These days, an increasingly large percentage of employers have a preference for hiring workers who have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In fact, research shows that “nearly a third of employers say they have increased their educational requirements over the past five years.” There are many reasons for this, though one of the most commonly cited reasons is the fact that the skills required for many jobs have increased over time, so positions that used to be filled by high school graduates now need to be filled by college graduates with larger skill sets.
What does this mean for you? If you don’t already have a college degree, now is the time to think about pursuing one. And if you’re not sure which area of study in which to focus, you may want to consider business as an option. When you study business, you have a wide range of specific areas of study available to you based on your interests. From accounting and business management to finance and business administration, the possibilities are nearly endless. On top of that, there are numerous other reasons to consider a business degree—regardless of your future career aspirations.
1. Learn Transferrable Skills
For starters, the skills you learn in a business program can be easily transferred and adapted to just about any future career or job position imaginable. Business programs place a huge focus on teaching students the ability to think critically, problem solve in innovative ways, and manage their time logically. Some other skills you can expect to walk away from a business program with include:
- presentation and report-writing
- resource management
- self motivation
- interpretation of financial data
All of these are skills that will be useful in any job you find yourself in down the road, even if it’s not immediately business-related. The ability to think critically and make quick decisions on your feet will serve you well not just in a career capacity, but in your day-to-day life as well.
2. Enjoy High Earnings Potential
With an average starting salary of nearly $55,000 annually, a business degree will also yield you some of the highest earnings potential both immediately following graduation and later down the road. In fact, those who study business rank only below engineering and computer science in the highest starting salaries for entry-level jobs! This is great for those who are worried about graduating with piles of student loan debt and nervous about their ability to find a job and pay it off. With that in mind, a business degree will also yield you one of the highest returns on your investment.
3. Broaden Your Horizons
Even if you don’t see yourself working as an accountant or finance manager, a degree in business can help you truly broaden your horizons and pursue your passions successfully. For example, perhaps your true passion is in jewelry-making, and you dream of someday owning your own hand-made jewelry business. Knowing how to make beautiful jewelry is only a small piece of the puzzle; in order for your business to be successful, you’ll need to know how to write a detailed and viable financial plan, obtain financing for your business, track your profits and losses, and be comfortable with many other aspects of business management in order to keep your business profitable. This is, yet again, where experience in studying business can really come in handy in a practical way.
4. Gain an Global Perspective
Few programs of study these days really examine things beyond a local lens, but studying business will force you to look at things globally, especially in today’s international economy. This is great for those who want to work towards having a more global perspective and outlook. And of course, when you study business, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to study abroad, if this is something that would interest you. Even if you don’t choose to study abroad, your program will have you working alongside international students who will help you become more culturally diverse, especially considering many business degrees include some level of communicating with international students.
5. Combine Your Passions
What many people don’t realize when they consider a business degree is that, often times, it is also possible to combine a business program with another program of your choice. This way, if you’re interested in business but ultimately want to pursue a career in another field, you may still be able to combine courses within your program of study to obtain a double-major or similar accolade. This is quite common, and many universities offer these types of programs in a five-year capacity. Imagine being able to walk across the stage and collect not just one, but two degrees that are going to help you reach your career goals—and potentially being able to do so with just one extra year of study.
6. Balance Practice and Theory
If you’re the type of learner who gets bored or overwhelmed with too much theoretical discussion in the classroom or too much practice/not enough theory, guess what? A program of study in business can offer the perfect balance of both practice and theory. You’ll spend about half the time learning about different theories and models, as well as plenty of time going hands-on and putting that theory to practice. This is especially true if you’re able to get accepted into a reputable business school that has relationships established with local businesses; here, you may have unique opportunities for internships and similar real-world experiences that will give you a competitive edge when it comes time to graduate and look for work.
7. Continue Your Education
Even if you’ve already obtained a degree in another discipline other than business, you almost always have the option to benefit from continuing your education with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Having an MBA is beneficial to your career no matter what industry you may find yourself in, and many schools offer MBA programs that can be completed within a few years. You may even be able to continue working at your current position (if you’ve already found a job in your field after graduation), as most MBA programs cater to full-time workers. These classes often take place at night, over the weekends, or even online for your convenience.
Thinking of applying for an MBA program but worried about the cost? Consider checking with your employer to see if they offer any kind of reimbursement program, which can help to offset the costs of your tuition each semester. These programs are becoming increasingly common among today’s employers.
8. Enjoy High Demand
Did you know that the average business student lands a job within six months of graduating? That’s because there’s a huge demand for business graduates in today’s economy, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you want to get into a career where you’ll have an easier time securing a job after graduation, this is a great option for you. Not to mention, the opportunities are widespread. Whether you’d prefer to stay local or are interested in moving across the country or even across the globe, business graduates tend to have little issue landing work after completing their studies.
9. Improve Communication Skills
In your business program, you’ll learn a number of valuable communication skills that will be useful in any job down-the-road. From learning how to write coherent reports to even communicating with people from different cultures, you’ll strengthen your ability to relate to and speak with the people around you. A big part of studying business is also learning how to read body language and practice active listening. And when you think about that, those are skills that will benefit you not just in your future jobs, but in your everyday social interactions as well.
10. Challenge Yourself
Looking for a challenge? Business programs can be some of the most challenging programs out there, but in the best way possible. When you make it through a business program, you’ll emerge a more logical thinker, and you’ll have the knowledge you need to take on any number of challenges later in life (both career-related and otherwise). If you’re the type of person that others already turn to when they need help solving a problem, you might have what it takes to complete a business program of study.
11. Become Your Own Boss (Eventually)
Who doesn’t dream of someday being able to work as their own boss? The skills you learn in your business program can help to make that dream a reality. From knowing how to more wisely manage your money to learning the ins and outs of writing a business plan or finding your own clients, you’ll have the skills you need to start your own business. Whether you dream of running your own large organization or would simply like to work as an independent contractor, a degree in business is a great way to start paving those first blocks towards a path to independence.
No matter where your interests currently lie, studying business will almost always work out to your benefit down the road. Because the skills you learn in a business program are so widely adaptable, you’ll walk away from your program of study ready to take on the world. If you’re interested in learning more about business programs or specific areas of study, consider setting up an appointment with an academic advisor at a local college or university. From there, you can ultimately decide which course of study is best for you.
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