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What is Business Administration?

By Ken Black
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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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.

Main Areas

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.

Work Environment

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.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon985486 — On Jan 16, 2015

I graduated with a degree in business administration in Ethiopia. Now I need to continue my masters of business administration. How can I get this chance with a scholarship?

By anon984205 — On Jan 06, 2015

I want to own my own business, so what type of business would I study in when I start college next year?

By anon966914 — On Aug 23, 2014

I need help. I study secretarial management in college, but I don't know the course I can go for in the university.

By anon353080 — On Oct 28, 2013

Business administration is a course that is of great importance to our society at large. It has given insights not only about business, but also on how to deal with individuals in a working environment.

By victorime — On May 14, 2013

What differentiates business management and business administration?

By anon334652 — On May 14, 2013

I want to study business related courses at the university, but I want to know the difference between business management and business administration?

By anon316692 — On Jan 30, 2013

What future will I have if I study business administration? I mean, what type of job will I have after completing the degree? I'm a first year Business Administration student. I want to know about the best site for my studies.

By Raheem — On Jan 02, 2013

I'm a first year Business Administration student. I want to know about the best site for my studies.

By anon310358 — On Dec 22, 2012

What future will I have if I study business administration. I mean, what type of job will I have after completing the degree?

By anon301540 — On Nov 05, 2012

I am getting a diploma in business administration and I want to upgrade so what should I do?

By anon296399 — On Oct 11, 2012

What is the best course can a secretary take up? Is there any course a secretary can do after 19 years of secretarial courses?

By anon293718 — On Sep 27, 2012

I have an HND in Business Administration and want to read for degree, so what do I do?

By anon293513 — On Sep 26, 2012

I am a graduate of a bachelor in science major in hotel and restaurant management, and now I want to take a business administration course. Would this be good to support my degree?

By anon292099 — On Sep 18, 2012

I have completed an M.B.A in finance but do not have any experience in this field. I want to ask if I am suitable for an administrator job.

By anon289426 — On Sep 04, 2012

I love business admin and management, but I don't know what is really all about. Can anyone help with me? Is there anywhere that has a lot of information about it? I just finished high school. I am 17. --Poja

By anon287036 — On Aug 23, 2012

I am Lili, from Guinea-Bissau. I want to study business administration, so I want to know what can I do in the future? How can you help me to find direction, and elementary instructions.

By anon280950 — On Jul 21, 2012

I am a matriculant doing mathematics literacy with a B symbol. Would I be able to study Business Administration?

By anon278952 — On Jul 10, 2012

I want to take up business administration as a course in my ND program. What am I going to encounter?

By anon276433 — On Jun 24, 2012

Can you tell me about business administration and what are the uses of this subject?

By anon272248 — On May 31, 2012

I want to study business management but I'm not that good in accounting and maths. Are these two courses compulsory if I want to take business administration courses? I really need help, please.

By anon270293 — On May 22, 2012

I'm 17 and I'm planning to study abroad with my major in business administration because I love to communicate with other people and make new friends. However, there are a lot of things I'm not sure about. Can anyone help me with that? Thanks for all of your help.

By anon263586 — On Apr 25, 2012

My name is Elsie, and I am very interested in business administration but don't know much about it. Can someone please tell me the advantages and disadvantages I would have in doing this subject and what may come out of it?

By anon258353 — On Mar 31, 2012

I'm Aljen. I want to know what I will be doing in the office if I do business administration? Can someone please help me to understand this course much better?

By anon254471 — On Mar 13, 2012

Business administration skills are fundamental to successful living because life itself is a business empire which requires management for accomplishments, or fulfillment of assignments.

By anon249098 — On Feb 20, 2012

I just have been admitted to Sikkim Manipal University for MBA. Can anyone tell me is this a good institute for study?

By anon248368 — On Feb 17, 2012

I also want to study business administration in a higher institution but I don't know what the course is all about. Please help me.

By anon246959 — On Feb 12, 2012

I've got an impossible thing to do.

My best friend is in her first year of college and taking business A-B (which is what? Business Administration? I don't know). Anyway, the biggest problems are she's just started taking the business class and she doesn't understand a thing from the stupid book. She studied for six hours and got through three paragraphs@

She can't find anyone to help her and can't find a tutor to tutor her. She's supposed to go to college next Saturday and she's freaking out.

I have no idea what to even research to help her and

the worst part is I'm in my first year of high school

and my sister (she introduced us to each other) is in her last year of high school! Mix them all together and it's a recipe for disaster. Please, someone help!

By anon244126 — On Jan 31, 2012

Does anyone offer online notes in the diploma for B.A.? Please help.

By anon243967 — On Jan 30, 2012

My name is Chris, and I want to study business administration in school, but I want some insight into it. I am not too good in math.

By anon241501 — On Jan 19, 2012

I want to study business administration, but my problem is whether can someone who studies this course work in a bank or oil company.

By anon230606 — On Nov 20, 2011

What are jobs that are related to the BSBA?

By anon228666 — On Nov 10, 2011

I am Gloria. My course in school this year is business administration. Please tell me the text book I can read to support it and is math compulsory.

By anon219395 — On Oct 02, 2011

I'm interested in business administration. I'm not good with math and would love to go ahead with this degree. Give me more information about this program. thanks

By anon216917 — On Sep 23, 2011

I'm Kyerematen from Ghana, and I just got my admission letter to offer business administration but I did visual art at the senior high level.

Later, I enrolled in the I.C.T school and currently working at my own office as graphics designer/Managing Director. Please, I am not familiar with this course. Could you please brief me on it a bit and it's options?

By anon216627 — On Sep 22, 2011

I am going to do business administration. Is it hard or easy? I know nothing is easy; practice makes it easy. Is math in it. How do I deal with it?

By anon209294 — On Aug 26, 2011

I like Business Administration. It is my first and second choice in higher institutions. But my future aspiration is to be a banker. Is it possible for someone who studies business administration to work at the bank? What will be the position of the person? -- Mike

By anon206843 — On Aug 18, 2011

i want know what i will be doing in the office if i do business administration.

By anon202603 — On Aug 03, 2011

How can I apply the skills in business and administration to other fields like information technology or computer systems analyst? How can incorporate the skill of a computer expert or programmer into the field of business management?

By anon196685 — On Jul 15, 2011

I am Deborah and i want to study business Administration.I want to know what i will be doing in the office if am employed as a business administrator.

By anon196501 — On Jul 14, 2011

I am going into business administration in university, but would like to know more.

By anon186761 — On Jun 15, 2011

I am cris. i need to know what are the academic ways to meet challenges, expectations and standards of the business administration degree major in marketing management. please give me an idea. thanks. I need your reply asap.

By anon179924 — On May 25, 2011

I'm grace and I want to take business administration, but some of my friends say that in business administration, you encounter more math. Help me, please. What should I do? I like business but i don't like math. reply asap.

By anon169848 — On Apr 23, 2011

I studied public administration in polytechnic and obtained a national diploma which meant I could apply for direct entry in the university to study business administration. so i need someone to enlighten me on the dos and don'ts of business administration and the various subjects which are the key subjects to business administration.

By anon160534 — On Mar 16, 2011

I'm Nassir from Mombasa, Kenya. I want to study Business Administration to help me put up and manage my business enterprises. Soon I'm joining. Can someone please help me to understand this course much better?

By anon158886 — On Mar 09, 2011

I am a science student and i want to go for business administration. i don't want to continue with my science course. my question is that can i use my science subject to enter into the university and i don't have government in my result. can i go on with it?

By anon158651 — On Mar 08, 2011

i am currently studying a business administration course. Somehow it comes to my mind if what are the future for the said course. is it demand here neither in abroad?

By anon157041 — On Mar 01, 2011

I applied for a job and they said i had to do the admin and stay in the tilt. does it mean i deal with all the orders and inventories? can you give me an example of what I am going to? not good in math either. Please answer.

By anon156224 — On Feb 26, 2011

can you help me to choose my course. I like business but I don't like math.

By anon149949 — On Feb 06, 2011

thank you for telling me. I can make my decision correctly now thanks to Wisegeek.

By anon148968 — On Feb 03, 2011

i am a student in college doing a office administration level 4 this year and i want to go to university but the problem is i don't know what course i must do. i am deciding between human resources and business management. i don't know which one i must choose. please can you help me with my problem.

By anon147944 — On Jan 31, 2011

I`m Gladys, i want to study Business Admin, but the problem is that i never studied any Art subject in my secondary school. Can i still make it?

By anon144252 — On Jan 19, 2011

l am taking business administration for the first time so please direct me what to do. Thanks.

By anon140644 — On Jan 08, 2011

I want to know what i will be doing in the office if am employed as a business administrator.

By anon136500 — On Dec 22, 2010

i wish to do business administration and i would like to know the various courses to take for it since I am applying for a university. i need your advice please.

By anon134754 — On Dec 15, 2010

I am Alvin and i would like to know whats the difference between business and business administration. Please reply.

By anon133965 — On Dec 13, 2010

i got admitted to the university of Abuja Nigeria part time program to study Business Administration. i want you to tell me the side i will visit to study.

By anon133576 — On Dec 11, 2010

I got admission to study business administration. Please i want you to tell me the most acceptable book for the course.

By anon132618 — On Dec 07, 2010

i got an admission into polytechnic. i want to know more about business administration and what the course takes.

By anon128956 — On Nov 21, 2010

Please just help me out. What if someone does not have economics? can he/she replace it with another subject?

By anon128352 — On Nov 19, 2010

I just want to know what subject should be taken if you want to get a course in business administration? and which major would better to get? marketing or management?

By anon126743 — On Nov 13, 2010

I want to study business administration and will be thankful if you can advise me what subjects I should take. Thank you in advance!

By anon126351 — On Nov 12, 2010

I want to study law and take a course in business administration. what should i study in school? should i get admission at the university?

By anon125967 — On Nov 11, 2010

the article is really great. i am a student of business administration, in my third year and now after reading this article i have come to know that what actually business administration mean. thank you so much. b. sarhandi

By nikahas — On Nov 01, 2010

I want to study business administration and will be thankful if you can advise me what subjects I should take. Thank you in advance!

By Sacky Albin — On Oct 20, 2010

same problem. i also need someone to help me out on what exactly to do o to say. What subject do i need to do my studies in for business administration?

By anon119279 — On Oct 17, 2010

I just want to go to university to study business administration and economics. Please, what subjects should i take and where will i work if i graduate from university?

By anon112112 — On Sep 19, 2010

thanks. It was really helpful! --aisha

By anon111808 — On Sep 18, 2010

I am Jabiri have a BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications) and now i am working for a company which provides storage solutions and i am working as a sales executive. I wanted to a post graduation degree. could you help me in doing so and help me choose the topic. -Jabir.

By anon111649 — On Sep 17, 2010

I am taking business administration for the first time. can you please direct me what to do?

By anon110768 — On Sep 13, 2010

I am taking business administration for the first time so I just want to know what are the key courses that will be involved in the plan? yolanda

By anon107044 — On Aug 28, 2010

I am david and i want to study business administration and i took it as my career and my life so i want somebody to help me out in this way. Please tell me the recommended textbooks and tell me how to go about it. thank you all.

By anon106770 — On Aug 27, 2010

I am an OND Holder in Business Administration and Management and now I have put in for Business Studies and Management for HNC. Am i on the right track?

By anon104822 — On Aug 18, 2010

Thanks. I really appreciate the definition of what is business administration.

By anon91174 — On Jun 20, 2010

Thank you for this article and this website. I am able to do my assignment.

By anon79309 — On Apr 22, 2010

I'm Batho.I'm presently doing my bachelors international Business Administration. Please can you give me the key courses in in this academic field?

By anon76295 — On Apr 09, 2010

right now i am trying to figure out if accounts is included in business administration and what are the courses included.

By anon65615 — On Feb 15, 2010

I am currently studying for a diploma in business administration so that by next year i'll be able to start a degree in business information technology. am i on the right track? kindly advise.

By anon63042 — On Jan 30, 2010

i was taking english, math, literature, chemistry, biology, physiology, history and geograpahy, so does this mean that i can't study business administration? Please help. neko

By anon61226 — On Jan 19, 2010

I am a high school graduate and want to take up business courses somewhere abroad. Tell me the challenges, advantages and disadvantages.

By anon59232 — On Jan 07, 2010

Hi Lily Best: The subjects you need are: Maths, English, Commerce, Economics, Accounting, Government, and CRS if you like.

By anon56197 — On Dec 13, 2009

I am an undergraduate student in business administration.I'm in my final year. I need you to put me through in my courses e.g Analysis of decision making. i wish to have distinctions in all this courses and i believe it is possible. Kindly assist however you can. Thank you TY

By anon56195 — On Dec 13, 2009


i am an undergraduate student studying business administrations, i have just a year to graduate and i am finding my courses too difficult for me especially ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS DECISION, please i need you to put me through with the little you can.


Thank u

By anon53149 — On Nov 19, 2009

hi lilly best: this is omax son. i just want to give you the main subjects of Business Admin. and it is thus: Maths, Eng, Econs and any other social science subject like government. thanks

By anon44333 — On Sep 07, 2009

I am Lily Best. I would like someone to give me a reply as soon as possible. I am about to obtain my WAEC very soon, in 2010.

I chose business administration as my course. Please send me the original subjects of business administration.

Thank you all. Lily Best

By anon37971 — On Jul 23, 2009

Business & Administration skills are critical to the growth of the UK economy. As the national standard setting body for Vocational Education in Business, Administration and Governance, the CfA (Council for Administration) leads the UK’s drive for world class skills.

The CfA office is located in Vauxhall just off Albert Embankment near Vauxhall underground and mainline stations. Please click on the link below to download a map and directions.


administration job

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