What does it mean to study business?
A solid business education can be a strong foundation for almost any career. Whether you want to manage your own retail shop, market your services as a massage therapist, or manage your staff more effectively, a business degree can teach you the skills you need. Business degree programs offer a wide range of specialties and concentrations, so you can pick the degree program that best matches your career goals and interests.
Business Degree Programs: Which One Is Right for You?
You have several options to choose from when selecting a business degree program. You can earn a bachelor's degree in fields like:
- Information systems
- Business administration
- Insurance and risk management
Undergraduates should expect their education to be centered around general education requirements as well as classes specific to the business major. This could include accounting, business and public policy, entrepreneurial management, management, marketing, legal studies and business ethics, and finance, to name a few.
Like most college degrees, a BA or BS in a business field should take four years. Grad school is generally an additional two to four years, depending on your program. Some MBA programs are part time for working professionals, and online programs are becoming popular as well. Many of the online programs are self-paced meaning you don't have to stick to a rigid classroom schedule.
Salary Potential for Business Students
Student interested in advancing their business career can earn a master of business administration (MBA). An MBA often comes with greater career opportunities and higher salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings for someone with a master's degree in 2009 was $1,257-- $232 more than someone with a bachelor's degree and $399 more than someone with a high school diploma.
Wages in many fields dominated by business professionals also tend to be quite competitive--the BLS says that business and financial operations occupations, a field full of employees with MBAs, had a mean annual wage of $65,900 in 2009, and the field is growing significantly.
For many, the business education is only the beginning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that some business graduates may find jobs in industries that require multiple skills. The biggest industry is in scientific fields with 85.5 percent growth predicted between 2008 and 2018, followed by computer systems design and related services at 40.2 percent.
Specializations in Business Programs: Current Trends
A newer degree at top business schools is entrepreneurial management. It is essentially a degree in thinking ahead of everyone else. The entrepreneur asks questions like: how do you create a market from scratch? how do you take an idea and turn it into a real product? Entrepreneur courses can help you learn to analyze markets, develop innovative solutions to problems, and see opportunities where others may see obstacles.
Another growing specialty in response to the growing demands of the health care industry is the health care management degree. With this degree, you are trained for a business career in a hospital, a pharmaceutical firm, a consulting firm or even government. Health care careers should grow more diverse and complicated, and with that, so should the demand for business professionals trained in the specific needs of the medical profession.
Matt Riddle is a freelance writer based out of Reno, Nev. A journalism graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, Riddle was a newspaper reporter and then an account coordinator for a political consultant in Reno where he worked for several successful campaigns. His interests are many, but CrossFit, rock climbing, reading and writing, skiing, snowboarding, fatherhood and acting round up the list.
Degrees and Programs - Jan 01, 2010 • University of Nevada, Reno
MBA Resource Guide 2009-2010 - Jan 01, 2010 • Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate/Academics/Major areas of study - Jan 01, 2010 • Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
Schools With Online MBA and Business Programs • US News & World Report
National Employment Matrix; search by total all occupations, percent change in employment, 2008-2018 • Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment and Wages • Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment Projections: Education pays • Bureau of Labor Statistics
MBA Resource Guide 2009-2010; Health Care Management • Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania