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Bachelor of Commerce vs Bachelor of Business Administration vs Bachelor of Innovation: What’s the difference?

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If you’re considering a degree in business, you might feel overwhelmed with choice. Business is business, right? So, what’s the deal with the many undergraduate business degrees universities are offering these days? And which one should you choose?

What are the differences between Curtin’s business degrees?

At Curtin, we offer three business degrees: our Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business Administration and our new Bachelor of Innovation. Each undergraduate business degree satisfies a different industry need. Put simply:

  • A Commerce degree focuses on specific business disciplines, leading to careers in financial planning, business information systems, property development and valuation, and other roles requiring industry accreditation or in-depth expertise.
  • A Business Administration degree provides a broad understanding of all types of business operations, no matter the industry. Think marketing, finance, HR, project management … Essentially, it provides a wide-ranging skillset leading to careers across a diversity of business areas.
  • An Innovation degree cultivates creativity and innovation supported by practical business strategies, leading to careers in product development, entrepreneurship and other forward-thinking innovative roles.

Though each of our undergraduate business degrees have a unique area of emphasis, there are some similarities. All three degrees provide:

  • the same core business units: the same foundational business skillset no matter which degree you choose
  • flexible course structures: you can tailor our degrees to create the best pathway to your dream career
  • real-world learning: access to the latest software, industry experiences, and assessments that mimic tasks you’ll encounter in the workplace
  • real-world experience: each degree includes one or more units dedicated to practical experiences such as internships, study tours or global adventures.

A brief overview of each business degree

What is a Bachelor of Commerce?

  • Best choice if you want to develop in-depth skills in one or more areas.
  • Avenue for pursuing professional certification or accreditation in particular business areas.
  • Suits people who are detail-oriented or enjoy being an expert in a subject.
  • Some majors can be studied online and as part of a double degree.

Who is this degree for?

Our Commerce degree is a great choice if you want a career that requires specialist business expertise or certification: think careers such as chartered accountant, financial planner or property valuer. It’s particularly suited to people who are detail-oriented, love untangling problems or who seek mastery in subjects that interest them.

What will I learn?

This course will have you honing your skills in a particular business area. You can choose to double-down on your expertise by taking on a second area as well, with this flexible course offering double majors and a range of double degrees. In your final year you’ll undertake a practical capstone experience, enabling you to ‘cap’ off your study and put your knowledge into practice.

Which business majors can I study?

What is a Bachelor of Business Administration?

  • Best choice if you want a broad business skillset that’ll give you the flexibility to work across diverse business areas.
  • Suits natural leaders or effective communicators who are results driven.
  • Can be studied online.

Who is this degree for?

Our Business Administration degree is the right choice if you’d like to maximise your employability with transferable skills across key areas of business. With your range of business skills, you’ll have the flexibility to work in the industries that interest you personally, locally and globally. And it suits people who are team players but who aren’t afraid to make the hard decisions – a particularly great choice for people who aspire to lead teams or businesses.

What will I learn?

Our Business Administration course emphasises leadership and management skills, combining our core business units with core units in management. You’ll then put your own spin on it, choosing two or three specialisations in which you’d like to gain additional skills. You’ll put it all into practice in your final year through a practical capstone experience, designed to ‘cap’ off your study and provide essential experience for your resume.

Which business specialisations can I study?

What is a Bachelor of Innovation?

  • Best choice if you want to improve existing processes, design new products or start your own venture.
  • Teaches business and innovation principles that can be applied to any industry.
  • Suits curious people who are driven to improve the world around them.
  • Studied on campus at Curtin Perth, enabling direct engagement with industry.

Who is this degree for?

Our Innovation degree is the way to go if you want to pursue forward-thinking careers such as a social entrepreneur or a product developer. It’s great for people who are curious and creative, with a drive to solve complex problems and make a positive impact in the world.

What will I learn?

You’ll complement a business foundation with a skillset in innovative strategies and creative problem solving. You’ll then apply this skillset to a major or specialisations of your choice, giving you the skills and the smarts to innovate successfully in your field of passion. This degree also has a strong focus on immersive learning. You’ll undertake four practical, transformative experiences (think internships, hackathons, study tours and innovation labs) as part of your degree, providing valuable opportunities to connect with experts and entrepreneurs locally and overseas.

Which business majors can I study?

Your business degree can influence your career path

The differences between our business degrees means you’ll get slightly different career pathways as a result. Here are some examples how your career pathway might differ depending on the course you choose.

Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Branch manager
  • Business administrator
  • Business consultant
  • Business owner
  • Operations manager
  • Retail manager
  • Sales manager
  • Team leader

Bachelor of Commerce

  • Chartered accountant
  • Financial planner
  • Business systems analyst
  • HR manager
  • Property valuer
  • Property developer
  • Social media and marketing manager
  • Tax manager
  • Tourism manager

Bachelor of Innovation

  • Innovation manager
  • Product developer/designer
  • Social entrepreneur
  • Strategy manager
  • Fundraising manager
  • Process improvement Manager
  • Sustainable procurement manager
  • Start-up manager

Double your degree for double the expertise

Choosing to study a double degree means you’ll graduate with two degrees – and more career choices! It only takes an extra 12 to 18 months of study (depending on your course) making it a strong investment in your future career.

Curtin offers double degrees for both Commerce and Innovation.

At a glance: Compare Curtin business degrees

Professional accreditation and recognition

All three degrees are also delivered by our Curtin Business School. As well as being recognised as an elite global business school through our accreditation with AACSB International, and ranked in the top 1% worldwide by EQUIS, we’re the #1 business school in Western Australia according to the Eduniversal ‘Palmes of Excellence’ league. Plus, we’re an advanced signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Management (PRME).

Okay, b­ut what does this mean for you?

It means you’ll be learning from experts who not only excel in business but also meet rigorous standards for academic and professional excellence. It means your degree isn’t just a local credential – it’s an international standard, widely acknowledged across the globe. And, perhaps most importantly, it means that everything you learn will be grounded in a commitment to human rights and sustainable development.

Still unsure which business degree to choose?

Don’t worry… for now, just choose the business degree that feels right to you. Then, in your first semester with us, we’ll help you develop a plan to ensure you’re on the best path to your dream job.

And if you do need to transfer to a different business degree, we’ll help you. That way, you can be certain you’ll receive the right amount of credit for any relevant units that you have already studied.

Related: Check out our career quiz.

In summary

When choosing your undergraduate business degree, it’s important to consider your interests and career goals. The Bachelor of Commerce offers a specialised business skillset, the Bachelor of Business Administration provides a broad skillset in business and management, while the Bachelor of Innovation fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. By understanding these differences, you can be confident in choosing the best course for your dream career.




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