Business Administration Career Paths: Where a Diploma Can Lead

A lot of people opt for a business administration diploma over a degree because a diploma provides streamlined training and a quicker route to employment.

While a degree is a three- or four-year commitment, most business diplomas can be completed in two years or less. You can graduate fast and get straight to work.

But what options will you have after business college? What business administration career paths are open to diploma holders?

That partly depends on how the diploma is structured. Many programs teach you how to use office software, manage people and projects, handle basic accounting functions, promote an organization’s products, and more. You develop versatile skills that can be applied in a multitude of industries.

Below are details on 11 careers in business administration that you can pursue with a diploma. Explore the job market and see which career path fits your goals best.


Traditional Paths After a Business Administration Diploma

Lesser-Known Business Administration Careers



Below are some of the most common business admin career paths you can follow once you complete your diploma. We’ve included details on tasks, salaries, and advancement opportunities.

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants are the multitasking whizzes who keep offices running efficiently. They handle an enormous range of tasks related to information management, communications, and customer service.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Responding to phone, email, and online inquiries
  • Working the reception desk (greeting and directing clients, receiving deliveries, issuing visitor passes, etc.)
  • Organizing and updating files
  • Scheduling meetings, appointments, and events
  • Monitoring inventory and ordering office supplies

Median salary for administrative assistants: $51,000 (Source: Government of Canada Job Bank)

Advancement potential: Can become office managers or executive assistants


Sales Representative

Sales representatives find new customers for their organizations. They often work in a business-to-business (B2B) context, selling products or services to other businesses or institutions.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Developing new leads through cold calls, referrals, networking, and other means
  • Providing product information or demonstrations
  • Closing deals and processing orders
  • Updating information in customer relationship management systems
  • Reviewing monthly sales reports

Median salary for sales representatives: $60,000 (Source: Job Bank)

Advancement potential: Can become account managers or move into other management roles in sales, marketing, or purchasing


Account Manager

Account managers act as a link between a business and its customers. Once the sales team has signed a new client, the account manager strives to make sure the client gets the service and personalized attention they need.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Helping to develop pitches, proposals, and presentations
  • Building and maintaining good client relationships
  • Addressing client concerns
  • Explaining how new products or services will benefit clients
  • Monitoring account budgets

Median salary for account managers: $60,000 (Source: PayScale)

Advancement potential: Can become sales managers or account services directors

Two businessmen having a discussion in an officeAccount managers focus on cultivating good relationships with clients


Human Resources Assistant

Human resources assistants provide essential administrative support within the HR department. They help with activities related to recruitment, training, personnel records, and employee relations.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Helping develop company policies and procedures
  • Posting job openings and assisting with recruitment activities
  • Conducting screening interviews and contacting references
  • Helping with the onboarding and offboarding processes
  • Answering employee questions

Median salary for human resources clerks: $53,000 (Source: Job Bank)

Advancement potential: Can become recruiters, training coordinators, or HR managers


Accounting Clerk

Accounting clerks help keep tabs on the money flowing in and out of a company. They handle important functions like entering financial data, writing cheques, and preparing client bills.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and processing invoices
  • Helping with payroll
  • Reconciling vendor accounts
  • Following up on late payments from clients
  • Handling bank deposits

Median salary for accounting clerks: $49,000 (Source: Job Bank)

Advancement potential: Can become accounts payable supervisors or office managers


Marketing Assistant

Marketing assistants are responsible for supporting the promotional goals of a company. Working under the direction of a marketing manager, these assistants can be involved in anything from social media and website project management to graphic design and online advertising.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Conducting market research
  • Identifying new ways to gain exposure for clients or grow a company’s brand
  • Monitoring and evaluating campaign metrics
  • Creating blog posts, press releases, or social media content
  • Organizing promotional events

Median salary for marketing coordinators: $65,000 (Source: Job Bank)

Advancement potential: Can become brand managers, social media managers, or marketing directors

Businessman analyzing marketing reportsMarketing assistants spend a lot of time gathering and analyzing campaign data


Business Owner

Many people complete a business administration diploma with the aim of starting their own company. If you have a great business idea and the stomach for a bit of risk-taking, becoming an entrepreneur might be a good fit.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Managing payroll
  • Attracting new clients
  • Establishing a marketing strategy
  • Maintaining strong relationships with current customers
  • Hiring and managing new employees

Median salary for small business owners: $69,000 (Source: PayScale)



Looking for something a little different? Here are a few other unique but rewarding opportunities for business administration graduates:

Communications Specialist

Communications specialists manage an organization’s communication strategies and maintain positive relationships with the public, media, and stakeholders. Their role involves crafting and distributing messages to enhance the organization’s image.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring consistent brand messaging
  • Drafting press releases and responding to media inquiries
  • Managing the organization’s website and social media accounts
  • Coordinating press events
  • Analyzing the impact of communication efforts

Median salary for communications officers: $65,000 (Source: Job Bank)


Event Coordinator

Event coordinators plan, organize, and execute events like conferences, trade shows, product launches, and corporate meetings. They work closely with clients to understand their goals and strive to deliver a seamless and memorable event experience.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating logistics like audiovisual equipment, signage, catering, and travel arrangements
  • Negotiating contracts with vendors
  • Working with the marketing team on event promotion
  • Managing budgets
  • Troubleshooting any issues that arise during the event

Median salary for conference and event planners: $55,000 (Source: Job Bank)

Business colleagues smiling at a conferenceEvent coordinators try to ensure that corporate meetings go off without a hitch


Property Administrator

Property administrators manage and oversee the administrative aspects of real estate properties. They handle various tasks related to property operations, tenant interactions, and overall property management.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Giving tours to prospective tenants
  • Administering lease agreements and service contracts
  • Coordinating maintenance activities as well as move in and out processes
  • Collecting rent payments and following up on late payments
  • Maintaining records related to property income and expenses

Median salary for property administrators: $59,000 (Source: Job Bank)


Compliance Officer

Compliance officers ensure that an organization adheres to its internal policies as well as all applicable laws and regulations. Their job is to promote ethical behaviour, prevent legal issues, and maintain the integrity of organizations. While they can work in many different industries, they are most commonly found in banking, insurance, and healthcare.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Developing policies and procedures in line with regulations
  • Performing audits to see whether processes are being followed
  • Investigating incidents of non-compliance and taking corrective action
  • Writing reports for senior management or regulatory bodies

Median salary for compliance officers: $64,000 (Source: PayScale)



Now that you’ve discovered a few examples of what careers are available to business administration professionals, you might be looking to learn more about your training options.

If so, your next step is to speak with an admissions advisor at the colleges you’re considering. An advisor can explain how the business administration program works, how to apply, and whether this training is a good fit for you based on your career goals.

The advisor can also walk you through course schedules, tuition costs, and financial aid options.

Click below to explore business administration at Herzing and chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!

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