What is business administration?

two business administrators sitting at a table analysing business and financial data

Effective business administration is crucial to the successful running of a wide range of organisations. It’s no surprise therefore that this is a popular subject area for people looking to enhance their career prospects in business. But what exactly is this subject, should you consider studying it and what career options can it lead to? Keep reading to find out.

Broadly speaking, business administration focuses on how to manage an organisation’s resources, people and time. At its core, it is about equipping people with the skills they need to be able to run businesses as effectively and efficiently as possible.

What is a diploma in business administration?

When it comes to studying business administration, a popular and well-known option is to complete a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). However, this is by no means the only type of course available. Another option is a diploma in business administration. These courses can be more accessible than masters as they often require no previous qualifications or experience in order to enrol. This contrasts with MBAs, which may require you to already hold a bachelors degree or have a minimum level of work experience before you can sign up.

If you study for a diploma in business administration, you will cover a variety of key subject areas. For example, your course may include topics as wide ranging as communication in business, HR and performance management, business finances, time management and more.

What skills are needed for business administration?

There are certain skills that will help you to succeed in this specialist area. Some of these you may already have, while others you might need to strengthen by studying for the relevant qualifications and gaining work experience.

For example, it helps to be adept at communicating ideas. This will help you to convey your insights and to get people to support the actions you want to take in your role. It’s useful to have strong people skills too, as well as a keen interest in all areas of business. You’ll also need to be proficient in disciplines such as IT, finance, marketing and HR. Don’t worry if you currently lack knowledge and confidence in any of these areas however. This is the whole point of business administration courses, including diplomas. They’re designed to help you hone these abilities to give you the best possible chance of thriving in this field.

Why study business administration?

There are many reasons to study this subject. It’s true that not all roles in business administration require you to have completed a relevant course. That said, gaining a qualification in the field helps to demonstrate your expertise and show prospective employers that you’re serious about your career. In turn, this can enhance your job prospects by making you a more attractive candidate for a variety of roles. It can also help you to access better paying positions.

There are other benefits to studying these business courses too. For example, by building up your knowledge on a range of key subject areas, these learning programmes can give you much greater confidence in business administration roles. This can make your day-to-day working life more rewarding and enjoyable, and it can help you to advance more quickly up the career ladder.

What jobs can I do with business administration?

The breadth of topics you study during a business administration course is reflected by the plethora of job opportunities these learning programmes can lead to. From roles that focus on crunching numbers, to positions centred on solving complex problems, to jobs that involve dealing with and motivating people, there are many different possibilities to explore.

It’s worth bearing in mind that business administration roles tend to differ depending on the company, but they can include:

Human resources manager – If you’re a people person, you might decide to pursue a path in human resources. HR managers oversee tasks such as recruitment, training, employee compensation and benefits, workplace relations and more.

Project manager – If you have a talent for organisation and you’re a natural leader, you may opt to specialise in project management. These roles involve organising and overseeing projects within an organisation. They encompass many of the key skills learned during a business administration course, such as working to specific schedules and budgets.

Office manager – These roles focus on the day-to-day running of the workplace. Duties can include organising schedules and files, maintaining a clean working environment, keeping all equipment in good order and ordering new equipment when necessary.

Accounting – If you relish working with numbers, you might decide to go into this specialist area. In these roles, you could be involved in compiling, maintaining and analysing financial data, reporting on financial records and so on.

Sales manager – Working in the competitive and fast-paced world of sales management would see you set goals for sales teams, oversee training, analyse data and more.

Marketing manager – As a marketing manager, you’d be responsible for creating marketing campaigns and analysing their success. These roles can be highly creative.

Market research analyst – These positions involve studying market conditions and providing information and insights to help businesses increase their sales.

These are just some of the options that may be open to you if you decide to study business administration. You might decide to pursue roles as an employee within an organisation or strike out on your own and offer your expertise to a number of clients as a consultant. The variability and flexibility of this field is one of the reasons why it’s so attractive.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.