Is a Business Degree Right for You?
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Business degrees provide students with insight into the development and function of successful corporations and organizations. Business majors take classes on finance, organizational structure and human resources, all of which hone skills that come into play when establishing a career within the sector. Business majors must also have strong communication skills, as professionals will often be required to work as part of a team. Employers seek candidates who can work well under pressure and who are motivated to fulfill their responsibilities. The field is competitive; graduates who have work experience in addition to a degree will have the best job prospects.
Advice for Earning Your Business Degree Online
There are many advantages to enrolling in an online degree program for your business education. Chief among them is that classes usually begin every few weeks, which means you can start your education at any time and set your own pace. For example, you may have to learn some complex topics, such as accounting or business theories. If a certain subject is difficult for you, an online education allows you to spend more time on it. You can also cut down on your workload by enrolling in just one or two classes per session, whether your school splits them into semesters, quarters or something else. Unlike online science or math degrees, which require tons of expensive laboratory equipment, a business degree doesn't require you to rack up many extraneous expenses. However, be sure to find an online program that is accredited. If you are planning to transfer to a brick-and-mortar school, you need to see which types of credits will be accepted. If you plan to pursue the whole degree online, be sure to check employers' education requirements.
For a business degree, you will need to complete some courses outside the major. These usually include calculus, psychology, economics, statistics, writing, communications and accounting. After that, you can move to your degree-specific classes. Universities expect students to get a broad understanding of business undertakings. The courses that are usually required include finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations, operations management and upper level accounting. After you finish the basic major courses, you can take specialized classes related to your interests. For example, if you want to focus on finance, you can take upper-level finance courses. If you are interested in upper management, you may take theoretical classes relating to management. Other concentrations include: small business management, e-business, marketing, leadership, economics, international business, information technology, real estate, banking, human behavior and administration.
Common Career Paths
You can work in a variety of organizations or companies after obtaining a business degree. Some popular jobs for business majors include (but are not limited to):
Human Resources Specialist
If you work well with people and would like to recruit and hire for an organization, consider a career as a human resources specialist. If you are a business major with an interest in this field, it is important to take at least a few courses regarding organizational development and human resources during your undergraduate education. Once you are hired, most companies will train you in their specific processes and employment requirements. Most human resources specialists are required to keep track of employee records and performance. They usually need to make sure employees and management are in compliance with organizations like the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Human resources specialists are also the go-to people for any payment or general problems employees have. They work with managers to record results from performance reviews as well. Lastly, human resources specialists are involved in the hiring process. They keep track of new resumes sent to the company for open positions. Entry-level human resources specialists make $26,640 to $53,692 a year as of May 2012, according to PayScale.com.
A systems analyst conducts research and provides solutions regarding software and systems. They need to know about different types of computer programming languages and operation systems, and they may need to research which type of software is most useful for solving a financial problem. The tasks will not be solely technical, though. Systems analysts often have to explain to others why they should use a certain program and write briefs requesting certain technical needs. Therefore, communication and writing skills are vital to success in this position. Systems analysts are the mediators between IT employees and finance/business staffers as well. They also have to perform a mix of other tasks such as writing user requests, developing cost spreadsheets and setting deadlines for software implementations.
Entry-level systems analysts make $25,352 to $61,400 a year as of June 2012, according to PayScale.com.
As a market researcher, you will investigate business strategies in an organized manner, which will help your company gain a competitive advantage. There are four areas in which you may have to conduct research: market information, segmentation, trends and effectiveness. When you are evaluating trends, you need to see how an industry has evolved over time in the market. Market effectiveness looks at how a company's competitors have performed over a certain period of time.
Entry-level market researchers make about $40,000 a year as of May 2012, according to PayScale.com.