Associate of Business Administration Degree

Degree Overview and Career Options

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An associate of bachelor administration degree is a low-level undergraduate degree awarded to students who have completed a post-secondary program with a focus on business administration. Business administration is the study of managing business operations and processes. An associate of business administration degree may also be known as an associate of business degree.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Associate of Business Administration Degree?

Most associate degree programs in business administration take two years to complete. However, there are some schools that offer 18-month programs. Students who are also interested in a bachelor's degree can sometimes find programs that combine associate's level and bachelor's level courses. These programs commonly take three to five years to complete.

What Will I Study in an Associate of Business Administration Program?

Many of the courses in an associate in bachelor administration program will be general education courses. For example, you may take entry-level college courses in math, English, composition, and science. The average curriculum will also include specialized courses in business topics, such as administration, accounting, finance, leadership, ethics, human resources, and related topics.

Some associate level programs in business or business administration also give students the opportunity to further specialize in a specific area such as accounting, finance, or human resources. Students who take programs with these concentration options can expect to take courses focusing on that area of specialization. Read more about business specialization options.

Types of Programs

Business administration is one of the most popular majors for college students. This is good news because it means you should have no problem finding a school that offers an education program in this area of study. You can find associate of business administration programs at almost every community college. Four-year colleges and some business schools also award associate degrees.

For students who prefer to study online, there is no shortage of online programs with a focus on business administration. In some cases, combination programs are available. These programs generally allow you to take some of your courses online and other courses on campus. Whatever type of program you decide on, you will most likely have the option of studying part-time or full-time.

Choosing a School

When choosing which school to attend, the factor to focus on first is accreditation. It is essential that the program or school you choose is accredited by the appropriate agencies. Accreditation ensures an education that will actually be useful and a degree that will be recognized by employers.

Location can also be a major factor for students who are earning an associate degree in business administration. However, it shouldn't be the main focus. If you choose a school based on location alone, you could miss the opportunity to find a school that is a good fit for you based on your academic ability, personal preference, and professional goals.

It is important to find a school with a campus culture you are comfortable with. Class size, faculty, facilities, and resources can also significantly impact your education experience. If you want a high profile job, you should choose a school with a high profile name that will be recognized by your desirable employers. Other things to look closely at include program curriculum, cost, student retention, and career placement statistics.

 Read more about choosing a school.

What Can I Do with an Associate of Business Administration?

Once you have earned your associate of business administration degree, you can pursue many different entry-level positions within the business field. You can work in almost any area of business and may even be able to work in very specialized areas depending on your degree.

With some experience, or possibly right out of college depending on the employer and the position, you may even be able to qualify for management or supervisory positions. Earning a professional certification or a designation in your area of expertise, such as the designation of Certified Business Manager, can also help improve your employment prospects. For really advanced positions, you will need a bachelor's degree in business administration or possibly even an MBA degree.

Examples of some careers that you may be able to pursue include, but are not limited to:

  • Office manager
  • Sales representative
  • Tax preparer
  • Junior accountant
  • Loan officer
  • Real estate agent
  • Human resources assistant
  • Administrative professional
  • Finance officer
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Business analyst
  • Advertising executive
  • Marketing specialist
  • Customer service representative