What are some different business degrees, you ask?
I received my undergrad business degree from a state university, and it’s served me well so far. Of course, I’m an entrepreneur, and that’s just not for everyone. Regardless, going to business school opens doors, both for networking (it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, right?) and for the education itself. It also leads to a bigger pay check if you’re interested in sticking it out in the corporate world. Here’s a few concentrations you could think of checking out. And if you’re even more interested, here are the top 20 business schools of 2010 and an article about a tuition-free college offering business school-level education as well.
Undergraduate Business Majors
It’s one of the best jobs in North America in terms of stress level (low), compensation (high) and career placement after graduation (fast). It’s a system by which economic information is identified, recorded, summarized and reported for the use of decision makers.
If you are considering a career in accounting, you should have an aptitude for mathematics and be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures quickly. You must then be able to clearly communicate your results to clients and managers. The two newest study areas in accounting degrees are ethics and computer science. High standards of integrity are important in accounting.
The Business Management Associate Degree enables you to acquire a broad understanding of all functional areas of a typical business (accounting, finance, human resources, production, information systems, and marketing) operating in today’s dynamic environment.
If you are already employed in a management discipline, this program will help you prepare for advancement. If you are preparing yourself for entry into the business management field, this program will help you prepare for entry into a first-line management position, such as assistant manager, supervisor, office manager, group leader, or project manager; in areas of advertising, benefits administration, finance, human resources, insurance, retailing, transportation, wholesaling, and communication.
The business world has seen many changes of late. More people are starting entrepreneurial or small business ventures every year. Women are now the fastest-growing segment of new business owners. And an entrepreneurial spirit is increasingly valued by many larger organizations that encourage managers to “take ownership” of their responsibilities. Small firms can work faster, with more flexibility, and take more chances than the large retail corporations. Some entrepreneurs use their unique talents for “getting the ball rolling” by selling their companies and then going on to start new ones. And as the market opens up, competition gets fiercer. Many aspiring entrepreneurs take online college courses in business to stay ahead of the game.
Perhaps the most socially-progressive trend in finance recently has been the marked increase of women in the profession. The industry has historically been—and is largely still—predominately male, but women are beginning to fill all levels of company organizational charts. An article in the June 2007 issues of CFO Magazine titled “Gap Analysis” reports that “women CFOs in the Fortune 500 has risen steadily, from 24 in 2001 to 38 [in 2007],” and that women currently represent 16 percent of the controller and treasurer positions in these companies. Despite this progress, however, the finance industry has a long way to go to lose its old boys’ club image; initiatives such as business school diversity programs are rising to the occasion and helping the industry become a more welcoming place for women.
The field of marketing, as well as marketing careers, is poised on the cusp of change, using a combination of new and old techniques and theories to understand and appeal to the mind of consumers, who are themselves constantly evolving. The more marketing channels that come into play—from social networking to flyers posted at local Starbucks—the more the field itself grows and the more creative, analytical, go-getters the marketing world needs.
Graduate School Degrees
This field includes areas such as capital markets, corporate finance, commercial banking, hedge funds, sales and trading, financial planning, investment banking and private equity. Whether you see yourself trading stocks on the floor of the NYSE or helping individuals plan their financial futures, whether on Wall Street or in your hometown, finance may be the concentration for you and is a fundamental part of every business education as well as a concentration.
Graduate programs in Business Accounting & Financial Engineering/Mathematics prepare students who wish to explore quantitative and computation finance in order to help businesses forecast financial situations and make wise financial decisions. Graduates with a masters (MS) or PhD degree in business accounting and financial engineering may become accountants, taxation specialists, chief financial officers and more.
Marketing involves performing those activities that facilitate the exchange process. Basic to performing the marketing function is an ability to assess marketing opportunities and to plan and execute strategies using instruments that are under the marketing manager’s control. The portfolio of marketing courses included in the curriculum of the Department of Marketing are devised to provide students with the insights needed to identify marketing opportunities, develop appropriate marketing strategies, and put them into action. Some courses develop the skills that are useful to students in their first jobs after graduation. Other courses provide the analytical skills needed to make long-term vocational progress. Successful completion of the PhD typically requires a commitment of four to five years, including residency of six quarters beyond the master’s degree or nine quarters beyond the bachelor’s.
Global / International / Multinational Management
his degree program is designed to help students develop the management skills required to function effectively within non-profit organizations, private businesses, and public agencies. The master’s program in international management concentrates on managing human and fiscal resources within the culture, structure, and mission of any business organization. Course curriculum addresses executive management issues, human resources management, strategic planning, conflict management, managing technology, managing change, financial management, and marketing management.
Human Resource Management
Human Resources graduate programs involve the management of human capital in businesses or organizations, and aims to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Those who earn masters or PhD degrees in human resources can become executive recruiters, benefits administrators, industrial relations analysts, union organizers and more.
Operations Management / Information Systems
A master’s degree in Operations Management will give professionals the marketing edge they need to obtain executive positions in today’s competitive environment. Classwork such as accounting, business management, negotiations, purchasing can make graduates very appealing to employers who are in need of professionals with a variety of administrative skills.
Risk Management / Insurance
The insurance industry has careers available for employees with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Insurance salespeople solicit new clients and attempt to fulfill their insurance needs. Insurance auditors review claims and policies in an attempt to protect both policy holders and insurance companies from wrongdoing. Many government agencies oversee the insurance industry and are experienced in the legal issues relating to insurance companies and policy holders. Most insurance careers require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in Business, Economics, Finance or related fields. Some careers may also be attained by earning a professional certification in Insurance or completing more specific career training programs.
Health Care / Pharmaceutical Management
Health care administrative services professionals use their traditional business skills coupled with health care specific knowledge to increase efficiency, profitability and overall quality of health care facilities. Private doctor’s offices, public hospitals, nursing homes, specialized clinics, out-patient treatment centers and other similar facilities require these administrative services professionals. Job titles may include medical assistant, medical records clerk, office manager, hospital administrator and insurance coder/analyst among others. These positions offering a challenging and rewarding alternative to white collar employees interested in applying their business skills in a new industry.
There are a variety of challenging careers available in the real estate industry. Real estate finance, sales and appraisal professionals each have important responsibilities. Finance professionals help find financing for home buyers and connect lenders, like banks, with those looking to borrow money. Real estate salespeople become experts in the properties in their region, helping buyers to find the home, office or other building of their dreams. Real estate appraisers review structures for damage and other factors that can affect their sale price and overall value. Careers in real estate generally require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, in addition to professional certification or state licensure.
Entrepreneurship / Entrepreneurial Management
For students interested in starting their own business, an Entrepreneurial Studies degree program can provide the knowledge and experience necessary to succeed. Associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are all available, depending on the university. In these programs, students receive a broad business education that will help them build a business from the ground up. Subjects covered in class include venture capital and financing, tax laws, management, communications, advertising, marketing and success in small business. Entrepreneurial Studies degree programs also allow students to connect with other entrepreneurs that may lead to valuable business connections after graduation.
Business Degrees and the Recession
When there is a sharp down turn in the economy guess what goes up? Applications to business schools, says James Stevens, assistant dean at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.