Small Business Management Degree

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What is Small Business Management?

Small Business Administration and Small Business Management is a multidisciplinary field of study emphasizing running small-sized, privately held business entities.  Small Business Management can run the gambit from a convenience store to software development to hairdressers to electricians.  The studies behind Small Business Administration and Small Business Management prepare students for a variety of hats when being charged to operate and manage a small business.  In most cases, a small business manager will become proficient with a variety of business disciplines including: customer service, inventory management, finance, marketing, accounting, legal, research, information technology, human resources, training, recruiting, budgeting, forecasting, compensation, time management, payroll, sales, community outreach, and leadership.

Top Small Business Management Degrees

Degrees in small business management are specialized degrees within the business management domain.  You will find two primary paths to learn about small businesses at most colleges: direct degrees and indirect degrees.  A direct degree program is a series of classes assembled for the purpose of teaching specific skills for a specific trade area.  On the other hand, an indirect degree would be represented by a business administration or operations management degree.  Key, transferrable skills with be taught in the indirect degree programs but they are not as focused on small businesses in their curricular design.  To help you find the best degree in small business for you, we have assembled the most popular graduate and undergraduate program below.

Small Business Management Associate Degrees

Degrees at the associate level are typically designed to be two-year programs for full-time students. Students enrolled on a part-time basis can expect degree programs to take longer to complete.  On-site and online degrees in small business may be available from top colleges and universities listed below.   You can find degrees from colleges conferred as either an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) depending on the design of the degree track.  In both the AS and AA degree program, you should anticipate enrolling in a number of liberal arts classes such as creative writing, history, psychology, communications, sociology, and English composition in addition to core business courses.

The course design in a small business program will vary in minor ways from college to college; however, many classes with overlap regardless of your school of choice.  Below, we have curated a list of the most popular classes found in this degree track.

  • Accounting Principles
  • Microeconomics
  • Business Management
  • Macroeconomics
  • Business Mathematics
  • Financial Accounting
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Business Communications
  • Computer Applications and CSM Programs
  • Supervisory Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Customer Service
  • Interpersonal Communications

Small Business Management Bachelor Degrees

Bachelor degrees in small business can be conferred as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).  Much like an associate’s degree, students will register for a number of general education courses in addition to business programs.  By blending both types of classes, students will develop an integrative set of holistic thinking skills.  Upper level classes you will study in this field include: finance, accounting, marketing, operations management, customer service, advertising, business statistics, economics, law, human resource management, financial management, information systems, and entrepreneurship.

Educational Requirements for Small Business Managers

In terms of educational requirements, Small Business Administration and Small Business Management degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:

Skills & Abilities Required for Managers

  • Speech Clarity
  • Oral Expression
  • Oral Comprehension
  • Speech Recognition
  • Written Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Instructing
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing

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Employment Information & Management Specializations

For students that earn a college degree in Small Business Administration and Small Business Management, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue.  The options range from management, marketing, advertising, finance, leadership, public relations, budgeting, recruiting, human resources, and sales training in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.

Job Growth, Salary, and Related Management Fields

The job growth in the greater Small Business Administration and Small Business Management domain are well above average.  For example, the rate of job growth for human resource managers is expected to rise 9% through 2024 and for market research analyst 19% growth rate is expected during the same period.  Given the broad nature of the Small Business Administration and Small Business Management degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location.  Related fields include teaching, research, marketing, advertising, and training.

Additional Small Business Manager Resources

  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)
  • National Small Business Administration (NSBA)
  • Entrepreneurs Organization (EO)
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

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