[iv] [i] |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.00 |[vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1011.00 |[vii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1111.00 |[viii] [vii]
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