According to the National Center for Education Statistics, business degrees/majors are the most popular degrees among college students. In fact, in the 2009-2010 school year, schools across the country awarded 358,000 degrees in business. Many college students choose to major in business because they believe that this major choice will give them the best chances at getting a good paying job after graduation. However, you may be rightly concerned that a degree in business sounds a bit broad. In fact, you may wonder whether a degree in business will really launch you into your dream career in the government, non-profit, or commercial sector. Fortunately, with a foundation laid by an undergraduate business degree, there are many ways in which undergraduate business majors can build upon their skills in the future to obtain the job/career of their dreams.
A Foundation in Business
Whether your dream job involves coordinating donations for the homeless, launching educational programs, marketing tomorrow’s technological gadgets, or making cut-throat deals on Wall Street, a business major will prepare you with foundational knowledge and skills. In business classes, you will learn core skills in negotiation, ethics, leadership, economics, budgeting and fiscal responsibility, business communication and writing, accounting, business law, marketing, and technology. Along with these abilities, businesses courses teach you how to cultivate an entrepreneurial attitude alongside excellent problem solving skills. Equipped with this mindset and these skills, you will be ready to add value to organizations throughout industries.
Adding a Master’s/Post-Graduate Degree/Certification
If you’re passionate about working in a specific field, such as healthcare or the creative industry, you can build on your bachelor’s degree in business in the future by obtaining an advanced degree/certification in your niche area. This is an excellent strategy because it shows potential employers that you were motivated enough to get the business background that would give you the foundation you needed for success while being additionally motivated to hone your knowledge/skills to meet specific industry needs. For example, Forbes rates the top master’s degree to pursue as an information systems degree. According to Katie Bardaro, lead economist of Payscale, individuals who receive a master’s in information systems often become managers for IT workers, applying their dual knowledge of technology and business management. Other master’s degrees that Forbes recommends include physics and physician assistant degrees.
Building on a Business Degree with Experience
It’s the never ending cycle of the career world: you need experience to get a job, but you need to get a job to get experience. If you’re looking for a career in a specific area, you don’t necessarily need to find a degree program in that area to be competitive come interview time. Instead, you can create your own combination of education and experience that, when written correctly on a professional resume, makes you appear the most well-rounded and best prepared candidate. For example, if you want a job managing a performing arts studio, you can start with the foundational business degree and build upon it with experience volunteering for a theater, taking acting or singing classes, and/or working a few entry-level jobs at a performing arts studio to give yourself the proper blend of education and experience.
A business degree allows you to be flexible. It is a degree that will help you get your foot in the door of numerous places of employment because it teaches basic entrepreneurial and management/leadership skills. While U.S. News and World Report lists some of the top business jobs as accountant, financial adviser, and insurance agent, you don’t have to stick with the traditional just because you majored in business. Instead, you can build onto the degree later with the appropriate and targeted blend of experience and education that will help you get the right job.