Would Earning a Business Degree Benefit Me?

A business degree can benefit anyone in any industry. With a business degree, an accountant can become a financial analyst, a computer technician can become a systems manager, a mechanic can become the workshop supervisor, a teacher can become a school administrator, and a marketing assistant can become the director of marketing. The reason is simple - employers across all industries recognize a business degree as an educational advancement. Earning a business degree is one of the smartest ways to attain a promotion, to enhance job fulfillment, and to expand your career options for the future.

Business Education Opportunities

Obtaining a business degree is one of the most popular options for post-secondary students, with 328,000 students enrolled in the fields of business in 2007. There are three main business degree options: the associate's degree in business, the bachelor's degree in business or economics, and the master's degree in business administration.

An associate's degree generally takes two years of full-time study to complete, while a bachelor's degree takes four years. Once you have a bachelor's degree you can also pursue a two-year master's of business administration degree. Each school has its own specific admission requirements, tuition fees, and curricula, but you can expect that each will provide you with valuable education for career preparation or advancement in any industry.

Many people are reluctant to return to school to gain any sort of degree. This is because it may not seem like a smart idea to leave your current position and steady income for the life of a student. However, there are several accredited schools across the United States that offer part-time, distance education, and online course options for business degree students, thus making it possible to continue to work while getting a degree.

Skills Acquired Through a Business Degree

Most business degrees include courses in commerce, business strategy, operations, finance, manufacturing, information technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, and accounting. Not only will you be learning the fundamentals necessary for any financial or managerial position, but you will be building on important skills considered universally valuable in any industry: leadership, communication skills, report writing, teamwork, numeracy, problem solving, data analysis, computer literacy, and time management.

Advancement Possibilities

One of the biggest reasons why people in all industries decide to pursue a business degree is that it offers serious chances for advancement and promotion. It does not matter what level of education you have attained, what industry you are interested in, or how many years of experience you have acquired in the workforce: anyone in business can further his or her career by pursing a business degree. Employers at top firms across the United States say that this type of initiative and dedication is exactly what they look for in upper-level employees.

Business Degree Earning Potential

In addition to advancement possibilities, business degree graduates will also benefit from a higher yearly salary. Those with an economics or business degree entered the workforce in 2007 with an average starting salary of $47,782, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After a year in the workforce, business majors earned about 16 percent more than the average salary of all majors. Those with an associate's degree made, on average, $7,228 more per year than those with just a high school diploma. Those with a bachelor's degree made, on average, $20,488 more per year; while those with a master's degree made, on average, $31,980 per year than those with a high school diploma. What these numbers suggest is that in your working career, you could be looking at making $1.3 million more than a high school graduate just by returning to school and completing a business degree.

Career Prospects for Business Graduates

Business graduates often hold managerial and supervisor positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that seven out of the top 25 highest-paying careers of 2008 required a master's in business administration or a related business degree, including chief executives, computer and information system managers, marketing managers, financial managers, and sales managers. Furthermore, management and consulting services, both of which require a professional business degree, recently ranked as the fastest-growing industry, with a 6.2-percent increase expected by 2018.

When it comes to deciding if obtaining a business degree is the right option for you, you will need to consider your own career goals. A business degree will not guarantee that you will be made CEO of your company, but it does offer a flexible way to enhance your education, update your skills, and prepare for a more fulfilling position in a number of flourishing industries.

Article Resources:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Career Beginnings for Business Majors"
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Occupations with the Highest Median Annual Wages, May 2008"
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "What Can I Do With my Liberal Arts Degree?"
National Center for Educational Statistics