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Business administration career options


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Portrait of Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MIP

This article has been reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MIP, dean of the College of Business and IT.

At a glance

This article was updated on January 29, 2024.

Getting a business degree with a concentration in business administration is designed to cover the foundations of several aspects of business. So, what can you do with a business administration degree?

Unlike a business management degree, which focuses more on the management of employees, projects, operations and processes, a business administration degree focuses on the administrative and leadership skills necessary to develop and oversee an entire business, as opposed to managing a particular area of business. You can use this degree as a building block for a career in several industries.

If you’re interested in different aspects of business, are highly organized and recognize the value of a well-rounded knowledge base rather than a single specialty, then a degree in business administration may be right for you.  

Start your business career on the right foot.

Explore business degrees at University of Phoenix! 

What is a business administration degree?

A business administration degree prepares aspiring business professionals for the everyday administrative needs of a business. This includes:

  • Finances and accounting
  • Project management
  • Human resources and personnel management
  • General administration
  • Marketing and market research
  • Business information and technology

Soft skills you might learn with a business administration degree include cross-department communication, problem-solving and critical thinking. Business administration degrees are one of the more technical business majors available and are suited for those who value hands-on knowledge.   

How to get a business administration degree

Several accredited universities offer business administration degrees. You can pursue this degree at a traditional university, or you can pursue your degree online. Both have pros and cons. At a traditional university, you’ll enjoy social opportunities such as in-person instruction and networking. At an online school, you can benefit from a flexible schedule to help better manage school with work and life responsibilities.

Once you’ve decided on how you’d like to pursue your degree in business administration, you can start researching schools that offer the program you seek. Review the entry requirements carefully, especially if pursuing an advanced degree like an MBA or DBA.

Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) 

The foundation for most business professionals, the Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) program is offered at University of Phoenix and can prepare students for leadership roles in several industries. This degree program offers a robust and challenging 120-credit curriculum that touches on many aspects of successfully leading people and processes.

The BSB program requires study in a core sequence of business courses that include accounting, economics and management. It also comprises several critical general education courses that include health and wellness, English composition and environmental science.

Eligible transfer credits can help shorten the time it takes to obtain your degree as well as the courses you must take while completing your studies. You may also pursue certificates that align with employer-desired skills, such as analytics, project management and human resources.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

University of Phoenix’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offers practical value to busy professionals. Because the MBA program involves taking one course at a time, this online degree program is conveniently structured for individuals already balancing work and family life. Earn your MBA in as little as 16 months and prepare for opportunities in a business career.

Integral courses for MBA students include:

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program focuses on helping candidates develop leadership theory and transform their businesses. Earning a DBA requires 54 credits and the completion of a dissertation, which begins in the third course.

Core courses for the DBA program include:

  • LDR/711: Leadership Theory and Practice
  • RES/709: Research Conceptualization and Design
  • DOC/714S: Creative and Critical Thinking
  • BUS/733: Transforming the Business
  • MKT/711: Marketing and Managing the Customer Relationship

When you earn an online DBA from University of Phoenix, you’ll possess skills to apply to your job that include strategic management, leadership, innovation and complex management principles.

How long does it take to get a business administration degree?

Program length for a business administration degree can vary. Bachelor’s degrees in business administration typically take four years or 120 credits. (At University of Phoenix, students can customize their business degree with a certificate in a specialization like marketing or finance without adding additional time or expense to the process.) An MBA typically requires an additional 33 credits, depending on the requirements.

A business administration degree can give you the hands-on knowledge you need to help an office run smoothly. With this degree, you can pursue special interests, such as research and analysis, or cultivate a well-rounded approach to business administration. Advanced opportunities help prepare you to explore new ways to be challenged in this field. 

Business administration career paths

The versatile nature of a business administration degree means graduates can consider several management career paths across various industries. If you’re unsure which industry or facet of business to go into, you might consider pursuing certificates or internships that align with your interests. These can act as an introduction to different business administration careers.

Below are a few examples of what you can do with a business administration degree. Remember: Some business roles require a BSB while others are only accessible to those with an MBA or a DBA. 

Business manager

Overview: Business managers are typically responsible for overseeing a specific department or division within a company. They are often involved in strategic planning and goal-setting for their area of responsibility, and they work closely with employees to ensure goals are met. Duties may include managing budgets, implementing policies, coordinating operations and evaluating performance.

National salary range: Business managers have a similar salary range to general managers. According to BLS, the estimated annual salary range for this position in May 2022 was $43,470 to $221,270. It largely depends on the type of company and the responsibilities a manager holds.

Education requirements: Many general managers have a combination of experience and education, especially when promoted from within. Most companies request that the manager have a bachelor’s degree that relates to their field.

Job outlook: BLS reports that the overall job outlook for management occupations is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2023. 

Store manager

Overview: As a subset of sales managers, store managers typically oversee the operations of a retail store. Store managers recruit staff, manage payroll, train sales team members and dictate the visual appearance of merchandise in the store.

National salary range: The salary range for sales managers can vary significantly based on the store’s location and size and the responsibilities of the manager. BLS reports that most sales managers earned an estimated annual salary range between $61,040 and $239,200 in May 2022.

Education requirements: Most companies do not require their store managers to have a bachelor’s degree, although it can help. Business degrees — including the BSB — are a common option, although some companies are open to candidates having any bachelor’s degree.

Job outlook: Sales management roles — including store managers — are projected to increase by 4% between 2022 to 2032, about as fast as all other occupations. That equates to roughly 43,200 openings each year over the next decade, according to BLS.

General manager (GM) and operational manager

Overview: General and operational managers often have a diverse set of duties that may be difficult to classify. Their responsibilities can include creating policy, directing operations or planning for human resources or materials. General managers can work in different sectors, from offices and corporate settings to retail.

National salary range: According to BLS, the annual salary range for general managers and operations managers was $43,470 to $221,270 in May 2022. This wide range occurs because of the vast differences in companies that hire them. An organization’s size and location can determine what GMs and operational managers earn, as does their experience and education level.

Education requirements: Much like salaries, education requirements for GM roles vary. Some companies require their managers to have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in areas related to their field.

Like general managers, operational managers’ education levels can vary based on the organization they work for. Many organizations require top executives — including operational managers — to have MBAs.

Job outlook: BLS estimates a 4% increase in the number of general manager and operational manager jobs available from 2022 to 2032, or 147,300 positions.

Executive director and operations director

Overview: Executive directors are among the highest-paid individuals at a company, and for good reason. Executive directors manage operations at the highest level, ensuring the organization meets its shareholder and business responsibilities.

Operations directors sometimes fulfill many of the same obligations as executive directors. Their primary goal is to develop, improve and implement plans to meet their organizational goals. In some companies, this job might have the title of chief operations officer (COO).

National salary range: Chief executives and operations directors also have a wide salary range, owing to the differences between organizations. According to BLS, executive directors earned an annual salary in May 2022 in the range of $74,920 to $239,200. Executives at many large companies have earnings in excess of millions of dollars.

Education requirements: Public sector executives may have bachelor’s degrees in areas like business administration, public administration, liberal arts or law. Top executives at large corporations typically have an MBA. Some high-performing executive directors and college presidents go the extra mile and earn a DBA.

Job outlook: BLS reports that the overall employment for top executives is projected to grow by 3% between 2022 and 2023. However, executive employment varies by occupation, and chief executives, like CEOs and COOs, are estimated to see an 8% decline in available jobs between 2022 and 2032, which is roughly 23,000 jobs. This is due, in part, to technological improvements. 

Salary ranges for these occupations are national averages and are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. In addition to your education, and personal work experience may be a factor in your salary and job responsibilities. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

How to find a job in business administration

When looking for jobs that will suit your business administration degree, you may want to search for the specific tasks you want to do instead of “business administration jobs.” Because “business administration” is such a broad term that covers a lot of possible careers, searching instead for the experience or role you’d like to have — such as “executive assistant” or “resource manager” — will likely result in the postings you are interested in.

Many schools also offer career services to their students at no extra charge. Such services can be a resource for learning how to write a resumé, gleaning interview tips and understanding how to apply for jobs. 

Business degrees at University of Phoenix

Business administration degrees can help prepare for career opportunities across organizations and fields, but they’re not the only type of business program to study at UOPX. Further your business education through the following online programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a Marketing Certificate — Learn how to influence consumers and differentiate products. Electives include marketing analytics and understanding consumer behavior.
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication — Learn the useful writing and speech skills to help you communicate with fellow business leaders and organizations.
  • Master of Management — Develop your management competencies and acquire tools to help you better lead your team or company. The Master of Management track offers tools and techniques to become a more competitive entrepreneur and leader.

In addition to bachelor’s and master’s programs, UOPX offers several other types of business degrees and certificates. Visit the University of Phoenix Business Degree information page to explore all available programs.

Headshot of Michael Feder


Michael Feder is a content marketing specialist at University of Phoenix, where he researches and writes on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare to IT. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program and a New Jersey native!

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