Business Administration vs Business Management: Understanding the Key Differences

When it comes to starting a business, there are many decisions to be made. One of the most important is deciding on the type of degree or education you need to pursue, in order to be successful. Many people often find themselves torn between two seemingly similar degrees: business administration and business management.

Business Administration vs Business Management: Understanding the Key Differences

While these two degrees may seem interchangeable, there are actually quite a few significant differences between them. In this article, we will explore the key differences between business administration and business management, so that you can make an informed decision about which path is right for you.

What is Business Administration?

Business administration is a broad field that encompasses a range of topics related to managing and running businesses. This degree program typically covers subjects such as accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, human resources, and more.

Graduates with a degree in business administration will have strong analytical skills and an understanding of how businesses work. They will have the ability to analyze data and make strategic decisions based on that analysis.

Additionally, they will have strong communication skills that allow them to work effectively with others within their organization. This could include working with employees in other departments or even communicating with customers or suppliers.

What is Business Management?

Business management is also a broad field that focuses on managing businesses and ensuring they operate effectively. However, unlike business administration which has a more generalized focus across all areas of management within an organization, business management focuses specifically on leadership skills necessary for supervising teams of employees within an organization

This degree program typically covers topics like leadership theory and practice; organizational behavior; human resources; financial reporting; project management; marketing strategy development; amongst others.

Graduates with a degree in business management possess excellent leadership skills necessary for supervisory roles within organizations. They have honed their critical thinking capabilities through real-world scenarios while leading teams towards achieving desired goals.

Furthermore, they possess extensive knowledge of organizational dynamics and how to optimize these dynamics in order to achieve optimal results. They are also able to effectively lead teams, delegate work, and manage risks.

Key Differences between Business Administration and Business Management

While both degrees may seem similar, there are actually several key differences between business administration and business management.

Scope of Focus

The primary difference between these two degrees is their scope of focus. Business administration has a wider scope that covers all areas of managing and running businesses, including accounting, marketing, human resources, finance etc. Meanwhile, business management focuses more specifically on leading people and supervising teams towards achieving organizational goals effectively.


Another difference between the two degree programs is the skills they develop. While both degrees provide students with strong analytical skills that can be applied within diverse operating environments as well as strong communication skills necessary for working within an organization or with external parties such as suppliers or customers; the specific skill sets developed vary slightly.

Business administration places greater emphasis on quantitative analysis (financial modeling, budgeting) while business management focuses more on qualitative analysis (communication styles, interpersonal relations etc.)

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for graduates from both programs may vary significantly based on fields of interest as well as job market conditions and economic factors at any given timepoint. However, generally speaking:

Graduates with a degree in business administration will typically find themselves with a broader range of job opportunities thanks to their multidisciplinary approach: positions such as accountant or financial analyst are some options that may open up.

On the other hand graduates with a degree in business management will be primed for leadership roles such as directors or managers within organizations due to their strong leadership skills honed through real-world scenarios during their studies.

Choosing Between Business Administration vs Business Management Degrees: What should you consider?

Choosing between these two forms of education can be difficult. To assist you in your decision making process we’ve outlined some important questions to consider.

  • What specific career path do you want to pursue?
  • Do you want to focus on supervisory / leadership roles or take a multidisciplinary approach towards managing and operating businesses?
  • What are your key areas of interest and beyond your degree, what steps do you plan on taking in order to develop expertise within them?
  • What study environment appeals more to you?

It is important not just to choose a degree based on its contents but also how it aligns with your passions, career goals and aspirations.


In conclusion, Business Administration vs. Business Management degrees offer different paths and trajectories for those interested in pursuing management roles within organizations.

Most importantly, one should understand the key differences between the two degrees in order to make an informed decision that best suits their individual goals. The right choice will depend on individual interests and strengths as well as desired career trajectory so be sure to research both of these programs carefully before making any decisions.


What is the main difference between business administration and business management?

While both disciplines involve overseeing and leading a company, business administration focuses more on the strategic planning and decision-making aspects of running a business, while business management emphasizes the day-to-day operations and implementation of plans.

Can someone with a degree in business administration work in business management?

Yes, someone with a degree in business administration can work in business management. However, they may need to gain further experience or education specific to managing daily operations rather than just focusing on high-level strategy.

What are some common job titles for those with degrees in business administration?

Some common job titles for those with degrees in business administration include CEO, CFO, general manager, marketing director, and human resources manager.

How do the skill sets required for business administration differ from those required for business management?

Business administration requires strong analytical skills, critical thinking abilities, and an understanding of economics and financial concepts. Business management relies more heavily on leadership skills, communication abilities, and knowledge of organizational behavior.

Are there different areas of specialization within each field?

Yes, both fields have several areas of specialization. For example, in business administration one could specialize in finance or accounting whereas one could specialize in operations or supply chain management within the realm of business management.

Which field typically leads to higher-paying careers – Business Administration or Business Management?

Both fields can lead to high-paying careers depending on individual performance and experience levels but it is often seen that those with degrees in Business Administration tend to earn slightly higher salaries compared to those with degrees in Business Management. However this may not always be true as it depends upon various factors such as location and industry etc.

What kind of companies hire professionals with degrees in either field?

Companies of all sizes and types hire professionals with degrees in business administration or business management. These industries include finance, healthcare, technology, retail, manufacturing and many more.

How does the coursework differ between these two majors?

Business administration courses typically cover subjects such as accounting, economics, marketing, strategy and entrepreneurship whereas business management courses often focus on organizational structure & behavior, operations management, decision making processes and project management skills.

Is one degree better than the other?

Neither degree is better than the other as it depends entirely on individual career goals and aspirations. Someone who wants to work in a high-level strategy role may prefer a degree in business administration whereas those interested in managing daily operations may find that business management is more suited to their needs.

Can one easily switch from one major to another during college?

Depending on the university’s academic policies it may be possible to switch from one major to another within the same College of Business or School of Management but there may be particular requirements for each program that need to be met before switching. It’s best to talk with an academic advisor before making any final decisions about switching majors.

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