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Business Management Degree

A degree in business management is designed to prepare students to plan and organize a business, with the end goal being a management role. It differs from a business administration degree marginally, although business administration is considered to have a broader focus. Business Management degrees are offered at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctoral levels.

Associate Level

Like most associate degrees, a 2-year program in business management will provide the fundamentals of business management. It will broadly cover finance, communications, marketing, law, and economics, with special attention to techniques that guide decision-making across a business or organization. Unlike many other associate degrees, though, it qualifies graduates for entry-level positions or can be a catalyst for being promoted to a management position at a current organization.

Career paths for graduates with an Associate’s in Business Management: Assistant Store Manager, Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Customer Service Associate, Sales Support Specialist, Sales Consultant, Store Manager, Relationship Banker. The average salary at this level of education is around $55,000.


Degrees at this level are referred to as a few different titles, including Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Bachelor of Business Management, and, sometimes, simply as Bachelor of Management Studies. Oftentimes, as well, schools offer Business as the major with Management as a concentration, which will result in a similar curriculum. A degree in Business Administration with a focus in Management will accomplish a similar goal.

The curriculum will consist of general courses in algebra and calculus, psychology, history, and chemistry, plus more, for the general education credits. The core courses will be in statistical applications in business, understanding business ethics, investments, and economics, as well as business and society. The option to concentrate in a certain area of business management, such as finance and international business, internet marketing, or agriculture, can also be considered.

Career paths for graduates with a baccalaureate in business management include: any management position. It will largely depend on preferred industry and if the degree included a concentration. The average salary for individuals with a business management baccalaureate is $60,000.

Master Level

At this level, degrees geared towards area of study tend to fall under a general category called “Masters in Business and Management (MBM),” rather than being directly called Masters in Business Management. Typically, students can choose a degree under this umbrella, such as Master of Science in Management or a Master of Science in International Management. Programs traditionally take between two to three years to complete. All MBM degrees are accredited by the Association of MBAs, but acquiring an MBM doesn’t require the three years of experience that an MBA does. This level of education is the most popular for business professionals, and graduates can expect an average salary of $83,000.

Doctoral Level

To continue beyond a master’s degree, the next step would be a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in either Business or Management, or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Both degree programs traditionally take four years to complete. Students earning their PhD will typically be required to choose a specialty or concentration, which are numerous at this level of education. Common options include: Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Management Information Systems, Operations Management, Statistics, and Strategy. PhD graduates will usually go into academia as tenured professors doing research.

DBA candidates are expected to expand or develop upon the area of study, defending a thesis or dissertation in front of a board of examiners as a requirement for graduation. DBA graduates often put their education into practice, often as CEOs.

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