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Business Administration and Management

Overview

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 United States, nearly 8 million people are employed in business management positions, including those in administrative services and 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, sales, marketing, 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 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 emerged on the Internet. Among the many crowdfunding platforms in operation today are Kickstarter and iFundWomen.

According to the International Franchise Association, in 2018 the number of franchise businesses in the United States totaled 733,000. Collectively, these businesses employed 7.6 million people. More than half of the franchise industry was comprised of businesses in the real estate, healthcare, residential, business services, automotive, and retail categories, according to the organization. At 26 percent, quick service restaurants was the largest category, followed by personal services (15%) and business services (14%).

In 2019, the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency reported that there were nearly 11 million minority-owned businesses in the United States, which employed more than 6 million people and generated about $1.8 trillion in revenue. Minority-owned businesses are enterprises in which 51 percent, at minimum, are owned and operated by an ethnic minority; they possess the most favorable export attributes of any sector and represent the future of export growth.