3 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Degree in Business Administration
July 3, 2014
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Were you the only kid in the neighborhood whose lemonade stand actually made money? Or maybe you drummed up clients for your dog-walking business by carrying treats in your pockets so that the dogs were always excited to see you? If so, a degree in business administration might be for you. It will teach you everything you need to know about what it takes to run a business: marketing, accounting, management, planning, operations and more. A degree in business administration is cross-functional: the basic principles of business success don't change much from one industry to another. Here are three surprising roles that a degree in business administration could lead to.
Executive Director of a Not-for-Profit Organization
Why would you need a business degree to run an organization that's not set up to make a profit? Lots of reasons. For one thing, you still have to take in more money than you spend; what makes an organization "not-for-profit" is what you do with that money. Instead of selling products, your goal is to attract donors, and donors want to see an organization that is well-run and makes good use of the money it raises. One thing many donors look at is the percentage of funds spent on administrative costs. They want to see a high percentage of donations going to the organization's stated purpose, and a low percentage going toward business expenses. It's the not-for-profit version of profit margin. And then there are the other aspects of running a successful organization, such as taxes, regulatory compliance, risk management, and volunteer recruitment and retention.
Chief Sustainability Officer
The chief sustainability officer is an executive-level employee responsible for corporate environmental and social responsibility. This is the person who convinces the organization to switch to more environmentally friendly packaging or to commit to exceeding environmental regulations. Business skills are critical to success in this role because you can't just push green initiatives with no understanding of how they'll affect the business. You have to develop the right data, and you have to communicate that data in a convincing way. You have to understand your company's core business, be able to talk easily about costs and ROI, and persuade other executives to see your goals as essential to the business, rather than an impediment they try to avoid.
A city administrator is the chief operating officer for a city government. City administrators typically report to the mayor or city council. They're responsible for things such as budgets, city programs, compliance, governmental services and community outreach. It's the city administrator's job to keep the day-to-day operations of the city running smoothly, on time and on budget.
A degree in business administration is one of the most versatile degrees there is. Mastering the fundamental principles that help businesses succeed prepares you for a career in any industry in which budgets, profits, goals, regulations and sales are important. In other words, just about any career you could dream of!
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