The corporate world can be both competitive and brutal. It comprises of a dynamic system in which various businesses compete against each other. As technology, changing demographics, and government policies continue to shape the global marketplace, businesses strive to stay afloat and profitable. Better management, better market analysis, effective strategies, and most of all, implementation determines the growth and success of a business.
Fashion, arts, engineering, healthcare, retail, and education are just a few of the many industries that are leading the global economy. All these firms rely on effective management and skilled professionals. It would be wrong to underestimate the scope of management and business nowadays. Almost every organization requires strong managerial personnel for different functions such as marketing, operations, finance, and human resource management.
Why Business Majors are Popular?
Business management offers varied and diverse career opportunities. Firms in all industries are on the lookout for individuals who have effective management skills, communication skills, and can contribute to the success of a business. Business as a major is ranked among the leading undergraduate and graduate academic disciplines chosen by students. Here are some interesting facts about business management majors:
- According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 2010-11, the most number of bachelor and masters degrees were granted in the field of business.
- Enrollment in graduate business degrees increased in 2011-12 according to a research conducted by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
- The Globe and Mail has reported the increasing trend of online MBA degrees. Approximately 28% of online business students fall in the category of “working adults over the age of 31”.
Business degree programs are in high demand and are a requirement for careers in this field. There are a number of business colleges that specialize in business education and provide students a range of undergraduate and graduate business degrees. While the scope and magnitude of knowledge taught in business degrees may vary at each level, the basic framework of business education remains the same. Students will get the following benefits from a business degree:
- Develop key skills
- Understand how modern-day organizations operate
- Utilize business disciplines and theories for better decision-making
- Prepare for careers in different departments (finance, marketing, etc)
Associate Degree in Business
An associate degree in business is an undergraduate program that aims at providing students with the fundamental knowledge about business and management. The program can help students score entry-level jobs in the field, or prepare them for advanced business studies ahead. It typically takes two years to complete an associate degree. While much of the coursework remains theoretical in nature, students also develop a sound skill set and may take part in business research and projects. The curriculum may vary from college to college, but common areas of study include:
- Business management
- Human resource management
- Managerial finance
Bachelor Degree in Business
A bachelor degree in business is a four year undergraduate program. Students enrolled in this program learn about various management principles used effectively in modern-day organizations. The program is geared towards equipping students with a strong foundation of business knowledge and skills. Throughout the degree, various facets of the field are covered in detail and students gain insight on different functions of business. The coursework is typically divided into theoretical subject-areas and research topics. Students learn about effective communication, management, analytical, and problem-solving skills by taking part in research projects and case studies. It is important to note that most schools offer specializations in a bachelor degree in business. Students can pick an area that best fits their interest and is relevant to their future goals. Here are a few popular specializations chosen by students:
- Marketing and promotions
- Accounting and finance
- Operations and management
- Organizational behavior
- Human resource management
Masters Degree in Business
This is an advanced two year business degree offered by many prestigious business schools. The program will help students cover more advanced areas of the field and learn to apply business theories in the corporate world. The coursework will shed light upon current business issues in the global marketplace, the role of technology in business, legal and ethical dilemmas faced by businesses, and how marketing is evolving. Students are required to cover each course and earn a minimum number of credit hours to be awarded the degree. Here are a few important courses students will most likely cover in the program:
- Business communication
- Computer applications and systems
- Principles of accounting
- Macro and micro economics
- Strategic business management
Please remember that the exact coursework, curriculum, and duration will depend upon which school you enroll in.
Distance Learning – A Viable Option
Distance learning program or online education could be a viable option. This medium of learning may provide a number of benefits to students looking to improve their prospects. However, it is important to note online education requires diligence and commitment. Online business degrees are now also being offered as distance learning programs. Students, with the help of the internet can converse, engage, learn and communicate with their instructors. Considering its popularity, now Ivy League universities are also offering adult students a chance to learn. If you are interested in online business degree programs, you need to be the following
- Be a self starter
- Be comfortable with technology
- Able to prioritize workload
- Able to work on your own without supervision
When you’re not in a classroom, it’s easy to slack. Online education teaches you to take initiatives and make your own schedule. This medium may offer its benefits but it also asks the student to be self directed and motivated.
The admission requirements will again vary from school to school and will also depend upon the program you wish to enroll in. There is no set criterion. Some schools may be stringent as compared to other institutes. If you plan to enroll in a business school, it is recommended you first take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as this is a part of the selection criteria at most schools. Other requirements may include:
- High school diploma
- Minimum 2.5 CGPA
- Letter of recommendation
- Personal essay
What can you do with a Business Degree?
A business degree can lead to a wide range of career options in the marketplace. You can pursue jobs at assistant, managerial, and even executive level. Business education is not limited to certain industries, but in fact can be applied to almost every business.
Depending upon the specialization you have chosen and the level of degree you have earned, you can look for opportunities with many businesses. For example, with specialization in marketing, you can look into an advertising agency or a sales firm. US News and World Report has ranked the following business jobs among the “Best Jobs” with median annual income data taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are some salaries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
- Market research analyst – $60,300 (2012)
- Marketing manager – $115,750 (2012)
- Accountant – $63,550 (2012)
- Operations manager – $96,430 (2013)
It is important to note that the exact income for each job position will vary and may be influenced by factors such as employer organization, skill, work experience, and industry.