What Are the Requirements to Become a Business Manager?

Business managers apply their administrative and supervisory expertise to help companies increase profitability and productivity. Keep reading to learn about the education you need to start a career in business management. Schools offering Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Educational Requirements

While some small companies hire business managers based solely on experience, most companies require you to have formal education. A bachelor's degree in business administration, business management or another applicable major may qualify you for management positions with various types of businesses, like marketing firms, financial institutions, retail stores, and manufacturers.

Important Facts About Education Common Among Business Managers

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED; SAT/ACT scores; transcripts; teacher evaluation form
Online Availability Fully online programs are offered
Programs Non-matriculated option available
Possible Careers Sales, training, advertising, operations, and human resources manager

Business Administration/Management Degree

Bachelor's degree programs in business administration or business management equip students with management skills that can apply to all industries and business settings. You can expect to learn the basics of business, such as how to work as a team, communicate with employees, and solve problems common in business settings. You may also be introduced to the operational complexities of industrial, commercial, healthcare, governmental, and non-profit organizations. Core courses tend to include:

  • Accounting
  • Decision making
  • Management theory
  • Marketing principles
  • Business law and ethics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Information systems
  • Business writing


Business administration degree programs typically allow students to pursue concentrations in business. For example, a student who pursues a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in finance may be better qualified for business manager positions in financial institutions. Other common concentrations include entrepreneurship, marketing, human resources, international management and information systems management.

Certification and Continuing Education

Although certification is voluntary, some upper-level management positions may prefer candidates who hold certification. The Association of Professionals in Business Management offers two levels of certification for business managers with varying levels of education and experience (www.apbm.org). The Certified Associate Business Manager credential is available to entry-level professionals and validates knowledge of basic business management principles. The Certified Business Manager credential is intended for advanced-level business managers who have a master's degree, eight years of experience, or a bachelor's degree coupled with four years of experience. Both of these certifications also require continuing education and a fee to gain recertification.

You may also increase your chances of employment and advancement by earning a master's degree in business administration or another closely related field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative service managers with a master's degree may benefit from greater job opportunities and promotion to upper-level positions (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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