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Business administration vs. business management: What’s the difference?

Business administration and business management are similar yet different degrees. Learn the difference between them here.

When pursuing different concentrations in business, it’s easy to come across degrees and wonder what the difference between them is. In particular, business administration and business management sound similar but have core differences in curriculum and career outcomes.

What is business administration?

Business administration is the study of business relating to operations and leadership, often centered around specific industries, concentrations, or titles within a corporation.

A degree in business administration offers leadership and analytical training crucial to the modern business world, preparing students to take on a variety of roles within an organization. Some business administration degrees will offer concentrations related to a given industry or role, such as human resource management or health care.

What is business management?

Business management is the process of organizing and managing a company’s resources, including staff, revenue, information, and more. Business management centers around supervising both individual employees and large projects.

The difference between business management and business administration

Business administration focuses on business strategy and operations, while business management centers around the human and organizational elements of the business.

Business administration is also often more technical and specialized than business management, which prioritizes general management and communication skills.

Both degrees cover core competency areas in business including:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business ethics

However, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration will often offer concentration areas, depending on the student’s ideal industry or management role. A business management degree places more emphasis on effective leadership and management strategies.

Careers in business administration and management

Graduating with a degree in either business management or business administration will lead to a variety of career paths in the business world. Specific jobs in business administration and management include:

  • Finance roles, such as auditor, analyst, or accountant
  • Marketing roles in areas such as research and analysis
  • Sales manager or director
  • Nonprofit roles, including executive director, strategic consultant, and manager
  • Education jobs, including dean of student services and advancement director
  • Human resources roles such as HR manager or analyst
  • Entrepreneur
  • Business analyst
  • Advertising associate or executive

Business degrees: pursuing a bachelor of science in business administration

Pacific Oak’s B.S. in Business Administration program offers analytical training that can prepare students for a larger variety of positions than traditional business programs.

At Pacific Oaks, we believe that successful organizations are built by leaders with analytical training, skills, and self-awareness. Our business programs combine business, leadership theory, and management development to apply directly to organizational settings and needs. To learn more about our business and management programs, visit our program page or request more information here.

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