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What’s the difference between a BBA and a BSBA?

November 15, 2021
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It’s a big business world out there. The possibilities and opportunities can be thrilling—and overwhelming. As you bring your educational and career goals into focus, start by looking at some of the available degree options and seeing how each one aligns with your professional goals.

This post will consider some key similarities and differences between Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees, as well as a number of career paths for which each one can prepare you.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

The Bachelor of Business Administration is a professional degree that provides a broad understanding of how companies function. About 25% of the curriculum is in the liberal arts, with 75% focusing on business administration. The coursework instills a solid foundation in many disciplines, including business economics, business mathematics, marketing management, statistics, ethics, law and corporate finance, among other topics. Students graduate with advanced financial and technical skills, and the degree is applicable to a wide range of career possibilities.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree takes a deeper dive into a more focused range of material, splitting the coursework about evenly between liberal arts and an applied science such as business. The BSBA curriculum emphasizes math, science and analysis. Students can expect to gain knowledge of business, economics, accounting, communication, ethics and marketing—and advanced analytical skills needed to help transform business intelligence into actionable strategies.

Admission Requirements for BSBA and BBA Programs

BSBA programs are designed for professionals with some college experience who are looking to complete a bachelor’s degree in order to pursue career advancement. Similarly, many BBA programs attract students who have earned college credits but not yet graduated. Typically, BSBA and BBA programs require applicants to have:

  • Completed at least 60 hours of prerequisite postsecondary course work; a grade of C or higher is required in the core requirements (English, mathematics and economics), as well as any business core courses taken prior to enrollment
  • Maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 out of a possible 4.0 in all postsecondary course work
  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all prior postsecondary institutions attended

Career Possibilities with a BSBA or BBA

In choosing which degree—and what career—to pursue, it’s important to consider whether you prefer to explore business as a whole or to focus on a specific discipline within it. With either degree, you’ll be prepared for rewarding opportunities in marketing, management, accounting and human resources, among other areas. Today’s array of career openings includes these positions, with median salaries as noted on a leading employment site.1


Financial Manager: $99,000
Financial managers perform data analysis and advise senior managers on profit-maximizing ideas. Responsible for the financial health of an organization, they create financial reports, direct investment activities and develop plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization. They’re well-versed in tax law and regulations that are specific to their organization or industry, and they advise senior managers on ways to maximize profits.2

Advertising and Promotions Specialist: $89,000
These professionals lead advertising agencies by creating and developing advertising campaigns and coordinating with clients. They’re skilled at pitching new ideas, managing multiple accounts and collaborating with creative teams. They specialize in a wide range of advertising channels, and they deliver customized presentations to current and prospective clients in order to gain new business and drive revenue.3

Human Resources Manager: $81,000
Human resources managers plan, coordinate and direct the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization's management and its employees.4 Candidates holding a BBA degree may also be well qualified for this career.

Financial Analyst: $74,000
These specialists evaluate opportunities to commit money for the purpose of generating profit. Working for banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other businesses, they assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Buy-side analysts develop investment strategies for companies with a lot of money to invest. Sell-side analysts advise financial services sales agents who sell stocks, bonds and other investments.5

Accountant: $60,000
Accountants see to it that companies, organizations and individuals are financially healthy by accessing financial records and analyzing data, finance reports, budgets, tax returns and accounting records.6 Skilled in math, accounting, law and finance, accountants analyze profits and losses, providing information that investors and business owners need in order to assess how each client is doing over a period of time.7 Candidates holding a BBA degree may also be well qualified for this career.

Financial Advisor: $59,000
These professionals help their clients decide what they should do with their money. They use their expertise to construct personalized financial plans—including investments, savings, budget, insurance and tax strategies—aimed at achieving their clients’ financial goals. They regularly check in with their clients to assess their current financial status, re-evaluate their future goals and plan accordingly.8


Financial Controller: $99,000
These senior-level managers oversee a business's day-to-day financial operations, running the accounting function and holding responsibility for the company’s books and records. Depending on the size of the company, the controller’s duties may include handling detailed accounting tasks that are beyond the skills of the company’s bookkeeper; overseeing project management, technology, insurance and compliance functions; and working with chief financial officers (CFOs), chief accounting officers (CAOs), finance managers and treasurers to control the company’s finance and administration function.9

Commodities Trader: $87,000
These professionals buy and sell commodities such as gold or oil on behalf of clients and employers, who could be investment or commercial banks, hedge funds or private equity groups. Required to make fast decisions about trades, contact potential clients and explain available services, traders closely monitor financial markets, analyze the finances of companies and review the costs and benefits of sales.10

Operations Manager: $71,000
These upper-level managers make sure their company is performing to its best potential. They keep their eyes on multiple areas within the company, assuring productivity and efficiency while seeking to reduce costs. They manage other key leaders within several departments and guide groups of people to complete their individual tasks in order to achieve company-wide goals.11

Real Estate Agent: $68,000
These licensed professionals help people buy, sell and rent homes, land and other properties. As there is no national real estate license, agents must meet their state’s licensing requirements. While the requirements vary by state, each aspiring agent must take a pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate school, pass the state exam, activate their license and join a real estate brokerage firm, which ensures that all agents in their office comply with real estate laws and regulations.12

Administrative Supervisor: $59,000
Administrative supervisors are responsible for the overall administrative functions of their organizations. In ensuring that day-to-day operations run smoothly, they often oversee the support of executives, as well. They’re responsible for administrative staff, office managers and staff assistants, providing guidance and training while delegating work tasks and running payroll. They work in diverse industries, for any company with a sizable administrative staff.13

  1. All salaries retrieved on November 12, 2021, from glassdoor.com
  2. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm#tab-2
  3. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from zippia.com/advertising-specialist-jobs/what-does-an-advertising-specialist-do/
  4. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-2
  5. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/mobile/financial-analysts.htm
  6. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from indeed.com/career-advice/careers/what-does-an-accountant-do
  7. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from careerexplorer.com/careers/accountant/
  8. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050815/what-do-financial-advisers-do.asp
  9. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/accounting/financial-controller.shtml
  10. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from learn.org/articles/Commodity_Trader_Career_and_Salary_FAQs.html
  11. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from smallbusiness.chron.com/role-operations-manager-14234.html
  12. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from investopedia.com/articles/professionals/062713/day-life-real-estate-agent.asp
  13. Retrieved on November 12, 2021, from jobhero.com/job-description/examples/administrative/supervisor