If you’re considering enrolling for an undergraduate business degree, it’s possible that you may find yourself inundated with choices. While it’s always good to have too many choices rather than too few, it can sometimes make the decision harder.
Should you consider general business degrees or go with a major in accounting? Should you opt for an unconventional business career like personal property management or is it safer to stick to a more tried and tested field like human resources?
There are tons of questions, and finding answers can prove to be an uphill task. But don’t worry, because you are not alone in your effort to find the right business program for you. To help you in your decision-making process, we present a complete guide to business degrees.
Types of Business Degrees
The first thing you need to understand is that universities and colleges offer different types of business degrees. At the undergraduate level, there are essentially two types of business degrees:
Associate’s degree in business: An associate’s degree in business is an approximately two-year program designed to provide graduates with a basic-level understanding of different business functions. The skills imparted by an associate’s business degree are generally rudimentary and may qualify graduates for entry-level business roles such as administrative assistant, customer care executive, sales rep, bookkeeper, etc.
Bachelor’s degree in business: For strategic and responsible business roles, it may be essential to complete at least a bachelor’s degree in business. This is typically a four-year program, of which the first two years are focused on general education courses and the next two involve an intensive business-related curriculum. The skills and knowledge provided by a bachelor’s program is more comprehensive and advanced as compared to an associate’s business degree.
At the graduate level, the most traditional business degree is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. There are different types of MBA programs such as the accelerated MBA, which can be finished in less-than-normal completion time and the executive MBA, which is designed for individuals in middle- to senior-level management roles. The classes for executive MBA programs are generally held over the weekend. In addition to these two programs, online MBA degrees are an option that many working professionals turn to for career development.
Some business professionals who are voracious academics don’t just stop with an MBA. They go on to earn doctorate business degrees, which include the DBA and PhD, and which usually involve four years of intensive coursework and research.
Popular Business Majors
Once you’ve chosen the type of business degree you’d like to enroll in, you will have to decide on a particular major. Your personal interests, strengths, and career objectives should take precedence over any other consideration when deciding on a business major. Here’s a list of some popular business majors:
Accounting: This business degree will prepare you for accounting roles like public accountant, management accountant, government accountant, and internal auditor. It is one of the most challenging business roles, albeit less glamorous than functions like finance and marketing.
Business Administration: This degree will provide you a solid foundation in different business disciplines and prepare you for a variety of careers including management and leadership roles.
Human Resources: Graduates of this business major can join the human resource department of an organization and may be involved in activities like staffing, training, talent retention, benefits and compensation, organizational policies, etc.
Entrepreneurship: There was a time when entrepreneurship was an untouched and unexplored area for a vast majority of the middle-class population. Not anymore. Encouraged by the success of young entrepreneurs and the willingness of investors to pump money into promising ventures, many young individuals are now taking the plunge to start their own company. A major in entrepreneurship is designed to shape such budding entrepreneurs.
Finance: Of all the business degrees, a major in finance is perhaps the most distinguished and rewarding option. From banking to insurance and from corporate finance to the stock market, the finance major can open up some very exciting career possibilities for graduates. And according to payscale.com, finance managers can earn an average of $41,959 to$131,025 per year in total pay, depending on experience, education, and location.