Should I Get a Business Administration Bachelor or Associate Degree?

There are plenty of options when it comes to getting a formal education in business. To open the most doors, you will need a degree, but do you start with a Business Administration associate’s degree or go straight to the bachelor’s degree program? Let us unpack what you can expect while attending the different programs and explore what career options you may have after completing your degree.

What is the Difference between an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s Degree?

The significant difference between the two programs is the number of courses you will complete. Most full-time students complete an Associate Degree in Business Administration in about two years for the 61-credit hour load. A Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration takes about four years to complete 120 credit hours.

Regarding coursework, an associate degree allows you to start in entry-level administrative positions. However, a bachelor’s degree will position you for higher-level positions that may require additional training or certification, broadening your career prospects and earning potential. Associate of Arts in Business Administration Degree Program Curriculum

The Associate in Business Administration degree program lays a foundation of business so you can begin gaining experience and pursue a higher-level degree. You will have foundational classes in liberal arts, such as English, math, information technology, and science. You will also cover the following degree-specific topics.

Principles of Accounting

Anyone working in business administration must know the basics of accounting. To prepare you for success, this class covers the basic accounting principles, including income, expenses, liabilities, assets, and financial reporting.

Business Law

For any business to succeed, the people leading it must understand the legal parameters within which it must operate. Within this framework, you will learn about court structure in the United States, alternative dispute resolution options, the basics of regulatory compliance, and how intellectual property rights work.

Spreadsheet Applications for Business

Spreadsheets can contain critical data that can direct strategic decisions for both small and large businesses. Beyond formatting data within a spreadsheet, it’s essential to know how to manipulate that data to identify insights and conclusions. In this class, you will learn about tables and charts, automatic functions and formulas, and macros to help you automate some tasks.

Principles of Macro and Microeconomics

Economics is the study of how money is produced, consumed, and transferred, and it is a critical field of understanding for anyone working in the business world. You will learn key concepts of microeconomics, which focus on the actions of individual people and businesses and how they allocate resources within the broader economy. You will then expand your knowledge by examining macroeconomic factors, including GDP, government deficits, monetary and fiscal policy, inflation, interest rates, and unemployment.

Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Businesses do not operate in a vacuum but are subject to public scrutiny. In this course, you will explore the ethics society expects businesses to operate with. You will also explore the concept of social responsibility, where companies are not only expected to turn a profit but also operate in a way that positively impacts society and the world.

Principles of Marketing

Effectively marketing a business requires more than knowing how to set up some ads online or create a promotional flyer. Instead, it must be founded on solid data and constantly evaluated. During your marketing exploration, you will learn about market research and how to analyze consumer behavior. You will also learn how to identify marketing variables and develop marketing strategies.

Principles of Business Management

Management is a science that you can learn to leverage when given the correct information. In this course, you will explore the theories of management leadership, strategies for team building, problem-solving, and processes for organizational success.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree Program Curriculum

In addition to what you will learn in the degree-specific topics covered in the associate’s program, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree will dig deeper into the analytical aspects of business. During your Bachelor of Science program, you will delve further into the following topics:

Corporate Finance

Where accounting deals with the simple cash flow within an organization, corporate finance focuses on how companies seek funding and make investments. You will explore financial statements analysis, the time value of money, various financial markets and institutions, investment risk and return, and financial planning.

Business Strategy and Policy

Businesses succeed when there is an intention behind what they do and a strategy that guides how they operate. In this class, you will explore how to think strategically instead of functionally. Of particular focus is developing strategic vision and organizational objectives, strategy design, and developing organizational policies to achieve the strategic vision.

Business Research Methods

Collecting accurate data is critical for guiding business decisions. In this class, you will start by exploring how to collect and analyze data. You will then explore options for reporting and presenting the data in a corporate setting. Finally, you will delve into optimal data visualization techniques to ensure appropriate analysis for strategy decisions.

Management Information Systems

Business management needs technological systems to analyze data as key executives make decisions. This class explores the foundational aspects of management information systems, including networking, the World Wide Web, cloud computing, and the concepts of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. You will further explore security concerns and how they impact data usage internally and through cloud computing solutions.

Operations Management

How the business operates is as important as developing and implementing strategy. During this course, you will explore how operations and logistics maximize value, reduce costs, and establish efficient process management. You will dig deep into enterprise resource planning, business forecasting and optimization, inventory and supply-chain management, and data analysis.

Cross-cultural Management

Working in an environment with a wide variety of cultures requires a unique skill set that starts with a bit of self-discovery. You will learn how to recognize your communication and management styles and then explore how others unintentionally perceive those styles. You will also then learn the skills for successfully integrating multiple cultural norms in your communication and management to create something unique that will work specifically for your team.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior encompasses everything from individual, interpersonal, and group behavior levels. You will explore the intersection between these three sections and how motivation crosses their boundaries. You will explore how personality, values, attitudes, perceptions, and attributions influence organizational behavior. You delve into how to analyze power bases and tactics for influencing the team. Finally, you will develop strategies for handling stress, conflict, and interpersonal communication.

Human Resources Management

Effectively managing the human resources of a business is as vital as developing strategy and managing cash flow, inventory, and the supply chain. In this course, you will explore why human resource management is strategically relevant in today’s business world. You will then explore perspectives on developing human capital through a cohesive system of attracting, retaining, and developing talent at all levels that support the organization’s strategic vision.

Business Analytics

The course introduces students to business analytics, covering managerial statistical tools in descriptive and predictive analytics, including regression. Topics covered include forecasting, risk analysis, simulation, data mining, and decision analysis. This course provides students with the fundamental concepts and tools needed to understand the emerging role of business analytics in organizations. It shows students how to apply essential business analytics tools in a spreadsheet environment and communicate with analytics professionals to effectively use and interpret analytic models and results for better business decisions. Emphasis is placed on applications, concepts, and interpretation of results rather than theory and calculations.

Strategic Management

Strategically managing a team starts with understanding the variables influencing the group or organization. During this class, you will conduct market research and SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). You will then develop a perspective for identifying competitive advantages. Finally, you will explore processes for basic strategic decision-making.

Available Core Electives

Aside from the foundational core classes discussed, you will have elective courses to prepare you for your chosen career. Available core electives include:

  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • International Business
  • Supervisory Management
  • Sales

Specialized Concentrations

Within the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program, you will have the opportunity to focus on a specialized concentration. These concentrations prepare you for the career field you intend to pursue. Current concentrations include:

  • Sports Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Marketing

What Jobs Are Available for Associate vs. Bachelor Degree Graduates?

There are many jobs available for graduates of Business Administration. Whether you complete an associate or bachelor’s degree program, you have many job options.

Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration Graduate Jobs

There are many career opportunities with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. A few you may want to explore include:

Administrative Assistant – handling daily tasks is critical for any company to run effectively. You may manage calendars, develop communications, manage travel plans, host meetings, create schedules, and work on projects.

Project Manager – works on specific projects from their inception to conclusion. You will manage every aspect of the project, from the deadlines and budgets to the personnel.

Accountant – even with an associate degree, you can seek additional training to become an accountant. Your job may include financial planning, asset management, and data analysis.

Supervisor – acts as the liaison between management and the employees who help the company run. You may conduct performance reviews, handle scheduling, approve time off, and develop and manage deadlines.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration Graduate Jobs

You may qualify for higher-level positions with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. A few careers you may explore include:

Market Research Analyst – works with businesses to better understand their customer base, what products they should sell, and how to market those products successfully. Many market analysts design surveys and work with teams to analyze the results.

Business Consultant – works independently for yourself or as part of a consulting firm. In both scenarios, you will work as a training and development specialist, offering employees training to focus and improve their skills.

Human Resources Specialist – works as part of the team to recruit, screen, interview, and hire employees. Most HR specialists also handle employee relations, training, compensation, and benefits work.

Eager to Learn More?

What degree program are you interested in? Both degrees offer excellent career potential. So, learn more about Florida National University today, and start a new career tomorrow.

Business Administration, Bachelor of Science

The purpose of this program is to contribute to the education of its students with a general knowledge of business and the skills necessary for employment to be effective leaders in today’s business world. The program also provides a foundation for successful admission into graduate programs. Florida National University awards a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration upon completion of the program.

Business Administration, Associate of Arts

This program is designed for students planning to pursue a higher-level degree in business administration. It offers key introductory courses within the field of business management. The program includes a thirty-nine credit-hour component of general education/liberal arts courses. FNU awards an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration upon graduation.

Let Florida National University answer any questions if you are interested in business. Contact us today to learn more about our Business Administration programs.