How do you Choose Between Business administration and accounting for your Degree?

Every financial career aspirant has wrestled with the difficulty of choosing between business administration and accounting courses at the beginning of their careers. To choose either a master of business administration or accounting qualification, you need to be aware of the major differences between both the specialisations.

You may be wondering about the need to know the differences in the first place if you have already made your choice. Don’t get us wrong—it’s good to have an initial choice about your career. However, gaining practical knowledge about both disciplines can help you make the right career choice for yourself.

Read ahead to find out the major differences between accounting programmes and business administration courses.

  1. Curriculum structures: The program curriculum is the first major difference between business and accounting degrees. Although there are some overlapping subjects covered under both programs such as business accounting and managerial accounting, the curriculum structures are essentially different. Accounting qualifications cover subjects like taxation laws, auditing, economics and cost accounting. Alternatively, business degrees cover subjects like operational management, marketing, and financial management.

  2. Specialised knowledge: Both accounting and business programs impart technical knowledge; however, accounting is a highly specialised discipline as compared to business administration. The Washington Post once referred to accounting as “a math-focused business major.” An accounting major can provide you with highly valuable quantitative skills like logical reasoning and arithmetic which can be lacking in some business administration degrees.

  3. Versatility in skills: The high degree of specialisation in accounting degrees can restrict the flexibility available to their students in the job search. Most accounting degrees prepare you for high profile accounting jobs from where it can be difficult to switch domains. On the other hand, business administration programs offer greater diversity and versatility in skills to their students. The programmes build several transferable skills like organisation and management which can allow students to easily change their work domains.

  4. Career opportunities: The career opportunities available after both programs are diverse and comparable. analyzed over two million business administration and accounting jobs and found that there was similar kind of compensation and job availability in both the domains.

We have tabulated these differences in a simple format for you.

Criteria Business Administration courses Accounting courses
Subjects in the curriculum Cover subjects like operations management and marketing Cover subjects like taxation and auditing
Career opportunities Comparable for both specialisations
Skills diversity Provide greater diversity and versatility in skills Provide highly specialised skills which might be unhelpful in other domains
Specialised knowledge A less specialised discipline as compared to accounting A highly specialised subject which can be further categorised into smaller disciplines.


You should remember that there is no right or wrong choice here. You should go with business administration courses if you want to migrate to management positions later in your career. However, you can pick up accounting qualifications if you want specialised roles in the financial domain.

Irrespective of your choice, both accounting and business administration degrees can help you establish a successful financial career. Hence, you should make an appropriate choice today and kick-start your business career.

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