“Study business, you cannot make a mistake if you choose that career!” Have you ever heard someone say this, claiming that it is a secure career and that a job is almost certain? Business subjects like finance, accounting, management and economics are some of the most popular fields students study at universities throughout the world, especially at the graduate level. If you think you should consider what it would be like to study business because the graduates are in high demand, business touches every part of the modern human society, and salaries are often high, you are right to think like this. Read on to learn more about studying business.
Types of business degrees
Business degrees include a wide group of study programs. Some of them highly specialized in certain fields, while others are more interdisciplinary. They can be categorized by level into undergraduate, graduate, professional, as well as by subject focus. Some of these areas either directly or as supplementary elements include:
Accounting: Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management
Management Sciences: Sociology, Law, Mathematics, Economics
Computer Sciences: Entrepreneurship, Modern Languages, Sports Management, Fashion Management
On undergraduate level and some graduate-level degrees, the students can gain a foundation in many aforementioned aspects of the world of business before opting to specialize. From the master’s level and on, it is more usual to focus on one particular aspect, although flexibility is possible for the students to match their own interests in the courses. In the meantime, the MBA (Master of Business Administration) and Executive MBA programs target those who already have significant professional experience and focus on additional development.
You can expect all types of business degrees to have an emphasis on practical application of theory whatever you choose. You will learn case studies, problem-solving tasks, project and teamwork, and also have internships and placement schemes.
Careers with a business degree
A lot of business schools and departments offer a great combination of academic challenges and practical focus. This makes the prospect of studying business highly appealing for the students who want a competitive and collaborative learning environment in their education.
When it comes to the answer to “Why study business?” here is the thing. The graduates can go on to work in a wide array of different sectors, may not be connected with business in general. By general business, we mean careers that include roles in accounting and finance. Other high demand sectors include marketing, advertising, retail, sales, human resources and business consultancy. This wide range is enough for many students to start a business career.
If you are one of the students unsure how to start a career after graduation, consider joining a graduate training scheme ran by large international companies. They tend to allow the graduates to spend time completing traineeships in various regions of the world. After this, many have a clear picture of what to specialize in.
Depending on what your area of interest is what you specialized in, these are the possible careers for you:
Management consultancy: Trading, Advertising, Investment banking, Bank management, and Insurance Underwriting.
Teaching / Training: Chartered Accountancy, Retail buying, Retail Management, Sales, and Consumer products.
Marketing: Market research, Personal officer, Public relations officer, Distribution and logistics management.
The earnings are what motivates most of the business students. However, you should never expect a high salary as soon as you graduate from your program. The skills and knowledge that you gained from the business degree should allow your career progression. This will, in turn, make it easier to climb to higher positions with better salaries. Even with the degree, you must still prove yourself and show you wish to work hard. This will often be on entry-level positions, filled with competition.
According to a NACE Fall 2018 Salary Survey, these are the averages salaries for some positions:
International business – $59,490
Finance – $55,811
Business and economics – $53,033
Accounting and finance – $52,810
Human resources management – $42,904
Management information systems – $58,628
Marketing – $46,160
Business management – $51,208
For master’s level business degree, salary is higher, with the MBA graduates averaging US$116,300 in both the US and Canada. It is a bit lower in Western Europe, while in the Asia-Pacific region you can expect about US$85,900.
Transferable skills gained from a business degree
While you study business, you will develop a wide knowledge of business operations and gain many targeted skills for a specific field. These can be customers, markets, finance, strategy, operations, business policy, IT, and communications. In addition, you can explore fields in the international context or specialize in their application in a particular region or country.
Many valuable transferable skills will also come your way, so be sure to put them to use both in everyday life and in a different career path. These include:
Understanding of how organizations operate.
Strong oral and written communication skills.
Analytical and critical thinking.
Presentation and report writing skills.
Numeracy and the understanding of interpreting and using financial data.
Self-motivation, initiative and time management.
Project and resource management.
A close understanding of economic fluctuations and other external changes.
Now that you are set on why to study business, it is important to know where to study. The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 is the place to look for a university. Here, you can learn some additional insight by comparing and checking for desired specializations and features.
The QS Business Masters Rankings 2019 tanks MIT’s Sloan School of Management as the world leader for master studies in business analytics degrees. One other choice is the London Business School, which holds the lead in the finance rankings, or perhaps the HEC Paris as the first in management. Last but not least, Columbia Business School is at the top for marketing.