What Can I Do With a Business Administration Degree?

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at CTU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree is designed to provide students with a strong academic foundation in core business functions including general business administration, accounting, finance, project management, information technology, human resources, marketing, international business, logistics and organizational behavior. These competencies are flexible enough that upon graduation, careers in a variety of different fields may be available. According to Dr. Tony Lyons, former Dean of Business at Colorado Technical University (CTU), “Students may initially be interested in business administration because they feel they have leadership skills and think they could be successful managing teams, but as they take courses they discover there’s so much more to business administration than management.”

A business administration curriculum is designed to teach students how to plan strategically to create organizational value and master financial principles. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn how to lead projects across all areas of business. According to Dr. Lyons, one of the best things about a business administration program is that today, coursework is aligned with real-world business scenarios. Dr. Lyons also notes that the competencies and skills are taught from an industry-relevant perspective.

By studying business theories and learning best business practices, business majors may develop critical skillsets, such as knowing how to analyze problems by using and applying data. Business majors also have the opportunity to gain proficiency in managing large groups of people and may become adept at fostering professional communications. Employers from a multitude of industries look for this wide range of skills in business degree earners. According to a national CareerBuilder survey, 74% of employers surveyed say they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2017, with 30% of respondents choosing business majors over other degrees.1

What Are Possible Career Paths with a Business Administration Degree?

While the following positions are only a sample of the possible careers a student with a business administration degree may pursue, they demonstrate the numerous industries and organizational roles that may be available in the business field.

Sales Manager

A sales manager oversees a company’s sales team and is ultimately responsible for revenue production within an organization. Responsibilities typically include setting sales goals, analyzing sales data and creating sales training programs for the sales representatives. Sales managers also project sales and assess the profitability of products and services.2 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for sales managers are projected to grow 5% between now and 2024.3

Business Consultant

Business consultants, also referred to as management consultants, help companies propose ways to improve a business’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make an organization more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenue. Management consultants generally organize information about a problem and design a procedure for improvement, recommend new systems and organization changes, and confer with managers to ensure changes are working.4 The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the employment of management consultants is projected to grow 14%, or much faster than average, by 2024.5

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts gather data such as earnings releases, run financial models and make financial recommendations.6 They develop a solid understanding of a particular business, industry or sector, and they deliver presentations that communicate their investment opinions. Financial analysts fall into two categories: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts. Buy-side analysts usually work for a pension fund or mutual fund company, where they perform research and make recommendations to the fund’s money managers. Sell-side analysts work for a brokerage or firm that manages individual accounts. Sell-side analysts make recommendations to the firm’s clients to buy and sell certain stocks.7 According to the BLS, job prospects for financial analysts are projected to grow by 12% between now and 2024.6

Market Research Analyst

A market research analyst helps a company understand who their customers are, what products they should be selling, and how they can successfully promote those products.8 Market research analysts often design surveys and train and supervise interviewers who conduct the surveys. They then analyze the research and report the results to management. Market research analysts work for employers in a variety of industries and for consulting firms.9 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for market research analysts are projected to grow by 19% between now and 2024.8

Human Resources (HR) Specialist

While the primary function of human resources specialists is to recruit, screen, interview and hire employees, most human resources specialists are trained in all HR functions, and therefore they frequently handle other human resources work, such as employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.10 These daily tasks could include processing payroll and administering benefits, as well as ensuring all human resources functions are in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.11 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job opportunities for human resources specialists are projected to grow 5% between now and 2024.10

Loan Officer

Loan officers evaluate, authorize or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.12 Daily responsibilities could include obtaining, verifying and analyzing loan applicants’ financial information, such as credit scores and income levels. In addition, they review loan agreements to make sure they are in compliance with federal and state regulations. Most loan officers are employed by commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and related financial institutions.13 According to the BLS, job prospects are projected to grow 8% between now and 2024.12

Meeting, Convention and Event Planner

Meeting, convention and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings.14 Typical duties include meeting with clients to understand the purpose of the meeting or event and then arranging locations, transportation and other details. Before a meeting or event, the planner solicits bids from event venues and vendors, and after the meeting or event, the planner will approve the venue and vendor payments. While most meeting, convention and event planners work for private companies across a wide range of industries, some are employed by religious, civic, food service and professional organizations, to name a few.15 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth for meeting, convention and events planners is projected to grow by 10% between now and 2024.14

Training and Development Specialist

Training and development specialists focus on improving employees’ skills and knowledge by planning, conducting, and administering training programs.16 Training and development specialists can work in nearly every industry, and they spend a great deal of time with people - giving presentations and leading training activities. Daily responsibilities may include assessing employees’ training needs through surveys, interviews and consultations, and then developing training programs that meet these needs. This often includes writing and editing training manuals, online learning modules and other training course collateral.17 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth outlook for training and development specialists is projected at 7% between now and 2024.16

Additional Career Paths

Employment of business and financial operations occupations is on the rise. In addition to the occupations featured above, the following jobs may also be pursued with a BSBA degree:

  • Logistician
  • Real estate appraiser
  • Buyer or purchasing agent
  • Compensation and benefits analyst
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Labor relations specialist18


There are several certifications available in business administration to foster the development of executive level skills. For example, you can earn a Certified Manager (CM) credential through the Institute of Certified Management Professionals. While you are not required to have a management title to qualify for a CM certification program, you will have to have work experience before applying. You will also be required to participate in a 90-hour prep program and successfully pass three separate exams. The CM certification verifies that you have the ability to manage and lead with a level of competency, and it is a good distinction to have on your resume as you seek career advancement opportunities.19

Professionals can also earn a Certified Business Administration (CBA) through the American Certification Institute. Candidates receive this certification by demonstrating their understanding of the fundamentals of office administration and business management by successfully completing four modules of coursework and passing an exam. The CBA certification verifies that you have the ability to successfully take on challenges in office administration and business management, and is a desirable trait for employment with large multinational conglomerates.20

Finally, many business administration students enter professions where core responsibilities may include project management. For these individuals, a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) may be a worthwhile endeavor. A PMP is not industry-specific, and it validates your expertise in running any kind of project. To become a PMP, a candidate must have 35 hours of PMP training, and assuming you have a bachelor’s degree, 4,500 hours of project management experience. He or she must also pass an exam. A PMP is the most recognized project management certification, and to date, there are approximately 730,000 active PMPs worldwide. 21

With a career in business administration, organized and motivated managers can help keep key aspects of a business running efficiently and profitably. Those who continue to advance in their career may want to pay attention to trends in technology and emerging markets and retrain as necessary to meet these needs.

Pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Colorado Technical University offers a BSBA degree program that allows students to pursue a broad understanding of business administration. CTU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and has been ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Programs” list for three consecutive years (2015 - 2017).

Learn more about CTU’s BSBA degree program.

1. “74 Percent of Employers Say They Plan to Hire Recent College Graduates This Year, According to Annual CareerBuilder Survey.” CareerBuilder. Last modified April 27, 2017. Accessed July 10, 2017. http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-04-27-74-Percent-of-Employers-Say-They-Plan-to-Hire-Recent-College-Graduates-This-Year-According-to-Annual-CareerBuilder-Survey.
2. “What Sales Managers Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm#tab-2.
3. “Sales Managers: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm.
4. “What Management Analysts Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-2.
5. “Management Analysts: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm.
6. “Financial Analysts: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm.
7. “What is the Difference Between a Buy-Side Analyst and a Sell-Side Analyst?” Investopedia. Last modified June 2, 2017. Accessed July 10, 2017. http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/04/040204.asp.
8. “Market Research Analysts: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm.
9. Rosenberg McKay, Dawn. “Market Research Analyst: Career Information.” Last modified December 21, 2016. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.thebalance.com/market-research-analyst-526044.
10. “Human Resource Specialists: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm.
11.“What Human Resource Specialists Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm#tab-2.
12. “Loan Officers: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/loan-officers.htm.
13. “What Loan Officers Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/loan-officers.htm#tab-2.
14. “Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm.
15. “What Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm#tab-2
16. “Training and Development Specialists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm.
17. “What Training and Development Specialists Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm#tab-2.
18. “Business and Financial Occupations.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified December 17, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm.
19. “Certified Manager Certification.” Institute of Certified Professional Managers. Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.icpm.biz/index.php/icpm_site/certified-manager.
20. “Certified Business Administrator.” American Certification Institute. Accessed July 10, 2017. http://www.amcertinst.org/certifications/cba.php.
21. Hales, John. “15 Top-Paying Certifications for 2017.” Accessed July 10, 2017. https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/articles/top-paying-certifications/.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program, go to www.coloradotech.edu/disclosures. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. 1213548 7/17

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