In the age of yet another great recession, more and more college students are searching for degrees that are flexible, but still promise solid job opportunities come graduation. Majoring in business, for example, will offer you all of these things and more. No matter your specific interests, a business major will equip you with a wide variety of in-demand skills. So whether you want to be the next Wolf of Wall Street or a have slightly more modest vision for the future, a degree in the business field might be the best option for you.
What You’ll Do
A typical business degree is split up into different concentrations such as Accounting, Finance or Marketing. The first couple years of business curriculum typically includes basic classes in all business disciplines. Plan on taking courses in calculus, statistics, micro/macro economics, marketing, management, finance and accounting. We suggest investing in a top-notch calculator, because you’ll be crunching a lot of numbers during your undergraduate career. After you’ve got the basics covered, you’ll be able to explore your interests a bit more and take exciting electives like international business or consumer behavior. Whether you choose to get specific with your focus or not, you’ll be prepared to work in a variety of settings in business, government, nonprofit organizations and more.
1. “The core classes that my business major required were really useful. I still go back to my marketing text books and make notes on how I can apply the principles to my business.” –Graciamaria Irish, owner of East + Mia online boutique, University of Florida Class of 2014
2. “The upsides for a business major are definitely the good job prospects. There are a lot of employers that offer high-paying, full-time jobs right after graduation. You also learn a lot of important leadership skills.” – Sarah Lawrence, Business senior at the University of Florida
3. “In my experience, employers really like to see business majors, especially when you’re just starting out and trying to land your first job. I learned a lot of different skills getting my degree, and I think potential employers respond really well to that.” – Becky Kopprasch, CEO of 333 Marketing, Stonybrook Univeristy Class of 2008
1. “The amount of work can be a challenge. Also, there might be some difficult classes that aren’t very interesting. It can be hard to balance everything, especially if you’re doing an internship.” – Graciamaria Irish
2. “There aren’t too many downsides, business is pretty much applicable to any job. The only thing I would say is that business can be more work than other majors. Especially when you’re trying to balance getting good grades with involvement and other commitments.” – Sarah Lawrence
3. “At the end of the day, what I find most important (and what I’ve seen is most valuable) is experience. I think this goes for a lot of industries. A degree in business is great, but doing internships is even better. It’s more about how you used what you learned. Simply getting the degree isn’t enough. “ – Becky Kopprasch
Now that we’ve discussed what classes you’ll be taking and weighed the advantages and disadvantages, it’s time to answer the age-old question…”What am I going to do with that?” Fortunately for business majors, you’ve earned a flexible degree that prepared you for hundreds of different career paths. Here are just a few that you might follow:
Don’t let the ‘boring’ accountant stigma fool you—accounting is an exciting and rewarding career. Accounting is so much more than bookkeeping and crunching numbers in a calculator. You’ll be tasked with the important job of reporting on the financial activities of individuals and business. Unlike most of us, your favorite season isn’t fall or spring. It’s tax season.
2. Business Manager
If want to put your esteemed leadership and problem solving skills to good use, a career in business management is perfect for you. Your daily duties will include helping a business find the best way to make a profit and see that plan into action. The company functions around your decisions, so this position also brings a lot of responsibility.
3. Financial Planner
If you love money (and telling people how to spend it), this is the career for you. As a financial planner, you’ll use your finance skills to counsel people on how to spend and save their money for the future. You might also work with larger companies or non-profits. Whether you’re creating a budget or planning investments, you’ll need expert math skills.
4. Marketing Executive
A good marketing department can make the difference between a company’s success and failure. As a marketer, you’ll get the exciting challenge of figuring out why people buy what they buy. In our digital age, a lot of marketers are jumping onto social media, so this could be a great option if you’d like to pin and tweet for a living.
Entrepreneurs can really come from any major, but business skills will be essential in keeping your company up and running. Especially if you’re running a small business, knowing how to market and manage your own business will save a lot of money in the long run. Besides that, most of the world’s richest business owners (Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, the list goes on) all majored in business, so you’ll be in good company.