Business Management

Students studying

Business Management - AAS

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

Graduates are also prepared for careers 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, each comprising one common course and three specialty courses:

• Human Resources Specialist
• Operations Management
• Social Media Marketing

With the addition of BUS& 101, Introduction to Business, these specialty tracks are also available as short certificates – ideal for incumbent workers seeking to upskill.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

69% BTC graduate placement rate1

$70,651 starting annual wage2
$96,055 average annual wage2
$128,285 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 2017-18 and 2019-20. 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.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 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.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

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

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • General Education Core Courses

  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 188Business English5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • OR
  • MATH& 107Math In Society5 CR
  • Or higher
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • Required Elective Credits

  • ELECTIVES COURSES (10 Credits)
  • Business Management students are encouraged to choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, ACCT&, BIOL&, CHEM&, BUS, BUS&, CAP, CMST&, CS&, ECON&, ENGL&, HIST&, HT, HUM&, IT, MATH&, PHYS&, POLS&, PSYC&, SOC&, and SPAN&.
  • Program Core

  • ACCT 141Practical Accounting I5 CR
  • OR
  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 CR
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • BUS 120Principles of Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • BUS& 201Business Law5 CR
  • BUS 210Organizational Leadership5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • CAP 114Microsoft Outlook3 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 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 137Introduction to Human Resources5 CR
  • BUS 152Introduction to Operations Management5 CR
  • BUS 153Introduction to Lean Management5 CR
  • BUS 127Social Media Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 128Search Engine Marketing5 CR
  • BUS 129Social Media Marketing Campaign5 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

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

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Professional in Human Resources, HR Certification Institute

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MBA, Business Administration, University of Phoenix

    BA, Business/Management, University of Phoenix

    Certificate, Certified Professional, Society for Human Resources Management


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email