One of the best ways to future-proof your job prospects is to get into the business world. Business is not going anywhere, and it is never going out of style.
Even more, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an expected increase of 7% in business and finance jobs by 2028, there has never been a better time to get in on your share of the pie. The Bureau expects over 600,000 new jobs added to the industry by the end of the decade.
Consequently, the popularity of business administration and other related degrees have been on a steep rise in the past few years. Shy of taking the plunge and experimenting with launching your own business, a qualification in business is one of the best ways to enter the industry.
For high school leavers looking to become business managers eventually, two standard options available are Bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in business administration.
However, if you plan on opting for the shorter Associate’s degree in business administration, you may be wondering if this degree is worth it.
What is an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration
An associate’s degree in business administration is a two-year program that instructs undergraduates on the skills needed to function in the business world properly. This qualification is a shorter version of a bachelor’s in the field; hence, it provides similar learning opportunities on a limited scale.
These programs typically afford the student with comprehensive schooling in business management principles, business technology, and vital interpersonal skills.
With an associate’s degree in business administration, graduates can match the requirements for primary administrative and management roles in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Consequently, many business Administration Associate’s degree holders typically start as managers, management trainees, or support specialists in the retail or sales industry.
Structure of an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration
The setup of an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration parallels a Bachelor’s degree in the same field but on a smaller scale. Consequently, the coursework, like that of a BA, focuses on the fundamentals of business management.
The program aims to improve the decision making, teamwork, critical thinking, and ethics of the undergraduates. Therefore, students get instruction in all aspects of project planning, statistical analysis, communication, and business software.
Typical courses you will take during an Associate’s program in Business Administration include:
- Business communications
- Business management
- Finance management
An Associate’s Degree in Business Administration typically requires 60 credits and takes about two years to complete.
Why Get an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration?
One of the most important reasons why students choose an Associate’s degree in business administration. At a typical length of only two years, the program offers one of the quickest ways to get a certification that provides you a launching ground into the business world.
This short span of the program makes associate degrees in business administration the preferred choice for aspiring business professional that need to start earning an income as soon as possible.
Furthermore, you can always come back to school for higher qualifications like Bachelor’s degrees and MAs in the future.
Another important reason why you should consider an Associate’s degree in business administration is the total amount you spend on education. A standard associate’s degree in the field typically goes for an average of $25,000-$30,000, usually a third less than what you will pay for a bachelor’s degree.
Furthermore, since the program is typically half the length of a BA, you generally spend less on other schooling expenses as well.
With a bachelor’s degree, a significant portion of your schooling covers general coursework and other aspects of the program that do not directly impact your job prospects. On the other hand, the limited time available for an associate means that most of the program work is directly related to vital management principles.
Is an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration Worth It?
If you have limited time and need to start working in the business world as soon as possible, an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration is one of the best ways to get started. While you may receive slightly lower pay, that your BA-toting counterparts, the pay gap is not too wide, and eventually shrinks and disappears as you gain more experience.
Moreover, if the need arises, you can always get back in school for a bachelor’s degree and higher. Plus, you already have some earned income and practical work experience, which is still a significant advantage in the job market.
Job Market Prospects with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration
A report by the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the growth rate of associate programs at 59% is outpacing that of Bachelor’s programs at only 36%, and this is no surprise.
An associate program gives you a head start when it comes to earning income and building experience. Furthermore, in the business world, where experience carries significant weight, an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration is one of the best ways to go.
This associate program gives you access to most of the same jobs as a Bachelor’s holder, albeit with a lower preference for your certificate. Some entry-level jobs are targeted almost exclusively at associate holders.
with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, some of the positions you can land include:
- Customer service associate
- Retail sales worker
- Assistant store manager
- Store manager
- Relationship banker
- Sales consultant
- Sales support specialist
- Sales supervisor
- Executive assistant
- Human Resources Manager
- Business Office Manager
- Payroll and Benefits Administrator