Business Administration & Information Technology

Business Administration & Information Technology

What Is Business Administration and Information Technology?

Business administration involves the implementation, maintenance and management of various operations of commercial enterprises, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Your work in business administration may include developing and enforcing policies and programs, preparing documents, managing fiscal operations, record keeping and supervising staff.

Information technology (IT) encompasses equipment, applications, protocols and methodologies used to gather, process and present various forms of data. Your work in IT would revolve around computer technologies for data types that may include voice and audio functions, such as multimedia and telecommunications.

While business administration and information technology are different fields, they have areas of overlap because information technology is used for business purposes in the global marketplace. In one aspect, information technology is a commercial business product that is developed, sold and serviced, similar to any product. Information technology is also a business tool that can be maximized to help meet the specific needs and goals of an organization.

What Are My Career Options?

In business administration, you could work in a wide range of industries, such as retail, agriculture, construction, entertainment, education, healthcare, lodging, finance and business services. Your job title and responsibilities will vary. For example, as an administrative service manager you would oversee the support services of an organization, which could include facilitating maintenance and mail distribution.

You may pursue IT positions for any organization that relies heavily on computer systems and networks for their operations. For example, if you choose to work as a computer support specialist, you would assist organizations and individuals in using computer hardware and software. Your duties could include handling operation-related inquiries and troubleshooting.

There are also job opportunities that require the blending of business administration and information technology skills. This can include, for example, sales and marketing professionals who specialize in information technologies. Also, chief information officers and some business analysts serve in a dual capacity in the areas of business and technology.

What Are the Requirements?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement for some entry-level jobs, such as administrative service managers, while an undergraduate or a graduate degree is generally necessary for top executive opportunities (www.bls.gov). For information technology jobs, the BLS reports that some college-level coursework is sufficient for many entry-level work opportunities as a computer support specialist. A bachelor's degree is usually required for many IT careers, such as computer programmer, computer systems analyst, network architect or software developer. You can also find schools that offer dual graduate degree programs in business and information technology, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Technology, MBA in Managing Information Technology or Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology.

How Much Could I Earn?

Your specific earning potential can vary with your degree level, degree type, industry, job type and level of authority. For example, computer support specialists earned a median salary of $47,660 in 2011, while computer programmers earned a median of $72,630 in the same year. The BLS also noted that administrative services managers earned $79,540 and computer and information systems managers, such as chief information officers, made a median of $118,010 in 2011.