A business administration degree prepares graduates to work in various organizations and institutions in a wide variety of capacities. A bachelor's degree in business administration differs from the master's degree, or MBA, in the depth of information learned. In return, the potential rewards for receiving an MBA are greater than those for a bachelor's degree.
A bachelor's degree in business administration -- usually a Bachelor of Science -- includes general education requirements in courses such as humanities, math, communications, science and social studies. These four-year programs also include business courses to give students a well-rounded foundation in the field, covering aspects of management, accounting, marketing and leadership. Master's programs build on these bases, typically allowing students to tailor their elective coursework toward a specific discipline within the business field.
Some schools allow specializations with the bachelor's in business administration, but this kind of focus occurs more commonly in master's programs. For instance, MBA students at Portland State University in Oregon may focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, supply economics, global business or sustainability. Others, such as Oregon State University in Corvallis, allow students to choose concentrations in leadership, technology, commercialization, marketing or finance. Concentration areas may vary by location. For instance, the University of Nevada in Reno also includes a gaming management option.
The bachelor's level coursework in business administration includes some research, writing and presentation practice, but MBA programs may be more intensive in these areas. Some may require a thesis or allow a thesis option in lieu of some coursework. The master's degree may also require more presentation work and allow more networking opportunities. Portland State's master's program includes a mandatory international contact experience of approximately two weeks, allowing students to examine global business firsthand.
A B.S. in business administration prepares graduates to work as bank managers, corporate buyers, administrative services representatives and sales consultants. The concentrations offered in MBA programs allow for even more opportunities. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicate that an MBA may help you earn more money in your career. Master's degree holders may earn $7,000 to $10,000 more annually than B.S. holders, and the difference is particularly prevalent with bachelor vs. MBA degrees.
- My College Options: Business Administration
- University of Mary Washington: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree Requirements
- Portland State University: MBA Curriculum
- Oregon State University: Master of Business Administration
- University of Nevada, Reno: Why Get an MBA?
- Herzog University: What's a Graduate Degree Actually Worth?
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.