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Business administration is the process of managing a business or non-profit organization so that it remains stable and continues to grow. This consists of a number of areas, ranging from operations to management. There are many different roles related to business administration, including business support, office manager, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), among others. Most companies have a dedicated group of administrators.
The main areas incorporated into business administration are operations, logistics, marketing, economics, Human Resources (HR), and management. An administrator oversees these parts of an organization to make sure that they're all functioning properly and efficiently individually, and that they're all working together to make the business profitable. He or she may also come up with ways to make the department more profitable, and often delegates tasks to employees in the department. Large companies usually have at least one administrator assigned to each area.
Most companies have a range of administrative roles in different parts of their corporate hierarchy. At the office level, there are business support officers, who might develop and maintain an office database, oversee other employees for projects, and help the manager with analyzing performance trends. At the next level there are office managers, who oversee an entire office, make budgets and analyses of staff performance, design procedures, and assign projects, among other things. If an organization is large, it may have several assistant managers to help the overall office manager.
After office-level managers, there are division administrators, who oversee large portions of an organization. They generally specialize in one area of business administration. For instance, a company might have a person with a specialization in HR administration oversee that department and make sure it's working efficiently to meet the business' overall goals. This includes things like measuring the performance of HR staff members, hiring new staff for the department if needed or getting rid of non-performing staff, and making sure that the process for hiring is workable.
The head of overall operations in business administration is usually referred to as the chief executive officer (CEO) or president. The CEO and president may be the same office, but this varies between companies. The CEO, depending on the size of the company, may have several vice presidents, each responsible for one area of company operations. For example, there could be a vice president for marketing, one for research and design, and one for sales or customer relations. Each of these operate independently.
The work environment for someone in business administration depends largely on the type of job he or she is doing. Those on the lower end of the hierarchy often work in structured environments and make frequent reports to their superiors, while those higher up may have more freedom with their schedules. Depending on the type of organization, work hours may be 9 AM to 5 PM or they may be more flexible. Overtime is often required when big projects are nearing completion, or when annual analyses and presentations need to be made.
Generally speaking, anyone in this type of position needs to have excellent communication skills, as he or she will be working with a lot of different people, sending out memos, and making reports. They also need to be comfortable with making presentations, and they need to be able to lead people. Another important skill is being able to understand how many different parts of a system or organization work together, so that they can make workable systems and figure out what's wrong with those that don't work. Most are also very good at math and have an understanding of economics, since they usually make budgets and analyze their office, department, or company's performance.
Many universities offer business administration programs for both online and offline study. A typical curriculum covers the critical aspects of operating a business such as customer service, business finance, marketing, and human resources. Aspiring administrators can improve their marketability by minoring in a related field such as an applied science for engineering or psychology for marketing and sales.
Most large companies want applicants that have at least a master's degree in a business-related field. This involves getting hands-on experience, typically by interning at a corporation to get a feel for how the different aspects fit together. Depending on a student's chosen area, he or she may need to write and enact a business plan to prove your competency; for example, a marketing or sales plan for a hypothetical product may need to be developed.