Business degrees are increasingly becoming popular because they cut across a wide range of industries. Accordingly, they lead to many career paths for students. Some types of business degrees have several concentrations to choose from. Choosing the right business degree and a perfect combination of business major concentrations can be crucial to preparing for a rewarding career in the future. This post discusses the different types of business degrees available and how to select the best combination to help you make an informed decision about the major that matches your career goals and personal interests.
How Long It Takes to Earn A Business Degree
Before choosing the right concentration for your business major, decide the level of business degree you want to pursue. Every level of post-secondary education has a business degree, from certificate programs to doctoral programs. Certificate programs can take up to two years to complete, and they are often open to anyone.
Anyone looking to pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in business must have a higher school diploma or GED. These programs can take between two and four to complete. A master’s degree in business or a doctoral degree in business requires at least a bachelor’s degree. Some universities may require a master’s degree before you can pursue a doctoral degree program. A master’s degree in business can take two years, while a doctoral degree will take between three and four years.
If you are interested in diving into the business world, you might want to know how long it will take you to acquire the knowledge you need in the field. Concisely, most business students take four years to complete a degree in business. However, the duration you spend in school pursuing a degree in business depends on the type of degree you choose. For instance, some degree options are as short as two years, while you can also take a four-year degree and accelerate or slow the pace by choosing the option you want. Let us look at some types of business degrees and how long it takes to earn them.
Associate’s Degree in Business
Some community colleges in the United States offer an associate’s degree in business. These programs are often short-paced and can be completed in two years of full-time study basis. The topics covered in an associates’ degree program are mostly introductions to various business projects. For instance, you may find a course such as introduction to accounting or introduction to Business Law.
You can start with an associate’s degree in business at a community college then transfer to a four-year business school for an advanced program. In this case, you have to ensure you understand transfer credit policies to make the credits you earn count towards the new degree program.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business
A bachelor’s degree is the standard level of education required in the business world. An undergraduate degree in business can open your way to different roles, ranging from financial advisor to management analyst. An undergraduate business degree covers every field of business and stretches within four years of study.
After becoming a business graduate, you can choose to concentrate on a particular business discipline, such as marketing, accounting, or finance. You can also decide to follow a general business curriculum that includes courses at the upper education level.
You can also opt for an undergraduate degree in business management. Such a program focuses on management theories compared to a typical business administration program. Accordingly, they are often broad and cover a wide range of topics.
Master’s Degree in Business
After completing an undergraduate degree program and years of experience in the business world, some people opt for a return to school for a master’s degree in business. A master’s degree in business is a popular choice for business professionals who want to scale up the corporate ladder. This is mainly because a master’s degree opens up many opportunities in leadership positions.
MBA programs cover graduate-level classes, such as finance, accounting, management, and marketing, among others. Unlike the undergraduate level, MBA programs go deeper into the chosen area of specialization.
A master’s degree in business requires two years of study. However, some schools offer one-year MBA programs to hasten career development and advancement. In this case, students will have to do with tight schedules to cover all coursework within half the time. This may require students to take weekend and summer classes. Some of these short MBA programs are offered for online learners.
Schools That Offer the Best Business Degree
Hundreds of universities in the United States offer business degree programs. However, very few can claim to offer the best business degree in the country. It is always good to aim for the best institution when considering applying for a degree in business.
International students considering a business degree in the United States have to go through a list of the country’s best schools before making an informed choice. It is worth noting that almost every college or university in America offers a business program. Therefore, narrowing down to the best one can be a bit overwhelming. Accordingly, there are many things to consider, and this can make it an uphill task. For instance, you may want a specific location, educational infrastructure, or type of professor. There are many questions you need to answer before you can find the best school. Here is a sneak peek into some schools that offer the best business degree to help you with everything.
The University of Pennsylvania ranks as the best school of business in the United States. Benjamin Franklin founded the institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1740. Currently, the university is among the most urban institutions of higher learning, enrolling almost 10,000 students annually.
The University of Pennsylvania is also a private Ivy League school, with the most competitive admission process. Accordingly, the university offers many types of business degrees, with general finance being the most popular program in the institution.
The University of Pennsylvania offers a business degree through the Wharton School of Business, founded in 1881. This was the first college-level business school in the United States. It provides a wide range of business programs and integrates a business education with the liberal arts.
The Wharton School of Business offers 20 business concentrations across ten faculties. International students can go for business concentrations, such as accounting, marketing, global analysis, and social impact and responsibility. The school boasts of state-of-the-art business technology and infrastructure for students. The set-up is designed to make Wharton Business School more innovative and contemporary in the country. Lastly, the University of Pennsylvania offers business programs with a global focus to encourage students to practice their business skills in the global market.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes second in the list of schools that offer the best business degree in the United States. This institution is located in Cambridge, MA. The school was founded in 1861 and currently boasts of more than 4,500 enrollments every year.
Like the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a competitive admission process, as reflected by the 8% acceptance rate since 2016. Less than one out of ten applications are accepted.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers business degrees through the Sloan School of Management, founded in 1914. Since its inception, Sloan has continued to grow in depth and scope of business programs it offers, especially those that respond to advances in management theory and practice. Potential students do not have to apply directly to the Sloan School of Management. Instead, they are admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology without departmental or course designation and select a major at the end of their first year.
University of California, Berkeley, makes this list as one of the best business schools in the United States. The institution is located on an urban campus in Berkeley, California, and is the oldest in the California educational system. University of California, Berkeley, is considered the best public university in the US, enrolling more than 30,000 undergraduates annually.
The University of California, Berkeley, offers business degrees under the Haas School of Business, which was established in 1898, making it the second-oldest business school in the United States. The Haas School of Business offers various business programs to more than 700 undergraduate students. Potential students enter the Haas School of Business at the start of the junior year and graduate after two years.
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is one of the United States’ largest institutions to offer a business program. The institution is found in Ann Arbor and enrolls approximately 27,400 undergraduates annually. The university’s appeal goes beyond academics as it is also known as one of the country’s most outstanding college towns. Additionally, the University of Michigan’s Division I athletics is a huge part of the community.
The University of Michigan offers an undergraduate business program under the Ross School of Business, focusing on Bachelors in Business Administration. Potential students apply for Bachelor’s in Business Administration in their first year of college. However, the school also offers early admission for post-high school students. The Ross School of Business centers on leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The school also combines its set of courses with standard liberal arts coursework. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor emphasizes action-based learning and a hands-on approach to business skills. This makes it one of the best schools that offer a business degree.
New York University is located in one of the largest international cities, with one of the world’s densest business markets. The school’s densely urban campus is located in the middle of New York City. The institution is a private research center that enrolls approximately 22,300 undergraduates. The school focuses on quality 3ducation and great culture due to its proximity to the Greenwich Village neighborhood.
New York University offers business programs through the Stern School of Business. Stern focuses its set of courses around global markets and international awareness. The school also centers on innovation, encouraging students to think and act socially and globally.
The University of Southern Indiana is committed to helping working professionals by offering a master’s degree in business. The school focuses on various disciplines, such as strategic, behavioral, and technical skills required in the vibrant business environment. The business programs provided at the University of Southern Indiana are tailored to offer an exceptional educational experience to prepare students for real-world business issues. Most of the coursework revolves around ethical business practices, globalization, and innovation.
The University of Southern Indiana offers quality education through qualified doctoral faculty in every discipline. The institution designs its study programs to enable students to earn a master’s business degree in one year.
The American University – International Accelerator, offers a wide range of business programs through the Kogod School of Business, established in 1933 in Washington DC. It is the oldest accredited business school in the region.
The institution is well known for its real-world application of classwork through active discussions. This hands-on approach prepares students to engage in practical business operations by offering firsthand experience compared to simple memorization of concepts. This method is widely effective, with more than 96% of undergraduate students from Kogod School of Business reporting positive career outcomes.
Felician University is located in New Jersey. The institution offers business and management programs with a focus on essential business skills and ethical practices. Business programs at Felician University are designed to nurture entrepreneurial and leadership skills that students can apply in the business world. The curriculum covers business competencies in critical thinking, effective communication, ethical practices and decision-making, teamwork, and quantitative reasoning.
Felician University has a joint bachelor’s and master’s program that covers five years of study. Undergraduate programs include Accounting, Business Administration, Business Analytics, Management, and Marketing. The institution has a healthy relationship with businesses around New York City to offer its students opportunities to get an excellent internship and apply what they learn into the real business world.
As much as it is always great to aim for the highest-ranked institutions, you should keep in mind that many other universities and colleges around the United States offer excellent business degrees. Be cautious not to narrow down your choices to institutions at the top of national rankings. Some of the best business schools are found in less-known universities, guaranteeing the best career outlook.
Careers You Could Pursue with a Business Degree
Business degrees offer excellent opportunities for students to dive into rewarding career paths. Accordingly, different business majors and concentrations offer solid and business foundations and career-focused courses. Below are some careers you can pursue with a business degree.
Average salary: $45,060 – 68,570 annually
Accounting students learn how to analyze, manage, prepare, and track financial statements; they also gain the knowledge they can apply in managing business operations. Besides a business degree in accounting, students can also take a certified public account (CPA) licensure exam. Topics covered under the accounting program include accounting, accounting information systems, cost accounting, tax accounting, business law, and auditing.
Students who major in accounting can become accountants, tax interns, and financial analysts.
National average salary: $42,450 – $92,980 annually
Students who major in marketing study product promotion, brand awareness, pricing, consumer behavior, and advertising. Topics covered under marketing include:
- Advertising and promotion
- Marketing communications
- International marketing
- Marketing management
- Professional selling and sales management
- Consumer behavior
- Marketing research
- Marketing strategy
Students who major in marketing can become marketing specialists, media directors, marketing communication managers, accounts assistants, and social media specialists.
National average salary: $41,070 – $141,550 annually
If you decide to major in sales, you will learn how to sell products, improve brand awareness, and service consumers and businesses. The types of topics covered include business economics, entrepreneurship, and sales skills.
Entry-level jobs in sales include roles as a sales agent, account executive, account manager, and retail sales associate.
National average salary: $68,370 – $105,160 annually
Majoring in finance teaches you the basics of finance. This may include economics, accounting, project management, business principles, and how you can use financial information in management. You also learn about investments and making long term plans for the business. Topics covered under finance are wide-ranging and may include financial management, international finance, financial statements, investments, financial markets, accounting and statistics, and portfolio management.
Students who major in finance can become financial analysts, investment analysts, private equity associates, and financial managers.
National average salary: $12.80 – $28.01 per hour
Students who major in international business learn more about emerging financial markets, global banking, international business management, global supply chain management, and international monetary policies. International business is suitable for students who want to join the global business environment or multinational organizations. Topics covered under this program include logistics and supply chain management, derivatives and financial markets, cross-cultural management, business ethics, and international business operations.
If you decide to major in international business, you can become a global supply chain analyst, operations associate, logistic specialist, compliance officer, or business development manager.
National average salary: $41,810 – $75,270 annually
Under human resources, you will learn interview skills, state and federal regulations, recruit, train, motivate and retain top talents. Topics of focus include employee and labor relations, compensation and benefits, legal issues in employment, performance management, organizational behavior, staffing, and training and development.
Upon graduation, you can become a human resources associate, human resources manager, and any other role related to human resources.
Management Information Systems
National average salary: $38,540 – $121,220 annually
A business degree with a major in management information systems covers technology and information systems applied in the business realm. Topics under this program include e-commerce, emerging technologies, innovation, financial information systems, networks and telecommunication, database design, managing information systems, project management, systems analysis, and design, and programming for systems development.
Students who major in management information systems can become data analysts, database administrators, internal auditors, information technology interns, information technology specialists, and risk managers.
Management information systems is an emerging area in business, thanks to the advancements in technology and the emergence of big data. Organizations are currently operating with a lot of data from consumers and other stakeholders, making it necessary to look for ways to enhance data safety.
Business Administration and Management
National average salary: $53,510 – $102,530 annually
This program covers the fundamentals of business operations, including the analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, a major in business administration and management teaches how to create organizational strategies and implement plans for changes in the business environment.
Business administration and management cover various disciplines, such as operations management, business statistics, financial management, accounting, ethical business practices, human resources management, economics, international management and marketing, business policies and strategy, and information systems management.
A business degree with a major in business administration and management can make you a general manager, associate professor, employee relations manager, IT specialist, among others.
How to Tell If A Business Degree Is Right for You
If you want to get a business degree, you should first consider your career goals and intentions. Business a wide-ranging field. It that can lead you into any career, both inside or outside of the business world. Therefore, you have to make the most out of a business degree by knowing what is right for you.
The first thing you need to consider is what you can get out of a business degree. The world is turning to a point where you survive by starting your own business compared to looking for employment. This ideal is a motivating factor for global economies. A degree in business offers a firsthand advantage to establish yourself among the world’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs. Starting and running a business requires natural talent and insight. However, a great deal of information can be obtained through a degree in business. For instance, you may have a business idea but need management knowledge to take it to the next level.
Accordingly, a business degree is applicable in almost every field. Since the exchange of goods and services for a fee happens in every aspect of life, you can take your business skills whenever you want. With a specialization in international business, you can turn the entire world into your office and work virtually from anywhere. Business becomes more fun when you intend to see where it gets you. Lastly, a business degree offers a set of skills you need to dive into a wide variety of career paths in and out of the business realm. If these are not reasons enough to turn your head into a business degree, here are more.
Before choosing a business degree, you need to evaluate your ambitions, personal interests, and career goals to identify what is right for you. This can take time, and you need to be very careful not to make a rash decision.
If you want to know if a business degree is right for you, try to consider some of these factors:
Your interests are vital if you want to identify what is right for you. Suppose you are naturally interested in business or any of its sub-sects, such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and advertising (product promotion). In that case, you need to build on that interest by pursuing a business degree in your field of interest.
Skills and Strengths
You should keep your interests in mind, but also think about the kind of skills you possess and if they lead to a business course. Individual certain skills can help you determine if you should pursue a degree in business or not. For instance, if you have a way with people and can influence them into buying your stuff, you can take a business degree and major in sales and marketing. If you have mathematical skills and know-how to manage your money well, you should consider a business degree with accounting or finance majors.
In anything you do, there is always that aspect of work-life balance that influences your happiness. Certain careers may require you to devote most of your time to your work. Therefore, you should evaluate what makes you happy and how much time you are comfortable dedicating to your work. If the degree in business is most likely to give you what you want to strike the right work-life balance, pursue it to the fullest.
Your career goals should shape what you choose to do in college. If you want to be an accountant or a management consultant in the future, then a business degree is your safest route to your career ambitions.
Generally, a business degree offers many benefits to students who want to join the corporate world. If you want to enjoy some of the benefits listed in this post, a business degree should be top of your priority list.
The Bottom Line
A business degree program can help you land many business jobs, from a job in the human resource department to financial analyst. Accordingly, the wide range of disciplines in business makes it more interesting but hard to choose. So you have to decide if you will cast your net widely by choosing a concentration that cuts across every subject like accounting or opt for a more specific one like sales and marketing. Accordingly, you need to determine if you are okay with a two-year program or one that takes four or more years. Other aspects to consider should include the mode of learning, school, and location. You cannot make all these decisions upfront. However, there are crucial factors to consider as you begin your journey toward a business degree.