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Business Administration vs Business Management: Which is Right for Me?

By DeVry University

September 21, 2021
7 min read

If you’re interested in a career in business, you might be wondering, “What is the difference between business administration vs business management?” You might also be curious to know, “What degree options exist for me?”

These are important questions to answer because the educational path you take will vary based on the goals you have for your future. Understanding the nuances of your academic options can help you choose the right bachelor’s degree program for your aspirations in the business world.

Is Business Administration the Same as Business Management?

They are closely related, but there are a few distinct differences between business administration vs business management.

Both degree programs can introduce you to some core elements of business including accounting, marketing, management and analytics. Where the two subjects differ, however, is within the areas of planning and organization. A bachelor’s in business management will focus more on performance improvement, management theory, budgeting, forecasting and other operational studies.

There is another difference between a Bachelor’s in Business Management vs a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and that relates to the level of experience students enrolled in these programs usually have. Business management students often already have experience in the workforce, occasionally with some college education under their belt, whereas business administration students tend to enroll straight out of high school.

Three Business Degree Options

In addition to a business administration or management degree, there is a third option for you to consider: a Bachelor’s in Technical Management. This program is dedicated to learning the ins and outs of technical management concepts and systems. There is no IT experience required, but you should have an interest in statistical and financial data and how that data applies to today’s tech-heavy business models.

Bachelor's in Business Administration

What is Business Administration?

The Bachelor’s in Business Administration is an option for undergraduates seeking a general business education. You can expect to build a solid foundation with an understanding of how different parts of a business work together to create successful organizations.

How Do I Know if It Is Right for Me?

This type of business program is ideal for students who are just beginning their college journey and have little to no prior college or work experience. It can help prepare you for a career in management and offers the option to specialize in certain industries like healthcare, hospitality or the not-for-profit sector. You can also concentrate your studies on certain business disciplines such as global supply chain management, human resource management, sales and marketing and more.

What Will I Learn?

In a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) program, you can learn how to analyze business opportunities and risks by working with statistical and financial data. You’ll also study how to produce financial statements, apply marketing strategies for products and services and leverage technology to develop solutions for daily business operations.

Bachelor’s in Business Management

What is Business Management?

business management degree prioritizes planning and organization, focusing on strategies for managing people and achieving business goals. This program will delve into management theory and deliver concepts like business intelligence and analytics management, project management and finance.

How Do I Know if It Is Right for Me?

The Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management (BSBM) is an option for working students with some college credit who want to expand their skills and pursue the opportunity to advance into a supervisory or managerial role. Many business managers can be described as creative problem solvers, born leaders and entrepreneurial thinkers. They are inspired by changing norms, growth opportunities, improvement efforts and innovative ideas.

What Will I Learn?

A Bachelor’s in Business Management will help you understand competitive global business markets and develop skills for managing organizations. You’ll also learn about business models that leverage technology for top performance and study real-world management scenarios that illustrate successful people management techniques.

Bachelor’s in Technical Management

What Is Technical Management?

A Bachelor’s in Technical Management is a multi-faceted degree that blends business administration, technology and other business functions. This type of program can introduce you to technical management concepts and systems, often through case studies focused on leading companies.

How Do I Know if It Is Right for Me?

As with the BSBM, the Bachelor’s of Science in Technical Management degree (BSTM) is an option for working professionals who have some college credits. It can help prepare you to navigate today’s high-tech global marketplace from a leader’s perspective. You should be interested in business systems and strategies and enjoy immersing yourself in data analysis.

What Will I Learn?

You can learn how to analyze business opportunities and risks by working with databases to leverage statistical and financial data. You’ll also explore how marketing and communication strategies can be applied to improve organizational performance.

Find the Right Program for You

Whether you choose to pursue a Bachelor’s in Business administration vs a Bachelor’s in Business Management or a degree in technical management, you can expect to gain core skills in business. The specialization you choose should align with the experience you want and the career path you aspire to follow.

Gain Essential Skills

    • Effectively communicate your research methods and findings.
    • Collaborate in a dynamic and changing marketplace.
    • Solve complex problems through data analysis.
    • Use technology to help reach business goals.

Develop Core Business Knowledge

    • Lead, manage and collaborate in-person and virtually.
    • Allocate financial and human resources to improve performance and mitigate risk.
    • Use numerical and qualitative data to create business solutions.
    • Leverage technology for short-term goals and long-term strategies.

Pursue Learning Outcomes

    • Learn how to apply leadership and management techniques to reach business objectives.
    • Understand how to use spreadsheet and database software for data analysis.
    • Explore how to enhance organizational performance through continuous quality improvement.
    • Discover how to communicate business information to diverse audiences across different media.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial operations occupations are growing, on a national level, at an estimated rate of 8% (2020-2030), adding about 750,800 new jobs.1 Management occupations are expected to experience, on a national level, an estimated 9% growth rate (2020-2030), adding about 906,800 new jobs.2

What Are Your Next Steps?

As you’ve learned, while there is some overlap in terms of the essential, core skills you may obtain in a business-focused bachelor’s program, there are several distinct differences between business administration vs business management.

Ask yourself these questions when choosing the right degree for you. Your answers should depend on your goals and areas of interest:

    • Do you want to be more of a generalist or specialize in a specific business discipline?
    • How do feel about managing people and/or projects?
    • Do you like to analyze data and apply your findings to actionable solutions?
    • Are you tech savvy with an interest in the latest innovations?
    • Do you see yourself as a leader or problem solver or both?

It’s also important to determine the kind of program that fits your lifestyle, especially if you are a working professional:

    • Do you want to take courses online, on campus or on the go?
    • Will you study full-time or part-time?
    • How soon do you want to start on your bachelor’s degree?
    • Are you ready to commit to a multi-year program?

Ready to Explore a Future in Business?

With the answers to these questions in hand, you’ll be ready to begin the process of looking at schools and programs that meet your aspirations for tomorrow.  Explore how our undergraduate business education options at DeVry University can help you on your educational journey.

1 Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location.
2 Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location.

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