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What Is a Business Administration Degree and What Can You Do with It?

Posted: May 28, 2021


Are you a recently displaced worker? Looking to get back into the workforce after a break? Or are you simply ready for a career change? In all these cases, a business administration degree may help you reach your goals. This is a versatile degree in an industry that’s always growing, so diverse career options are available to you once you graduate.

Career Quest offers a business administration degree that’s designed to be completed in just 15 months. Students in our Administrative Assistant certificate program can complete their certificate in just eight months. That means that, with assistance from our Career Services Department, you can start your new career in less than two years, and maybe even less than one year, depending on your program.

Contact us today to find out more about what a business administration degree is and what you can do with it!

What Is a Business Administration Degree?

A business administration degree is designed to prepare students for employment in a modern office or home-based administration setting. Our 15-month program at Career Quest teaches skills that’ll prepare you for a new career in entry-level through advanced-level roles.

Business Administration Degree Skills

As a student in our fully online business administration program, you’ll learn the basic skills of operating a personal computer. That includes word processing, spreadsheet applications, database management, and more. These are the core skills that you’ll need in the modern business world.

However, many of our students benefit most from practicing the softer skills that you can’t learn from textbooks, including:

  • Decision making skills
  • Office etiquette
  • Effective communication skills
  • How to deal with conflict
  • How to deliver quality customer service
  • Effective time management and organizational skills
  • Effective leadership skills

You’ll also learn how to successfully search for and apply to employment listings, how to network, create a resumé, and interview for a role in an office setting.

Classes You’ll Take as a Business Administration Student

As a student in a business administration degree program, you’ll take classes that help you build the foundational skills you’ll need to excel in a career in a modern office or home-based administration setting. Classes include:

  • QuickBooks (accounting software)
  • Business Office Skills
  • Project Management
  • Intro to Computers
  • Business Communication
  • Accounting Essentials
  • Principles of Marketing

You’ll also take classes on customer service and human resource management, as well as managerial strategies to hone your leadership skills. At Career Quest, we take scheduling off your hands to ensure you take the classes you need when you need to take them. All you have to do is show up to class and complete your coursework by your daily and weekly deadlines.

Administrative Assistant Certificate Program

If you want to accelerate your career even more quickly, you can fast-track your education with our 8-month administrative assistant program. This program prepares you for an entry-level role in an office. Some of the classes you’ll complete as a part of this program include:

  • Intro to Computers
  • Business Fundamentals
  • Business Office Skills
  • Desktop Presentations
  • Project Management

Students in our Administrative Assistant certificate program cap off their education with an externship. Our employment partnerships give you the opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world experience in an office or home-based setting before beginning your new career in business administration.

Business Administration Certifications

Obtaining applicable certifications is one of the surest ways to show your future employer that you’re willing to grow and excel within your role. At Career Quest’s online career college, all our programs are designed to prepare you to sit for applicable certifications. That includes our business administration (AAS) degree, as well as our administrative assistant program.

Our business administration students can obtain certifications in applications like:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook

Students may even be eligible to take their certification exam at no additional charge if they meet certain eligibility criteria, like GPA and financial standing requirements. Note that available certifications may change, so check with the Admissions team to find out what’s currently offered and what certifications you qualify to take based on your program.

Who Is a Business Administration Degree Right for?

A business administration degree can be the right next step for workers of all types. If you’re currently in a career, then a degree in business administration can prepare you for advancement opportunities in your current career. It can also equip you with the skills to make a career change if you want to explore other opportunities and industries.

A business administration degree is generally a good fit for anyone who is:

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • A good communicator
  • A team player
  • Interested in providing excellent customer service
  • Self-motivated
  • Willing to learn new skills and processes

If you’ve been recently dislocated or displaced, a business administration degree is a good way to build skills and gain credentials that can help you in your employment search. We also have many students who previously left the workforce to raise children or take care of family. They can leverage a business administration degree to open the door to new opportunities as they re-enter the workforce.

If you’re on the fence, consider taking our Career Training Readiness Quiz. This quick quiz can help you determine if career training is the right path forward for you.

What Can You Do with a Business Administration Degree?

A business administration (AAS) degree or administrative assistant certificate program can open many doors for employment seekers of all types. Just some of the titles that our graduates go on to hold include:

Administrative Assistant or Executive Assistant

As one of the most common careers for employees with a business administration degree, an administrative assistant is an entry-level role that supports the inner workings of an office. You’ll be part of a dynamic workplace as you perform vital clerical duties, like:

  • Organizing files
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Arranging staff meetings
  • Answering phones and transferring calls
  • Preparing memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Performing basic accounting and bookkeeping
  • Maintaining databases and filing systems—electronic and paper

Administrative assistants are employed in nearly every industry, like schools, government offices, legal offices, and private corporations. It’s a great way to be a part of a business or industry that really interests you.

If you work in a specialized industry, like the medical or legal field, then you may need to learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Administrative assistants with a bit more experience and training can also work as executive assistants. These professionals provide high-level administrative support for a top executive at an organization. Executive assistants will usually handle more complex responsibilities, like reviewing incoming documents, scheduling meetings and appointments for company executives, and handling travel arrangements for executives and visiting clients.

Accounting Assistant

Accounting assistants, accounts receivable clerks, and accounts payable specialists all manage the books for an organization. They make sure companies have accurate and updated financial records. They may also handle client invoicing and maintain records on payments. Some duties you’ll perform in this type of role include:

  • Using bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and databases
  • Posting financial transactions in the appropriate software
  • Receiving and recording payments
  • Producing reports, like balance sheets and income statements
  • Checking figures, postings, and reports for accuracy
  • Preparing invoices for clients and following up on payments

Accounting assistants work in all industries, including private companies, healthcare practices, accounting firms, and more. Employees in these roles will need to have basic accounting and data entry skills. They also need to know basic math.

Receptionist and Customer Service Representative

If you love interacting with people, then you may be a great fit for a role as a receptionist or customer service representative. The receptionist is considered the face of the company, since they’re often the first person a client sees when they visit an office. This can be a fast-paced role with plenty of social interaction.

As a receptionist, you’ll perform duties like:

  • Answering the phones and transferring calls
  • Taking messages and delivering them to the right person
  • Filing print and digital documents
  • Greeting visitors and informing employees of the visitors’ arrival
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments and maintaining calendars
  • Making copies of frequently used forms

You’ll also be responsible for answering basic questions from customers and clients or directing their questions to the appropriate resource.

Most industries will have a receptionist as their first point of contact. Your specific responsibilities will vary by employer. For example, medical receptionists may check in patients and schedule appointments. Receptionists in government buildings or schools may issue visitor passes and escort visitors to their destinations.

Office Manager or Assistant Office Manager

An office manager is one of the mid-level positions a business administration (AAS) degree can prepare you for. Many professionals step into this role as the result of a promotion from an entry-level role like an administrative assistant or accounting assistant. A degree in business administration can give you an edge to move up in your career and take on the office manager role.

Office managers plan, direct, and coordinate all activities that keep an office running smoothly. Depending on the size of your place of work, you may be responsible for the whole business office, or you may supervise a team of administrative assistants, accounting assistants, or receptionists.

Some of the duties you may perform as an office manager include:

  • Supervising clerical and administrative staff
  • Setting goals and deadlines for the administrative offices
  • Developing, managing, and monitoring records
  • Maintaining policies or procedures that improve operations
  • Overseeing the upkeep of office furniture, lighting, and more

Is Business Administration a Good Career?

A degree in business administration offers employment seekers several stable career options. The skills you learn as a business administration student are in demand in any industry that requires office or home-based administration personnel, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Education
  • Private businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Legal offices

In fact, the office manager career is expected to grow by 6% between 2019 and 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.+ That’s faster than average. Likewise, the receptionist career is expected to grow by 4%, which is as fast as average.*

Business Administration Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for office and administrative support occupations was $38,720 in 2020.** That’s the median annual income, so half of all workers will earn more, and half will earn less.

That number will also vary based on your role, as you can see in the table below:

Position2020 Median Pay
Administrative Assistant and General Office Clerk$35,330 to $40,990**
Accounting Assistant$42,410**
Office Manager$98,890+

Remember that these salaries are the 2020 median pay, so half of all workers will earn more, and half will earn less. Also, keep in mind that your average salary as a business administrative professional will vary based on your location, education level, experience, and many other factors.

How to Start a Career in Business Administration

Does a career in business administration sound like the right fit for you? Then the business administration (AAS) degree or administrative assistant program at Career Quest can get you started in your new career.

Do I Need a Business Administration Degree?

Typically, many office clerk, administrative assistant, or receptionist roles will only require applicants to have a high school diploma. So, this field can offer many opportunities to get your career started with a foot in the door at a company you love.

However, securing the additional credentials of a degree or certificate in business administration can offer several benefits, including:

Separating you from the pack. Having a degree in business administration shows future employers that you’ve taken the time to learn the necessary skills for the job, so you can start your career off right.

Promotion opportunities. Having that additional education—along with performing well on the job—can prime you for a potential promotion to an office manager or other supervisory role.

Competitive earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with an associate’s degree (including an applied associate’s degree) earned, on average, $8,164 more per year than employees with a high school diploma.***

Applying to Employment Listings

After getting a degree in business administration, you’ll be ready to begin applying to employment listings.

Business administration is a diverse field with professionals working in a variety of industries. When you’re first starting out on your job search, you may want to consider which industry most interests you and look for employment listings in that field. This will lead you to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

At Career Quest, our Career Services Department is here to help you secure employment in the right role for you through services like:

  • Job application assistance
  • Local employment listings
  • Interview prep
  • Cover letter and resumé writing help

When we hear about an open position with one of our career partners, we pass along that information to our students. We also have regular networking events where you can introduce yourself to our employment partners and even practice the networking skills that will be instrumental to your new career in business administration.

Even after you graduate, we’re here to help you keep your career on track. We offer lifetime career placement assistance. So, if you’re ever looking for a new career after graduation, let us know! We’ll help you update your resumé, prepare for an interview, and find employment listings that match your skillset.

Start Your New Career with a Business Administration Degree from Career Quest

At Career Quest, we know that when our students succeed, we all succeed. So, we offer the resources you need to succeed in our online business administration program, like:

Small class sizes
We want to ensure that you get the one-on-one attention from your instructor you need to do your best in your coursework. That’s why Career Quest limits class sizes to just 25 students per class.

Fully online curriculum
If you’re like many of our students, then you probably lead a busy life. You may be a full-time parent or currently working. You need courses that fit with your schedule. At Career Quest, our business administration (AAS) degree and administrative assistant program are both offered fully online, so you can attend class and meet your weekly deadlines in a way that works for you.

Tuition discounts for eligible students
Every student who enrolls in a Career Quest program is eligible to apply for financial assistance. We’re an accredited college, so we offer financial aid to students who qualify. We also offer tuition discounts, like our Dislocated Worker Discount for workers who have been dislocated or displaced from their current job.  

Inclusive tuition
Our tuition accounts for all classroom materials you’ll need, including required textbooks for the course. That means no surprise fees or expenses.

Enroll in Our Business Administration Degree Today

There’s so much you can do with a business administration degree. If you want to open even more doors to new employment opportunities, then enroll in the business administration (AAS) degree or administrative assistant program at Career Quest. This is your quest, so you take the lead!

Classes are starting soon, so contact us to learn more and enroll today!