One of the most popular fields of study among young people today is business. That's because a business degree provides students with diverse specializations and career paths and serves as a direct line to the international job market.
Take a moment to think about it. These days, nothing can be accomplished without a solid business plan and a well-devised strategy for viability and growth. Business today is much more than the art of taking risks and grabbing opportunities. It's the art of minimizing risks and creating opportunities.
So why wouldn't an aspiring youngster pursue a business degree and have the chance to make all their ambition, intensity, and creativity the building blocks of their success?
What is a business degree
Business studies introduce students to the core principles and various aspects of running an enterprise and prepare them for long careers in the most demanding business sectors out there.
It's an interdisciplinary field that combines elements of accounting, finance, marketing, humanities, and everything that has to do with the complicated — and equally exciting — world of business and entrepreneurship. Thus, studying for a business degree takes an inquiring mind, a polymath mentality, and a knack for turning cold numbers and theoretic outcomes into tangible results.
Of course, a business degree alone doesn't make you a businessman per se. But businesses don't rely on businessmen to thrive anymore. Instead, they count on dedicated teams of well-educated, success-driven, highly motivated business graduates.
Now, let's see what it takes to become part of such a team.
How long does it take to get a business degree
Depending on the type of business degree (or degrees) a person chooses to pursue and their preferred pace of studying — whether they enroll for a full-time or part-time program — it may take them from two to many more years to complete their studies.
More specifically, an associate's degree in business is a two to three-year endeavor, while obtaining a bachelor's degree in business might take four to six years. The same rules apply if you opt for an online business degree, according to the respective level (associate or bachelor). A bachelor's degree makes you eligible for a master's degree in business administration.
That adds two to four more years to the time required for completing your education (or less if your preferred institution offers the option to collect your credits faster). Needless to say, if you decide to pursue a doctorate degree in business afterward, you're looking at four to ten more years of studying.
So, how long you study for a business degree depends on how deep you want to sink your teeth into everything business education has to offer before applying it to the real world.
Whatever you choose, it's important to remember you're entering a highly competitive field. The more credentials and skills you bring to the table, the closer you come to a long and fruitful career.
What you should know before studying for a degree in business
The good news is modern business studies offer diverse specializations and skill sets. So, after a student is introduced to the fundamentals of running a business, they can move on to picking their preferred area of focus, where they will invest all their time and effort.
When that moment comes, though, they have to be well informed because what they pick might be the key to their success both as a student and, later, as a professional.
For instance, two popular specializations candidates often confuse for being the same are business administration and business management. Indeed, they sound similar, but they are pretty different.
Business administration degree vs. business management degree
What is a better degree? Business administration or business management?
Running an organization is not a simple task but the combined work of different people in charge of various interconnected processes. In that light, administration and management must be perceived as two branches collaborating toward the same business goals. Thus, respective executives are expected to know business fundamentals and excel in their separate fields — the administrative and the managerial.
So, is business management and business administration the same degree?
Let’s elaborate on that.
What is a business administration degree
Business administration is the backbone of an enterprise, no matter how small or big.
Administration professionals are on the steering wheel of their departments and the whole company. In other words, they are responsible for always staying on the right path toward the organization's goals and objectives.
So, business administration graduates are mainly trained to oversee and coordinate daily business operations and ensure every tiny bolt is in place and every process runs smoothly.
One could say that a bachelor's degree in business administration offers a more practical approach to running an enterprise. Also, it may direct candidates toward further specializations like accounting, finance, logistics, etc.
What is a business management degree
Business management is the brains of an organization, where strategy, planning, and goal-setting happen.
Managers provide the glue that keeps everything and everyone in the enterprise connected and collaborating toward the organization's success. Their job is to keep the personnel happy and teamwork-oriented, eliminate risks and facilitate growth. Business management graduates are trained to analyze, assess and optimize processes, and make research-based decisions that affect their organization's future.
In brief, a bachelor's degree in business management provides the tools necessary to help businesses grow. Management undergraduates often specialize in human resources, information systems, corporate social responsibility, etc.
6 types of business degree specializations you can pursue
Business management and administration are two broader specializations inside the business education scope. However, instead of taking one of those paths, students can approach their business studies from different angles by pursuing:
A business marketing degree
One of the most intricate and essential disciplines in business is that of the marketing specialist. A degree in business marketing will put you in charge of communication, advertising, and sales strategies and make you part of product research and development teams. In a few words, you’ll always be at the forefront of your company’s rise to the top. So, a bachelor’s degree in business marketing seems like a perfect gateway to an exciting career.
A business analyst degree
For fans of the hard sciences, business studies can be combined with statistics and information technology and lead to a degree in business analytics. Business analysts are trained to study financial, marketing, sales, and performance data and produce insights that can eliminate risks and optimize their company’s operation. So, if you are a number-loving problem solver, it seems natural to pursue a business analytics bachelor’s degree.
A business law degree
In today's world, regulatory environments can be highly intricate and strict, depending on the industry in which a business operates. Holding a business law degree means you can become an essential part of your enterprise's legal team. In other words, you'll be responsible for securing compliance, leading negotiations, and upholding company interests against third parties. Accelerating stuff, right?
A business finance degree
Business is all about money. That's why working in an organization's financial department can be the most demanding but exciting job a business graduate can get. A degree in business and finance can land you a position as an accountant, a financial consultant, or a financial analyst in charge of assessing risks and identifying opportunities for successful investment and vast economic growth.
A business psychology degree
If you're good with people, you might be more valuable to a business than you believe. By getting a degree in business psychology and capitalizing on your inherent soft skills, you have the chance to become a force for good in highly competitive and stressful professional environments. In short, you'll be in charge of improving your company's work life and interpersonal relationships.
An international business degree
The world is now more interconnected than ever. Modern businesses extend their operations far from their base, even outside their home country. At the same time, multinationals hire talent from every corner of the planet, creating a vibrant job market ideal for graduates with a degree in international business. Why not combine your love for travel and cultural diversity with a lucrative business career?
So, there's more to a business degree than learning the ropes of running a company. In fact, it's one of the most open-ended academic trails you can take, and you never know where it might lead you. You might help a local business go national or a franchise go viral. You might freelance as a consultant or a digital marketing guru, or work in human resources, making an impact in people's daily lives. The possibilities are endless.
You just need a business degree and an appetite for adventure.
What can you do with a business degree
There is no doubt that business is a big part of every industry and sector. Corporations, no matter the size, are always looking for strong leaders, educated consultants, skilled managers, and forward-thinking decision-makers.
Especially in today’s highly competitive environment, hiring the best talent out there might make all the difference for an organization’s success. As a result, the corporate world offers a sea of career opportunities in many different areas, and business graduates have all the required skills to make the cut.
In a few words, business degree jobs are plenty and well-paid. If you wonder what jobs can you get with a business degree the list is long and evergrowing.
Business administration degree jobs
As we have already seen, a degree in business administration prepares students for playing an essential part in a company’s day-to-day operations. Business administration graduates are ready to take up multiple roles, such as department leaders and process administrators.
That makes them perfect for critical positions like:
1. Sales manager
Sales managers devise and apply sales strategies, set goals and objectives, and direct sales teams and representatives toward achieving the desired outcomes. In short, sales bring profits, and successful sales managers get many chances to make the most of their business degree and climb up the corporate ladder.
2. Director of operations
A company is like a living organism where multiple interconnected processes occur simultaneously, affecting each other’s outcomes. Thus, directors of operations have a significant administrative role. They’re in charge of orchestrating those processes to work together (and separately) in the best possible way.
3. Executive assistant
Top corporate executives have increased responsibilities and little time for daily administrative work. That’s where executive assistants with a business administration degree step in. They take up scheduling, communications, archiving, and other necessary but time-consuming tasks and save their heads’ valuable time and energy.
4. Supply chain manager
Supply chains are distribution networks connecting the raw-material suppliers, the producers, and the consumers. Depending on company size, they can be very intricate. Supply chain managers are the ones who ensure everything leaves its base and reaches its destination according to the company’s plan and timetable.
5. Industrial production manager
During manufacturing a product, many things can go wrong and throw production off schedule. Industrial production managers ensure that doesn’t happen by overseeing the whole product journey, from gathering the raw materials to developing the final product and completing the quality and safety control phase.
Business management degree jobs
A degree in business management provides graduates with everything they need to become agents of growth in small and large-scale organizations. Business management graduates have all the skills required to keep a company running smoothly and propel it to the next level.
1. General manager
Companies are usually compartmentalized entities with many responsibilities assigned to different administrators, managers, and process owners. Still, there’s always a need for a single coordinator that knows every detail of the company’s operations and sees to it that they remain cost and time-efficient at every stage.
2. Human resources manager
Human resources managers bridge the gap between employees and management, ensuring that no one is mistreated and people are content and ready to perform their best. Their duties include recruiting and hiring personnel, supervising disputes, upholding health and safety at the workplace, and handling employee relations.
3. Management analyst
As external collaborators, management analysts provide critical consultant services to companies. Combining their business knowledge with advanced research methods, they identify and resolve any existing administrative problems that lead to increased inefficiency and operational costs.
4. Account manager
Excellent business-client relationships are crucial to a company’s success. Account managers are responsible for maintaining solid connections with existing clients, building fulfilling relationships with new clients, and coordinating company departments toward creating an optimized customer experience.
5. Head of marketing
No business can succeed without a strong marketing department and a well-devised marketing strategy that performs excellently across all communication channels. That’s how crucial the head of marketing position is to a company’s longevity and profitability. And that’s why it’s one of the most lucrative business degree jobs out there.
By now, it’s obvious that holding a degree in business opens many different doors in the corporate job market. At the same time, we live in the start-up age, and there are ample opportunities for market-savvy, creativity-driven entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. Having a business degree will give you a headstart if you decide to build your own business from scratch or partner with other like-minded visionaries to disrupt the corporate landscape.
Why study a bachelor's degree in business
When it's time to pick their studies, candidates should consider many things, and versatility is one of them. In that light, a business degree is one of the best choices they could make because of how versatile and open-ended it is.
Starting their academic journey with a bachelor's degree in business means they're buying enough time to examine their preferences and talents and move on to a more specialized academic field down the line.
But there are even more reasons to study for a business degree:
In addition, a business degree is a great starting point for pursuing further studies to acquire the specialization that best suits your professional aspirations. So, if a degree in business is one of your options, here are three handpicked business degree courses to consider:
Why pursue a master’s degree in business administration
A bachelor's degree in business will provide you with all the fundamental knowledge required for a career in any industry or sector. But as the business job market has become more competitive, an entry-level diploma might not be enough to propel you to top-shelf positions from the get-go.
That's why one of your post-graduate options should be to pursue a master's degree and make the most of your already-acquired business proficiency. Post-graduate studies allow graduates to build a rich academic resume and specialize in their preferred business field. That way, they increase their chances of landing their dream job and building a fruitful and fulfilling career.
Even if your first degree has nothing to do with business, studying for an MBA (Master of Business Administration). will increase your career prospects and open up new and exciting professional opportunities.
Going for a master's degree in business administration will take two to four years, depending on whether you have enrolled in a full-time or part-time course. Some programs may offer accelerated versions for full-time students who want to collect their credits faster and get their master's degree in one year. For a closer look at your post-graduate options, here are three top picks from our experts:
Conclusion: is a business degree worth it?
Before answering that question, let's summarize what we've learned.
Firstly, you can begin studying business at different levels, depending on how long you want to study and how deep you want your business knowledge to be. You can always begin with a two-year associate's degree in business and move on to a bachelor's afterward. If it works for you, you can opt for an online business degree. Then, you can continue with a master's degree and even a Ph.D.
Secondly, a business degree will make you highly employable in several fields and disciplines, no matter the level. Corporate jobs are getting more diverse, exciting, and lucrative every day, and business graduates have many career paths to choose from. Also, having a degree in business means you're fully prepared to start your personal venture and make the most of your fresh ideas, energy, and drive to succeed.
Lastly, business studies are highly inclusive since any graduate can study for a master's degree in business administration and broaden their career prospects significantly.
So, is a business degree worth it?
Yes, if you want to start with a broader knowledge base which could lead you to many different paths, academically and professionally. And yes, because whatever you choose as your profession down the line, your business degree credentials will make you stand out in any industry or job market.
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