Should I do a Business degree?

Business degrees of one description or another are probably the most common undergraduate degrees in the world and are likely to remain very popular with students for many years to come. The reasons for this are numerous, but common themes for why students choose this are its relevance to the world they see around them and an expectation of a strong jobs market with plenty of opportunity for advancement during their working career. Some of those I speak to have more focused areas of business that attract them, entrepreneurship probably being the most common.

In this article, I’m going to explain about the different types of Business degrees and what you might study if you decide to pursue one, before going on to look at what careers you might choose to go into if you graduate with a degree in Business.

Types of Business degrees

At an undergraduate level, the three most common degrees are Business Studies, Business Administration and Business Management. The differences between a Business Studies degree and a Business Administration degree can be small and the two names are fairly interchangeable, depending on whereabouts you are in the world. In the USA, Business Administration is the most common business major while in the UK and Europe most students will be pursuing a degree in Business Studies. 

Whichever of these degrees you pursue the curriculum is broadly similar and provides a broad based foundation in many aspects of the business world. After the first year, many degrees will offer an opportunity to focus your studies towards a more specific interest such as accounting, marketing, international business or entrepreneurship.

Business Management degrees have a greater focus on well, management. They will usually have a core programme that comprises topics like staffing, planning, directing, organising and controlling. These five subjects form the bastion of management education.

There are of course more specialised business degrees which cover a business field in detail, degrees are available in everything from marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, health management, hospitality and many more.

Whichever degree title you end up pursuing you can expect to gain a broad education on business management principles, technical skills, and management abilities that will set you up for your future career. This common coursework is likely to include

·      Accounting

·      Communication

·      Business ethics

·      Management information technology

·      Business statistics

·      Organisational design

·      Leadership

What can you do with a Business degree?

Business degrees open up a variety of career options, and graduates are in high demand, the skills learned and refined in a business programme are necessary to every industry. Students can easily pursue a variety of business roles in small businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, education, health, and more.

More obvious careers with a business degree include roles in accounting and finance departments, which take in large numbers of business degree graduates. Other sectors with high demand for business graduates include marketing and advertising, as well as retail, sales, human resources and business consultancy. The diversity and plenitude of careers with a business degree underlies the subject’s appeal for many students.

Depending on your interests and specialisms, examples of careers open to people with a business degree include:

·      Advertising

·      Banking

·      Financial advisor

·      Public relations

·      Market research

·      Distribution and logistics

·      Insurance

·      Management consultancy

Employment and postgraduate study in business

As was discussed at the beginning of this article, a ready supply of good employment opportunities is seen as one of the attractions of studying for a business degree. This seems to be a reasonable expectation, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts business and financial occupations to grow by around 8% between 2020 and 2030, and that some areas such as Human Resources and Management Analysis roles are expected to increase by much more. Graduates from UK universities were most likely to move into the labour market post degree. According to ‘What Graduates Do’ which tracks the outcomes of students post graduation, around 90% were in some form of employment fifteen months after gaining their degree.

Increasingly, completing your undergraduate degree in business is not the end of formal study in the field. A business degree can provide a path towards a masters degree either straight after their undergraduate degree or, having gained some practical experience, join a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Some will choose to move onto complete an advanced professional qualification in an area such as accounting.

Who should study for a Business degree?

Studying such a broad degree means that most people could find an area of the course where they can excel, but there are some key skills that all degrees will require.

 Students who are naturally self-motivated and organized will excel in a business program. Business requires students to balance multiple tasks on top of their coursework, such as leadership positions, internships, work experience, service work, and more. Students who can show that they are involved and well rounded will have a strong and broad resume to put in front of employers.

Leadership is a characteristic that business students possess. Those who are good at collaborating and directing a team show great management skills that will serve them well in a business program.

Those who naturally enjoy math and technology will excel in a business programme. Business degrees often require that students take maths and computer science courses. This will likely include calculus, statistics, and computer-related courses.

Students who are naturally drawn to topics in business clearly have an interest in the field and may want to learn more about accounting, marketing, finance, management, and more.

What colleges are good for economics?

As one of the most popular subjects for study in higher education, it is no surprise that many colleges and universities will offer some form of business degree. The exception to this tend to be amongst the more elite colleges and universities. Places like Oxford, Cambridge and nearly all of the Ivy League colleges don’t offer a straight business degree, some will offer economics with a management specialism. According to the QS World Rankings, the top business and management studies programmes are to be found at:

·      Harvard University

·      INSEAD

·      London Business School

·      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

·      Stanford University

·      University of Pennsylvania

·      Bocconi University

·      University of Cambridge

·      HEC Paris School of Management

·      University of Oxford

Conclusion: So, should you study for a business degree?

Absolutely! The skills you will develop and the knowledge you gain are very much in demand around the world resulting in many outstanding career opportunities after you graduate. It is a field where there are numerous opportunities to further your learning meaning you can adapt to new opportunities or adjust your career path.

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