What exactly does "business administration" mean? In general terms, it means overseeing, or performing, the tasks that keep an enterprise running smoothly.
These tasks usually include everything from managing finances to overseeing employees; from selling products to serving clients.
The administration of a business involves organizing resources, overseeing operations, and working as a team toward common goals. And like any team, there are different roles to fulfill—and different areas in which to specialize.
So how do you know if you're cut out for a career in business? Or whether you'd do well in a college business administration program?
Start by asking yourself these 4 questions, and assess whether your interests and goals match up with the skills taught in training, and the abilities you'll need to be successful in business.
1. How much do you enjoy collaborating with others?
Business admin training covers a lot of ground. You'll learn accounting principles, marketing and sales strategy, project management, and much more—and there are quite a few different career paths you can pursue in any one of these skill areas.
But what they all have in common is the need for excellent communication and teamwork skills. Whether you're crunching numbers in accounting, helping launch a social media marketing campaign, or making sales calls, collaboration will be key to your success.
To be effectivel in business, you must be able to get along with people from different backgrounds, who may think differently than you, or hold different values. In order to play your part well, and be a good team member, you'll need to be open-minded, generous, and patient.
2. Are you comfortable learning and using computer technology?
You don't have to be a tech wizard to do well in business. However, most office positions require a baseline comfort level with standard software—and you will spend quite a bit of time learning these programs in business admin training.
Examples include Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and accounting packages like Quick Books and Simply Accounting. And you should be ready to build on this foundation after training, out in the business world, where each company will have its own platforms and programs—such as computerized project management systems and website management tools, which you may have to learn for your role on the team.
3. How would you rate your customer service skills?
The ability to deliver excellent client service is one of the most important skills in business. This is particularly true when you're just starting out after college, and will likely take on customer-facing roles (like sales, reception, and assistant positions).
But every role in business is ultimately about serving the customer, whether you're in management or out on sales calls. To do it well, you'll need diplomacy, excellent problem-solving skills, and most of all, dedication to providing the best possible customer experience.
This is what creates loyalty, repeat business, and positive reviews: the engine of every successful business.
4. Can you take charge and lead?
Not all business positions lead to management; however, most employers want their staff to take on more responsibilities over time, and demonstrate a degree of independence. It's logical to assume that, even if you don't aspire to become a supervisor or team leader, you will grow in your position and develop new skills.
And for some business students, moving into management, or one day starting their own business, is the ultimate goal.
No matter your objectives, the ability to take charge and lead encompasses several key attributes, such as
- a willingness to continue learning and expanding your skillset
- the ability to help those around you, and bring out the best in your fellow team members
- the vision to see solutions to challenges, and the confidence to voice your ideas (take risks)
- the desire for a challenge; to set and achieve professional goals
There are, of course, other skills that will be important for a career in business, such as organization, time-management, and the ability to analyze information. But these can be developed with practice and dedication. It's the core characteristics described above that you should consider before enrolling in business training, and taking that first step toward a new career.
Think you've got a good foundation to build on? Ready to explore business colleges?
Take a look at the Business Administration Program offered by Herzing College. This diploma takes just 12 months to complete, includes a 4-week internship—and is also available online.
Visit the program page to see a detailed list of courses, admission information, or to chat live with a friendly advisor. We're here to help!