What’s the Difference Between Business Administration and Business Management?

Administration: [noun] The process or activity of running a business. The performance of executive duties.

Management: [noun] The process of dealing with or controlling things and/or people. The conducting or supervising of something or someone.

Confused? You’re not alone. The terms ‘administration’ and ‘management’ are often used interchangeably in common conversation, especially as they pertain to the business field. But as you plan for your future education, it is very important to distinguish the two. This is because some schools offer Business Administration degrees while others offer degrees in Business Management.

The question remains, what is the real difference between the two? Even more significantly, which business degree path is the right one for you?

Generally speaking, there is a lot of overlap between the business administration and general business management curriculums. Both cover core subject areas such as marketing, accounting, finance, and business ethics. This is because both administrators and managers alike need to know how businesses work, how to manage money, and how to market their products successfully.

At the same time, however, there are subtle differences between business administration and business management degree programs. As smallbusiness.chron.com explains, business administration is a more specialized major. It involves learning the specific, day-to-day details associated with running a business. Business management, on the other hand, offers a higher-level take on general business and prepares students to for a job supervising or managing other people.

But enough with the basics. Let’s take a deeper look at each business degree path:

Business Management Degrees

Business management programs, like business administration, have a foundational curriculum in marketing, economics, finance, and laws & ethics. Students in this major, however, will go on to take more focused coursework in business planning and human resource management. This may involve coursework in conflict resolution, personnel development, employee recruiting and retention, organizational behavior, and performance management. This coursework is what prepares students to take on managerial roles in an organization – hiring and managing personnel as well as other resources (financial, technological) to ensure that maximum output is achieved within the organization.

If you choose to pursue a degree in business management, you will be well-qualified to land entry-level management positions in Human Resources, Accounting, Marketing, or Benefits Administration. You will also be equipped to earn a more general management position, perhaps as an assistant manager, office manager, project manager, or supervisor.

Business Administration Degrees

Business administration programs approach coursework similarly, exposing students to a variety of fundamental subjects such as marketing, business law and ethics, management, economics, and accounting. Students also gain experience in areas such as strategic planning, business research and theory, effective forecasting, and entrepreneurship. Often, business administration students will then have the option to direct their coursework to include more specialized areas of interest – such as office management, human resources, or entrepreneurship. The path you choose in your business administration program will help dictate your future career.

Goodwin College offers several options for students within our business administration programs. Here, you can choose to earn a collegiate certificate (not direct-enroll), an associate degree, or a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. Within our certificate and associate degree programs, you can tailor your coursework to meet your perosnal career goals. Below are the concentrations you can study:

Certificate Program in Business Administration:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Human Resources Management
  • Human Resources Talent Development
  • Medical Office Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Property Management & Acquisition

Associate Degree in Business Administration:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management
  • Manufacturing Management
  • Office Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Medical Office Management
  • Property Management & Acquisition

Our Bachelor’s program in business administration, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive overview of all facets of business – preparing you to become a leader and to stand out in today’s business arena. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Goodwin, you will be well-prepared to work in corporate, education, nonprofit, government, and manufacturing industry settings. But this is just the beginning. We will also teach you how to be successful in small business or in your own start-up.

Business administration is a great choice for those who are entering college for the first-time, as well as those who are coming back to complete or advance their education. Whether you are a prospective Goodwin student or simply looking for opportunities to advance your degree in Connecticut, Goodwin University is a great place for you. Our business administration classes are offered in standard 15-week format or at an accelerated 7 ½ week-pace. For added flexibility, business courses are available online, on-campus, and in hybrid format, so that you can work will still working towards your business degree.

While the difference between business administration and business management is clear, it is important for you to know that these areas work together in sync. Both are critical facets of a business and are essential for an organization to grow. Now, it’s up to you to decide which degree path aligns most with your passions and needs. See our video for three secrets you learn about yourself in business school.


To learn more about the business administration offerings at Goodwin University, or to enroll today, call 860-528-4111 or visit www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/business-administration.