Business Administration Vs. Business Management Degree: Which One Should You Get?

When looking for business careers, you may come across job titles and descriptions that are similar to your own. It is frequently necessary to understand the differences between business administration and business management in order to determine which one best suits your skills and abilities.

Important characteristics that can lead to a variety of different career paths can be found in both business administration and management.

This article will assist you in understanding what business administration and management are, as well as which career is best suited for you.

What Is Business Administration?

Business administration focuses on the specific titles and job responsibilities that exist within a business department, as opposed to general administration.

As a result, people working in business administration will tend to concentrate on roles that are related to the business field. There are many departments within the business field that people who pursue business administration are interested in learning about such as finance, accounting, marketing, and economics are examples of such fields.

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What Is Business Management?

Business management is concerned with the overall management of a company’s business division. People who work in business management are frequently in leadership positions, overseeing the day-to-day responsibilities of team members within the business department, which can be challenging.

Many times, they will gain knowledge about how businesses are run and how they operate, as well as how to develop growth strategies and market a business.

One of the primary objectives of business management employees is to gain an understanding of the responsibilities of each of their employees, as well as how to lead and supervise them effectively.

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Is Administration and Management the Same?

In everyday usage, the terms “administration” and “management” are remarkably similar; however, in specific contexts, such as academic programs and disciplines, the terms “administration” and “management” have taken on distinct connotations.

Because there is a great deal of overlap in the meanings of these two words, there is also some overlap between business administration and business management programs as well.

However, there are differences in the usage of these terms that correspond to differences in their scope that can be observed. As a general rule, the term management refers to a much narrower scope of responsibility than the term administration.

The term administration refers to a broader and more high-level concept that refers to the strategic direction of entire organizations, as well as their principal divisions or large groups.

Organizational leadership is a more general term that refers to the direction of larger groups within an organization.

Management, on the other hand, is a more specific and lower-level term that refers to the direction of smaller groups within an organization or to the people within those groups.

This disparity in scope can be observed to be analogous in a variety of other contexts, as well. Two relevant settings involving the term “management” demonstrate this distinction: the term is used as an academic degree identifier, and the term is used to identify a core business function, both of which are examples of management.

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What Is The Difference Between Business Administration And Business Management College Degrees?

When studying business administration, students learn about the various aspects of the business world. Following a thorough understanding of the various business roles, they will choose one area of study.

When students study business administration, they frequently hope to gain a better understanding of the business world as a whole, in order to better determine which specific business role they would like to pursue.

Business management students study subjects that assist them in developing their leadership abilities besides studying specialties within the business field.

Human resource management, communication studies, ethics, and management are some of the topics covered. Students studying business management will frequently take part in activities that will help them develop their management and leadership abilities.

What Will I Learn in Business Administration?

Students in a business administration program learn about elementary business topics including:

  • Accounting
  • Human resource management
  • Business law
  • Ethics

Most business administration students also study how to use computer programs such as Microsoft Office. From there, students also study more specialized topics. These specialized topics include:

  • Marketing
  • Financial management
  • Sales strategies
  • Customer service
  • Payroll management

Business administration programs lead to a Certificate of Completion or A.S. Degree, depending on your completed credentials. This program can be completed more quickly than business management programs, meaning students can graduate and start working in their chosen careers sooner.

What Will I Learn In Business Management?

Business management students also learn basic business topics but then focus on management and operational processes as they progress in their program. They will study additional topics such as business and employment law, information systems, international business, leadership principles, and more.

Graduates of business management programs often work as:

  • General and operations managers
  • First-line supervisors of office and administrative support

Business management programs often lead to a bachelor’s degree or higher, depending on the student’s completed credential level. Business management programs usually take longer to complete than business administration programs, but there are some exceptions.

Distinction Between Business Administration and Business Management In The Workplace

Business management employees are frequently promoted from within the ranks of entry-level management positions. In this course, they will learn and develop the abilities necessary for managing people and leading a department.

Several business professionals will anticipate that business managers will be responsible for both leadership and day-to-day business tasks and responsibilities.

Once an employee has been promoted to a higher-level business management position, they will have the authority to supervise other employees and make decisions for the department. Many should be familiar with the fundamentals of teamwork and may collaborate with executive-level employees to make important decisions for the organization.

Business administration employees are frequently assigned to a specific department within the business field when they first begin working there. They frequently concentrate their efforts on a single department within a business field rather than managing and overseeing a number of teams within a single business field. Because of their hands-on experience in their desired department, employees in the field of business administration have the opportunity to work in leadership roles for specific departments.

Careers Opportunities In Business Management

Following graduation from a business management program, you can pursue a variety of different jobs.

1. Operations manager

Primary responsibilities: An operations manager is responsible for overseeing various departments within a company. To ensure that tasks are completed and goals are met in a timely manner, many will collaborate with the HR team, sales team, and marketing team. They will assist in encouraging company participation and will develop a variety of budget and financial plans.

Operations managers make certain that their employees have the tools and resources they need to be successful. They frequently have strong team-building abilities, as well as strong leadership abilities and the ability to solve problems effectively.

Salary – $62,321 per year on average in the United States

2. Sales Manager

Sales managers motivate and inspire their teams to improve overall performance in their respective departments.

In order to meet quotas, they will train, challenge, and motivate employees to engage with potential customers, as well as assist with any sales challenges that may arise. They will frequently devise strategies to improve the efficiency of the sales team and will serve as team mentors to the group. This position is frequently filled by people who are strong leaders, who are focused on strategy, and who have excellent communication skills.

The national average salary for a sales manager is $74,914 per year.

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3. Management analyst

A management analyst collaborates with company leadership to determine the most effective ways for them to carry out their daily responsibilities. They create manuals to assist in outlining and documenting the overall procedures that must be followed in order to be a successful manager. They can accomplish this by conducting studies and evaluating the overall performance analytics of the organization’s management. This position may necessitate previous leadership experience, as well as analytical and critical thinking abilities.

The national average salary for this position is $77,523 per year.

4. Financial Analyst

The primary responsibilities of a financial reporting manager include close collaboration with the legal and financial teams. They will devise strategies for dealing with the various financial costs that may arise within the organization. Financial reporting managers scrutinize financial documents and determine whether or not a particular expense is beneficial to the company. Their objective is to collaborate with leadership in order to determine what their budget is and what it should be used for. Financial reporting managers are often data-driven, critical thinkers, and well-organized individuals who excel in their roles.

The average salary of financial analysts in the United States is $103,315 per year.

Career Opportunities In Business Administration

Business administration is a field that offers a variety of opportunities. Individuals with a business administration degree may be employed in the following positions.

1. Marketing specialist

Marketing specialists collaborate with the marketing and product teams to develop campaigns centered on various product lines. They conduct research on various target audiences and devise strategies for selling to them. They are frequently assigned to a variety of roles within the marketing department, including content management, market analysis, and product marketing, among others. Their primary goal is to determine what factors are most effective in selling a product and how their company can best market that product. Typically, marketing specialists are well-organized, strong leaders, and willing to face and overcome any challenges that come their way.

They earn $48,541 per year on average in the United States.

2. Human Resource professional

Human resources specialists are primarily responsible for the recruitment and retention of current and prospective employees. They recruit employees who they believe will be the best fit for the company, and they may conduct phone screenings or interviews as part of their process. Many will also work with current employees to help them become more engaged in the company’s culture. They are also in charge of an employee’s tax forms, payroll documents, and personal information, among other responsibilities. Employees with strong communication abilities, self-motivation, and time management skills are frequently found in this position.

The average salary in the United States is $52,867 per year.

3. Accountant

Accountants prepare financial reports for various departments in order to ensure that the company’s finances remain responsible and stable. They will also keep track of and analyze data pertaining to financial decisions that will be made in the future or in the past. Accountants are frequently called upon to strategize and recommend changes to management that will benefit the company while also assisting them in maintaining proper spending habits. Several accountants are analytical, data-driven, and possess excellent organizational abilities.

The national average salary for an accountant is $54,558 per year.

4. Business analyst

Business analysts will prepare reports and conduct analyses to determine what areas of a company need to improve. They are more focused on the development side of the business and use software to develop strategies to expand a company’s operations. They take on the role of project manager and work on individual tasks that will improve the quality of the projects and benefit the company. It is essential for business analysts to be knowledgeable about various software packages and to possess leadership and problem-solving abilities.

The national average salary for this position is $75,165 per year.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities for those with a bachelor’s degree in business administration as opposed to a bachelor’s degree in business management are diverse and include a variety of positions. Sales management, finance management, healthcare administration, and marketing management are just a few of the positions that BSBA graduates pursue after graduation.

In addition to similar positions, graduates of the BSBM program may find employment in areas such as financial analysis, management analysis, real estate sales, supply chain management, public relations, and other fields.

Between 2018 and 2028, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 7 percent increase in job growth for all business and financial occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also publishes 2019 median salaries for a variety of business administration and management careers, including:

  • Accountants received a salary of $71,550.
  • Budget analysts received a salary of $76,540.
  • Logisticians earned an average of $74,750 per year.
  • Financial examiners earned an average of $81,090 per year.
  • Financial analysts, a popular career choice for BSBM graduates, earned an average salary of $81,590.
  • Public relations specialists earned a median salary of $61,150.

Despite the fact that many of these positions, according to the BLS, typically require only a bachelor’s degree at the entry-level, top earnings for these positions can easily reach well into the six figures.

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Which Business Program Is The Best For You?

If you’re looking for a more specialized entry-level business position, a bachelor’s degree in business administration may be the right choice for you. You’ll be able to learn about general business concepts and then narrow down your choices to the areas of business that best suit your abilities and personality.

If you want to manage the operations or the employees of a company, business management is the course for you. This program may be a good fit for you if you envision yourself in a management position overseeing employees or running a business.

Business management programs, particularly if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, may take longer to complete. Your career may begin with you in a lower-level business management position, and as your experience and education grow, you will be able to advance further up the corporate ladder. Some companies may require employees who want to advance to management positions to earn a master’s degree.


The decision to choose between business administration and business management is entirely up to the students themselves. While both programs introduce students to business fundamentals, their emphasis areas differ. If you want to start an entry-level business career, business administration is a better fit. If you fancy management or operations, or if you’re already fairly well-established, you might be better suited for business management.


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