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What is Business Administration?

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

What is Business Administration

You have finally decided on which path you’d like to take in life, and you know that your future lies in the business world. But where to start? 

There are a lot of different positions in business. From the men and women in the mailroom to the CEO sitting at the very top, every person is integral to keeping a business running. If you’re looking for your place on the corporate ladder, consider business administration.

What is business administration? What kind of education do you need to get into business administration? Is there a school of business program that is comprehensive and teaches you everything you need to know? 

To help promising business administrators, to figure out how best to kick start their futures, here is everything you need to know about a business administration degree before jumping in. 

What Is Business Administration?

The simple answer is that business administration is the study of business operation. Business administration schools cover every aspect of a business that a business administrator has to supervise and manage.

When we say every aspect, we mean every aspect. Business administrators need knowledge about everything, from accounting to marketing to office administration to research and development. As a business administrator, you have your hands in every aspect of the business so that you can do as much as possible to help the business run smoothly and successfully.

What do we mean when we say a business administrator has their hands in everything? As a business administrator, you will be supervising or even performing certain tasks in nearly every department of the business. You could also be managing certain areas of a business as well. You’re going to be performing what Henri Fayol called the “five elements of administration”. These five elements are:

  1. Planning

Business administrators plan for the future by developing strategies and setting goals. Then, they plan to facilitate the achievement of those goals by shaping the landscape of the company.

  1. Organizing

Business managers and admins must organize employees to work efficiently within the activities of the business. They must also recruit, hire, and train the right people to ensure that the workforce is properly educated and has the right skills to help the company succeed.

  1. Commanding

Daily management of employees is an essential role of a business administrator. This role has many responsibilities. They include inspiring the workforce to meet the company’s goals but also making sure that employees know company standards and what is expected from them.

  1. Coordinating

Business administrators must make sure that the activities and procedures being performed by employees both complement and enrich one another.

  1. Controlling

Company activities must remain in line with overall company policies and objectives. If the business administrator observed any deviations, they must report them and plan to correct any discrepancies. 

To get a better understanding of these important roles, let’s take a deep dive into what each one specifically entails.

Planning 

As a business administrator, this means making a plan of action for the future of your business. Within this plan, you choose each step of the plan and determine what things are necessary to implement the plan effectively. These things could include hiring additional qualified personnel or investing in newer technology. You put together goals and map out the steps to achieve those goals.

Organizing

Now that you have your plan together, it’s time to organize everything surrounding the plan. As a business administrator, you’re going to have to put together the people needed to implement the plan as well as the raw materials and the tools. Doing this work not only means hiring and training the right people, but also figuring out how much capital is needed to make certain the plan comes together smoothly. Then, you’ll determine who’s responsible for what and distribute those responsibilities to the appropriate divisions or departments within the business.

Commanding

Commanding is the part of the plan where your interpersonal skills are needed in a big way. It is the step where you delegate who does what and what goes where. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of both your business and your workforce to ensure that you distribute the tasks to the right people. You also need to know which resources are best for your plan and where each of these resources should go. Business administrators need to find a good balance. Your staffing needs have to be balanced with production. 

Coordination

Communication, communication, communication. It is the most important aspect of the coordination step. At this point, you have to make sure that everyone tasked with carrying out the individual aspects of your plan is doing their job well. Essentially, you make sure that all the cogs in the machine are not only running smoothly but that they are also working together so that the plan ends positively. 

Control

Control is the final element needed by a business administrator. Control is when the plan has come to fruition, and you can see how each piece came together, including how each member of the business’s staff performed and how things should change next time if need be. This step is where you take a moment to reflect on how your plan went and tweak things for the next time. Control could also include corrective action to ensure that the parts of the plan that didn’t go so well aren’t repeated the next time. This part of the plan is also where you get to take a breather before coming up with the next one and putting it into motion. 

The responsibilities of your business administrator career may not follow these five elements exactly. Still, it helps to remember them when putting together a business plan. Ultimately, remember this: as a business administrator, you’re going to be interacting with every department of the business. Make sure you’re comfortable with this and have good interpersonal skills before taking on this role.

Where to Get a Business Administration Degree

If you’re certain you’re ready for the world of business administration, it’s time to start thinking about where you should start your career path. The beginning of most careers is obtaining the education needed to enter the workforce and advance effectively. 

Where can you obtain a business administration degree? Are there places that are better than others? Which is the best accredited institution to learn the ins and outs of business administration? A lot of on-campus and online schools around the United States have business administrator programs; however, you want the best. Here are ten of the best schools for business administration in the United States.

1. Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University

The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University is great if you’re looking for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. You start your education in a block of about 60 people, and for the two years of your graduate school education, you spend most of your time with them. The students in each block take all their courses together, they eat lunch together, and they even take place in a Block Olympics. During your time pursuing an MBA at Stern, you specialize in up to three areas of business. These areas could be anything from entrepreneurship to innovation to luxury marketing. The tuition is about $74,184 per year.

2. Yale University Business School

Unsurprisingly, Yale University has a great program for future business administrators. In it, Yale assures that students study raw cases as opposed to case studies, which means you spend your time at Yale University Business School looking at a lot of stock charts and articles, amongst other things. It has a wide variety of clubs and extracurriculars for you to take part in as well.

We should also mention that Yale University Business School has an MBA for executives and future CEOs. These programs cost a little more, but they prepare you for the fast-paced world of being high up in a business. Full-time students can expect to pay $72,350 annually or $93,750 for the executive program.

3. Columbia University

There are many concentrations at Columbia University if you’re pursuing your MBA. These include accounting, economics, quantitative analysis and statistics, and operations research, marketing, and consulting. Full-time students can expect to pay $77,376 per year.

4. University of Virginia

If you’re looking for a BBA (Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration), then the University of Virginia is one of the best places in the United States to obtain one. Not only do BBA students get one of the best educations money can buy, but the school has a long and impressive history. The University of Virginia was founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson and holds one of the original 25 copies of the Declaration of Independence. You can even go and see Edgar Allan Poe’s dorm room if you want. If you live in-state, you can get tuition for $18,878 but out-of-state tuition and fees are $52,957.

5. Cornell University

Now we’re getting to the cream of the crop. One of the best schools in the United States to get your BBA is Cornell University. Cornell is a great school, offering not only a stellar BBA program but also a litany of sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities. If you’re into Greek life, then Cornell has 60 fraternity and sorority chapters as well. Students should expect to pay about $59,316 annually for tuition.

6. Harvard University

You can also get one of the best MBAs in the country at Harvard. Its program is stellar. Harvard uses the case method, in which students take on real problems in teams. This program prepares you not only for the world of business on paper, but the mechanics of working as a team as well. You also move around internationally while you study the ins and outs of the business world, taking your knowledge to a whole new level. Students should expect to pay around $73,440 per year for tuition. 

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

MIT may be known more for its technology degree program, but it has a great business program as well. The program puts a lot of focus on economics, but you can be sure you’re signing up for an informative business program when you show up on the steps of MIT. When you attend the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you learn economics as well as many other topics in the world of business. The classes have a global focus, which means that students have a lot of travel opportunities. There is also a very exciting year-long competition known as the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in which students compete for cash prizes amongst other things. For tuition and fees, students should expect to pay $53,818 annually.

8. Northwestern University (Kellogg)

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University offers one of the best MBA programs not just in the United States, but in the whole world. There are so many options when it comes to getting your MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University: part-time or full time, you can do a masters in design innovation, or a J.D. There are many research centers on campus, and guest speakers often come in to motivate the students. If you wish to attend, you can expect to pay $73,404 yearly.

9. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has a lot of history behind it. This history comes from the school being founded by Benjamin Franklin and is the nation’s first business school. You can be sure that it perfected its approach over the years. There are many classes to choose from, such as accounting, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, ethics, general management, insurance, international business, marketing, production/operations management, and quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research. Students can expect to pay $73,062 per year.

10. Graduate School of Business at Stanford University

There’s a prevailing thought throughout the academic community that Stanford is the best place to get an MBA, and they have earned that reputation through and through. If you are one of the 848 students that are accepted each year, then make sure you take the opportunity to get your BBA from Stanford. If you want the pleasure of attending Stanford, then you’ll have to pay $73,062 in tuition per year. 

Which Courses Are Taught in a BA degree?

If you’ve considered every admission requirement and have an idea of what business school you want to attend, you might be curious about what you’ll be studying. There are some core courses you will study to complete a business administration degree, not including the elective courses you need to complete the requirements. Note that these classes change slightly depending on the school you attend. You can also get a PhD in Business Administration.

Business Communications and Critical Thinking

In the Business Communications and Critical Thinking course, you learn exactly what the name implies. This course spends time covering different ways of communicating. These methods include topics such as ethical communication and communicating across cultures and through interpersonal relationships. All of this is, of course, concerning the world of business. Then, you learn organizational skills, whether that means solving organizational problems or figuring out how to organize a business’ strategic direction. You also learn about critical thinking, whether in day to day issues or through written forms of communication.

Introduction to Computer Applications and Systems

If you ever took an introductory business course in high school, you’ll recognize a lot of the things done in this learning program. You’ll learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Office, like Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, and how to use these programs to your advantage in the business world.

Management Theory and Practice

If you’re looking to go into management, then this is a great course. Here, you’ll learn not only the practice of management but the theory behind it as well. Management concepts and how to apply them are also taught in Management Theory and Practice.

Principles of Accounting I and II

You’ll go through two different accounting courses while earning your BA degree. The first course teaches you the fundamentals of accounting, and the second teaches you how to apply those fundamentals in a business environment.

Business Research

There is a lot of research that’s involved in business administration, and this is where you learn how to do it properly. These research techniques teach students how to get through the daily problems in business and how to use research to fix them.

Principles of Microeconomics

In Principles of Microeconomics, you learn the basics of microeconomics. These topics include the theories that surround microeconomics as well as basic concepts and terminology.

Finance for Business

Financial planning, working capital management, and international finance are just a few of the things BA students learn about in this class.

Global Business Strategies

This course is all about international business. It gives you the tools that you need to take your business all around the world, helping it grow in the process.

How Is a BA Degree Applied?

There are so many ways that a business administration degree can be applied, and it would be impossible to cover them all here. Let’s just look at a few paths you can take to get the best out of your BA degree:

Sales Manager

As a sales manager, you are in charge of sales. This role mostly entails working with a sales team and making sure they get their jobs done, meeting sales quotas, and bringing in enough business. It’s a big job because you are most likely responsible for the revenue that the sales team produces. You set the sales goals for each person in the department, analyze sales data, and create sales training programs for new and existing staff. The sales manager does everything to ensure the company, or at the very least the sales team is turning a profit.

Business Consultant

If you’re the kind of person who thinks they know how to do business best, this may be the job for you. A business consultant helps a company sell and succeed most efficiently. Using methods that both increase revenue and lower costs, business consultants advise the managers of the business on how to make an organization more profitable. You make plans to tackle specific problems most of the time and also ensure that those plans are implemented correctly and successfully. You’ll also stick around to make sure everything continues to run smoothly after your plan is implemented.

Financial Analyst

If you like to research and love to compile data, this is the role for you. These tasks are a big part of what financial analysts do. First and foremost, they make financial recommendations, but only after they’ve compiled enough earnings releases and ran enough financial models to make an informed and effective decision. You’ll spend a lot of time learning all you can about the business you work for and then spend the rest of your time giving investment options to your clients.

There are two types of financial analysts we should mention: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts. If you decide to go the buy-side analyst route, you’ll most likely work with pension or mutual fund companies, doing research and making recommendations to the managers of said fund. Sell-side analysts work for brokerage firms, and they tell their clients which stocks to buy based on their research.

Human Resources (HR) Specialist

Are you less about numbers and more about working with people? Then check out the human resources specialist position. In this role, you are the first person in the company to meet recruits since you’re the one hiring them. You may also be in charge of payroll, but a lot of what you do from day-to-day involves employee relations. If you think of yourself as a great mediator or have great people skills, consider this position.

What Is The Purpose Of Learning Management?

Have you ever applied for a job and had to do training? Were you sent a link to a website for a long five-hour training course where people explained the details of your future job? That’s pretty much what a learning management system is. 

Gone are the days where a human resources manager sits you down in a brightly lit room and lectures you about the work ahead of you. A learning management system is how employees of a business learn to do their jobs, amongst other things. It may also teach employees about human resources, how to act in the workplace, and everything a future employee needs to know to get through a day at the company. However, the purpose of Learning Management is to let everyone know how to do their specific job correctly so that everything runs smoothly. Also, learning management systems enhance the learning process, ensuring that everyone learns excitingly. These systems are usually found on computers, either an online bachelor program or one in house. It’s pretty much an all-in-one training system that ensures everyone is learning the same information in the same way.

Who Should Consider Enrolling in a BBA Program?

The short answer is that everyone should consider a BBA program. It’s a great program to get into, and it can lead to many other things. The potential of this degree is one of the reasons that people should consider a BBA program. It can lead to all sorts of career opportunities in the business world. A lot of careers require you to have a degree to be considered for the job, so a BBA could be your best option if you’re not all that certain about what you want to do with your life after college.

A BBA program also provides students with many other skills that are useful when going into the professional world. If you’re looking to brush up on your communication or if you consider yourself a great communicator already, then a BBA program would be a suitable choice for you. If you want to learn how to be the best leader you can be, a BBA program helps you master the skills needed to do so. 

People who want to make a lot of money in the future should also consider BBA programs. The list of jobs one can get with a BBA degree is endless, and a lot of them are pretty high paying. If you’re the kind of person who likes to chase money, then a BBA program would be a great idea.

If you like working alongside people, collaborating, traveling, or being a citizen of the world, then a BBA program would be for you. Not only do a lot of them provide travel opportunities, but the careers they lead to do so as well.

As mentioned, pretty much anyone should and could enroll in a BBA program, and that’s all there is to it. Hopefully, you’ve learned all you can about business administration and are ready to enter the world of this exciting career. Good luck, future BA!

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