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Best major for BSBA students

January 19, 2022
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As a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) student, you’ll study all different aspects of business to build a well-rounded foundation of knowledge. In most programs you’ll also have the opportunity to choose electives and select a course major that aligns with your interests and career goals. Whether you’re just starting out your business education, finishing up your bachelor’s and need to decide on a major, or just trying to figure out what degree is right for you, we can help. Only you can know what the best major is for you but our breakdown of BSBA course majors with course topics, skills required, potential careers and salaries can help you narrow down the best options.

BSBA course majors

The following majors are the most commonly offered in B.S. in Business Administration programs including online and in-person programs.

Accounting

Accountants are crucial to businesses of all sizes in all industries. They’re not just there to issue paychecks and do taxes, skilled accountants are strategically-minded and are able to find and assess risks and opportunities for their businesses. Because of their responsibilities overseeing money, accountants are also expected to have a deep understanding of business ethics and act ethically in all their dealings.

Accounting courses
Students who pursue a BSBA accounting major will find that the particulars to accounting jobs lie within the environment of the role. Keeping this in mind you may choose to take a variety of courses to ensure a breadth of accounting skills, or, you may know what style of accounting you would like to do and focus on electives and internships that will help you in your chosen subfield.

A student pursuing a BSBA accounting major should anticipate taking classes such as:

  • Principles of accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Accounting communications
  • International accounting
  • Tax research
  • Auditing
  • Analysis of corporate financial statements
  • Business law for accounting
  • Accounting information systems
  • Accounting internship

Note on accounting licensure: Any accountant who files a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required to be a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Being a licensed CPA also enhances job prospects and lends to the legitimacy of your skills. To become a CPA you must complete 150 semester hours of college coursework (30 hours more than the usual 4-year bachelor’s degree) to sit the exam and gain licensure. Many schools offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to meet the 150-hour requirement, but a master’s degree is not required to become a CPA.

Accounting skills
A successful BSBA accounting major should possess or develop the following skills:

  • Data analysis
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Effective communication
  • Ability to prioritize

Accounting jobs and salaries

  • Management accountant | Median salary $76,230 per year3
  • Public accountant | Median salary $73,180 per year3
  • Government accountant | Median salary $72,260 per year3

Finance

Financial professionals are at the center of investments from stocks and mutual funds to retirement plans and corporate capital. Financial analysts work to maximize the value of investments for a variety of stakeholders. They also may study economic and business trends, recommend investments and determine the value of a business.

Finance course
Similar to business accounting majors, BSBA finance majors often have the ability to choose courses based on their specific interests within the field of finance and what type of career they would like to pursue. Depending on the academic institution, finance majors might enroll in the following courses:

  • Investment analysis
  • Investment banking
  • Investment consulting
  • Commercial real estate finance
  • Financial planning
  • International finance
  • Financial modeling
  • Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Underwriting
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Private equity, ethics and society
  • Finance internship

Finance skills
A successful BSBA finance major should focus on strengthening the following areas:

  • Analytical thinking and mathematical knowledge
  • Ability to organize information
  • Time management and prioritization
  • Problem-solving
  • Persuasiveness
  • Decision-making

Finance jobs and salaries

  • Financial managers | Median salary $134,180 per year5
  • Personal financial advisors | Median salary $89,330 per year6
  • Financial analysts | Median salary $83,660 per year7

Human Resources

Human resources (HR) professionals keep the human capital of an organization in top shape. HR workers can take on roles in talent management, employee benefits, employee satisfaction and engagement and strategic decision-making.

HR courses
BSBA human resource majors tend to have a more narrow selection of electives but that doesn’t negate the huge impact these essential skills can have on an organization.

  • Employment law
  • Talent acquisition, management and development
  • Diversity in organizations
  • Leadership, motivation and change
  • Negotiations
  • International human resource management
  • Human resource internship

HR skills
Successful BSBA human resource majors will have second-nature “people skills” on top of their business acumen. HR students should concentrate on strengthening their skills in:

  • Communication
  • Training and development
  • Empathy
  • Organizational and project management
  • Strategic-thinking
  • Leadership

HR jobs and salaries

  • Human resource managers | Median salary $121,220 per year8
  • Human resource specialists | Median salary $63,490 per year9

Marketing

Marketing is a broad field with lots of opportunities for strategic planning that enhances the value of an organization. Marketing professionals work internally at companies to promote their products or services and also work in agency settings like advertising businesses. Some marketers specialize in areas like social media or design.

Marketing courses:
Students planning to pursue a BSBA marketing major should anticipate taking courses such as:

  • Marketing research
  • Consumer behavior
  • Integrated communications
  • Marketing analytics
  • International marketing
  • Customer relationship management
  • Brand management
  • Sales management
  • Retailing

Skills needed for marketing:
To be successful in their careers, BSBA marketing majors should hone their skills in:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Creative strategy
  • Strategic planning
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration

Marketing jobs and salaries:

  • Marketing managers | Median salary $141,490 per year10
  • Market research analysts | Median salary $65,810 per year11

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Operations and supply chain professionals work as logistics coordinators, distribution managers, production planners, buyers, supply chain analysts and inventory managers. These are the folks who keep all aspects of a business on schedule and running efficiently.

Typical BSBA operations courses:
BSBA operations majors take all sorts of process and manufacturing courses including:

  • Manufacturing planning
  • Supply chain strategy
  • Quality and process management
  • Global logistics
  • Global operations
  • Supply chain analytics
  • Negotiation
  • Applied Lean Six Sigma

Skills needed for operations:
Successful BSBA operations managers are focused and organized. They should have strong skills in:12

  • Data processing
  • Technical applications
  • Product development
  • Risk analysis
  • Budget management
  • Staff management
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Adaptability

Operations jobs and salaries:

  • Industrial production managers | Median salary $108,790 per year13
  • Operations research analysts | Median salary $86,200 per year13
  • Logisticians | Median salary $76,270 per year14
  • Buyers, purchasing managers | $72,270 per year13

Choose the major, and the program, that take you further

Marquette University’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is designed for students who’ve completed some college coursework and want to return to school to finish their degree. The online option adds flexibility to the top-ranked business program15 and features the same faculty and curriculum as the in-person business bachelor’s at Marquette's campus. With BSBA major and elective options including each of the fields listed above, you can hone your skills in the areas that are important to you and critical to furthering your career. Finish your degree and build the career you’ve dreamed of with Marquette’s online bachelor’s. Apply today.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-4
  2. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/accounting-resume-skills
  3. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-5
  4. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/finance-skills
  5. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
  6. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm
  7. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
  8. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
  9. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm
  10. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
  11. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
  12. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/operational-management-skills
  13. Retrieved on January 17, 2022 from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm#tab-8
  14. Retrieved on January 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm
  15. Retrieved on January 12, 2022, from usnews.com/best-colleges/marquette-university-3863/overall-rankings