If you are looking to start a career – or get a promotion – in business administration, there are a number of key soft and hard skills that you should focus on honing. You can learn them through academic study or experience, but these are essential skills to getting ahead in business administration.
We have listed the top skills needed to advance in business administration – keep reading to learn more.
The value of higher education
While all of the below skills can be learned on the job, they can be further developed and intensified through academic study. Studying business administration ensures that you gain access to the newest and most relevant advancements in the field and you are able to get feedback on your development.
There are many online MBA in UK programs available for students to pursue a degree in business administration. For example, Aston University has a range of fully online courses that are designed to kick-start careers and help students improve their professional abilities. The program is also remote and online, so students who are employed can enjoy a flexible learning experience that caters to their schedule and needs.
The skills needed to become a top administrator
As business administrators wear many hats in a company and are continually on the move between different departments, there are many different skills that good administrators develop in their work. Regardless of whether these skills are learned from experience, academic study or a combination of the two, they are extremely transferrable to jobs at other companies and alternate career paths.
Good administrators need to have excellent administrative skills, and this includes organization and time management. Administrators need to be able to efficiently process information and keep it orderly and accessible for others in the company.
As information is typically transferred digitally, this usually also involves a certain degree of tech-savviness and the ability to manage digital databases.
While some people have a natural proclivity to administrative and organizational work, this is also a skill that can be learned as long as you have good attention to detail and the ability to work quickly.
This is arguably the most important skill that administrators develop. A professional who has good people skills is able to navigate through tricky professional and social situations and leave all of the parties involved feeling satisfied, or at least heard.
Under the umbrella of people skills are communication and active listening. Having good communication skills means that you are able to source information, process it, and present it to others in an intelligible way. It also means that you have both good verbal and written communication styles.
Active listening is just as important. We have all been in conversations where you feel talked over, misunderstood or just simply ignored. It is an essential skill for administrators to be able to listen to what someone is saying – or trying to say – and take the time to understand where they are coming from and what they are trying to express. Active listening is essential to effective project management and problem -solving.
Financial and budgetary
One of the hard skills that administrators typically develop is the ability to manage finances and develop budgets. While large companies have financial departments and CFOs, business administrators are essential to ensuring that particular departments stick to their budgets and for tracking the finances of teams.
Business administrators are also often involved in discussions of business strategy and planning. This is one of the most creative, intense and interesting aspects of the administrator’s role and can involve research, analysis, planning and consultations with industry experts.
In large companies, new software and hardware rollouts can cost millions of dollars, and if they are not implemented properly, then the tech platform can falter, and sometimes fail. This is where business administrators come in.
Good business administrators are often aligned with IT departments and ease the process of a new tech tool implementation. They may also collect feedback from users and get involved with launching beta testing efforts.
Problem-solving and project management
As business administrators are continually working with multiple project teams and departments, it is hardly surprising that their job involves a lot of problem-solving, conflict management and project management. Good administrators are typically good at managing a number of moving parts and understanding what each team or department’s objectives are.
These skills are essential to success in virtually every role as all jobs involve a certain amount of identifying and solving problems.
Administrators will also typically need to have very good public speaking and presentation skills. Public speaking is a major fear for most people, but thankfully this is a skill that can be developed over time and become something that you feel comfortable and confident doing.
Presentations are so important in the role because administrators need to be able to take their efforts, successes and projects, and present the relevant information to stakeholders in order to keep everyone on the same page.
Another hard skill that administrators must develop is research and analysis. Administrators may be asked to perform research on company competitors or general market trends and then to compile that information and present their findings.
Research skills can be gained on the job, but an academic degree program is a great way to learn the best ways to compile quantitative and qualitative data and present your findings in an intelligible way. Research skills are also very transferrable for other career paths, including strategy and consulting.
Skills and transferability One of the best things about a career in business administration is that these skills are highly transferrable to other departments, including marketing, operations, human resources, strategy, talent search and management. If you start out in business administration, you can develop skills and experiences to transfer to other business departments. The possibilities are truly limitless when it comes to business administration.