Associates Degree in Business Administration

In order to be successful in the complex business world, individuals require a broad understanding of how different businesses work. An associate’s degree in business administration can teach students the basics of accounting, management, marketing, information systems, and economics. With the help of this business administration degree, students can develop valuable skills in the business world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration?

Many schools in the US, such as the St. Louis Community College, California College San Diego, Hudson County Community College and Berkeley College, are offering an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration. This program usually takes 2 years to complete but some colleges are offering accelerated tracks that can help students complete the program within 19 months. The diversity of the program courses enables the individuals to get a solid foundation in Management, Finance, Marketing and Accounting subjects.

What Are the Requirements to Complete an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration?

Students enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration have to complete around 60 credits. The curriculum is composed of a diverse range of subjects such as Sales and Customer Service Management, Business Law, International Business, Managerial Accounting, Principles of Management and Business Communication. This program sets the pathway for students to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

How Much Can I Make after Completing an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration?

After completing the degree, graduates can find employment as Administrative Assistants, Financial Clerks, Sales Executives, Bookkeepers and Customer Service Representatives. Employment statistics reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics point out that Financial Clerks made a yearly median salary of $39,570 in 2018. Estimates suggest that the job opportunities for these individuals will increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028.

Learning Outcomes

An associate degree can lead to some key learning outcomes. Following are the major learning outcomes.

  • Students learn about the importance of different functions and processes of business such as decision making, strategy, planning, staffing, leading, controlling, and operations in the global environment.
  • They understand the basic concepts related to accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and business law.
  • They acquire practical skills that can be immediately applied in the work place.
  • The degree also prepares students to earn a bachelor’s in business administration.

Duration of associate in business administration

The duration of an associate’s degree can vary from one institute to another. However, most associate degree programs can be completed in two years. There are some schools that offer 18 month associate degree programs as well. Students aiming for a bachelor’s degree can also opt for three year programs, which offer a combination of courses taken from associate’s and bachelor’s level degrees.


The coursework for an associate’s degree can vary from one institute to another. However, there are some core courses offered by most degree programs. Key courses include:

Introduction to Management

This course gives an introduction to management theory, management functions, organizational structure, ethics, current management tools and resources, and daily management responsibilities. Theoretical concepts of management are applied to real world management problems and scenarios.  The course also examines managing change in the global economy and other forces that influence management.


The finance course offered in an associate’s degree of business administration covers the major financial concepts and techniques used to make corporate financial planning decisions. Students get the opportunity to study capital budgeting process and decisions, long term financing, financial analysis and planning, and international capital markets.


This introductory course covers basic concepts and key issues associated with marketing.  It also explores the use of marketing by an organization and the effects of marketing on society.  The course content is based on the role of marketing in the global environment, the marketing concept, target marketing, buyer behavior, and the internal environment where marketing operates. Marketing mix is also studied, using four main decision factors such as services, promotion, pricing, and distribution.

Business Math and Statistical Measures

This course enables students to apply math skills and knowledge to solve financial problems and carry out statistical analyses. Students work on a variety of sample problems that are related to basic Finance, credit, banking, investments, and statistics.  They also acquire knowledge about the financial instruments and terminology used in business.


An associate degree in business administration offers various specializations for students. Students can choose to customize their degree according to their career aspirations. Following are some of the common specializations offered in the field.

  • Business
  • Office Management
  • Retail Management
  • Sales
  • Small Business Management
  • Customer Service
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Club Operations
  • Hospitality Management
  • Information Processing
  • Meeting and Event Planning

School Considerations

There are some important factors that need to be kept in mind before selecting a school for a business degree.


It is important that the program or the school you select is accredited by one or more authentic accrediting agencies. Accreditation makes sure that the education a student receives will be useful and the degree will be recognized by employers.


Location could also be an important factor, but it should not be the only factor in selecting a program or school. If a student selects a school based on location alone, a lot of other factors may be overlooked. The institute may not be the right fit for a student’s academic ability and professional goals.

School Culture

Students must look for a school that they will feel comfortable with. It is important that they find out about key details such as class size, faculty, and resources as these factors can have a lot of influence on the educational experience.

Other Factors

If a student is looking for a high profile job, a high profile school will be preferable, as it will be recognized by the preferred employers. A student should also research on the program curriculum, cost, and career placement statistics.

Career Opportunities

After earning an associate’s degree, graduates can pursue diverse entry level positions. They can also specialize in a certain area, depending on their interest and degree. With a professional certification or work experience, graduates can get better employment prospects. For advanced positions in the field, a bachelor’s degree in business administration or possibly an MBA is required. Following are the examples of careers that the students may pursue after completing their degree.

  • Business analyst
  • Advertising executive
  • Marketing specialist
  • Customer service representative
  • Office manager
  • Sales representative
  • Administrative professional
  • Finance officer
  • Accounts clerk
  • Tax preparer
  • Junior accountant
  • Loan officer
  • Real estate agent
  • Human resources assistant

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How long is the Associate in Business Administration program?

A:The Associate in Business Administration program is usually of 12 to 18 months. These degree programs can be pursued online as well and students can complete these at their own pace.

Q:As I was reading about the jobs for Associate in Business Administration, I came across the course on Business Law and its importance, in terms of careers. Can you please tell me more about this course?

A:In the United States, many Associate in Business Administration degree programs have a 3 credits worth course on Business Law. This course trains students on the most basic principles in the field of business law that are applied to personal property, contracts, negotiable instruments, sales, agency and employment, insurance and bankruptcy, business organization as well as real estate property.

Q:Where can i work with a business administration degree at bachelor level?

A:With a bachelor degree in business administration, you may qualify for entry-level and managerial jobs in diverse industries ranging from retail to manufacturing, and more. The exact job position that may suit you will depend upon your area of specialization. For example, you can work as marketing and promotions manager, or an accountant, or human resource manager.

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