What Is the Difference Between a Business Management and a Business Administration Degree?

Business students are routinely forced to choose between the administration path and the management path. Though these students will undoubtedly take overlapping classes, it is still true that these degree programs are different in many ways. While business management programs tend to focus on classes that prepare students for the daily struggles of running a business, administration programs give students an opportunity to focus on specific skills, such as accounting, finance, or even marketing. While most students can benefit from either of these programs, some will perform better in one versus the other.

Core Elements Of Business Programs

Business administration and business management programs tend to focus on the same core elements during the first few semesters. Students learn the basics of business. They are forced to take some economics courses, learning both micro and macroeconomics. Likewise, all business students take a course in marketing and one in management. The differences in these programs come much later, as students start to choose targeted courses in the later years of their business school experience.

Business Management Degrees And The Daily Grind

Some business students will focus their attention on the management side, and they go on to learn about the things that go into running a company. In a business management degree program, a student will focus on things like human resources management, basic motivational principles, and supply chain logistics. Students might learn the principles of organization, and they could learn how to arrange activities for their groups of employees. Management programs tend to be detail-oriented for people who will eventually manage other people. This is what principally sets them apart from administration degrees. Though the names sound similar, business management students typically do not venture far from the overhead view of what it takes to run a company daily.

Business Administration And Focusing On One Area

Leigh Roberts wrote an article in the Houston Chronicle¬†where she claimed that business administration students often continue their focus on the big picture of business planning. Likewise, these students are able to choose a specialty in which they can apply the big picture principles. To put it more simply, students in administration programs can learn how to use accounting, finance, marketing, or some other specialty to further a business’s goals. While a management student might be learning how to organize his staff members, an administration student will learn how to best utilize skills in order to produce the best result.

Understanding How Different Colleges Classify Their Programs

It is important for students to understand that different schools have different ways of classifying their business programs. Some schools have administration programs that different very little from management programs. Others have molded the two together into a new type of business degree option. Students looking for information on these degree programs should always remember to ask specific schools about their particular programs prior to pulling the trigger.

Business management degrees and business administration degrees are similar in many ways, and students will spend time in the same sorts of classes for the first three or four semesters. Beyond that, an administration student will be able to focus more on specific business skills, while a management student will learn the basics of daily management. While either degree can be useful, students should choose the one that best suits their needs.

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