As a high school student considering different college majors, I asked myself, “What is Business Administration?” At the time I thought it sounded boring, so I went into engineering. After I started working in the real world, however, I decided I wanted to know more about what was going on in the boardroom of my company. And so I started on my path toward an MBA!
Business administration is a technical term that embodies all aspects of running a business. It mostly focuses on management of people, money and resources. Communication, multi-tasking, innovation and leadership skills are also important factors that make up business administration.
There are thousands of universities worldwide offering various bachelors (BSBA) and master degrees (MBA) in business administration. A BSBA and/or an MBA can be valuable to one interested in getting a well-paid job at a large company.
Although they are less necessary, these degrees can also come in handy to individuals planning to start their own small business.
How do I know if I’m qualified to study business administration?
Once you answer the question “what is business administration,” you may ask yourself if you are qualified to pursue a degree in it. If you got the time, money and the will – you are qualified! Just like anything else, business administration can be easily learned by anyone willing to put some effort in grasping the essence of what makes a successful business.
These are, however, some particular skills and attributes that may come useful to a person studying business administration:
- Good communication skills
- Ability to solve problems
- Strategic and logical thinking
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good analytical skills
There are several fields that make up a business administration degree. The four most important are:
This field deals with managing various functions (planning, directing, organizing, etc.). It is directly responsible for making the best use of available resources and coming up with viable action plans for handling events in the future. It also deals with selecting and recruiting the most qualified and competent individuals for the appropriate jobs (staffing). Motivation is also a big part of management – without proper motivation, the job efficiency decreases, so it is extremely important to keep the motivation high within the company. Many universities today focus on leadership training. While leadership differs from management in philosophy, your leadership coursework will also be taught by the management department.
We could say that marketing is nothing more than a profitable way of satisfying people’s needs. Its mission is to find a potential customer, identify his needs, satisfy those needs and hopefully form a long-term relationship with the customer. Furthermore, there are two major parts of marketing: marketing research and marketing planning. Marketing research deals with segmenting the marketplace, grouping potential customers with similar needs and interests, and then targeting those customers with appropriate products. Marketing planning represents the process of forming detailed plans for all the marketing activities (i.e. research, advertising, promotional campaigns, etc.) for the company’s brands.
Accounting, as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is “the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof.” What accounting basically deals with is keeping track of all the financial transactions that happen in a business organization. With accounting under her belt, a student is able to read financial statements and even be a better investor because she can understand a company’s SEC filings.
This field is concerned with keeping the enterprise funded. It can include saving money and lending it out. More typically it is concerned with finding sources of cash with which the company can operate. Quite often the highest paid positions at large companies are offered to those with a strong finance background.
I hope this quick summary helps you to answer the question that I asked at 17 years old: “what is business administration?” If you think you’re qualified to pursue a degree in it, there’s never been a better time!