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Business administration concentrations: How to cater your BBA to your career goals

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Whether you’re looking to land a more advanced role in your current workplace or have your sights set on launching a new career entirely, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) can help you achieve your professional goals. But not all BBA programs are the same, so it’s important to do your research before enrolling in one.

Your motivations, experiences and objectives are unique, so it makes sense that you prefer a program that is catered to your needs. With this in mind, some schools allow students to customize their BBA degree by choosing an emphasis. Below we’ve compiled a list of six popular concentrations to help you understand your options.

Understanding the value of a BBA degree

A high-quality BBA program should be structured to prepare you with the business and leadership skills needed to be competitive in today’s workforce. A business administration program is an ideal option for individuals who have their sights set on entry-level or middle management opportunities.

Common courses included in most BBA programs include:

  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Principles of Management
  • Business Finance
  • Principles of Accounting
  • Organizational Communication
  • Operations Management
  • Leadership and Professional Ethics

While some programs don’t require students to choose a specialty, keep in mind that it could give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

“Many students come into the BBA with eyes wide open, ready to explore,” explains Diane Singer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing at UMass Global. “They often take electives until they find their niche and get a clearer vision of what they want for their career.”

She goes on to explain that while in many cases it’s beneficial for business students to choose a concentration, being a generalist is the right choice for some. Even for those who choose to specialize, it’s important to have a solid understanding of foundational skills that can be applied in every business setting.

“The UMass Global BBA programs prepare you to hit the job running. You walk out of our program knowing how to get stuff done,” Singer explains. “Employers really like that. Our electives are structured to make generalists who know how to do it all.”

6 business administration concentrations to consider

There are many factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to pursue a business specialty. Keep the following advice from Helen Eckmann, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Business Administration in mind as you evaluate your options:

“As a teacher, my goal is to help students identify and capitalize on their personal strengths and figure out how that translates to a career. If they are very detail-oriented and like numbers, let’s look at technical concentrations like accounting or finance. If they are highly relational, let’s explore marketing or leadership. Each student has a different answer.”

Below is a breakdown of six business administration concentrations offered in the UMass Global BBA degree program and their corresponding courses, skills learned and career outcomes.

1. Accounting

If you enjoy math and spreadsheets, pursuing a BBA in Accounting could make a lot of sense. You’ll become technically proficient in things like cost analysis, budgeting and financial reporting, in addition to developing interpersonal and client-service skills. This comprehensive program prepares students for accounting careers in many sectors, including government, retail, finance and real estate.

Examples of BBA in Accounting courses include:

  • Cost Analysis and Budgeting
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Auditing

2. Entrepreneurship

If you’ ever dreamed of starting your own company - or already have - this could be the perfect combination for you. Under the guidance of scholar-practitioners with deep experience in the business world, you’ll learn how to craft a business plan, obtain financing, make strategic decisions and more. Students also have the opportunity to secure mentorships with successful entrepreneurs and put theory to work in real-life.

Examples of BBA in Entrepreneurship courses include:

  • Financing the Small Business
  • Marketing Research
  • New Product Development

3. Finance

A BBA in Finance is designed to develop sought-after competencies in topics like investments, capital markets and risk assessment. This combination of business acumen and financial management skills creates competitive candidates for jobs as financial analysts, compliance officers, investment advisors and more.

Examples of BBA in Finance courses include:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Income Taxation
  • International Finance

4. Information systems management

A BBA in Information Systems Management teaches the programming, data and communications skills needed to manage websites and troubleshoot complex systems. Students are also equipped with leadership skills to delegate and oversee tasks. Graduates with this degree find jobs as software developers, computer engineers, computer programmers, web developers and more.

Examples of BBA in Information Systems Management courses include:

  • Programming for Business Majors
  • Applied Project Management
  • Database Management

5. Organizational leadership

Organizational Leadership (OL) is one of the most popular BBA emphasis options. “Some students enroll assuming it’ll be easy because they already consider themselves a leader,” says Eckmann. Even if that’s true, there’s always more to learn. She explains that “If you think you’re an expert in leadership, by definition that means you’re not. The best leaders have humility — they don’t think they are the smartest person in every room.”

OL is also an excellent choice for those who recognize their own leadership potential but need additional skills and knowledge to get ahead. Students will be prepared to make important business decisions, find solutions to problems and manage employees in a variety of industries.

Examples of BBA in Organizational Leadership courses include:

  • Organizational Development and Change
  • Leaderships Skills Development Lab
  • Theory and Practice of Leadership

6. Supply chain systems

This business administration concentration demands technical proficiency in things like project management and information systems, plus highly-developed communication skills to build relationships with brokers, suppliers and consumers. Students will gain exposure to the planning, sourcing, procurement and other logistical activities needed to manage supply chains around the world.

Examples of BBA in Supply Chain Systems courses include:

  • Strategies Across the Supply Chain
  • Project Management and Supply Chain Leadership
  • Labor Relations

Customize your BBA degree at UMass Global

Your business education should fit your unique needs. Get the precise skills and training you need to succeed in your desired career, and do it all with the guidance and support of experts.

“We have created a learning environment where the expectation is that you will pass, not because it’s easy, but because you have the resources you need to succeed,” Eckmann says.

Start searching for your perfect match with UMass Global’s comprehensive online BBA degrees. Choose from 11 business administration concentrations which all feature student-centered curriculums and unparalleled support services. Visit our BBA program page today and start exploring your options.

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