Business Management

Students studying

Business Management - AAS

Choose Bellingham Technical College’s two-year Associate in Applied Science-Transfer degree in Business Management as a pathway to BTC’s Bachelor of Applied Science – Operations Management degree.

Graduates are also prepared for entry-level positions in industry, government, and non-profit organizations. Students will acquire a background in basic business including accounting, business law, marketing, and economics as well as practical supervisory skills.

In addition to the required core classes, students choose from one of three specialty tracks (Social Media Marketing, Human Resources Specialist, and Operations Management) each comprising three specialty classes.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

90% BTC graduate placement rate1

$73,056 starting annual wage2
$99,313 average annual wage2
$143,240 potential annual wage2

Tuition Fees and Rates 

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2016-17 and 2018-19. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students may begin this program Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer quarters

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 90

  • General Education Core Courses

  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • AMATH 111Applied Technical Math5 CR
  • OR Higher
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • Program Core

  • ACCT 141Practical Accounting I5 CR
  • AND
  • ACCT 242Practical Accounting II5 CR
  • OR
  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 CR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • BUS 120Principles of Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 210Human Resource Management5 CR
  • BUS 285Organizational Behavior5 CR
  • BUS& 201Business Law5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • ECON& 201Micro Economics5 CR
  • Program Specialty

  • Choose either Human Resources Specialist or Operations Management or Social Media Marketing. Students must complete all four classes in one specialty.
  • BUS 137Introduction to Human Resources5 CR
  • BUS 138Introduction to Compensation & Benefits5 CR
  • BUS 139Introduction to Employment Law & Labor Relations5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • BUS 152Introduction to Operations Management5 CR
  • BUS 153Introduction to Lean Management5 CR
  • BUS 154Creating and Managing a Small Business5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • BUS 127Social Media Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 128Search Engine Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 129Social Media Marketing Campaign5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • Required Elective Credits

  • ELECTIVES COURSES (10-15 Credits)
  • Students who choose to take ACCT 141 and ACCT 242 are allowed 10 Elective Credits. Students who choose to take ACCT& 201 instead of ACCT 141 and ACCT 242 are allowed 15 Elective Credits
  • Choose Any College Level Course with a prefix of ACCT, BUS, BUS&, CAP, or ECON& to total a minimum of 90 credits for the degree. Courses taken to meet the General Education, Program Core, or Specialty Track requirements may not be used to meet the Elective Requirement.

Program Outcomes

Students will learn core business practices, principles, and theories allowing them to make immediate and significant contributions in the workplace. Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to coordinate human, financial and material resources to achieve organizational objectives while adhering to government guidelines.

Upon completing the Business Management AAS degree, students will be able to:
  • Effectively communicate in the context of business and in a business environment;
  • Use data to engage in effective decision-making;
  • Apply ethical and legal principles to the business environment;
  • Demonstrate mastery of the core functional areas of business including accounting, economics/finance, marketing, management, and planning & strategy.
Students completing the Social Media Marketing track will also be able to:
  • Describe SMART social media goals to achieve successful online campaigns;
  • Evaluate a company’s current situation, isolate social media issues and provide solutions by identifying appropriate social media marketing portals to influence consumer and improve the company’s reputation;
  • Create a social media marketing plan and track progress in achieving goals with a variety of measurement tools, services, and metrics;
  • Use analytics to monitor and evaluate progress.
Students completing the Human Resources Specialist track will also be able to:
  • Describe the unique roles of Human Resources professionals and their impact on the organization;
  • Explain the primary processes of workforce planning, job analysis and design, training and development, compensation and benefits, and performance appraisal;
  • Identify the key federal and Washington state employment laws, regulations, and terminology;
  • Develop a written strategic compensation plan.
Students completing the Operations Management track will also be able to:
  • Analyze individual and group behavior, and understand the implications of organizational behavior on the process of management;
  • Demonstrate an optimized approach to planning, executing, monitoring and controlling projects;
  • Describe and discuss the mechanics of operating a small business (pricing, human relations, purchasing, inventory, financial controls;
  • Analyze and apply strategies to maintain quality and stability within operations.

Employment Outlook

A Business Management degree prepares students for a career in business, which may stretch across any sector or industry. Career options for students are varied; graduates may begin working as Project Coordinators, Project Managers, Business Analysts, or Executive Assistants and progress to Account Executives, Managers, Associate Directors or Directors. Students who continue their education and obtain a four-year BS or BA, or a 2+2 BAS degree may progress to an Executive Director or Operations Manager level.

Specialty Track Employment Outlook:

Social Media Marketing:

Students pursuing the Social Media Marketing track may begin working as a Social Media Specialist, Digital Engagement Specialist or Public Relations Specialist and progress to Online Community Manager or Social and Community Service Manager. In May 2015, there were about 218,910 related entry-level positions with a median wage of $56,770 ( ONet classifies this as a new and emerging occupation with a projected growth range of 5% to 9% and a national annual wage of $86,510. The median wage for Bellingham, WA in this occupation is $66,640.

Human Resources Specialist:

Students pursuing the Human Resources Specialist track may begin working as an entry-level Human Resource Specialist, Training and Development Specialist, Benefits Coordinator or Human Resource Generalist. Small and large businesses, healthcare organizations, government agencies, and education are examples of areas that need the expertise of a human resource management specialist. In May, 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an anticipated .5% rise in this occupation with a mean annual wage of $64,890.

This data is supported by ONet’s findings which report an anticipated growth rate range of 5% to 9% and a median annual wage of $59, 180. It is noted that the median annual wage for this occupation in Washington is reported by ONet as $62,010; 5% higher than the national median wage.

Operations Management:

Students pursuing the Operations Management track may begin working in a variety of industries including business, advanced manufacturing and information technology. In May, 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an anticipated .3% rise in this occupation with a mean annual wage of $122,090.

ONet reports an anticipated 5% to 9% projected growth for this occupation with a median annual wage (2016) of $99,310. It should be noted that this occupational group is diverse and general in nature.

Faculty & Support