With college application deadlines approaching, many high school seniors still aren't sure what they want to do in college or for their future careers. With over 5,000 colleges and universities for students to choose from and nearly 100 majors, picking out just one college and major to commit to may seem a little daunting.
Some highly-ranked undergraduate business schools include the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, MIT, UC Berkley, UT Austin, University of Michigan, NYU, and many more. Most of these schools have a liberal arts college that allows students to take courses related to business as well, even if it isn't their major. For students who have other strong interests in addition to business, they can consider applying to the liberal arts college at their specific university. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell offers 40 different majors including economics. For students who are interested in pursuing a degree in a business-related field such as economics and another separate degree in, per se, music, they can explore both in the liberal arts college and don't have to officially declare their major until sophomore year.
But with today's world being highly integrated with business, no matter what career you decide to ultimately pursue, earning a degree in business can't hurt. With adequate business skills, you can do anything from launching your own start-up company to working as a CEO for a large corporation. Receiving an education in business will help you build your analysis, leadership, and communication skills. However, with so many majors and degrees that are technically classified as a “business education”, which one will suit you the most? Read on to find out!
One type of business degree you can get is a marketing degree. Students who enjoy giving presentations and interacting with people may find this route particularly appealing. People usually study consumer behaviors and learn to promote products to specific target consumers. Upon graduating, people can become market managers, market research analysts, salespeople, and even gain a role in education.
Market managers are typically in charge of multiple products for a company, and they will need to consider budgets and negotiate with other advertising companies to secure the best plan for a company's product sales. They are typically more social and detail-oriented since they will need to attract new customers for their company and have a good overall understanding of market trends. In today's job market, research analysts are in high-need. They will need to research potential high market demands and come up with good strategies to maximize sales. They use presentations and work with other team members to create a plan based on what consumers are willing to pay.
A salespeople- and marketing-focused Masters in Business Administration (MBA) will open up job opportunities even outside positions of marketing and can help you develop a set of skills that are universal across the business world.
A finance degree is far more technical than a marketing degree. After you graduate with this degree, you can go into investment banking or become a financial manager. For instance, investment bankers help clients build their capital. They implement different models and manage mergers to maximize financial benefits. Financial managers typically create a well-thought-out investment plan for their clients that has long term financial benefits. This may include examining financial records, managing budgets, and creating forecasts about future stocks and markets.
The advantage of this degree is that it covers a wider range of topics and gives you greater job opportunities. People are also more prepared to go into graduate school and earn their MBA with this degree. Those who are good communicators, have a growth mindset, and are motivated and persistent typically have an edge when pursuing a finance degree or gaining employment in this field.
If you are sensitive to numbers or good at math, you should consider earning an accounting degree. Accountants are the financial backbone in the business world, and they examine financial statements and records of companies or individuals to make sure everything is accurate. If you're interested in how taxes work, accounting is definitely something you'll enjoy. A typical day in the life of an accountant may include preparing financial reports and analyzing profits and loss statements. They also document transactions, trends, and costs to prepare for future expenditures. It is important for accountants to make sure everything is error-free because a small mistake could potentially mess up a company or a client's financial outlook by a lot.
The most accredited accountants take a CPA exam and earn the title of a Certified Public Accountant. This is a national level exam and is highly recognized by companies who are seeking the most professional accountants.
As for a degree in international business, those who are fluent in more than one language and interested in the global exchange of markets and goods would be the most suitable for this career. It requires you to be flexible and adaptive as doing international business takes into account markets outside the U.S and how the supply of a company must meet the demands of people in that region. However, if you like traveling and interacting with clients of different cultural backgrounds, this is definitely a reason to pursue a degree in international business.
Some job opportunities you may find are with foreign companies doing business in the U.S who need people who are familiar with the market demands of Americans. If you're lucky, you may also find a job at an international bank like the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. By far, this degree gives you great flexibility in your career options.
Are you Ready to Step Into The Business World?
With so many degrees and job opportunities in the business world, everyone is able to find something suitable for them. Even for people who are majoring in more STEM-focused areas like pre-med and engineering, minoring in business will only help them with networking and gaining more leadership skills. For example, a minor in business can help those who want to open their own doctor's office or switch from engineering to a more business-focused position in a high-tech company.
So even if you're still undecided about which track to take in college, business is always a good option for you.