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The Difference Between Business Administration and Business Management

December 4, 2014

Business professionals having a meeting

So you’ve decided you want to get a business degree. Congratulations! That’s a great choice, because business is one of the most versatile and practical education options out there. However, just because you know you want to study business doesn’t mean the decision-making process is over. There are several options when it comes to undergraduate business degrees, two of the most popular being the Bachelor of Business Management and the Bachelor of Business Administration.

But which one should you choose? Aren’t they virtually the same? You may be surprised to learn that there is a difference between business administration and business management, both in terms of curriculum and the skills you learn.

Business Administration Overview

In general, administration is a concept that includes all the processes involved with the successful running of a business.

In general, administration is a concept that includes all the processes involved with the successful running of a business. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, this is the most common type of business degree program available at colleges and universities. Its broad coverage of relevant topics is designed to prepare students for business situations of all kinds.

A degree in business administration prepares you for entry- to mid-level positions in a wide variety of careers. Curriculum in most business administration programs covers core business topics like ethics, marketing, finance, economics, research and more. It is typical for students to then choose elective courses that prepare them for a specific career path. Business administration programs give you the chance to find an area of business that interests you. You can then use electives to round out your knowledge and skill set.

Business Management Overview

Most business management programs, on the other hand, tend to narrow the degree’s focus from the start so that students are taking courses that prepare them for management roles. Rather than learning about the various aspects of business, management students focus on staffing, directing, planning, organizing and human resource functions. Personnel operations are a main component of coursework, even though general business topics may also be covered.

In addition, students in some business management programs focus their education on a specific sector of the business world: agricultural business, hospitality management or human resource management, for example. Because of this specialized approach, students sometimes have fewer elective choices, or less credits available to use as electives.


Though there are differences between the two types of degrees, career opportunities after graduation are similar. A solid background in business education qualifies you for a wide variety of jobs, and majoring in administration doesn’t mean that employers won’t consider you for management positions. With both degrees, as is the case with most industries, experience matters when it comes to upper-level jobs. After graduation you may work in an entry-level business career regardless of whether your degree is in management or administration. With time, however, job experience will likely lead to promotions and increased salary. Especially if you go back to school to earn a graduate degree such as an MBA, you can expect good job prospects throughout your career.

Some sample business job titles and salaries* include the following:

Chart showing the different jobs and salaries of business administration and management

*All salary information as reported by Glassdoor

Business at King University

No matter what business career path you choose, the online Bachelor of Business Administration at King University is a great place to start. Our program prepares you for a wide variety of business careers like the ones listed above. Earning an undergraduate business degree is a great way to get an interdisciplinary education for the modern business world. It’s a must-have credential for students like you who are ready to make the most of their careers.

The online program combines the best of both worlds: a business administration degree with a management focus. You’ll apply your experience and use it to learn an advanced set of skills you can use in the workplace. You’ll have a solid foundation of necessary business knowledge, combined with key managerial skills like problem-solving, plan development, managerial economics and more.

Your business career begins at King University. Learn more about our online programs to get started.