There are a ton of careers you are qualified to apply for with a business degree because the term “business” covers a wide range of careers in various industries. This makes a business degree one of the most versatile degrees that prepare you for careers in finance, business operations, management, sales, human resources, and logistics. Because of this, you’ll take college courses in accounting, human resources, management, and business organizational structures.
Whether you are looking to be a project manager, accountant, executive assistant, CEO, or entrepreneur, a bachelor’s degree in business can provide the fundamental knowledge needed to land your first business career and gain experience. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many business careers pay a higher than average salary though you will likely start at the lower end of the salary spectrum when you graduate until you gain the experience necessary to earn a higher salary.
Which Business Degree is right for you?
The more difficult question for you to answer may be, what you want to do with a business degree? With a degree as wide reaching as this one, you’ll also need to consider how to stand out from other applicants that also earned a bachelor’s degree.
Studying business is a pretty generic term all by itself. The various business degrees you can earn might also surprise you. One way to distinguish yourself from the pack is to pick an area of specialization while earning your bachelor’s. This can include accounting, advertising, administration, management, technology, communications, economics, international business, entrepreneurism, and operations. A specialization in any one of these areas can give you a boost when applying for jobs. Plus, having a specialization is not likely to disqualify you from other jobs later down the road. If nothing else, it helps demonstrate a clear sense of direction and that is a trait employers find attractive.
A degree from a prestigious school can mean a significant increase in salary and many Fortune 100 CEOs have the degree. That said, it is worth mentioning that business degrees may not hold the same clout they once did. The market is saturated with job-seekers holding this very degree, and if your motivation is to make money, you may want to check out recent statistics showing the average earnings of those with this degree. The salary may be lower than you imagined. Again, consider early how you’ll stand out among your peers.
It is estimated that more than 20% of U.S. undergraduates are business majors. This means experience is often more important than your degree when trying to land a job. Get a part-time job that may provide you with applicable skills in business. Look for challenging internship opportunities or volunteer at a non-profit to gain experience before you graduate. Start your own online business and document the journey. You get the idea. Your real-world experience just might be the difference between you and the 5 other resumes on your future employers desk.
Network, Network, Network
Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This old saying holds especially true in the world of business, where the ability to make connections, collaborate, and forge partnerships is the lifeblood of the industry. Constantly seek to connect with other professionals and students, build a list of contacts and maintain that list. Offer help when you are able. Remain genuine in your relationships. Someday that woman you met at the gym may help get you a meeting with the employer of your dreams. Start a professional profile on LinkedIn. Be sure to take your time to add quality professional information about yourself. It may be useful to review other professional profiles first before creating your own. Also, use a quality photo that looks business professional. Employers may look your profile up during the application process.
An undergraduate degree in business may meet the educational requirement to continue onto earn a Masters in Administration Program. However, your grade point average, test scores, and work experience are likely to play a much more important role in admissions decisions. Try and do as well as possible during your bachelor’s degree so you can become accepted into the school of your chose for your master’s degree. There are also a large number of certifications to help you become an expert in a particular area of business that employers may find valuable. In the world of business, there should always be room for continued professional development.
Elka Torpey, “Business careers with high pay,” Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Elka Torpey, “Measuring the value of education,” Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Yearly Income for Common Jobs chart provided by Data USA.