As a degree and course of study, business administration is unusual because it does not prepare graduates for any single career or occupation. Rather, it teaches techniques and mindsets that graduates can then apply to any field that involves business, administration or both. While it might seem disadvantageous on paper, this is a huge benefit for business administration graduates once the diploma is received and the job search begins.
What to Do with a Business Administration Degree
Because of the kind of curricula that most business administration programs have – more general, real-world training as opposed to the niched and highly specialized skills from courses like accounting or engineering – graduates are given a wider selection when it comes to post-college careers. Any field that involves business, administration or even management would be right up the alley of a business administration graduate.
Degree holders of business management courses typically start with middle management positions, especially in the corporate sector. Industrial and manufacturing companies have much use for business administration training, and should present a long list of potential positions for the job seeker. Merchandising and retail outfits have similar needs, and so should have an equally lengthy list of opportunities.
Self-employment and personal businesses are also a frequently explored field by grads of business administration, and many have reached financial success even before graduation day. Starting a business involves continuous application of the skills learned in school, but can also be the most rewarding as the revenue is not tied to an employer’s salary rate.
Opportunities Here and Abroad
No matter what the state of the local economy might be, a shortage of jobs for graduates of business administration would be very unlikely. There are simply too many fields and industries that require that sort of training, so jobs are available even on the local market.
A very popular post-college route in the Philippines is to enter the corporate world via any one of the numerous management trainee programs on the corporate landscape. They are practically internship programs that last anywhere from one to five years of hard work followed by a fast track to middle and upper management.
Corporate trainee programs don’t pay very much at the start; PhP20,000 to PhP25,000 is the average figure, even for multinationals and big conglomerates. Trainees who finish the program, however, can expect twice or even thrice that kind of salary within a year of completion. The programs are very selective, though, especially for the bigger and more prestigious corporations. Preference is given to graduates with honors, those from the Big 3 schools (ADMU, DLSU and UP) and with actual business experience.
Although taking the corporate trainee program route can lead to positions based abroad, one can also take the fast lane and apply as middle managers in other countries. In 2009, those kinds of jobs were paid an average of $40,000 to $75,000 – well above the national median.
Getting a job abroad, however, is not as easy as it looks. One would have to have better qualifications that the business and administration graduates already living there; an MBA or some other postgraduate degree is almost necessary. And unless there’s a stellar item in your resume or several years of practical experience behind you, a job abroad would be a difficult proposition indeed.