If you are deciding between majoring in business administration or finance, 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|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note||Most finance jobs|
require long working
Can qualify for a number
of jobs with just a bachelor’s
High potential pay at the
|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 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.
Whereas, finance majors are reported as earning $71,737 on average. This is likely to be a combination of good starting pay for entry-level positions, lots of available jobs that are directly related to finance and high potential pay for senior positions.
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.
Details about a finance major
Below are some details about the finance major.
According to Payscale, the average pay of someone with a finance degree is $71,737 and the hourly rate is $20.64 dollars.
When compared with most other degrees, a finance degree usually comes out on top in terms of pay. A finance degree also has a high ceiling in terms of potential pay for senior-level positions.
Types of jobs you can qualify for
A bachelor’s degree in finance can qualify you for a number of different jobs that have good pay. This is not something that can be said for many other degrees where a master’s degree is often required to be competitive in the job market.
With that being said, some jobs, such as investment banking, will be very hard to get into if you do not have a degree from an ivy league university or an ivy league equivalent university.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a finance degree can include:
- Financial analyst
- Data analyst
- Investment analyst
- Financial advisor
- Credit analyst
- Budget analyst
Something to consider about the jobs you will qualify for is that they are often reported as being stressful jobs. This is likely to be due to high working hours, high levels of competition, some of them being commission-based and the fact that you will be dealing with other people’s money.
With that being said, the major does have a below-average unemployment rate, so you should not have too much difficulty finding a job, there is good pay, and finance jobs are expected to grow by more than the average across all jobs.
Difficulty of the major
A finance major can have some difficult classes, especially in the junior and senior years. When compared with a business administration major, you can expect finance to be harder.
Classes you can expect to take in the major can include:
- Microeconomics and macroeconomics
- Personal finance concepts
- Project management
- Fundamentals of marketing
- Principles of business
- Corporate finance
- Managerial accounting
- Other upper-level finance courses as available
If you enjoy competitive environments, a finance degree could suit you well since many finance jobs are competitive in nature since you will be competing with your peers and other financial firms that provide the same service. Also, finance does have very high potential pay in the long run since senior-level positions can pay very well. Additionally, if you prefer customer-facing roles, a finance degree suit you well since many, but not all, finance jobs are customer-facing.
However, finance jobs tend to require long working hours and the jobs often have low job satisfaction ratings. Before choosing the degree, it would help to consider what sort of working environment would suit you the most and what you would find satisfying personally.
A business administration degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs but they will not be as well-paying as most finance jobs at the entry-level. If you do decide to get a business administration 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.