According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the highest salaries with a bachelor’s level education belong to careers in the business sector. Those stats just go up for MBA graduates in management positions – typically well over $100,000 in median pay. With those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to see that if you want to make money, business is the way to go.
Sure, there are stories of entrepreneurs who build up a company from the ground up with nothing but hard work, determination, and genius – no education. But those stories become well-known because they are so rare. For everybody but those special few, education is key to not only learning the ideas and skills to succeed in business but also to networking and making connections that will help build that business into the future.
(check out: What’s the ROI of a College?)
A business degree can represent the cornerstone of a successful career, business, or just about anything in life that requires leadership, organization, and an understanding of how to make an idea work. For these and many more reasons, a business degree is an excellent thing to pursue.
Is a Business Degree Worth It?
Is a business degree hard? Many people assume achieving a business degree is hard because they assume that business itself is hard. Pursuing a business degree is no harder or easier than pursuing any other degree through schools and programs of higher education. Is a business degree hard isn’t the type of question to ask. Applicants interested in a business degree should, instead, wonder if they’re ready to obtain their degree as they go after their goals.
One thing to note is that there are several types of business degrees, so figuring out is a business degree worth it will require applicants to also consider exactly what kind of business degree they need to achieve their goals.
For example, what is business administration and management? Asking what is business administration and management is a top question because while they both represent paths towards a business degree, they’re two different things. This can lead to further questions, such as is business administration a good major or is a business management degree good.
The benefits of studying business administration have the same weight as the benefits that come with studying business management. So, is business administration a good major? Absolutely. Is a business management degree good? Yes. A business management degree has a strong focus on planning, organization, and overall management. The benefits of studying business administration will allow students to focus on a business-related specialty, of which there are many.
In this way, applicants can think of business management as a more general business degree that fits into any situation and a business administration degree as one that can help them take charge of a specific area of business. Is a business administration degree good? It’s a fantastic degree for those who know what they’re aiming for with their business degree.
The largest question that looms when it comes to a business degree, is a business degree worth it, the answer is yes. For those who wonder is a business degree worth it, the best way to look at it is to consider the sheer versatility that comes with a business degree.
How Important is School or Program Accreditation When Choosing Business Programs?
When it comes to business degrees of any sort, accreditation is incredibly important. Not only does accreditation show the degree came from a legitimate and recognized institution or program, business school accreditation also helps to choose the proper institution or program to begin with.
The accreditation status of a school or program means the administrators of those courses have voluntarily submitted the school or program to a group for evaluation. Not all accreditation is good accreditation. This will depend on the group that sets the standards. Broadly, accreditation comes in two types, regional accreditation and national accreditation.
Regional, sometimes called institutional accreditation comes from one of the seven groups recognized by the US Dept. of Education and CHEA. These groups set standards and give accreditation status to schools in their region of the country, hence the term regional accreditation.
By contrast, national, specialized, or programmatic accreditation can come from an accrediting group that specializes in a type of academic pursuit, profession, or field. These groups set standards that usually come directly from the industry the group represents.
The national or specialized accreditation groups often consist of luminaries in the field or people who have vast knowledge in a field of study. This isn’t always the case, which is why some national and specialized accreditation groups have far more standing and recognition than others.
For business school accreditation numerous groups accredit business programs and courses. Nevertheless, there are three main types of business school accreditation groups that proffer the most prestigious and recognized business school accreditation statuses. For both bachelor’s programs and masters programs, these three groups have the highest recognition:
- AACSB — Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- ACBSP — Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- IACBE — International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
Even among these groups, AACSB accreditation standards have the highest consideration. What does AACSB accredited mean? Having AACSB accreditation means a business degree program meets the high standards set by the AACSB. Programs with this accreditation status offer a very high-quality education from a high-quality staff. This applies to business degree programs in a traditional school, AACSB accredited online undergraduate schools, and AACSB accredited online MBA programs.
But, is AACSB accreditation important? While AACSB accreditation standards serve as some of the highest and most prestigious, there’s no absolute consensus that says an applicant needs a business degree with AACSB accreditation.
Because of the status of the AACSB, other accrediting groups often seem to stand in its shadow. However, IACBE accredited schools and ACBSP accreditation standards also hold high regard in business fields. Is ACBSP respected? Of course, this group is well respected and it’s worth considering a business program with their accreditation just as it is okay to go with an IACBE accredited school.
Many people wonder if ACBSP accreditation good or bad. In most cases, all three of these accrediting groups set standards that will ensure a good business education. Depending on the goals of the applicant, someone may even want to choose an accredited program from a group other than the AACSB for their own reasons. Applicants would do well to investigate each group and see what they’re all about if they’re on the fence about a group’s standards.
What are the Different Types of Business Degrees?
Applicants seeking a business degree may find themselves inundated with acronyms for the different types of business degrees available. There are a few things to consider for both bachelor’s and masters degree choices. Here is a look at the different types of business degrees at each level.
AA/AS: To get the quickest start in business, an associate’s degree takes only two years from a community college or college. That will get you into administrative and executive assistant positions, and possibly allow you to progress into office management or human resource management, though bachelor degree programs in those fields have made the associate’s less competitive on the job market.
(check out: What is the Benefit of Going to a Community College?)
BBA/BSBA: The main business degrees are Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The bachelor degree is the basic entry-level education for accountants, financial analysts, tax examiners, and other such careers. The bachelor’s degree most often takes 4 to 5 years of full-time education at a college or university.
MBA/MiM/MSM: The traditional standard for business master’s degrees is the Master of Business Administration, and it’s still the most common business master’s. The MBA gives students a broad business education that is typically heavy on economics, accountancy, and theory. But in recent years, a desire for more specialized skills has led to more interest in the Masters in Management and the Master of Science in Management, degree programs that focus specifically on leadership, human resources, and motivation.
DBA: The Doctor of Business Administration, like the PhD in other disciplines, is the highest degree in Business Administration and is primarily earned by students who wish to teach at the college level, and/or do academic research.
(check out: our Guide on Dual Degree Majoring)
Types of Business Bachelor’s Degrees
Here are some obtainable business bachelor degree types:
- BABA — Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
- BBA — Bachelor of Business Administration
- BSB — Bachelor of Science in Business
- BSBA — Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- BBM — Bachelor of Business Management
- BSBM — Bachelor of Science in Business Management
While all these different titles can seem confusing, applicants should understand that many of them are completely interchangeable. For example, the BSBM and BBM typically mean the same thing as far as coursework goes. A BS in business management will typically represent the same kind of degree no matter which degree type an applicant chooses. Many schools will even have different names for their BS in business management, which shouldn’t make applicants think it’s an entirely different type of degree.
In most cases, what matters most is whether the degree program is for administration or management. After that, it matters if the degree in question is a BA or BS. However, it’s important to note that the BBA typically stand on its own as a degree whereas the BSBA is a variant of the BBA. Business administration subjects will likely remain similar between certain degree types. But, even with the business administration subjects, there is room for specialization, which is what the BS degrees are typically all about.
To avoid confusion, all an applicant will need to do is pay attention to each school’s description of their business program and look at the curriculum. BBA subjects encompass every business degree type because the BBA subjects are the broadest among the business degrees. That is to say, the BBA works as more of an overview of business administration rather than drilling down to a specific aspect of the field.
A BSBA degree will typically include more of the underlying subjects that move businesses, such as math and analytics. Any Bachelor of Science degree will have that kind of focus. By contrast, any Bachelor of Arts degree will have more of a liberal business focus. The BBA strides the middle ground as it attempts to give a well-rounded education on all the aspects of business. BBA subjects will play a major role in any other type of business degree program.
The BBA scope encompasses everything someone would need to work in the business field. Nevertheless, the BBA scope doesn’t always concern the best practices for a specific area of business management or business administration.
A bachelor’s in business management and a bachelor of science in business administration will have a lot of crossover as far as coursework goes. Business administration courses tend to follow similar paths, so applicants who think business administration courses will vary significantly between degree types need not worry.
A bachelor’s in business management will contain many of the same classes as a bachelor of science in business administration. The major difference is that a bachelor’s in business management will come with more of a focus on management and leadership whereas a bachelor of science in business administration will start to veer towards specialization and applying that broader business knowledge towards something specific.
To know just what an applicant is getting into, especially if they’re on the fence between BBA vs BSBA, BA vs BBA, or BA vs BS business degrees, all they would have to do is look at the subjects list. The business administration subjects list will contain the information necessary to ascertain which direction that business administration degree is going in.
Business administration degree requirements and business administration classes will have comparability to other types of business degrees as well. With all this said, an applicant’s best course of action when choosing the type of degree program they want is to decide on their goals, then look at the classes and subject lists to find the ones that will help them obtain those goals.
Types of Business Master’s Degrees
An MBA works a little differently from bachelor level and other undergraduate degree programs. There is a lot someone can do with a bachelor’s degree in business, which can make some wonder is an MBA worth it. Well, is an MBA worth it? The answer to that will, as usual, depending on the goal of the applicant. However, in most cases, an MBA is worth it.
What can I do with an MBA? An MBA allows for a deeper level of specialization. The degree can also open the way towards corporate titles and other career levels that aren’t easily attainable by someone with an undergraduate degree. If the question is what can I do with an MBA, then the answer is, what can an MBA do for you? Really, what can an MBA do for you includes virtually anything the applicant wants. However, obtaining the MBA is ideal for those who want to advance in the field or those who want to do more like entrepreneurs.
Before seeking out the top MBA programs in the world or the best universities for MBA degrees, applicants must recognize what pursuing a graduate degree might mean in their lives. For example, many people are already living their lives and supporting themselves before they start down the path of looking at the list of MBA programs to see what might work for them. Luckily, there are top part-time MBA programs and the best part-time MBA programs will allow applicants the flexibility to achieve their goals without sacrificing their livelihoods to do so.
When seeking the top MBA programs in the world, applicants must know what it is they’re looking at. Some of the best universities for MBA degrees will have a plethora of degree options. Look at any list of MBA programs and you might see numerous MBA accredited programs don’t all have the same type of goal or focus.
For example, for those looking for the best part-time MBA programs, there are PMBAs, which are part-time MBA programs specifically. On the other hand, someone may want to earn their degree quickly, instead of looking for the top part time MBA programs, they will want an MBA program comparison that lists faster degree programs. For example, that MBA comparison list may show accelerated MBA programs, 1-year full-time MBA programs, and other options that can allow someone to move quickly towards their degree.
The best MBA programs in the USA and the best affordable MBA programs in the world aren’t always the best ones for certain applicants. MBA accredited programs vary greatly around the country and the globe. Applicants should look for the best affordable MBA programs in the world, but they should do so with the understanding that affordability it relative to other cost factors when it comes to choosing an MBA program. MBA programs in the USA can exist at any type of school, college, or university. The best MBA programs in USA can also exist online. Applicants should choose their MBA program carefully based on their needs and goals.
What About Online Business Programs?
Because of their popularity, business degrees are commonly available through online programs at all levels, from AA to DBA. But whether an online degree is right for everyone is another question. An online program requires students to be self-motivated, confident, and comfortable with technology. In exchange, students get a degree by a means that is convenient and flexible, allowing working adults and part-time students to manage their education on their own schedules and at their own pace.
(check out: Are Online Degrees a Good Investment?)
There are still significant advantages to residential degrees in business, however; many successful business people will attest that life-long connections are made in school, and networking is one of the keys to business success. However, the best online business programs are working on innovative solutions to the problem of relationship building, including cohort programs (in which the same students take courses together through the entirety of their education), on-campus orientations, and other means of connecting students in meaningful ways even if they are not together on a traditional campus.
Both bachelor’s and MBA programs exist online. An online bachelor’s in business is directly comparable to any other type of business degree program. Some of the best online MBA programs are online.
Online MBA courses are no different than business courses found elsewhere. Applicants who want to choose a bachelor’s in business online or online MBA course can make sure they’re choosing a reputable program by making sure it offers an accredited online business management degree or any other type of business degree.
Just as with traditional schools, the accreditation of the program is what sets it apart. The best online MBA programs will have a good accredited status. Accredited online MBA programs are plentiful and for those who wonder if an online MBA worth it, all they need to do is make sure the accredited online MBA programs they choose to adhere to the standards set by one of the main business accreditation groups.
When is an online MBA worth it? Many people wait to pursue a graduate degree, so having an easily accessible online option can help make that pursuit worth it. This is all equally true for those who may want to pursue a business administration online degree or an accredited online business management degree.
Best Value Residential Programs
Best Value Online Programs
Most Affordable Programs
Paying for a college education can be complicated. Besides tuition, there are fees, textbooks, and living expenses. Most students today take student loans for granted, and they are still the main way that students pay for a higher education. Federal loans and private loans have their advantages and disadvantages, including varying interest rates, repayment plans, and the amount you can borrow.
But there are plenty of other ways to finance your education that don’t have to leave you in debt. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step, which will determine your level of financial need for federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid; neither does money earned through the Federal Work Study program, in which students work for the college or university in exchange for tuition money. And of course, scholarships do not have to be paid back either, whether need-based, merit-based, or some other form.
(check out: Top 25 Tuition Free Colleges)
What Are Some of the Possible Careers in Business?
Careers in business are plentiful. With a business degree, a tremendous amount of career options open. With an MBA, those career options only multiply.
Careers in Business with an Undergraduate Degree
Business administration degree jobs and bachelor’s in business jobs exist in all sectors. In addition, applicants need not search for business administration degree jobs or bachelor’s in business jobs specifically. The business degree itself lends itself well to a myriad of jobs, positions, and careers that aren’t necessarily in the field of business or are adjacent to the field.
If an applicant were to look at a business administration jobs list, they would likely find many employers who are happy to hire someone for positions in management, sales, administration, or anywhere else. This is because a business degree is robust enough to encompass practically any aspect of a business. bachelor’s in business administration jobs and the business administration job description that accompanies them will often present themselves, so applicants shouldn’t worry they cannot find work with their degrees.
A business administration jobs list may show BBA degree jobs as well as career opportunities in other sectors. For example, a business administration job description can include careers in:
- Human resources
- Statistics or logistics
Some positions listed may not seem like bachelor’s in business administration jobs, but they are. If a job requires management, then it’s a prime example of BBA degree job. Consider that every business needs management, so every business potentially represents bachelor’s in business jobs or bachelor of science in business jobs. When an applicant is looking for “business administration jobs near me,” they would do well to remember that their degree gives them access to far more than just business management degree entry-level jobs.
Careers in Business with a Master’s Degree
Jobs with an MBA degree include all the job and career paths offered at the bachelor’s degree level, with many more opportunities and career advancement potential on top. Many of the entry-level MBA jobs are mid and upper-level tier jobs for those with undergraduate degrees.
Careers for MBA graduates include higher leadership positions, titled corporate positions, and better entrepreneurship endeavors. For example, someone with a BA can become a manager or part of a management team. Careers for MBA graduates can include things like management consulting, management training, and management development. Even entry level MBA jobs often come with titles unobtainable by those with an undergraduate degree.
What are the job opportunities after MBA attainment? Many people wonder how to get a job after MBA attainment. This is especially true for those that went straight for their MBAs and are looking for the best jobs for MBA graduates with no experience. The good news is that entry-level jobs for MBA graduates are plentiful.
As previously stated, those looking for the best jobs for MBA graduates with no experience will have the education to choose from any of the undergraduate degree jobs just to get their feet off the ground. Applicants who wonder what are the job opportunities after MBA or where they can find jobs for recent MBA graduates, don’t need to look too far to find employment. Entry-level jobs for MBA graduates can include things like:
- Financial analysts
- Investment analysts
- Marketing and sales management
- Product managers
Applicants may note that a lot of the jobs for recent MBA graduates have specialties. As an MBA graduate, applicants likely chose a specialty and are so ready to enter the field with that concentration. However, entry level jobs for MBA graduates don’t have to be in their specific field of study.
Applicants who wonder what can I do with an MBA and no experience should know that practically any business-related position is open to them. Nevertheless, the highest paying jobs for MBA graduates will typically need graduates to go through some training, gain some additional experience, and work within a specific niche. The highest-paying jobs for MBA graduates will also depend on location, demand, and several other factors.
Got a knack for numbers-crunching? According to BLS, an Accountant can make over $63,000 annually. With only a four-year degree as the requirement, that’s a solid value choice for those looking for a high ROI major. A business degree can lead to many exciting choices, not just the typical corporate positions like financial analyst, human resource specialist, marketing, management. How about becoming an entrepreneur? Remember to rake up those contacts in college, become a networking king or queen and have the Linked-In account to prove it- then launch your amazing start-up concept!
What is the Salary Potential for Business Degree Graduates?
Business administration salary potential is good. This is also the case for entry-level MBA salary and beyond. As with all discussions of salary potential, applicants need to understand salary can vary widely based on numerous factors. Those factors can include location, demand for a skill, the market a business operates in, experience, and various other things. Still, there are a few averages and medians available to show what a business administration degree salary can look like.
For example, PayScale lists the average business administration salary across the country as $61,000. This number is only an average and stretches across several different types of business administration jobs and other positions available to those with a business degree. Because these are averages, there’s also the potential for business administration degree salary to rise to a number beyond the $100,000 mark.
In addition, a bachelor’s in business administration salary for someone working as an IT manager isn’t the same as a BA in business salary for someone managing operations at a local store chain. Companies matter as well. Larger corporations tend to pay more because they can afford to pay extra for talented business majors. Applicants must keep all these points in mind when seeking bachelors in business administration salary comparisons.
What is the business administration salary compared to the entry-level MBA salary? In most cases, the same rules apply when seeking MBA entry-level jobs salary that applies when seeking BA in business salary numbers. Nevertheless, a bachelor’s in business salary is almost always going to sit lower than even the entry-level MBA salary.
To put this in perspective, PayScale also lists the average MBA salary at $86,000. Of course, the highest paying MBA specialization will have a salary several times greater than entry-level MBA with no experience salary.