More than ever before, the U.S. military resembles a multinational business enterprise, with operations and personnel distributed across far-flung areas of the globe. With a broad range of occupational specialities available – from financial management, accounting and public relations to logistics and purchasing – military service can provide the foundation for a successful civilian career in business administration.
Individuals who are organized, strategic thinkers and natural leaders may find a good fit in the field of business administration. Other skills commonly sought by employers in this industry include communication, time management, problem solving, decision-making and negotiation. In general, employers are looking for business professionals who will add value to their companies, whether by improving productivity, boosting morale, cutting costs or increasing sales.
In the military, business administration careers comprise many types of activities, such as finance, office administration and information management, all of which support operations. For example, in the U.S. Army, financial management technicians are responsible for paying vendors, balancing budgets and maintaining accurate accounting records. Additional military business administration careers include:
When planning the transition to civilian life, it’s important for servicemembers to build a work history that includes the skills employers seek, while addressing the challenges they face. For example, today’s complex and competitive business environment requires administrators and managers who are flexible, and able to communicate their vision and inspire others to perform at their best.
Business administration jobs can be found in many industries, including accounting, financial management, marketing and manufacturing. Typically, employers will require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree and many show preference to job seekers with advanced education, such as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). High-level positions may require experience, either military or civilian, along with a degree in business administration, finance, marketing or a related field.
With the availability of online degree programs – and various options for paying for college – it’s not necessary for servicemembers to wait until they leave the military before pursuing an MBA or other business administration-related degrees. Online education offers flexibility and around-the-clock access, and military personnel can take classes no matter where they’re deployed.
Employers in the field of business administration value many of the skills that military service can provide, including math, communication, negotiation and leadership. With military experience and a relevant degree, candidates can compete for a variety of business administration positions, including:
Government rules and regulations can change, so prospective students should conduct their own research and consult with an Education Services Officer in order to access the latest information.