If you are deciding between majoring in business administration or accounting, you might want to know more about what each major has to offer. This post will show you the key facts about each major and help you to decide which would be a better degree for you.
At a glance:
|Ease of finding a job||Good/Moderate||Moderate|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note||Often necessary to|
complete the CPA
exam to progress
into senior positions
and to get the more
lucrative jobs. A
master’s degree will
also help significantly.
Lower level bookkeeping
roles are likely to become
Has good overall job prospects.
Can be a path into a number of
different fields including finance
|A general degree. This can|
make it difficult to qualify
for specialized jobs that
Can improve your job
prospects by double majoring with
something more specialized
such as finance or computer
Source for business administration salary and jobs
There are many things to consider when deciding between the two degrees. Also, there are other things to consider if you do decide to major in either of them such as what classes you should take.
Details about a degree in accounting
Below are some details about the accounting major.
According to payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $70,762. This is higher than the reported average pay of people with degrees in business administration. This could be because an accounting degree is more specialized and can qualify you for more specialized jobs that pay more.
Something to consider is that completing the CPA exam and getting an accounting master’s degree will increase your earning potential significantly.
A degree in accounting should give you good opportunities with just a bachelor’s degree. This is because the degree can qualify you for a number of accounting roles and it can also qualify you for roles in related fields such as finance and business since accounting knowledge is useful in many business applications.
However, a lot of the more lucrative accounting roles require you to be a CPA and most people that become a CPA also get a master’s degree in accounting.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can include:
- Account manager
- Financial analyst
- Tax manager
- Financial advisor
Some other jobs that you can get with a master’s degree would include:
- Forensic accountant
- Managerial accountant
- Chief financial officer
An accounting degree can be difficult especially in the junior and senior years when the classes become more specialized. Overall, accounting is generally considered as a moderately difficult degree. When compared with a business administration major, you can expect accounting to be equivalently difficult or slightly harder.
Things to consider
If you are thinking of majoring in accounting, it could also help to minor in finance. This is because many people with accounting degrees end up in finance. Getting a finance minor should help you when looking for jobs within finance. Getting an internship, in the field, could also help a lot.
If you want to go far in accounting, it would help you to complete the CPA exam as soon as you are able to. This is because many of the more desirable jobs require that you have completed the exam.
While accounting is a degree with good job opportunities, it can still be competitive. With that being the case, it would help you a lot to try to get some summer internships while you are completing the degree.
Details about a degree in business administration
Below are some details about a degree in business administration.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a degree in business administration is $66,127. However, you can expect entry-level positions to pay less than that. According to Payscale, an entry-level business administrator can expect to make $48,560.
A business administration major will have you taking classes in a range of disciplines including business, finance, accounting, and economics. As a result, a business degree is a somewhat general degree that is not specialized for a particular type of job. This means that the degree can qualify you for a large number of jobs. However, you will often be less competitive than people who have degrees related to that specific job.
While it can be difficult to compete with people who have degrees related to specific job roles, you can improve your job prospects by getting summer internships, completing projects and learning skills related to the specific job that you are interested in.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can include:
- Project Manager
- Marketing manager
- Account manager
- Operations manager
- Financial analyst
Overall, a business administration degree will usually be relatively easy when compared with alternative degrees such as finance, economics and accounting. The reason for this is that, being a general degree, you will not be taking many specialized classes that tend to be more difficult that other majors would include in their junior and senior years.
Classes you can expect to study
In a business administration degree, you can expect to take the following classes:
- Business law
- Business ethics
- Business principles
You can also expect to have the option to take other business classes as your degree requirement and the ability to take any classes in your electives. It would help to consider what job you are most interested in and to choose your electives accordingly.
If you are interested in a business administration degree, there are some alternatives that you might also want to consider such as:
Things to consider
As mentioned above, a degree in business administration can be quite general which can make it difficult to qualify for specific jobs. With that being the case, it would likely help a lot to minor in another field that is more specialized such as finance or computer science. A double major would also be an option if you are willing and able to put in the extra time. Alternatively, you could major in the more applied field and minor in business administration instead.
Regardless, you will be able to drastically improve your job prospects if you learn skills related to the job you are interested in, take classes related to the job you are interested in, complete related projects, and get internships in that field.
At the undergraduate level, you can expect an accounting degree to qualify you for more high-paying jobs when compared with a business administration degree by itself because an accounting degree is more specialized towards high-paying roles. Also, accounting can give a better pathway towards the better-paying finance roles.
However, if you are interested in getting an accounting degree, it would help a lot to make sure to also complete the CPA exam since this will provide you with many more job opportunities. Also, it could be helpful to get a minor in finance especially if you are interested in finance roles.
A business administration degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs but they will not be as high-paying as most accounting jobs at the entry-level. If you do decide to get an accounting degree, it would help a lot to make sure to take classes related to the job that you are most interested in, to learn skills related to that job, to complete related projects and to get internships during the summer. I would also strongly recommend that you consider at least getting a minor in something such as finance or computer science since it will improve your job prospects considerably.