Business & Administration


Business and administration is a very broad field that covers many different types of roles, from office admin roles to management positions in graduate schemes. Typical roles can include: project management, HR, consultancy, marketing and sales. These roles are common across many different types of businesses and industries, such as financial services, manufacturing and retail. The positions are often essential in maintaining the day-to-day running of the business, organising projects and in some cases managing teams of people.

Many people who enter a career in this industry will have a business degree, however it is not a requirement. Some companies will simply ask for a degree in any subject, particularly if it is a graduate position, or some may not ask for a degree at all.


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There are a huge amount of employers out there, both large and small, who want to hire graduates with a business degree. The choice is really depending on what kind of industry you would prefer to go into.

The benefit of having a degree in business or administration studies is that it does not limit you to one particular industry. You can enter in to one industry as a new graduate and then completely change lanes to work for a company in a different industry in a few years time. As a business graduate you could go and work for a technology firm as part of their HR department for example. Or you could go and work in the public sector in an administrative role, or maybe you would prefer to work for a new start-up as part of their marketing team. The opportunities are endless!

Employers such as Pwc and First Derivatives are constantly hiring graduates in a variety of different roles throughout the year. Other popular graduate employers in Northern Ireland are EY, Capita, and Ulster Bank, as well as the Northern Ireland Civil Service in the public sector.

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Northern Ireland has 133,000 registered businesses

2460 people graduated with degrees in Business and Administration studies 2017/18


Degrees in the area of business and administration are the second most popular subject choice at university after medicine

15.9% of total graduates in Northern Ireland studied a business and administration related degree in 2017/18

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Salaries on a graduate scheme tend to be bigger compared with the salary for an entry level position. The salary for a graduate scheme can start anywhere from £21,000 up to £24,000, whilst entry level jobs usually start around £18,000-£20,000.

Benefits will vary depending on the employer, the role and the industry you enter. For example, if you start a business development (sales) role in a tech company, you may receive a company phone and laptop. However, this may not be the case if you start an entry level job as an admin assistant in a small company.

All employees are entitled to a company pension and holiday allowance (usually around 20 days). Other optional benefits an employer may offer include: discounted meals, flexible working hours, subsidised gym membership and dental care plans.

perks and benefits


Project Manager HR Officer Business Development Executive Trainee Manager Management Consultant Clerical Assistant Administrator Project Support Officer Team Leader Secretary


Job Profile: HR Specialist

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With this area being such a popular choice amongst students, both Queen’s and Ulster offer lots of different courses if you want to study this area. Queen’s offers courses in subjects such as Business Economics, Business Management and International Business.

Ulster University offer 73 business related courses, including Business Studies, Business Information Systems, Business Technology and Marketing.

Many business graduates enter this industry through a graduate scheme, with many employers offering schemes in management, sales and marketing. These schemes provide graduates with training, usually in different areas of the business, and typically take up to two years to complete.

This industry is highly competitive. Business and administrative studies is the second most popular subject area for students in NI universities, accounting for almost 16% of graduates. As it is so competitive, a 2:1 or a first class degree will stand you in good stead. If you have this and also have industry experience from a placement or internship, this is another great step towards getting employment after you leave university.

If you have graduated and are looking for a route into management, South Eastern Regional College offer an Entry to Management Graduate Development Programme. The programme is supported by the Department for the Economy and has been operating successfully for 20 years.

As part of the programme, graduates are matched with employers. You have the opportunity to grow and develop in a management role while delivering on a specific business improvement project which will help inject new ideas into the business and deliver results. Last year 97% of graduates gained full-time employment after completing the programme.

Courses Available

Ulster Uni

Ulster University

73+ Courses
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Queen's University

8+ Courses
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138+ Courses
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Belfast Met

Belfast Met

37+ Courses
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If you decide not to go to university, there are other alternatives such as apprenticeships. These are growing in popularity with employers and students alike, and they involve working as a paid employee whilst studying part-time for a qualification, with your employer covering the cost of your course fees.

There are different types of apprenticeships available. A degree apprenticeship involves a university degree and can last between one and four years. There are also Level 2, Level 3 and Higher Level Apprenticeships. Level 2 is the first level and the one that most new apprentices choose. You can progress from Level 2 to Level 3 or go straight to Level 3, depending on your qualifications. Higher Level Apprenticeships take a minimum of 2 years to complete, and cover levels 4 to 8. There are apprenticeships available in Business Administration, Marketing and Management.

Higher Apprenticeship
Degree Apprenticeship
Foundation Degree
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Industry Partners

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is a professional association for human resource management professionals.

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The Chartered Management Institute

The Chartered Management Institute is an accredited professional institution for management based in the United Kingdom.

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