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Business Administration vs. Marketing Degree: A Look at Two Similar Choices

Published on: February 10, 2022

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Students with an interest in business and leadership have a few different educational paths to consider. A business administration degree provides a broad overview of business topics to pursue any number of business leadership careers, while a marketing degree focuses on the marketing side of running a business. Here is a closer look at how these two degree options compare.

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What Is a Business Administration Degree?

A bachelor’s in business administration is a comprehensive degree in business and leadership. It teaches the student how to think critically, handle and manage large projects and lead people in a business environment. A focus on the financial aspects of running a business and on the process of creating business plans is also part of this degree.

Types of Business Administration Degrees

There are a number of options for earning a business-administration degree, including:

  • Online vs. on-campus degree programs: Online degree programs provide greater flexibility, but on-campus programs provide more opportunities to interact in person with other students and faculty.
  • Associate-degree programs: An associate in business administration is a two-year program that can help a student build a solid foundation in these concepts. It also often serves as a solid steppingstone toward a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s degree programs: This four-year degree program is the most well-rounded option for those who do not have any business training or experience.
  • Master’s degree programs: Perfect for students with a bachelor’s degree who want more in-depth business administration training.
  • Science vs. arts degree: A Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) is a liberal-arts degree focused on business. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) combines core business courses with math and analytical courses that relate to business.

Types of Business Administration Concentrations

Students who pursue a BSBA can customize their degree by pursuing specific concentrations. Some areas of concentration available for this degree can include:

  • Entrepreneurship: With a focus on small-business administration, this concentration teaches the skills needed to start and run a business.
  • Financial Management: This concentration prepares students to work in the financial sector, including banking, insurance and real estate.
  • Financial Planning: For student who want to take the Certified Financial Planner exam and go on to pursue a career in the financial-planning field, this concentration is a must.
  • Healthcare Management: This concentration prepares students for leadership roles on the business side of the medical field.
  • International Business: This concentration showcases the unique concerns of students who are entering the global economy.

Business Administration Job Duties

With a degree in business administration, a student will be well prepared to lead within a business setting. While a possibility, this does not necessarily mean direct management careers, but can instead involve the overall leadership of the business. Someone with this degree may have responsibilities that include:

  • Creating a business plan for a new or growing company
  • Conducting a competitive analysis of the business with its competition
  • Analyzing the financial status of a company
  • Creating a positive business environment for the company
  • Evaluating internal and external aspects of a company’s operations
  • Managing projects
  • Overseeing the finances of a business

Business Administration Careers

Those taking the business administration career path may have some of the following job options:

Business Consultant

A business consultant will analyze an organization’s operations and recommend methods for improvement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates this career path is growing quite strongly—up 14% by 2030. These professionals make an average salary of $87,660 each year.

Financial Analyst

For in-demand skills to analyze and advise leadership regarding the finances of an organization, these professionals make an average salary of $83,660 annually, according to the BLS. The expected job-growth rate for these positions is about average for all careers in all fields—6%.

Financial Managers

Financial managers oversee investment activities, budgets and financial reports for an organization. They help develop plans that will help companies reach their long-term financial goals. This career has a 17% expected growth and an annual average salary of $134,180 a year.

Human Resources Specialist

A human resources specialist screens and interviews new hires and helps keep existing employees happy with effective employee relations and benefits. This career has a 10% expected growth and an average wage of $63,490 a year.

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What Is a Marketing degree?

A marketing degree teaches students one specific area of business — how to market and promote a company, service or product. The focus of this degree is teaching students how to help a business reach and influence its potential customers, rather than focusing on the internal operations of the business.

Types of Marketing Degrees

Like a business-administration degree, you have a few options when considering a degree in marketing, including:

  • Online vs on-campus degree: Studying online allows for more flexibility, while studying on-campus may provide more face-to-face networking opportunities.
  • Associate-degree programs: Two-year degrees provide a broad overview of marketing and can help you get your foot in the door.
  • Bachelor’s degree programs: Four-year degrees provide a comprehensive look at the marketing field.
  • Master's degree programs: These graduate degrees work best for students who are already working in business but want to hone their skills.
  • Science vs. arts degrees: A Bachelor of Arts in Marketing provides a liberal-arts education with a focus on business and marketing while a Bachelor of Science in Marketing may focus more on analytics training.

Types of Marketing Concentrations

Students who study marketing may choose a concentration in areas such as:

  • Retail Marketing: Focuses on marketing for retail customers.
  • B2B Marketing: Focuses on marketing to other businesses.
  • Communications: Focuses on communications as it relates to marketing messages.
  • Digital Marketing: Focuses on the marketing needed in the digital world.
  • Leadership: Focuses on training students for leadership roles within the marketing sector.

Marketing Job Duties

A student who graduates with a marketing degree will focus on the advertising and promotions within a business. This might include:

  • Creating and managing marketing campaigns
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of marketing materials
  • Overseeing sales and marketing teams
  • Planning for future marketing messages
  • Coordinating with media channels

Marketing Careers

A marketing career path may open the door to jobs such as:

Communications and Public Relations Specialists

These professionals maintain the public images of the brands they represent. The BLS indicates an expected growth rate of 11% and an average salary of $62,810 for public relations specialists.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts earn an average of $65,810 a year. These professionals oversee and analyze market conditions and sales figures. This career path is expected to grow 22%.

Advertising Manager

An advertising manager promotes the products or services of a business and oversees the marketing and advertising plans. This field is expected to grow by 10% offering a $141,490 average annual salary.

Sales Manager

A sales manager oversees the sales teams within a business. This job has a slightly better than average job growth expectation of 7%. The BLS also estimates the average salary to come in at $132,290 a year.

Get Help Choosing the Right Career Path

business-administration degree opens a wider number of career paths, while a marketing degree is concentrated on one area. Both can open the door to lucrative career options depending on the goals of the individual student. To get help determining which path is right for you or to get general help with designing your educational path, contact Husson University today.

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