Majoring in business opens up many possibilities. However, not all business degrees are the same. It’s essential to understand what you will study and what kind of job you can get with each business degree. There are also some key considerations when choosing a college or university.
Different Types of College Degrees
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Most business programs cover many various topics. This multidisciplinary approach prepares you for working in a corporate environment.
In most cases, you will be able to customize your curriculum by choosing your classes. All business programs have some core requirements, but you will be able to choose an area of focus or select courses relevant to your interests.
You can also find schools that offer programs with a focus on a specific business process or industry. These programs are a great way to get a head start on your career if you already know in which sector you would like to work.
Business administration is the most common type of business degree, but there are other options to consider.
Business Administration Degrees
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You can complete an Associate’s in Business Administration in only two years. You will learn about basic business principles and study areas like accounting and management. You can also take courses about business law, marketing, or business writing, depending on the program where you enroll.
A Bachelor in Business Administration is a more thorough course of study. You will have to attend school for four years and will study concepts like communication and leadership in a corporate setting. You will also study management, business law, and other areas but will take more advanced classes than you would while working on an Associate’s degree.
Some Bachelor’s programs give you the possibility to choose an area of focus. You can choose to study economics, supply chain management, business IT, or operations management depending on the classes your school offers.
A Master’s in Business Administration or MBA is one of the most sought-after college degrees. A lot of recruiters consider an MBA as one of the most valuable degrees a candidate can have.
You’ll have to study for two additional years after completing a Bachelor’s. You will study the same principles and disciplines as you would during a Bachelor’s, but MBA courses typically take an analytical approach to business topics.
Your program might also require you to gain some experience via internships. You will have the possibility to study corporate finance, international business, business law, and other advanced topics.
What to Do with a Business Administration Degree
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Business administration degrees are popular because these programs prepare you for a wide range of careers in a corporate setting.
If you complete an Associate’s degree, you should be able to go after entry-level positions in a corporate setting. If you earn a Bachelor’s, you can work as a sales representative, sales manager, business consultant, or HR specialist to cite a few examples.
There are more career options available to you if you complete an MBA. You can find work as a project manager, financial analyst, research analyst, accountant, IT director, or marketing manager. Some companies will hire you for an executive role.
The comprehensive course of study of these degrees is also ideal if you would like to launch a business. There are other careers you can consider with a Business Administration degree. Some graduates end up finding work outside of the corporate world.
You could, for instance, find a role at a PR firm, work in marketing, write for a business publication, or become an educator.
Specialized Business Degrees
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Even though Business Administration degrees are a popular option, some schools offer specialized degrees. A specialized business degree is worth considering if you want to work in a specific business process or have an industry you are passionate about.
You can take specialized coursework in some Business Administration programs, or enroll in a different type of business program. Here are a few examples of specialized business degrees:
- You can earn a Bachelor’s in Information Technology Management. This program blends business skills with the technical knowledge you will need to manage an IT team.
- A Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting is an excellent option if you want to work as a financial analyst. This degree is in high demand since you can conduct audits and help out during criminal investigations.
- The healthcare field is recruiting a large number of graduates. Think about enrolling in a Healthcare Management program if you are passionate about this field.
- If you want to work in logistics, you can learn about this specific process by enrolling in an Operations & Supply Chain Management program.
- A Bachelor’s in Business Education is an exciting option if you want to become a teacher or would like to work an HR and training role.
- Completing a Bachelor’s in Accounting is one of the requirements you have to meet to become a CPA. You can then work as an accountant for a company or launch a business.
- If you would like to work in advertising or marketing, consider completing a BA or MA in Marketing. You can take specialized coursework in Marketing while completing a Business Administration degree, but a degree in Marketing will open up more career opportunities.
- Some schools offer degrees in Entrepreneurship. It’s an interesting alternative to a Business Administration degree if you want to launch a business. This program will prepare you for the wide range of tasks you will have to work on as an entrepreneur.
- International Business graduates are in high demand. These programs emphasize negotiations, communication, and legal issues in an international business environment.
- You can also earn an HR management degree. This specialized business degree is a great option if you want to become a member of an HR team.
Where Should You Get a Business Degree?
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Earning a business degree from a school that has a good reputation and rating will give you an advantage in the job market. Recruiters will look at your resume in a more favorably if they recognize the school you attended.
These are the public universities with the best business administration programs:
- University of Michigan
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of California – Berkeley
- University of Virginia
- University of Texas – Austin
- University of Notre Dame
If you would like to attend a smaller school or want to enroll at a private university, here are some of the schools with the best business programs:
- Boston College
- Washington University, Saint Louis, MO
- Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Babson College, Wellesley, MA
- Brown University, Providence, RI
- Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
- College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
- Emory University, Atlanta, GA
These schools rank high at the national level. Their business programs are competitive and can be expensive.
Find out more about college and university rankings in your state. Earning a degree from a school that ranks well in your state can give you a significant advantage in the local job market. However, recruiters from other states might not be familiar with your school.
What to Consider When Choosing a Business Program
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Tuitions and other costs are important considerations when comparing business programs. Keep in mind that you will have to pay more in tuition if you study out of state.
The average cost of a BA in Business Administration is $9,000 a year. This cost drops to $7,600 a year for a public university and goes up to almost $12,000 a year if you have to pay for out-of-state tuition. If you decide to attend a private college or university, you will have to spend around $28,000 a year for tuition.
Attending a local community college should cost a little over $3,000 a year. Taking business classes at a community college is a great option to consider if you want to earn an Associate’s degree. You can also complete your core requirements as a community college before transferring to a larger school to earn your Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
If you want to complete an MBA, you should know that schools typically charge $40,000 a year for these programs. Some of the schools with the highest rated MBA programs charge more.
Even though an MBA is an expensive degree, it’s also one of the best investments you could make for your future. A graduate who has an MBA with an emphasis in business management will have a starting salary of around $85,000 a year.
Earning a degree from a well-known school that ranks well at the state or national level will help you find employment, but there are other factors that recruiters will consider.
Your grades matter, and so is the focus of your program. Gaining experience with an internship or part-time employment can also make a difference.
Volunteering and joining business clubs will look great on your resume, and networking can help you find your dream job after graduating, even if you didn’t attend one of the highest-rated business programs.
Majoring in business opens up many career opportunities, but it’s important to research different specialized degrees and areas of focus to find the best program possible for the career you want. You should also research different schools and compare tuition and program requirements.