Marketability and job security are two powerful factors that you must consider when choosing your college major. In the eyes of employers, a business administration education ranks among the most desirable. According to Coursera, the most popular college major is business, accounting for 19% of degrees conferred in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that a bachelor’s degree is the academic proof you’ll need to land an entry-level position in today’s top business fields.

Knowing the qualifications that are needed, it’s little surprise to see adult learners returning to school to update their business credentials in order to stay competitive in a robust hiring market.

“I’ve observed in my classes, there are a lot of adults, including many female single parents, who want to become supervisors or managers, and a degree can help them better themselves,” explains Dr. Ronald Beach, organizational sociologist, Full Professor/Faculty member for the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration within the Forbes School of Business and Technology® at the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC), adding that he returned to school in his late 40s to earn his bachelor’s degree after a long career in management.

While many older college graduates will remind those considering college that it’s “never too late” to earn your degree, it’s entirely reasonable to feel a sense of urgency when you decide to go back to school as an adult. That leaves many college hopefuls asking the same question: how long will it take?

How Long Does It Take to Earn a BA in Business Administration?

The University of Arizona Global Campus four-year Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration program is designed to increase your leadership, critical thinking, and project management skills; while giving you the technical knowledge needed to communicate ideas and collaborate in today’s business environment.

The undergraduate Business Administration program is comprised of 15 core courses in the areas of Management, Information Systems, Economics, Business, and Accounting. As a student, you will take one course at a time for five weeks.

To earn your Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at UAGC, you must complete 120 credits. You will need to complete 30 upper-division credits, of which 18 credits must be from the major program. A total of 30 credits must be completed at UAGC to meet the residency requirement. You may be able to transfer approved credits from community colleges, other previous college coursework, or other life experiences such as military service or job training toward your degree.

Read the program-specific requirements.

Throughout the program, Beach says, you will have to answer questions about yourself, including:

  • How do I achieve team goals?
  • What is my leadership style?
  • How do I evaluate a situation and adapt?
  • How do I manage change in a business environment?

Your answers will guide you as you work toward the program’s most important project: developing a strategic business plan.

“In the end, you’re tying it all together and explaining how it works in the real world,” Beach says.

The Path to Earning Your BA in Business Administration

For many adult learners returning to school, the path to earning a Business Administration degree begins with a focus on the fundamentals — writing, research, learning, and communication skills — that need an upgrade or, like an atrophied muscle, haven’t been used since their first college experience or earlier.

“Some of my students have been out of school for 20 to 30 years,” Beach says. “The first part of the program, including the General Education courses, will re-introduce them to these skills.”

Upon admission, UAGC students have access to a suite of resources that will help them adjust to online learning, including the UAGC Library, Writing Center, student organizations, and the CHAMPS Peer Mentoring program.

Returning to college as an adult can yield a wealth of rewards. “I enjoy working with students who haven’t been in school for a long time,” Beach says. “That’s why I like teaching Management 330 Management for Organizations so much.

“I remember how intimidating it was to go back to school, but once you realize you can do it, it’s like a light bulb that comes on above your head.”

Time Management is Everything

While there are ways to speed your path to graduation, such as doubling up classes or applying traditional or non-traditional transfer credits to your degree program, Beach says the majority of students will find the path to graduation is much smoother once they’ve mastered their time management skills.

“Finding that balance is so important, but being on an online platform helps create flexibility,” he explains. “It’s like when you first jump into the water; you have to learn how to swim.

In the meantime, Beach adds, overcoming doubts about your capabilities and developing a positive mindset are the keys to successfully juggling school, work, and family priorities.

“There’s always a question of, ‘Can I really do this?’” he says. “Just the fact that you’re in school puts you ahead of everybody else.

“Just by being here, you’re doing something special.”

If you’re ready to create solutions for today’s business challenges and position yourself for long-term success, contact a UAGC advisor about your Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.


Written by University Staff

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