Selecting your college degree is a potentially life-altering decision. While it’s always possible to branch off or change course later in life, your college degree determines where you begin your career path. Business degrees can be quite valuable, but not every degree affords the same opportunities.
Since there are so many different types of business degrees, choosing one can seem like a daunting task. In order to help you make such a major decision, we have put together a comprehensive list of the most common types of business degrees, what type of classes you’ll take, and the kinds of jobs they’ll prepare you for.
Marketing degrees give you the tools you need to help businesses understand their consumers better. A marketing degree requires you to have strong analytical skills but also a creative side, especially if you’re interested in advertising. Upon completing the program, you’ll have the necessary skillset to help companies find ways to connect with their audience.
The classes in a Marketing program will focus primarily on identifying and understanding what drives consumer behavior in relation to a specific brand or company. For example:
Digital marketing and social media.
Price and promotion analysis.
Marketing research and analytics.
Account manager or salesperson.
Social media manager.
Operations Management seems like a vague term, but it’s actually very focused. Operations is the process in which a company turns their raw materials or resources into something tangible for the consumer. This is strongly focused on analytics and mathematics, but also forces professionals to have strong decision-making and critical thinking skills. Operations Managers are often exposed to the latest and greatest technologies as they work to improve their organization. Because of these universal skillsets, Operations degrees are typically in high demand.
The classes in an Operations Management program will focus on analysis and mathematics. For example:
Supply Chains and Logistics Management.
Analytical Decision Making.
Supply Chain Manager.
The purpose of an Accounting degree is to prepare you to understand the language of business finance. Upon completion, you’ll be ready to read and prepare a number of necessary financial reports and have the tools necessary to become a Certified Public Accountant, if you so desire. Every company needs help with their books, so Accounting is a very valuable degree.
Accounting is a language completely to itself, so you will need to take a variety of courses dedicated specifically to your craft. This includes:
Certified Public Accountant.
Management of Information Systems
Technology has had a profound impact on the way businesses operate and engage with their audience, and a Management of Information Systems program gives you the power to use technology to your advantage. MIS offers a variety of different skillsets, including designing systems and applications, using technology to analyze operations, or supporting a company’s existing infrastructure. As companies become more and more reliant on technology, MIS graduates will continue to be in demand.
There are a variety of different MIS classes, depending on what you’re looking to specialize in. Here are some sample classes you could expect to find offered:
Systems Analysis and Design.
Intro to Enterprise Application Software.
Predictive Business Analytics.
Networking Business Technologies.
Business Systems Developer.
Technical Support Manager.
Business Analytics / Statistics
Business Analytics or Statistics programs are perfect for you if you’re especially interested in the analytical side of technology. It’s the combination of information technology and strategy that lets businesses make sound and agile decisions, and these programs prepare you for just that. With razor-sharp analytical skills, this degree opens a variety of doors.
The classes in a Business Analytics or Statistics program will be heavily weighted towards mathematics and statistics, although there will be a sampling of technology and strategy classes as well. For example:
Introduction to Data Mining.
A business degree in Economics gives you a fascinating look at how markets, consumers, and businesses influence each other on a micro and macro level. You’ll discuss topics like how prices are set, what determines demand for a product, and social topics such as inflation and unemployment. Upon graduation, you’ll have a strong understanding of our local and global economies operate, and the effect they have on businesses and consumers. You’ll be able to go into a variety of different private and public positions.
As part of your Economics degree studies, you’ll explore the relationship between consumers and businesses in a variety of courses such as:
Labor Economics (wages, employment rates).
Game Theory and Application.
International Affairs Analyst.
Cost or Pricing Analyst.
Any organization’s success depends on their ability to manage money. They need to know how and when to invest their money, how to control costs, and how to maximize profits. A degree in Finance prepares you to help businesses make these critical decisions by giving you the tools and knowledge to understand risk and corporate finance. This makes you valuable to any organization.
A Finance degree gives you a sound foundation in all financial topics, so you will take a variety of courses such as:
Intro to Corporate Finance.
Money and Capital Markets.
Financial Consultant or Advisor.
Business Risk Analyst.
The Internet has made it easier than ever to reach a global audience no matter the size or scope of your company. Because of this, the need for International Business majors has never been stronger. With this degree, you’ll learn how the global economy works, and what it takes for a business to truly connect with an international audience. As the global economy continues to become more connected, International Business degrees will likely increase in value.
As you study toward your International Business degree, you’ll look at a variety of different business segments and how they impact international markets. For example:
International Money and Finance.
Bilingual Customer Service Management.
International Business or Operations Analyst.
Global Account Executive.
The heart of any company is its people, so Human Resources degrees are always in demand. Throughout the program, you’ll learn how to manage people throughout an organization via recruiting, training, conflict management, and facilitating benefits. Every major company has an HR department, so a Human Resources degree offers a variety of career opportunities.
As a Human Resources major, your studies will focus on how to manage people by taking courses such as:
Intro to Human Resources Administration.
Resolving Organizational Conflict.
Human Resources Manager.
If none of the programs discussed above sound interesting, many universities offer more specialized business degrees if you’re focused on a very specific career or industry. Here’s a list of some of these niche programs:
Small Business Management / Entrepreneurship.
Real Estate Management.
Supply Chain Management.
Health Care Management.
The career opportunities for these degrees are more narrow, but if you already have a specific career path in mind, they can be invaluable.
In the end, it’s important to select the degree that makes the most sense for you. What are your strengths? What do you enjoy studying? What type of position do you want to hold in the next two, five, and ten years? By answering these questions and studying the information discussed above, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that shapes your future in a very positive way.