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What to Expect as You Earn an AA in Business Administration

A strong grounding in business fundamentals can help people adapt to new opportunities and challenges as they arise.

An associate degree in business administration prepares people to anticipate change, helping their organizations prosper in an unpredictable environment.

To thrive in the business world, students should look for a degree program that blends business knowledge with a liberal arts foundation. Besides learning about accounting, finance and marketing, students develop a broad perspective on issues, and gain communication and critical thinking skills that may help you succeed in business.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career possibilities for graduates with an associate degree include entrepreneurship, store management, sales, customer service and relationship banking.

Changing Nature of Business

At one time, the conventional wisdom was that people in the business world had only one responsibility: to increase shareholder value. While this remains true today, modern business courses teach students how to do this by serving profits, people and the planet — commonly called the Triple Bottom Line.

Students should expect an emphasis on business ethics, as many organizations are finding themselves under increased scrutiny. At New England College and other schools, a class on business ethics and regulations may be required for business students.

What You Need to Know About Business Administration

Students pursuing an associate degree will gain an overview of business basics, helping students understand how all the different topics are related to each other. Students might decide while taking this course if they are interested in a specific element of business, such as accounting, management or marketing. Picking a specialty is not a requirement at this level; in fact, many people may prefer a broader business background.

Many business courses focus on the handling of numbers, but students shouldn’t be worried about their math skills. It’s not about long division and square roots — it’s about knowing how to record assets and liabilities on a balance sheet, determining the return on an investment and calculating net present values.

Some of the key concepts covered in a business administration program:

  • Accounting – Students will learn how to organize, analyze and report the numbers that organizations need to make decisions that are critical to the long-term success of a company. Financial accounting is concerned with ensuring that a company’s performance is communicated properly and lawfully to all stakeholders, including investors and the government. Managerial accounting looks at tracking and analyzing internal operations.
  • Marketing – The course explores meeting consumers’ wants and needs by studying four considerations: product, price, promotion and place. Today, marketing can touch nearly every part of the organization, from research and development to delivering a finished product to the customer.
  • Microeconomics – Microeconomics, a subset of economics, investigates how individuals and organizations decide to allocate their money and other resources. The link between supply and demand is a key component; students should expect to learn how price and availability is related to sales.
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