What is Business Administration?

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By DeVry University

September 16, 2021
5 min read

Part of what makes the world of business so exciting is how diverse the work can be. With a wide variety of companies specializing in many different products or solutions, one factor that can help an organization achieve its goals is a strong backbone in business administration.

What is Business Administration?

Business administration refers to a broad range of activities associated with managing a business or business department's day-to-day operations. This can involve the management of resources like people or time, organizing operations and creating plans to achieve short and long-term goals. Oftentimes business administration practices can be found in the following departments:

  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Product Management
  • Marketing
  • Research and Development

Why Is Business Administration Important?

A business can have a brilliant product or service but without a solid foundation in business administration, it may struggle to develop smooth operations in the marketplace. Without fundamental business administration practices in place, a company and its employees can quickly be distracted from the common goals and priorities they're trying to accomplish.

For example, within a finance department, the business administration team is responsible for ensuring employees get paid promptly and appropriately. Similarly, a Human Resources team with solid business administration practices may be able to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring and resources. They work to ensure skills and staffing levels are where they need to be to complete projects and achieve business goals. So, without these fundamental business administration practices in place, you can see how a company could find itself facing extra hurdles to clear.

What Are Some Business Administration Career Paths?

A Bachelor's of Business Administration can open up a wide range of career possibilities for students According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the business operations field, on a national level, are expected to grow 8% from 2020 to 20301. Developing a strong core set of skills in business administration gives you a good tactical foundation that can allow you to build on your specific interests and talents and find an organization or field of work that interests you.

Some career paths associated with an education in business administration can include:

  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Hospitality
  • Sales and Marketing... and many more.

What Skills Make an Effective Business Administrator?

An effective business administrator's skills can vary depending on the field of work, the size of the company and many other variables, but there are some core competencies that you can focus on to set yourself up to enter into the business world. While analytical skills are important, you can also expect to leverage these core "soft" skills on a daily basis.

Financial Management

In business, savvy financial management can be critical to success. Understanding the basics of accounting, cash flow and profit and losses supports your need to ensure your employees get paid, that you're equipped to grow the business and that you can sustain day-to-day operating costs. It can also help you weather financial hardships that may occur. Having a solid understanding of core business financials will help you appropriately forecast and plan for the future while keeping the business running smoothly and efficiently.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is a powerful skill that is important to hone for success in the business world Part of what keeps business interesting is its unpredictability; for example, an employee might not show up for a shift as planned or a customer may have a complicated request. The ability to find a solution and adapt to spontaneous events can make you an important resource for your boss, your colleagues and your customers.

People Management

One of the most valuable assets of any organization is its people. Knowing how to support and manage your team can make all the difference in achieving your business goals. The better equipped your people are to work together, the greater the success you may enjoy as a group.

Communication

When your staff or team fails to communicate properly with each other, a breakdown can happen within your department or organization. A big part of successful professional communication involves respectfully expressing yourself, but another major component involves the capacity to listen. By developing strong listening skills, your coworkers can feel heard and respected and you can avoid some common pitfalls caused by poor communication.

Project Planning

A more functional and tactical skill associated with good business administration is project planning or project management. Sound project planning involves agreeing on a common goal and then following the steps needed to reach that goal. Knowing ahead of time how many people and resources are needed, how long each phase of the project is expected to take and any other important factors involved helps your project stay on budget and on time, plus it can help reduce confusion and errors along the way.

Leadership

In business administration, there may be times where you're expected to take the lead role for a certain project, task or team. Having effective leadership skills can help you stay on target with team goals and help affect positive change in the organization. Leadership skills are not only valuable in a management position, however. Applying a leadership mentality in your individual role can help you demonstrate ownership and pride in your work, as well as help you inspire others around you to do the same.

Customer Service

Every business has customers, and may remember how you treat them. Understanding the basics of good customer service can go a long way in ensuring customer retention, repeat business and positive word of mouth. When you seek to understand the customer's perspective and use your problem-solving skills to find a solution to their unique needs, you demonstrate that they are more than a number, they are a person and you want to help.

Interested in Exploring a Career in Business Administration?

Essential business skills may be just what you need to take the next step in your career. Find out how you can build your foundational skills in business administration at DeVry University. With a variety of degree specializations to choose from, you can prepare to take on the area of business that interests you.

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1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm