Guest Author - Dianne Walker
You gradated college with a degree in business. Sounds good, right? What happens next? Does a degree in business actually prepare you for the business world? Is your business degree more than a piece of paper in a frame to hang on the wall when you finally do get a job? Now that you have graduated with a business degree what happens next?
Book learning will not take the place of practical experience unless you have spent some time interning. Majoring in business does, however, provide a foundation for understanding basic business operations, analysis and reasoning skills. Business is such a wide field; however, itís hard to determine which career path to take once you do graduate.
Why major in business?
Most college students major in business because of the career preparation it provides. Many jobs require the skills taught in business courses such as marketing and communications. Business courses will provide the basics needed to be successful.
What careers utilize a business degree?
There are a variety of fields that require a business degree.
Financial Analyst Ė Financial Analysts identify business trends and the risks involved in business ventures. Beneficial skills include computer knowledge such as Excel, for preparing spreadsheets and WordPerfect for preparing documents. Time management, critical thinking, communication and writing skills are also needed to be successful as a Financial Analyst.
There are other careers in which a business degree would be beneficial. Financial examiners, accountants, budget analysts, bankers, insurance, compensation and benefits analysts, advertising and promoters also rely heavily on the skills taught to business majors. More advanced careers include chief financial officers and city managers.
Many companies, understanding a recent Business Majorís limited experience, may offer a management trainee program. These programs generally last 2-3 years and provide practical and hands-on experience to participants. Itís important to note, however, that not all programs guarantee a position. Performance, company budget and availability all factor into the equation. Even if the program does not result in a position with the company, the experience is invaluable and can be carried forward to the next organization.
Not all business majors strive to work for others, if entrepreneurship is being considered, consulting work is very popular. There are many differences between working as a consultant and working in a traditional 9-5 job. Consulting work involves a large degree of self-motivation. The plus side is that it allows for a range of freedom in gaining experience.
The decision to attend college is not one that should be taken lightly. Deciding upon a major should also be given much consideration. While a business degree can seem too broad, there are a wide range of careers stemming from its use. Talk to an academic advisor to determine the options.