Business Administration and Management

The business industry is made up of all types of companies. Among the fastest growing sectors in the United States are health care and medical, service, financial, construction, and transportation. Within these firms are specialized departments charged with specific duties and responsibilities. The top administrators direct the organization’s overall operations, devise strategies, and execute polices, while department managers oversee the employees and tasks within their purview and implement directives from the upper echelons. In the U.S., nearly 13 million people are employed as business managers and administrators for a variety of businesses, including those in finance.

Developing and sustaining a profitable, successful business has always been a challenge. In today’s volatile economic climate coupled with fast-changing technological advancements, businesses more than ever need administrators with skilled management techniques, business acumen, and proven problem-solving techniques.

Certain industries, particularly those experiencing growth, will likely offer administrative and managerial jobs to people with college degrees. Graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration are usually better poised for these openings than other employment seekers. In general, the business world taps those with skills and experience in management, finance, policy development, employee relations, business writing, and leadership.

Recent trends in acquiring capital, franchise ownership, and minority-owned businesses are impacting the business industry. The 2007–2009 economic downturn has made the availability of start-up capital from traditional sources much harder to obtain. In response, the phenomenon of crowdfunding, a collective effort to pool money for fledgling companies, has sprung up on the Internet. Among the many crowdfunding platforms in operation today, Fundable and Lucky Ant are specifically designed for small companies to issue shares and receive small investments from registered users.

According to the International Franchise Association, in 2013, the number of franchises in the United States was expected to grow by 1.3 percent, employing nearly 8.3 million workers. Seizing on the fluidity of the health care products and services sector and targeting the aging population market, medical supply (particularly wheelchair and hearing aids), personal fitness, and eye care franchises are projected to attract owners because they require little or no medical background. And, as the aging-in-place movement gathers more supporters, in-home care franchises, such as Accessible Home Health Care and Home Instead Senior Care, are taking hold.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that its Minority Business Development Agency supported the addition of nearly 16,300 new jobs, a 20 percent increase in three years. A vital component of the U.S. economy, minority-owned businesses, enterprises in which 51 percent, at minimum, are owned and operated by an ethnic minority, possess the most favorable export attributes of any sector and represent the future of export growth.

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