Comparing Outcomes: BBA vs. MBA

Female in business attire smiles with her arms folded while colleagues talk in the background.

A career in business can be a lucrative one — from well-paying entry-level positions to chief executives, who earn a median annual salary of $181,210. But what’s the best way to get into the industry?

Most business jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and one that prepares students for the basics of such work is a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). At the same time, those who are looking to advance their professional careers or move up the ladder in the business world may opt for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Therefore, it’s important to discuss the positives and negatives of getting a BBA vs. MBA.


A Bachelor of Business Administration is a four-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the basics of running a business. A Master of Business Administration is commonly a two-year degree (sometimes as little as just one year) and offers a more hands-on and focused course of study into the details of running or managing a business.

There are other differences between the two degrees as well.

With a BBA, students often learn more in lecture settings with professors who have real-world experience. Meanwhile, MBA students engage with experienced faculty through open forums in which the professors serve more as moderators. Additionally, BBA students’ work consists more of individual projects, while MBA students often work together as cohorts.

Illustrated infographic detailing the key differences between the BBA and MBA degrees.

Post-BBA Options

So, you’ve earned your BBA. You can now go in any number of different directions.

One option upon receiving your BBA is pursuing an MBA. An advantage of going this route is once you complete another short stint in schooling, your earning potential down the road increases significantly. The median annual salary for a job in management is more than $100,000 per year.

On the downside, attending graduate school is a major expense. And while it may pay off over time, some students can’t afford to pursue an MBA right after graduation and instead have to work a few years in order to afford it. In addition, it’s not guaranteed you will earn more with an MBA.

Fortunately, an online MBA resolves some of these issues. An asynchronous schedule may allow students to continue working while attending school, allowing them find a balance between their education and professional lives.

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Off to Work You Go

Another option available to graduates when considering a BBA vs. MBA is taking the BBA degree and heading right into the workforce.

By taking this path, young adults gain valuable experience when launching their professional careers and learn firsthand what it takes to be successful in business. Recent graduates can also start paying back student loans or saving up to pursue another degree down the road.

Some employers even offer job incentives to subsidize their employees’ future graduate school tuition as a way to invest in the employee professionally and personally.

Earning Potential

On the other hand, most MBA graduates could earn 50 percent or more per year than those who only hold undergraduate degrees, making it tougher to achieve the same earning potential as an MBA holder.

Consequently, the longer students wait to attend graduate school, the less likely they are to ever earn an MBA.

BBA Career Opportunities

If you still can’t decide on a BBA vs. MBA, it’s helpful to know that there are plenty of career opportunities available to those who hold just a BBA.

  • Accountants and auditors (Median Salary: $68,150)
  • Financial analysts (Median Salary: $81,760)
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists (Median Salary: $62,560)
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives (Median Salary: $50,530)
  • Securities, commodities and financial services sales agents (Median Salary: $67,310)
  • Public relations specialists (Median Salary: $58,020)

Pursuing Your Business Degree

If you’re considering a career in business, look no further than Campbellsville University. At Campbellsville, we offer numerous fully online business programs, including our online BS in Business Administration and our online MBA.

Whether you’re looking to complete your undergraduate studies or advance your career with a graduate degree, Campbellsville can help you achieve your goals. Our online MBA was ranked among the top 100 similar programs by U.S. News and World Report. Also, Campbellsville University was ranked the fourth-most affordable Christian institution of higher learning in the U.S., meaning you won’t be burdened with years’ worth of student debt.