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BBA vs. MBA: Which Business Degree is Right for You?


Whether you have entrepreneurial interests or you are looking at a career path that will lead to roles where you will manage teams, and make critical business decisions, business administration courses are important. One can take two courses to enter the management and business administration fields; a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) followed by a Master in Business Administration (MBA). The subjects covered in business administration courses are pertinent to all fields as you learn essential skills in these programmes. Here is a look at BBA and MBA.

Course Duration and Eligibility

The Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) is a 3 or 4-year undergraduate programme and the Master in Business Administration (MBA) is a 2-year post-graduate programme. Some colleges offer an integrated BBA and MBA programme which is of 5-years duration. For BBA, the candidate has to complete 10+2 from a recognised board with 50% or more. There will also be an entrance exam and different colleges have different cutoff marks for these. For an MBA in India, the students have to complete their undergraduate course with a minimum of 50% marks and they have to clear the CAT or similar entrance exams.

Business Administration Course Overview

MBA is a logical progression for anyone who has pursued BBA, however, there are other paths one can take to diversify their qualifications. In both BBA and MBA, the first year presents an overview of all the core management subjects. In the final year of BBA, the student selects the specialisation. With an MBA, the specialisations are selected from the first year, although, the course touches upon the core management and business administration subjects too. The most popular Business Administration streams are -

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sports Management
  • Event Management
  • Operations Management
  • General Management
  • International Business
  • Healthcare Management
  • Logistics Management

Curriculum and Syllabus: BBA vs. MBA

BBA course syllabus includes Principles of Management, Business Mathematics and Statistics, Operations Research, Business Economics, Financial and Management Accounting, Production and material Management, Business Communication, Organisational Behaviour, Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Information Technology for Business, Project Management, Entrepreneurship, Business Law, and Business Policy and Strategy.

  • Electives (these are also specialisations you can take in BBA)
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Technology
    • Banking & Insurance
    • Communication & Media Management

BBA students appear for semester exams, apart from which the curriculum includes presentations, case studies, group discussions, research projects, industrial visits, guest lectures, and internships.
The MBA syllabus includes core subjects such as Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Operations Management and Organisational Behaviour.

  • Electives
    • Auditing
    • Corporate Law
    • Business Communication

The MBA programme includes semester exams, course works, dissertations, projects and internships.

Career Opportunity: BBA vs. MBA

BBA graduates can look at careers as -

  • Supervisors or administrators in Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain, or Sales to manage various aspects of the operations
  • Entrepreneurs - run your business enterprise
  • Business consultants - advise businesses on niche areas as a consultant
  • Business Development Executive - find new business opportunities to expand and retain market share
  • Finance Manager - manages the business finances
  • Recruiter/ recruitment consultant - recruit new talent for business
  • Sales Executive - Handle sales of products and services
  • Event manager - manage and plan various events

Mostly, BBA graduates get entry-level positions and though you will grow within the team based on your performance, to get upper management positions, one has to do their MBA or an equivalent Master’s programme. BBA graduates can complete certification courses or appear for professional courses to augment their qualifications. Some alternatives are -

  • Chartered Accountant - handles tax and related aspects
  • Company Secretary - Handle business law
  • Enterprise software certification (SaaS, PaaS, ERP, CMS, etc.) - use enterprise software for business operations

Irrespective of which field you graduate one can pursue an MBA if they want to become part of management, business administration, or entrepreneurship. MBA is also a prevalent choice among candidates with backgrounds in Engineering, Architecture, pure Sciences, and medicine to name a few. After MBA degree leads to roles such as -

  • Strategic decision-making roles in Top Management (Chairman, CEO, CFO, Head of Department, etc.)
  • Entrepreneur or Business Head - Run your business venture
  • Team Leaders - lead project teams
  • Department Heads - head of the different departments and make strategic decisions for them

Choosing the right institution

While most institutes offer the same curriculum, there are many aspects to consider when choosing a college. Some pertinent questions are –

  • What are the alumni doing?
  • Do they get good internship opportunities?
  • What type of amenities does the college have?
  • Where is the college located?
  • Do they attract eminent businesspersons, thought leaders or influencers to visit the campus?
  • How good is the placement cell?

Business administration studies is a wonderful area that transforms a student into someone who understands business and commerce and has an entrepreneurial mindset. Even if you grow to become a team leader, or you are heading an important scientific research expedition, understanding business administration and management subjects will teach you important skills of financial management, team management, project management, resource planning and much more. You understand the rudiments of conflict resolution, efficient decision-making, resource planning, and teamwork and learn essential soft skills, managerial skills, administrative skills, and entrepreneurial skills.