An associate degree in administration management prepares you for entry-level employment in business, marketing, or human resources. This program could also prepare you for a management position and serve as a precursor to a bachelor's degree in business or a related field.
Along with acquiring business management principles, this degree helps learners develop valuable communication, problem-solving, managerial, and general administrative skills.
Administrative management positions show positive job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of administrative services managers to grow at a rate of 10% from 2016 to 2026. Administrative services managers typically hold bachelor's degrees and work experience. Business-related majors also remain the most popular among undergraduate students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (e.g., roughly 364,000 students graduated with a business-related degree in 2014-2015).
With many graduates pursuing business careers, earning an associate in administration management offers a competitive advantage in the job market. Below, find out more about associate in administration management programs.
Should I Get an Associate Degree in Administration Management?
An associate degree in administration management gives you the skills needed to manage administrative operations. Along with acquiring business management principles, this degree helps learners develop valuable communication, problem-solving, managerial, and general administrative skills. In these programs, students complete courses that cover basic computer operations, Microsoft Word software, and the Internet.
At the associate level, an administration management program is ideal for high school graduates who want to gain advanced training for current or new employment, explore career and job options, or transfer to a bachelor's program. The degree also remains ideal for working professionals seeking job advancement or a new career.
While an online associate degree in administration management may attract working professionals, on-campus programs offer benefits like networking and peer tutoring for students eager to enter the workforce after graduation. Some educational institutions even offer job placement services and internships for learners to gain valuable work experience while they pursue their degrees.
What Can I Do with an Associate in Administration Management?
Graduates with an associate degree in administration management work full time in an office setting. Managers may remain on-call during non-office hours. The list below shows three common career paths for degree candidates pursuing an associate in administration management.
- Office Manager
Responsible for all projects, activities, and employees in an organization, office managers work closely with staff to ensure operations run smoothly. Officer managers also stay up-to-date on projects, implement new policies and procedures, and develop budgets. This position typically requires a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field.
- Operations Manager
Responsible for an organization's production of goods or services, an operations manager supervises various departments, including manufacturing, purchasing, and warehousing. These managers may also oversee budgets, sales and profit goals, and safety measures. While operations managers must hold a bachelor's degree in management, business, or another field, a master's degree adds an advantage in the job market.
- Human Resources Generalist
While helping managers make human resource decisions, such as hiring and maintaining employee relations, a human resources generalist also administers office duties, such as benefits, payroll, and training. The generalist may supervise staff, deploy new practices, and suggest changes to policy as well. While this job requires a bachelor's degree, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.
How to Choose an Associate in Administration Management Program
When deciding where to pursue an associate in administration management, consider factors such as program length, program type, and costs.
First, decide how often you will attend school. If you attend school full time, you will presumably finish quicker. If you attend part time because you might be pursuing a career while completing coursework, you will take a bit longer to earn your degree.
Second, consider if you want to pursue your degree online or on-campus. An online associate in administration management program offers a flexible schedule for working professionals and allows students to study from any location. An on-campus program gives degree candidates more opportunities for direct social interaction with professors and other students.
Third, question how much you can afford. An on-campus program requires additional fees for transportation, parking, and housing, which vary by geographical location. Online programs may offer the same tuition rates for distance learners regardless of where the student lives.
Finally, verify if the associate in administration management program holds accreditation. An educational institution receives accreditation for meeting standards and providing a quality education. A college or university usually holds either national or regional accreditation. Accreditation can affect transferring college credits, employment after graduation, and certification eligibility. Verify your school's accreditation on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Associate in Administration Management Program Admissions
Before applying to an associate degree in administration management, learn about admission processes. On-campus programs usually involve stricter admission deadlines. Students should pay close attention to these deadlines to avoid missing entry into the program. Most online programs use a process known as rolling admission for working adults. Admissions officers review applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis; class seats remain open until filled.
A degree candidate should apply to four to eight schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. Applying to too few schools can reduce financial aid eligibility. However, application fees can also add up. When choosing where to send an application, consider the school's community and the student's ideal campus size.
- Application: Each school requires a different application process for gaining entry. An undergraduate admission application tool CommonApp allows students the opportunity to apply to multiple schools at once.
- Transcripts: Educational institutions usually require applicants send official transcripts. You can usually request your previous school to send your official transcript to the college or university for free.
- Application Fee: Each school requires a fee to process an application ($30-$50). Fee waivers exist for those in the military or financial need.
Educational Paths for Administration Management Associate Programs
Associate in administration management programs prepare students for bachelor programs in business or related fields. A bachelor's degree offers graduates job opportunities and higher earning potential. According to PayScale, a student with a bachelor's degree in business administration earns an average salary of $61,000, while a learner with an associate in business management and administration takes home $52,000 annually. The list below features three common bachelor's degrees pursued by graduates with an associate in administration management.
- Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration
A bachelor's degree in business administration provides learners with real-world training opportunities using field experience, business simulations, and case studies. The program helps management professionals develop leadership roles, supervisory skills, and management techniques for various business careers. The curriculum includes courses in finance, management, and marketing. Students also learn vital communication techniques.
- Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
With this degree, students learn about accounting practices and how to solve business challenges by helping organizations manage finances and cash flow. A bachelor's degree in accounting prepares graduates for careers in various settings, including government agencies, hospitals, and accounting agencies. This degree also helps learners prepare for professional certification exams.
- Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources
A bachelor's degree in human resources teaches degree candidates how to shape company culture, recruit and manage employees, and set policies. This degree includes coursework in business communication, law, and ethics. This program also prepares learners for various careers, including human resource specialist, administrative services manager, and compensation and benefits manager.
What Else Can I Expect from an Associate in Administration Management Program?
An administration management degree offers students many options, and degree candidates can choose specific elective classes to better suit their interests. The following sections provide more information about associate in administration management degrees.
Courses in an Associate in Administration Management Program
Courses in associate in administration management programs differ by the school, but most involve business-related coursework. Degree candidates may also complete classes on computer software, business communication, and financial math. The list below shows a sample curriculum for an associate degree in administration management.
- Principles of Management
Preparing learners for leadership positions, this course introduces students to management principles, philosophies, and techniques. Degree candidates study both modern and classical management concepts using case studies, simulations, and team projects. Students also learn about controlling, planning, and organizing resources, and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Financial Accounting
Designed for students desiring immediate financial skills for entry or advancement in the job market, this course introduces learners to fundamental accounting concepts, theories, and processes. Degree candidates study the accounting cycle and learn how to record and summarize basic financial data. Learners also analyze corporate financial structures, earning statements, and cash flow models.
- Word Processing
This course teaches students basic features of Microsoft Word and how to use the software to prepare and edit documents. Degree candidates learn how to enhance and customize documents by creating headers and footers, adding graphical elements, and creating footnotes. Students also learn how to use styles, merge documents, and protect shared documents.
- Business Communication
Helping degree candidates develop vital communication skills for office support and managerial careers, this course focuses on workplace-related oral, written, and implied communication. With a special emphasis on editing and proofreading, degree candidates learn how to produce effective business messages, including reports, letters, and oral presentations. Students use Word processing software to create and revise documents.
- Human Resources Management
With a focus on managerial and personnel officer functions, this course provides an in-depth study of the principles of human resource management. Ideal for students seeking positions in human resources, degree candidates learn how to develop an effective workforce. Learners also study hiring practices, performance evaluations, and management development.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate in Administration Management?
While many factors affect a program's length, an associate in administration management typically takes two years to complete -- if students are enrolled full time, that is. A program can take longer when students attend part time since they complete fewer courses each semester. Working professionals usually take only a few classes per semester while pursuing their degrees.
Course schedules may also affect your expected time of graduation. Some online programs use a cohort teaching model, in which students learn as a team. If a degree candidate fails to complete a required course with the team, the student may need to wait for the next cohort to begin.
A degree candidate completing more courses than required or taking part in an accelerated program may finish a degree sooner. On average, an associate degree in administration management requires 60 credits to graduate. The total credits includes general education coursework and electives.
How Much Is an Associate in Administration Management?
Many factors affect the cost of an associate degree in administration management. An average associate degree -- including tuition, fees, and room and board -- totals $10,432 at two-year schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. A school's private or public status may influence these costs. The average 2015-2016 tuition and fees for a private educational institution total $24,367, while the same tuition and fees at public educational institutions total $9,939.
Tuition and student fees also vary by geographical location, so compare state costs. As well, consider costs beyond tuition -- housing, transportation, and technology fees, for example. If you plan to reside on or near campus, research dorms, apartments, and the cost of living in general.
Tuition costs usually remain higher for out-of-state students than in-state ones. However, some educational institutions offer the same tuition rate for online degrees.
Professional Organizations in Administration Management
Joining an organization for administration management professionals can give degree candidates and recent graduates many membership benefits, including job listings, continuing education, and networking opportunities. For example, the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) offers its members the opportunity to earn a Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence, which can increase earning potential and career opportunities. The list below features three professional organizations for administration management students and graduates.
The largest international association for administrative professionals, ASAP serves more than 75,000 members. It provides webinars, a certification program, and discounts to an annual conference.
A professional association, IAAP helps office workers and administrative professionals, while offering networking opportunities, continuing education, and a certification program for members.
The AEAP offers many membership benefits, including an online network directory, job listings, and discounts on products and services.