A Student’s Guide to Business MajorsWhen you think of working in business, do you imagine working with numbers, watching them rise with your profits? Do you imagine helping people to reach their full potential under your management? Do you imagine making a company that helps people or reaching every corner of your market? Every aspect of business is a bit different, so choosing what degree you need to start your career can be key to your success.
General BusinessThis degree is a good start if you’re not sure exactly what entices you or you’d like to take a more broad-based approach. This degree could lead to many different career paths, whether it’s the management of resources, being an entrepreneur or CEO, or basically any other role that makes up a company. This is a good choice for someone who would like to leave their options open for a variety of career paths. Some courses you might take are:
- Law and ethics
Accounting is a detail-oriented major focused on the financials of running a company. If your passion is number-crunching and maximizing profitability, this major might be the right choice for you. Every company needs at least one accountant, whether it’s to determine their own profit, manage their payroll, or even act as chief financial officer for the entire company. If you prefer hard numbers, this is a great major choice. Some courses you might take are:
Your passion may instead lie in watching a company grow, knowing that you’ve helped the customers realize how good your product is. If this is the case for you, you should pursue a degree in marketing. You’ll learn about the psychology of consumers and the best ways to reach them, and you’ll be a valuable asset to any company looking to advertise its products. Some courses you might take are:
- Digital marketing
- Public relations
- Market research
This major is focused on using technology in a way that’s most effective for the growth of your company. You’ll become the person deciding which software your company will be using, how the systems will be set up, and what programs you actually need. This can lead to a potential career as a chief technology officer or information systems manager. Some courses you might take are:
- System design and analysis
- Information systems management
Are you ready to start your own company from the ground up? If your goal to see a company grow under your guidance or launch your own service or product line, this is the major for you. This major can guide you to a life of making companies from scratch. You could be a jack-of-all-trades, learning how to make it in the scrappy world of startup businesses. Some courses you might take are:
- Entrepreneurial finance
- Low-risk startups
While this may seem similar to a marketing degree, this major is actually quite different. Rather than advertising the company to the public, you are acting as the company’s public face for the media. Someone working in public relations has to balance telling the truth to the customers and the company with social skills, strategizing to please the public without bankrupting the company and practicing a precarious balancing act between two groups that are often at odds. This major may land you as a social media expert for a company, a spokesperson, or a general strategist. Some courses you might take are:
- Public speaking
- Principles of marketing
- Media relations management
Some people go into business to help people, and one of the many ways you can help people is to work in health care. Due to the unique challenges this job faces, a degree that focuses on health care specifically can be valuable. This can lead you to a career path like medical administration, community health organizing, or working for a nonprofit. Some courses you might take are:
- Managing a diverse workforce
- Law and ethics
- Policy management
Maybe you want to help people to escape from it all and have the best vacation of their life. Your goal is to make people happy through your work, and this could lead you to a career running a hotel or restaurant. You may even work to coordinate conventions and other large events. Some courses you might take are:
- Hospitality law
- Travel and tourism
- Accounting for hospitality
This degree is more focused on the digital part of marketing than the general one. People with this specialization might work with social media, banner ads, newsletters, and online strategies that keep a company on someone’s radar. You may end up working as a webmaster for a company’s website, focusing on where online advertising money is best spent, or managing a social media team. Some courses you might take are:
- Consumer behavior
- Digital marketing
- Customer relationships
Operations managers are the people who glue a company together. They coordinate with everyone else, making sure that the supply chain is constant, the customers are ordering, and the back-end systems are working. They’re the people putting out fires and pushing the company forward. If you’re interested in operations management, you will probably be working in a back-end, administrative position that’s necessary to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Some courses you might take are:
- Sustainable operations
- Statistics for managers
- Project management
- 25 Scholarships Specifically for Business-Related Majors: Finding scholarships can be difficult, but these companies offer you the ability to learn on a budget.
- How to Find an Internship You’ll Value: Not all internships are worth it. The College Board can help.
- How to Find an Internship: Not only will you get great tips on finding an internship here, but this page also includes specific guides for certain professions.
- How to Make Sure Your Internship Is Worth Your Time: When you’re looking at internships, you should have many questions: Are you being paid? What’s the workload like? Is it in your industry? This and more should be considered.
- Is an Unpaid Internship Worth It? The Simple Dollar focuses on your money, making it a great guide for how to tell if an internship is worth it if they’re not paying you.
- How to Be a Killer Intern (and Land a Job): Your company is evaluating you as much as you’re evaluating them. How do you make sure they see your value?
- Networking Tips and Techniques: Skill isn’t enough to get you where you need to go. Use these networking tips to navigate the social side.
- What to Expect: The Princeton Review can help guide you through your first years in school.
- Top Ten Things to Look For in a School: Beyond majors, which school you attend is also an important choice. Use Hult’s guide to find the right one.
- Five Ways to Prepare for Your First Year of an MBA: When you’ve prepared well, your first year can be a breeze.
- How to Prepare for an MBA While You’re Still in High School: It’s never too early to start preparing. Learn how you should focus for maximum success.
- Seven Tips to Create the Perfect Study Environment for You: Of course, learning to run a company takes plenty of studying. Rasmussen College has some tips.
- What to Expect as a Business Major: What are your plans? Where are you going? Consider those questions and more using American Intercontinental University’s guide.
- What Financial Managers Do: Interested in this complex career? Learn more about what the day-to-day duties look like.
- How to Choose an Internship: What You Should Consider: The Prepary has a great guide on how to choose the best internship for your needs.
- Tips for Applying for a Scholarship: No matter what your plan is, a scholarship is a helpful boost to your finances.
- Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Finding Great Scholarships: CollegeRaptor focuses on unusual secrets to finding the right scholarship for you.