Will I Get a Return on My Investment of Obtaining a Business Degree?

Deciding what degree to pursue can be extremely stressful, especially at times of economic uncertainty. College is more expensive than ever before and there can be a lot of anxiety over whether a particular degree will be worth the expense, both in terms of money and time. A business degree is one popular choice, but you may still worry about whether it is worth the investment. In making this decision, first you need to clarify your goals and aspirations, then you need to look at particular business degree programs to see if they can help you meet those goals. If a degree helps you achieve your goals, then it is worth the investment.

Reasons to Get a Degree in Business

A business degree can be great preparation for a career in accounting, finance, or marketing. In the case of accounting, a business degree with an emphasis in accounting is a must to qualify for public certification. There are several levels of business degrees. Associate degrees in business may be useful to someone who wants to learn how to better manage their own small company or who needs a higher level of training in math and finance in order to excel in their current workplace. A Bachelor’s degree in business prepares you to pursue a broader range of opportunities, including finance and management positions at large companies and firms. A Master’s in Business Administration may bolster a resume, opening up opportunities that may not be available otherwise.

Reasons Not to Get a Degree in Business

It is rare to find a job that specifically requires a business degree. Especially at the undergraduate level, a business degree is considered a rather broad preparation for wide variety of fields. If you are looking for a clearly defined career path, then you might be better off considering a degree in a more narrowly defined field, such as nursing, engineering, or architecture. There has also been criticism of business degrees for failing to instill critical thinking and creative reasoning skills and for failing to prepare students for the economic realities of the post-recession marketplace.

Deciding What is Right for You

Whether or not a business degree proves to be a wise investment depends on the type of business degree you pursue and what your specific goals are. When deciding on the right degree plan for yourself, it is important to consider the curriculum, not just the letters printed on the diploma. Employers look for well-rounded, creative individuals with good critical thinking skills. Employers also need employees trained in particular specialties. If a business degree program allows you to concentrate in one area of expertise while also encouraging you to take classes in a broader range of subjects, a degree from that program will have more value and likely lead to a greater return on your investment than a program that offers the same degree but has a more limited curriculum.

In determining the value of any degree, especially a degree in a broad field such as business, you have to move part thinking of college as a financial transaction. You are not simply exchanging time and money for a set a credentials. The value of the degree is determined by what you learned while studying for that degree and by the experience gained by interacting with professionals in your chosen field. The knowledge and experience you gain is the most important return on your investment.