What You Should Know About This Degree
A business degree is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your future, particularly if you dream of a career in accounting, finance, marketing, or management. The curriculum offered can encompass several different areas of specialization, so it is important that when you’re researching programs you select one that has a strong focus in the area you are most interested in. Make sure that you’re going to get a comprehensive overview of general business skills and the understanding you’ll need to shape a well-rounded education.
An undergraduate business program will take four years, with the first two usually encompassing a liberal arts education that includes History, English, Social Sciences, and Mathematics before narrowing focus in the last two years to immersion in business classes. A Master’s in Business Education is an advanced degree that typically takes two years to complete if pursued full-time, but it is also available on a part-time basis so that candidates can attend school while maintaining a full-time job. These programs are available in-person, online, and as hybrid combinations. They offer options for study that include Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Information Systems, Management, International Business, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Business Analytics, and more.
Students who graduate from top-ranked business programs have the ability to step directly into highly competitive positions that offer generous compensation. According to a report from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the average starting salary for their undergraduates is $63,219, and graduates of full-time MBA programs have average starting salaries of $87,683.88.
Beyond the financial value of a business degree, graduating with a business degree has the additional value of providing knowledge and leadership skills that can be applied to non-business endeavors. Many MBA graduates move forward into positions in politics, public service, education, science, the arts, and beyond.
Though certifications are not generally required for management positions, there are some certifications that are worth pursuing throughout your career, after you’ve earned your degree. These confirm your credentials, knowledge, and level of commitment in particular business arenas. Some of the certifications that are most frequently pursued include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP); Project Management Professional (PMP); Professional Certificate in Team Leadership; HubSpot Inbound Marketing; and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).
Here are some questions to ask when researching business degree programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Eligibility for an undergraduate business degree program is generally open to high school graduates who have demonstrated strong academic ability and who have scored well on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT tests. Though students often apply for admission directly to the business school, it is sometimes possible to apply to the larger college or university and then seek admission into the business program if they meet the prerequisite requirements.
- What tests are required for this online degree? Admission into an MBA program is available to those who have graduated from an accredited college and who have demonstrated their personal drive and determination, strong academics, and interpersonal skills. Application usually requires a minimum GPA in college and scoring well on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Letters of recommendation and a personal statement are also generally required.
Though both undergraduate and graduate level business degrees represent a significant financial investment, they also deliver a strong return on that investment in the form of generous salaries and opportunities to advance quickly in your chosen career. If you require financial aid, it’s a good idea to begin researching your options early. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will provide you with invaluable information about your eligibility for financial aid. There are also many national, state, and local scholarships for which you may be eligible.