What You Need to Know Before Pursuing a Business Management Degree
Looking for an in-depth review of what you can expect from a business management degree program? Check out this helpful guide to get all the information you need.
Did you know that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, business degree programs are by far the most popular course of study among postsecondary students? That’s a fun fact worth sharing!
And among those, of course, is Business Management.
Obtaining a degree in business management is such an attractive venture – it provides you with the skills necessary to impact organizations at all levels and sizes.
From corporate giants like Amazon and Uber to small mom-and-pop shops around the corner, any business can benefit from skilled leaders adept at planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
Here’s everything you need to know about a business management degree before you invest your time (and money) into studying it as a major.
What is a Business Management Degree?
A business management degree is an academic program designed to help you develop the skills to manage organizations, including budgeting, strategy, marketing, financial analysis, project management, and organizational behavior.
In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, business management degrees have become a much sought-after qualification by those eager to excel.
These all-encompassing programs offer a comprehensive understanding of essential business principles, ranging from strategic planning to effective communication, thereby equipping you with a versatile skill set indispensable for thriving in diverse organizational roles.
So, as the world of commerce continually evolves, earning a degree in business management will fortify your career prospects and boost your ability to navigate the complexities of various industries.
What are the Business Management Degree levels?
Earning a business management degree is like building a house – it requires the right foundation and knowledge to get started, as well as dedication and hard work.
You can get four levels of business management degree – an associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate.
Each of these degrees offers different educational opportunities that can give you the edge to enter the job market or advance your current position.
To further explore each option, let’s take a closer look.
Associate degree in Business Management
An associate’s degree is like the footings and framework of a house – it provides you with the basics of business management. It has a typical completion time of just two years when attending full-time. Even better, this program is frequently utilized as an initial step toward achieving your Bachelor’s degree.
You’ll still have many entry job opportunities post-graduation, such as administrative assistant, customer service associate, or sales representative.
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Placement tests (such as SAT or ACT)
Bachelor's degree in Business Management
A bachelor’s degree is similar to completing the walls and roof of your home, granting you knowledge in both business fundamentals and advanced topics. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business management typically takes four to five years when studying full-time on campus, though some online programs may take less.
With this degree, you can get a job as a human resources specialist, marketing analyst, business analyst, or financial expert positions.
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Placement tests (such as SAT or ACT)
- Minimum GPA requirements
Master's degree in Business Management
Continuing with the analogy of a home, earning your master’s degree can be like adding the finishing touches to it. This way, you gain valuable experience and sharpen your skills in one business area.
Earning a master’s degree in management (MSM) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an excellent way to gain an edge over other job seekers and maximize your career potential.
With full-time study, it typically takes one year for MSM completion and two years for MBA graduates. As a result, the demand is high among various industries, including healthcare, technology, consulting services, and product development — especially for those with an MBA.
- A bachelor’s degree in business management or a related business field
Doctorate in Business Management
Earning a doctorate is the pinnacle of academic business success. Achieving this distinction will give you an extensive understanding of the field and the most authoritative expertise in the industry.
One of the most popular paths to achieving this level is a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). This route is well-suited for those with a master’s degree aiming for executive-level roles such as CEO.
If you’re more interested in research or teaching, then a Ph.D. in Business may be the better choice. The time to complete this degree depends on numerous factors but is approximately 3 to 6 years.
- Master’s degree in business management or a business-related field
- Minimum GPA requirements
- Professional work experience is preferred
On the other hand, if you don’t wish to pursue a complete degree program, a Certificate in Business Management is an ideal alternative.
This type of course usually takes up to six months and will equip you with fundamental business skills as well as an introductory understanding of topics such as finance, accounting, marketing, or human resources.
Disclaimer: The entry requirements for a degree in Business Management may vary depending on your university and state. However, here we have outlined the general qualifications that are frequently asked for.
What types of specialties and concentrations can you find in Business Management Degree programs?
You’ve already decided to pursue a business management degree, so now what? For many of you, gaining a concentration in your chosen field is one of the most important steps you can take to increase your chances of getting employed and furthering your career.
Think of it like investing in yourself; the more specialized knowledge you have, the greater your return on investment.
But before making any decisions, it’s essential to explore the various specialties and concentrations available in business management degree programs.
Here, we will review some of the most common concentrations in Business Management Degree Programs.
Specializing in marketing management equips you with the skills necessary to become a market research analyst or marketing manager. Not only do these classes sharpen your analytical thinking, investigation, and communication capabilities, but they also focus on managerial abilities such as team guidance and strategic planning.
You’ll explore ways of amplifying market share, spotting empty spaces in the marketplace, and forming policies based on current conditions – all while honing crucial leadership traits.
Business Intelligence specialization has been carefully crafted to help you study the nuances of data quality, platforms, and scripting. Additionally, you’ll learn how to plan an end-to-end business intelligence process as well as visualize quantitative and qualitative data tailored towards your client’s needs.
International finance will teach you the ins and outs of global markets, worldwide financial systems, and world trade. After learning the fundamentals of financial management and international business, this concentration prepares you for a financial analyst or manager role.
In this program, you’ll explore corporate financing with an expansive view, looking at currency markets across different countries, understanding regulations on overseas trading activities, and mastering strategies to reduce risk when dealing with finances abroad.
As an entrepreneur, you have the potential to introduce revolutionary and innovative products and services that will reshape markets. A concentration in entrepreneurship offers training on starting and securing capital for a business venture.
It also focuses on important characteristics such as leadership, strategic thinking, creativity, etc. With these valuable skill sets, you can either find new businesses or bring novel approaches to existing companies.
Courses & Curriculum in Business Management Degrees
Before delving into the various occupations associated with a business management degree, it is beneficial to understand what educational elements will give you an added advantage in these roles.
Take your time and explore the courses and curriculum within this program to be better informed of the knowledge and skills you’ll gain.
Doing so will help ensure the program is tailored to meet your needs and career goals.
Plus, it’s an opportunity for you to maximize your learning potential and make a more meaningful contribution to the workplace.
So, what kind of courses should you expect to see?
Principles of Management
This principles course delves into the fundamentals of management, such as organizational planning, goal setting, and team building. Additionally, you’ll hone in on essential leadership approaches to conflict resolution and human resources management.
You will also be able to refine your communication skills throughout this class, typically taken in the first or second year of study.
Business law is an essential aspect that governs and influences the daily activities of organizations. In business law classes, you will learn about the laws and regulations applicable to private and nonprofit businesses.
There’s a focus on understanding how U.S. legal systems apply in modern-day global economies through topics such as contracts, crimes, employment relations, and more.
In this course, you will become educated on the critical role of operations in organizations. You’ll gain an understanding of topics such as facility location, output planning, inventory control, scheduling, and quality control.
The objective is to emphasize high-quality management’s impact when providing a strategic advantage for service and manufacturing entities.
Management Policy and Strategy
In this course, you will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to create an effective strategic business plan that can be communicated, implemented, and monitored. You’ll also learn how to modify your plan as needed to remain competitive.
By the end of this course, you’ll have a firm grasp on crafting plans that provide successful outcomes for your organization!
On-campus vs. Hybrid vs. Online Business Management Degrees
Now, suppose you are serious about getting into a business management degree program. In that case, there’s another important decision you’ll need to make: should you attend classes on campus, take them partially online, or go the fully online route?
Each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Ultimately, it will come down to your individual goals, budget restraints, lifestyle preferences, availability of courses near your area, how much time you plan on dedicating to your studies, etc.
Let’s break down each option.
On-campus programs offer the opportunity to interact with your professors and peers in person, as well as take advantage of campus resources such as study centers and libraries.
These programs also give you a more traditional college experience that can benefit you if you thrive in an academic setting.
However, these programs can be time-consuming and expensive due to commuting costs and other expenses associated with attending school on campus.
Pros: More personalized guidance from educators; accessing physical library materials; networking with peers and other students in a familiar environment.
Cons: Limited course options and availability; need for regular commuting or relocation to a physical campus; costly tuition fees.
Hybrid programs blend online instruction with in-person university or college campus classes. They offer more flexibility than traditional on-campus programs while giving you access to resources like libraries and study centers.
However, hybrid programs may require more organizational skills since they involve balancing both online learning and in-person classes at various times throughout the academic year.
Additionally, hybrid programs are often more expensive than online options due to transportation costs associated with commuting between home and school for in-person classes.
Pros: Offers flexibility; more opportunities for those living in rural areas.
Cons: More expensive than an online program; may require additional technology investments; less support available than a traditional program; can be difficult for some to stay motivated.
Online business management degree programs have many advantages over traditional on-campus or hybrid options. With online courses, you gain the benefit of maximum flexibility. You can study from anywhere with a reliable internet connection–at whatever time works for your schedule, without juggling class dates or commuting to classes.
Additionally, online degree programs tend to be less expensive than on-campus or hybrid options due to lower tuition rates and fewer associated fees.
The downside is that you’ll miss out on some of the social aspects of a traditional college experience since you don’t interact face-to-face with professors or peers.
Pros: Flexibility in scheduling; cost savings on commuting; ability to participate in online courses from anywhere in the world; access to a wide range of courses and topics not typically offered at on-campus programs.
Cons: Lack of face-to-face interaction with professors, fellow students, and mentors; less hands-on learning experiences; lower acceptance rates for some online business management degree programs due to their relatively new nature compared to traditional options.
What to consider when choosing a Business Management Degree?
Embarking on pursuing a business management degree can be an exciting and daunting choice for aspiring professionals. The plethora of options, ranging from schools and program specializations to course delivery and duration, can be labyrinthine for even the most focused student.
However, to help you navigate this critical juncture in your academic pursuits, here are some important aspects to consider.
1. Accreditation and How to Verify It
Accreditation is an essential factor when selecting any degree program. Universities or colleges accredited by a recognized accrediting body have met certain standards of excellence in their educational offerings.
Accreditation ensures that employers and other academic institutions will respect your education if you decide to pursue further studies down the line.
When searching for a business school and degree program, confirm that your program is accredited by one of the most esteemed organizations, such as AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs), AMBA, or EQUIS.
AACSB stands out as the premier level in business education, with its recognition being granted only to those institutions of the highest caliber.
ACBSP is another accrediting body you should keep in mind. It rates business programs based on their teaching quality, academic rigor, and student performance.
2. Coursework Options
When selecting a program, it’s also important to consider the available coursework options and how they align with your career goals.
Different universities may offer courses focused on accounting principles, economics, finance principles, marketing strategies, managerial theories and practices, human resources management theory and practice, etc.
Be sure to research course descriptions thoroughly before committing to any particular program.
The faculty teaching your courses will be critical to your education and future success. Check out the faculty biographies on your school’s website and look at their credentials and experience.
Have they published scholars? Have they worked in the industry? Do they possess any certifications? These are all questions worth asking before making your decision.
Additionally, find out what kind of student support services will be available; some schools offer extensive career counseling services to help you transition into your future career path after graduation.
4. Program Flexibility
In addition to looking into the specifics of a particular program, you should also consider its flexibility—specifically whether it offers online courses or even degree completion programs for those who may already have some college credits.
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and flexibility, so compare different programs’ offerings if this matters to you.
5. Cost of Tuition
The cost of tuition is another factor to consider when selecting a business management degree program. Many universities offer discounts or scholarships for students who demonstrate financial need or academic excellence.
Research all available options before deciding which university or college you will attend for your degree program.
Also, ensure you understand all fees associated with your chosen university before signing up for classes.
What can you do with a Business Management Degree?
No matter what you google, read, or hear, it looks like an individual with a business management degree is setting themselves up for success and career advancement.
But what does the data really say?
The appeal of a business management degree stems from its forward-looking outlook, with positive job projections reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
According to them, demand for management professionals is expected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than other occupations, assuring ample job opportunities and long-term stability.
Furthermore, as the global economy becomes increasingly interconnected, individuals possessing a comprehensive understanding of business practices and strategic planning will find themselves well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the corporate world.
Business Management Degree Salary
Regarding salary potential with a business management degree, the sky’s the limit! The median annual wage for those with management occupations was $102,450 in May 2021, according to the BLS.
This salary potential holds across different job titles, depending on your experience level and geographic location (some cities offer higher salaries than others).
Plus, many employers offer additional benefits like flexible work hours or telecommuting options, making this job even more attractive.
Top Business Management Degree Jobs:
Administrative assistants guarantee the efficient operation of an organization by performing essential duties such as organizing files, preparing documents, managing calendars, and providing support for the staff.
$39,680 per year
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks accurately create financial records to maintain the fiscal integrity of organizations. From tracking transactions and updating statements to ensuring accuracy in all reports, these experts work diligently to ensure that finances remain sound.
$77,250 per year
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants evaluate financial records, identify potential risks and opportunities, create solutions, and guarantee accuracy in data entries while also helping pay taxes properly.
$78,790 per year
Management analysts, commonly referred to as management consultants, suggest tactics for improving an organization’s effectiveness. They aid executives in understanding how to make their businesses more successful by reducing costs and increasing incomes.
$79,890 per year
No matter how large the organization, sales managers are responsible for ensuring that goods and services reach their target audiences. This could involve allocating territories to individual reps, setting objectives, or developing training plans. By doing so, they ensure that organizations continue running smoothly and efficiently while achieving maximum profitability.
$127,490 per year
Financial managers are crucial for the success of an organization, as they take charge of ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. They create financial reports to track profits and losses accurately, direct investment activities to maximize return on capital investments, and develop long-term strategies to propel their business forward.
$131,710 per year
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Develop and execute plans for businesses or organizations within the framework of rules set by a governing board. Lead operational activities in a top-level management role with assistance from other executive team members and staff managers.
$213,020 per year
*Please be advised that the average salary provided by the BLS may deviate significantly from state to state and occupation to occupation, depending on various factors.
Popular colleges with Business Management Degree Programs
Across the United States, there are numerous renowned institutions of higher education that have a legacy of excellence. These institutions allow you to develop academically, professionally, personally, and socially.
Like a lighthouse guiding sailors to shore, the most popular colleges and universities in the U.S. can be relied upon for providing educational excellence unrivaled by any other higher education system.
These are some of the top colleges in the U.S. with a Business Management Degree Program:
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
First up, we have the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Found in the beautiful city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor stands as a renowned public university with its bustling home at the center of downtown.
With its world-famous Ross School of Business, it’s no surprise that students flock to the university for unparalleled business education. Here, you can choose from various undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
Next, we have Stanford University. Located right in the heart of Silicon Valley, this prestigious university provides an array of business-related courses from undergraduate to graduate and doctoral levels.
From a Bachelor’s program in finance to its renowned MBA program, Stanford offers excellent opportunities for those interested in business management.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is another top-rated business school that should be on your radar. It is renowned for harboring one of America’s most prestigious business schools.
The Wharton School offers a range of undergraduate to graduate and doctoral programs, allowing you to gain an unparalleled education in business management.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
This is the school for you if you want a university that focuses on the intersection of business and technology. The Sloan School of Management allows for various degree options from Bachelor’s to Master’s and Ph.D. levels, including specialized degrees in finance, accounting, and business analytics.
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Last but not least, we have the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). It is well-known for housing the highly esteemed Haas School of Business.
Not only will you gain an elite education from our wide assortment of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in finance and entrepreneurship, but you’ll also be joining a lucrative business community within the Bay Area.
FAQ about Business Management Degree Programs
Absolutely! A business management degree can help you develop the skill set necessary to take on leadership roles in various fields and industries. You’ll gain valuable knowledge of accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, etc.
This degree can open doors to new career opportunities and make you a highly sought-after asset in the workplace.
A business management degree teaches how to analyze data sets, create effective strategies for running an organization or business, manage teams effectively, and make sound decisions based on available information. Additionally, you’ll also learn communication skills that are vital for success in any industry – both written and oral.
- Business Strategy and Planning
- Project Management
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
- Decision Making, Problem Solving & Analytics
- Data Analysis and Reporting Methods
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Marketing and Sales Strategies
Completing your Bachelor’s degree in business management usually takes four years of full-time study at an accredited college or university. However, some schools offer accelerated programs, which could reduce this time frame if needed.
The price tags associated with business degrees vary greatly depending on where you go for your education; private schools tend to be more expensive than public universities due to the higher quality of education.
The cost of a business management bachelor’s degree is generally between $10,000 and $35,000.
There are plenty of opportunities for continuing education after earning your degree in business management. Many business schools offer post-graduate studies and certificate programs, which can further enhance your skill set.
Additionally, professional development seminars, workshops, internships, and other experiences can help you stay up to date on the latest trends in business management.
Business Administration degrees usually focus on the operational and administrative aspects of business, such as accounting, finance, and operations management.
Business Management degrees are typically broader in scope and cover a more comprehensive range of topics across business disciplines.
The skills acquired through a business management degree can be applied to various fields and industries. Possible career paths include business analyst, operations manager, project manager, marketing director, human resources specialist, financial advisor, and more.
A business management degree also offers the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurial ventures or start your venture.
To conclude, if you are thinking of getting a degree in business management, you should reflect on all components before settling upon a decision:
- Business Management Degree programs are one of the most popular courses of study among postsecondary students.
- Earning a degree in business management gives you the tools to impact organizations of all kinds and sizes.
- Specializing in a business management field helps increase your chances of getting employed and furthering your career.
- When selecting a business management degree program, consider accreditation, available coursework options, faculty qualifications, program flexibility, cost of tuition, and potential career outcomes.
- A Business Management Degree gives you good job prospects and long-term career stability, as demand for management professionals is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031.
After reading the above, it’s clear why pursuing a business management degree is an excellent choice.
Now is the time to enroll- join this dynamic business world and start an enriching journey!
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