Both finance and business administration are excellent and promising career paths. While finance is a more specialized field, business administration, on the other hand, is a broader field with many opportunities in diverse areas of business like marketing, finance, human resources, and more. 

In this blog, we will take you through aspects like education, careers, and salary prospects for both finance and business administration paths. We will also outline the overlap and differences between the two. Depending on your interests and career goals, you can pick a path that best suits you.

A finance degree will give you a thorough understanding of financial principles. Your degree will include topics like financial markets, investment analysis, accounting, and risk management. Be prepared to take a lot of math-related classes, like statistics and quantitative methods. As a finance major, you will learn to manage financial resources effectively. Finance majors are well-suited for careers in investment banking, financial analysis, and corporate financial management. 

Related: All You Need To Know About Finance Degrees

A business administration degree will give you a comprehensive understanding of how a business runs. The curriculum covered in this program is broad and spans from marketing to operations to finance and more. Your degree in business administration will equip you with a range of helpful skills in all areas of business. Because of how versatile this degree is, you will feel prepared to excel in a number of different roles within a business. Business administration majors can land jobs in management, marketing, finance, human resources, and entrepreneurship.

Related: All You Need To Know About Business Administration

Here’s what classes you’ll take and the kind of skills you’ll pick up for each of these educational paths. We’ll also include a brief comparison of both to give you an idea about how they differ. 

Finance Major Curriculum

Core Courses: Financial Management, Corporate Finance, Investment Analysis, International Finance, Financial Markets, Risk Management.

Specializations: Portfolio Management, Financial Modeling, Derivatives, Real Estate Finance.

Business Administration Curriculum

Core Courses: Principles of Management, Marketing, Accounting, Organizational Behavior, Operations Management, Human Resource Management.

Specializations: Varies widely, options include Marketing, Human Resources, International Business.


1. Focus:  Finance majors delve deep into financial systems and investment strategies, while business administration provides a broader overview of all business operations.

2. Skill Development: Finance builds specialized skills in financial analysis and investment management. Business administration develops broader managerial and strategic skills applicable across various business functions.

3. Career Paths: Finance graduates often enter fields like investment banking or financial consulting. Business administration graduates have versatile career options, including management roles in various departments like marketing or operations.

4. Flexibility: The finance major is less flexible due to its specialized focus, whereas business administration offers broader career opportunities due to its comprehensive view of business.

Business administration also gives you the option to specialize in finance. So how different is a finance major from a business administration degree with a finance concentration? This section outlines all the differences between the two paths. 

1. Course Focus:

Finance Major: Concentrates heavily on financial theory, analysis techniques, and practical applications in finance.

Business Administration with Finance Specialization: Integrates finance courses within a broader business curriculum, emphasizing how financial principles intersect with other business functions.

2. Depth of Finance Focus:

Finance Major: Offers a deep dive into financial theory, analysis, and markets, with specialized courses tailored specifically to finance.

Business Administration with Finance Specialization: Provides a broader business education with a focus on finance, incorporating finance-related courses within a general business curriculum.

3. Career Preparation:

Finance Major: Prepares students for careers in finance-related fields such as investment banking, financial analysis, or portfolio management.

Business Administration with Finance Specialization: Equips students with a versatile skill set suitable for a range of business roles, with a particular emphasis on finance-related positions. Additionally, it allows for career pivoting into other business functions such as marketing, human resources, or operations management, leveraging the broader business knowledge gained alongside finance expertise.

4. Flexibility:

Finance Major: Less flexible due to its specialized nature, but offers in-depth knowledge and skills specifically tailored to finance.

Business Administration with Finance Specialization: Provides a balance between finance expertise and general business acumen, offering flexibility in career paths while still emphasizing finance-related knowledge.

This comparison underscores the distinct approach each program takes in educating students about finance, highlighting the depth versus breadth of knowledge, and its implications for career trajectories, including the potential for career pivoting within the broader business landscape.

The ideal choice between the two degrees depends on your interests and career goals. There is strong demand for both types of graduates and the insight they bring is valuable. The skills you’ve learned and your ability to add value to the job will determine whether you’ll be hired.

As a finance major, your specialized and in-depth knowledge of finance will open up many exciting career paths for you. You will be the ideal choice for employers looking for experts in the finance landscape. Here are some common careers for individuals with a finance background:

1. Financial Analyst:

Financial analysts assess market trends, prepare reports, and provide recommendations to aid investment decisions. This role typically requires you to hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. The average salary for a financial analyst is $76,595 per year.

2. Auditor:

Auditors examine and verify financial records to ensure accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is common, and professional certifications such as CPA may be required. The average salary for an auditor is $81,392 per year.

3. Financial Planner:

Financial planners help individuals and families manage their finances, providing advice on investments, retirement planning, and tax strategies. A bachelor’s degree is often sufficient, but certifications like Certified Financial Planner (CFP) can enhance credibility. The average salary for a financial planner is $83,186 per year

4. Risk Analyst:

Risk analysts assess potential risks for businesses and develop strategies to mitigate them. A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field is typically required. The average salary for a risk analyst is $84,752 per year.

5. Actuary:

Actuaries analyze financial risks using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory, often working in insurance or pension funds. Becoming an actuary requires a strong mathematical background and professional certifications. The average salary for an actuary is $115,749 per year.

6. Accountant:

Accountants are primarily responsible for preparing and examining financial records. The tasks of an accountant include recording financial transactions, creating financial statements, and ensuring accuracy in financial reporting. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is standard. The average salary for an accountant is $62,579 per year.

Related: Career Options You Can Pursue With A Degree In Finance

The flip side of business administration is that you will develop a range of different skills and an understanding of different practices within a business. You have the option to take courses in different areas of business or even to choose a specialization in one of many other areas of business. This can open up several opportunities for you. 

Here are some common careers that BBA graduates can choose from:

1. Marketing associate:

Marketing associates support the planning and execution of marketing strategies to promote a company’s products or services. They may assist in analyzing market trends, coordinating marketing campaigns, and collaborating with sales and product development teams. The average salary for an entry-level marketing associate is $53,993 per year.

2. Digital Marketing Specialist: 

In this role, graduates oversee all aspects of digital marketing campaigns, including social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and content marketing. They analyze campaign performance, identify trends, and develop strategies to optimize marketing efforts. The average salary for this role is $77,273.

3. Human Resources Specialist:

HR specialists manage various aspects of human resources, including recruitment, employee relations, and training. HR specialists receive an average salary of $62,389 per year.

4. Sales Representative:

Sales representatives promote and sell products or services to clients. They may work in various industries, from retail to business-to-business sales. The average salary for a sales representative is $75,658 per year.

5. Business Analyst:

Business analysts analyze business processes, gather and document requirements, and recommend improvements. A BBA with a focus on business analytics or information systems is relevant for this role. The average salary for a business analyst is $84,576 per year.

6. Entrepreneur/Small Business Owner:

BBA graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit may choose to start their own business. This path involves planning, launching, and managing a small business. The salary you can make as a business owner can vary widely depending on the field you’re in.

Related: Your Career Options With A Business Administration Degree

Depending on your specialization in business administration, you can further tailor your career to your interests. The salary figures mentioned can vary based on your education, experience, location, and other factors.

Choosing between a general bachelor of business administration degree and a specialized finance degree involves considering various factors. Here are some pros and cons for each:

General BBA:


1. Broad Skill Set: A general BBA provides a broad foundation in business principles, which can be beneficial for individuals interested in exploring different areas of business.

2. Versatility: Graduates with a general BBA can potentially pursue a variety of career paths, such as marketing, finance, human resources, operations, or entrepreneurship.

3. Flexibility: The flexibility of a general BBA allows for easier transition between different business functions and industries.

4. High Earning Potential: BBA graduates, especially those with a specialization or experience, have the potential to earn competitive salaries. Positions in management, finance, and consulting often offer lucrative compensation packages.


1. Lack of Specialization: A general BBA might lack the depth of knowledge and specialization that some employers seek for specific roles, particularly in finance.

2. Competitive Landscape: In highly specialized fields, such as finance, employers may prefer candidates with a more focused and in-depth educational background.

Finance Degree:


1. Specialized Knowledge: A finance degree provides in-depth knowledge of financial concepts, markets, and instruments, making graduates well-suited for finance-related roles.

2. Career Alignment: If you are certain about a career in finance, a specialized degree can align more closely with the specific skills and knowledge required in the field.

3. Higher Earning Potential: In certain finance roles, having a specialized degree can potentially lead to higher earning potential, especially in roles that require advanced financial expertise.

4. Clear Career Path: A finance degree can offer a clearer and more direct career path within the finance industry, which may be appealing to those with a specific career goal.


1. Narrower Focus: The specialized nature of a finance degree might limit career options outside of the finance industry.

2. Less Versatility: Graduates may find it challenging to switch to different business functions without additional education or experience.

The decision between a general BBA and a finance degree depends on your career goals, interests, and the level of specialization you desire. Consider your long-term objectives, preferred industry, and the types of roles you find most appealing. Additionally, gaining practical experience through internships and networking can be valuable in either scenario.

Choosing between a finance degree and a bachelor of business administration depends on your specific interests, career goals, and the level of specialization you desire. Depending on your interests, consider the following paths:

Choose a Finance Degree if:

1. Passion for Finance:

If you have a strong interest in financial markets, investment strategies, and economic analysis, a finance degree provides specialized knowledge in these areas.

2. Analytical and Quantitative Skills:

If you enjoy working with numbers, data analysis, and have a keen interest in financial modeling, a finance degree emphasizes quantitative skills important in the finance industry.

3. Career in Investment Banking or Financial Analysis:

If you aspire to work in roles such as investment banking, financial analysis, portfolio management, or risk assessment, a finance degree can be a direct pathway.

Choose a general BBA if:

1. Interest in Various Business Functions:

If you are interested in exploring different aspects of business, such as marketing, finance, human resources, operations, and entrepreneurship, a general BBA provides a broader foundation.

2. Flexibility and Versatility:

If you prefer a versatile degree that allows you to adapt to different business environments and potentially switch between roles or industries, a BBA offers flexibility.

3. Entrepreneurial Aspirations:

If you have aspirations to start your own business or work in an entrepreneurial setting, a BBA provides a well-rounded understanding of various business functions.

Your choice between a bachelor’s degree in finance and a bachelor’s degree in business administration depends on your interests and career goals. Do you want a more specialized career in finance or do you have an eye for business and want to learn finance in a business context? Both fields have immense potential and have a lot of opportunities to offer. 

If you feel inclined towards these degrees and if you’re confused about them, then take time to carefully evaluate your interests and your future career goals. Talking to professionals in these fields or taking up internships to gain experience will help you gain more knowledge and further decide what you feel truly passionate about.

Can both degrees compete for the same jobs?

Yes, graduates from both programs can often compete for similar finance-related jobs. The competition in the job market is typically influenced by factors such as skills, experience, and individual qualifications rather than the specific type of degree. Both BBA and BS in Finance graduates bring valuable knowledge and skills to the table, making them competitive candidates for various roles in the finance industry.

Do employers prefer one degree over the other?

Preferences vary among employers, and the emphasis is often on the candidate’s skills, experience, and suitability for the specific role. While some employers may have preferences based on the type of degree, many prioritize candidates who demonstrate practical skills, relevant experience, and a strong understanding of finance concepts. It is advisable for candidates to focus on showcasing their strengths, accomplishments, and how their education has equipped them for success in the targeted job.