How Do I Choose the Right Business Degree Program?

A college degree can help students determine a particular career path. It is the starting point for most professional careers. When choosing a business degree to pursue, students must take several factors into account. For example, they must consider their current educational position, time requirements and financial sacrifices as well as the potential rewards of a business degree.

In order to determine the right degree, they must understand the degree levels and other educational options. Different academic degrees have different requirements, and each one is designed for a particular career goal. The main business degrees are the associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Some graduate students choose to pursue the doctorate degree, which is the highest academic degree level.

The Associate’s Degree in Business

The associate’s degree, typically the Associate of Science (AS) degree or the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, is a two-year, general business degree. It qualifies students for entry level jobs in the business world. It is the least expensive business degree, and it can replace the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program.

Both the AS and the AAS degrees combine general education courses with core business courses. Many electives are also available. Some associates specialize in bookkeeping and other concentrations that prepare them for specific jobs.

The Bachelor’s Degree in Business

The bachelor’s degree usually requires four years of coursework. Like the associate’s degree, it qualifies students for entry level positions. However, it provides a much better chance for advancement and higher salary level. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree is the most common four-year business degree.

The BBA prepares students for a broad range of business and industry jobs. Students can focus their degree on specialized careers through several different concentrations. Accounting, banking, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, marketing, project management and purchasing are common business specializations.

The Master’s Degree in Business

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is graduate level business degree. Its flexibility attracts students from various academic disciplines. Originating in the industrial world of the late nineteenth century, the MBA offers a deeper level of expertise than lower degrees.

MBA graduates usually start their careers at the management level. The degree can help them advance quickly into more complex and higher-paying positions. Many working professionals pursue an Executive MBA (EMBA) degree through distance learning and online studies. The EMBA coursework is similar to traditional MBA programs.

Some Final Thoughts

In addition to the three main academic degree types, students must consider some practical issues when choosing a business degree. A business education requires time and money, and students must decide how much of both they are willing to devote to their studies.

Fortunately, many business schools offer financial aid through student loans and government assistance programs. Online degrees can also cut back the money and time commitments. They are an effective way for workers to balance their professional and personal lives.