CAREERS IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Business administration is one of the broadest, most popular fields in business but it is also one of the most difficult to define. Concerned with the management and operations of business, business administration practices apply to almost every organization – from major corporations to small businesses, from environmental nonprofits to property development companies. The field's focus on management, however, extends beyond managing people and their work: careers in business administration deal with both the day-to-day operation of an organization as well as with industry-changing economic trends, business technologies, ethical leadership and effective management. Put simply, business administration is a complex approach to creating a successful, efficient and well-run company.
Business administration schools and those choosing a career in business administration now deftly handle topics like international business, information technology, leadership dynamics, supply chain management and operations management. As business administration theories become more refined and as technology and globalization have caused the business world to shrink with increasing rapidity, more and more emphasis has been put on keeping pace with the constant innovations and expansion. Unlike many business fields that channel directly into a predetermined set of careers – accounting, for example – business administration provides the general skills that can transfer into a wide array of careers in business choices.
Focused on the management and operational skills that are crucial to running a business, a business administration background can apply to almost any industry within the business world. Business administration graduates go on to manage stores, offices and warehouses; to become CEOs of major corporations; to create advertising campaigns; to develop new products, and to start whole new businesses of their own.
Most business administration degree programs offer the opportunity to specialize in a business field that falls under the large-scale umbrella of business administration. This provides students with both broad business administration skills as well as the specific knowledge that will guide them as they make career choices. Common business administration career specialties include accounting, finance, sales, marketing and information technology.
Many people with business administration backgrounds, therefore, are able to bring to the workplace a unique mixture of industry-specific abilities and the management, leadership and overall business knowledge that will allow them to grow above and beyond entry-level, field-specific positions. It is this combination of skills that has created the high correlation between those with a business administration background and high-status, high-earning positions such as CEO, CFO or Senior Manager in essentially every business field.
Assuming the field of business administration will continue to adapt to new business trends as it has done so well in recent years, it is essentially guaranteed that business administration careers will continue to be relevant; as long as businesses continue to operate, people with business administration backgrounds will be needed to run those businesses.
Success in a career in business administration depends mostly on one's ability to balance effective management skills with a focus on the bottom line. This translates to somewhat of a dual skill set. The first of the two skill types can be summarized as effective leadership tactics: good communication, ethical business practices, people and group management skills, ability to motivate a team, time management, problem solving, etc. The second aspect is often slightly more industry-specific (if you use your business administration degree to go into finance, for example, it is crucial that you understand financial technology), but broadly includes analytical and critical thinking, ability to process data, basic understanding of economics and sense of industry trends.