A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Four-Year Business Degree

Business man holding graduation cap

So you want to get a degree in business. You're in good company, as business is one of the most popular majors.

Did you know that there are many different tracks you can take in a business program? Sure, you can get a straight bachelor’s degree in business, but if you want to specialize, you've got lots of options. 

In this article, we're going to break down the different tracks you can take as part of your business degree so you can choose the right program for you and your goals.

Accounting

Accounting isn't just keeping the books or doing taxes.

Accountants might do taxes, but they also report and track the financial activities of companies and make sense of the numbers. You can work in accounting with a bachelor's degree, but if you want to become a certified public accountant (CPA), you'll need to take a test to get certified. 

You can also use your accounting degree to do forensic accounting. Forensic accountants can be employed by public accounting firms, law firms, or even law enforcement agencies. They work to uncover fraud, money embezzlement, or money laundering.

Forensic accounting is a unique way to combine accounting skills with investigatory skills.

Business Administration and Management

A degree in business administration and management is a general business degree of sorts. You'll learn leadership, marketing, HR, economics, finance, organization management, you name it. The goal of this degree is to give you a well-rounded business education that you could use for any number of business jobs. 

Entrepreneurship

Do you dream of starting your own business? Have a great idea for a new product or invention you might want to patent? If this sounds like you, a business degree with a focus on entrepreneurship can help you achieve those goals. 

Do you dream of starting your own business? Have a great idea for a new product or invention you might want to patent? If this sounds like you, a business degree with an entrepreneurship focus might be for you.

Finance

A degree in finance comes with many different options for careers. You can work with companies, non-profits, government agencies, or even individuals. Your role is to guide them in their investments, budgeting, and planning for the future. 

If you want to be a stockbroker or certified financial planner (CFP), you'll need additional coursework and certifications beyond your bachelor's degree. 

Human Resource Management

While leadership and organizational management are typically two of the areas of focus in a general business degree, specializing in human resources provides a much more in-depth examination of labor laws, employee benefits, recruiting, and hiring. 

A human resources department is necessary for small, medium, and large companies, so this track often results in many different job opportunities. You might want to focus on general human resources, or you could specialize in compensation and benefits, labor laws, or recruiting and hiring. 

Beyond your undergraduate degree, you can also get certifications from organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

International Business

If you love travel, language, other cultures, and business, an international business degree might be right for you. You'll get all of the basic business courses with this degree, but there will also most likely be classes on international marketing, sales, and finance. 

You'll also take classes on other cultures, their norms and customs, and how to engage in business in an environment different than what you're used to.

Most international business programs require proficiency in a foreign language. Consider an internship abroad to really test out your international business skills and learn if it's right for you.

Marketing

Marketing has changed dramatically since the proliferation of the internet. Instead of focusing on TV and radio ads, flyers, or advertisements, marketing has shifted to the internet and social media. 

A marketing degree will give you skills to conduct market research, interpret the findings, and implement marketing plans. Most major companies (and many small ones too) have separate marking departments solely devoted to promoting the company and its products or services.

Graduate Business Degree: Getting Your MBA 

While a graduate program might seem like a long way away, it's never too early to start thinking about your plans after graduation. If you want to go to graduate school to get a Master of Business Administration (or MBA) degree, you'll need good grades, a strong GPA, and recommendations from your instructors. 

If you don't plan ahead and ensure your grades are good from your freshman year to your senior year, you might find yourself in a situation where you can't actually get into any MBA programs. 

If you never visit your professors during office hours, don't participate in class, or are known to your professor for disruptions in the classroom, it will be difficult for you to get recommendation letters. 

An MBA will allow you to gain a more advanced understanding of your business courses.

Many MBA programs are executive MBAs, targeting executives who are already working in the business field. These programs focus on your experiences, Schools often offer them in the evenings and on the weekends to allow students to continue working in their jobs

An MBA program is going to have many of the same classes as your undergraduate program. They will be much more detailed and in-depth as well as involve a lot of writing, research, group projects, and presentations. 

Final Thoughts 

A business degree is a popular choice for good reason. There are a number of high paying jobs you can get with a degree in business. 

If you're thinking about a business degree and want to get a head start on your credits, consider our alternative credit options. You can take courses online, at your own pace, and then transfer the credits to your university. Get in touch today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you.

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