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What Can You Do With a Business Degree?

Written by: Wilson College   •  May 28, 2024
Two Smiling Businesspeople Shake Hands During a Meeting Around a Conference Table.

What Can You Do With a Business Degree?

Business degrees offer versatility and can be stepping stones to a range of careers in management, finance, and marketing. These programs offer courses that prepare students for different aspects of running a business, from organization and marketing to leadership and collaboration. 

Earning a degree is a common requirement for a business career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 53% of business occupations require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Many programs offer specializations in business. Those interested in being specialists, such as in accounting or business management, can benefit from this focus and can stand out to employers over those who are generalists. 

As technology evolves and the relationship between customers and companies changes, employees with a clear understanding of the business landscape will be crucial to many organizations’ survival. Additionally, those interested in starting a business as entrepreneurs can benefit from a solid foundation of business skills. Understanding where to build these skills and the benefits of different types of business degree programs can help answer the question, “What can you do with a business degree?”

Why Earn a Business Degree?

A primary reason to seek a business degree is to be more marketable. According to the BLS, employment for business and financial occupations is projected to grow faster than the average career between 2022 and 2032. Business degree programs often teach transferable skills that allow graduates flexibility in choosing industries. They also offer students the opportunity to build a network, a key feature for those beginning their careers.

Earning a business degree can be a necessary step to entering fields such as finance and management. Employers in these fields typically seek candidates with proven technical skills, for example, understanding the financial markets or the legal requirements of human resources decisions. 

What Can You Do With a Degree in Business?

Gaining a business education has several benefits. Graduates can develop critical business skills and the potential to advance them with continued education. Business degree programs often offer specializations in business while still offering general business fundamentals, promoting transferable skills that are relevant across career options. A business degree can also increase salary potential when employers are looking for candidates with specific expertise. 

Broader Skill Set

Earning a business degree can help students develop specific skills. Business degree programs often promote practical skills by interpreting reports or creating mock proposals. Coursework also focuses on soft skills, such as different leadership styles; communication with colleagues, managers, and supervisors; and collaboration. Those looking to advance their business skills further can seek education beyond a bachelor’s degree, such as with a Master of Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program. 

Skills that can be improved through a business degree program include the following:

  • Report writing and presentation

  • Critical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Project management

  • Financial analysis

  • Marketing techniques

Higher Salary Potential

Employers often look for candidates with specialized knowledge, such as technical skills, management techniques, and leadership qualities. Candidates who demonstrate these skills are in high demand, potentially leading to increased salary offers as hiring companies compete for the best candidates. A business degree can showcase these skills and give candidates leverage when negotiating for a higher salary.

Specialization

Business degrees offer a wide range of subjects, allowing students to specialize in an aspect of business, such as finance or business management. They often provide a comprehensive focus on the nuanced roles and management tasks necessary to make a business run. They can also increase employability, as many business employers prefer candidates with specialized knowledge.

Specialization doesn’t necessarily mean a limited scope. Students who graduate with a specialized business degree can choose an aspect of business that best aligns with their strengths while still receiving a well-rounded education on various business principles. 

Types of Business Degree

Students who see the potential in what they can do with a business degree may still be unsure which degree to choose. The various options allow students to choose a program that aligns with their interests and goals, whether building a foundation in a particular subject or advancing their careers through master’s programs that focus on leadership. Here are a few different types of business degrees and the benefits of each.

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Businesses rely on professional accountants to keep their books balanced and to ensure that they adhere to their budgets. Earning a degree in accounting can prepare students for careers as internal auditors or accountants. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting program typically offers a curriculum that includes tax law, statistics, and business communication.

Bachelor of Arts in Business Management

A business management degree can help those pursuing a career in supervisory roles to develop administrative skills. This degree offers widespread coverage of business operations, including marketing and communications. 

Business management programs teach graduates to lead holistically by focusing on a broader business operations perspective. A focus on skills such as ethical decision-making, analytical thinking, and leadership makes a bachelor’s in business management an exceptional degree for those interested in careers such as management analyst, business consultant, or operations supervisor.

Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship

A degree in entrepreneurship can benefit those looking to start and maintain a business. Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship programs typically cover a range of business skills, including finance, budgeting, marketing, teamwork, and business plan development. These skills are critical for not only those interested in learning how to become successful entrepreneurs, but also those drawn to careers such as market research analysts or management analysts.

Bachelor of Arts in Finance

Finance degree programs equip graduates with an understanding of the economy and its financial systems, such as banks and markets. A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Finance offers a deeper understanding of these subjects, alongside relevant skills such as data analysis, critical thinking, and financial management. A foundation in finance can benefit those interested in careers, such as financial managers or financial analysts.

Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications

A degree in strategic communications can prepare students for careers in public relations or marketing. As companies rely on effectively communicating internally, with other businesses, and with their customers, these skills are in high demand. A bachelor’s degree in strategic communications typically covers critical areas such as media studies, digital design, and business communications.

Master of Organizational Leadership

An advanced degree builds on the foundation of an undergraduate education to offer additional expertise and specialization. For those interested in managerial and executive positions, a Master of Organizational Leadership (MAOL) degree offers a holistic curriculum that creates leaders. This type of program helps students understand how to communicate with a diverse audience and foster collaboration by developing organizational goals.

When comparing MAOL and Master of Business Administration programs, the key difference is that the former focuses more on interpersonal skills and understanding the dynamics of business relationships than business strategy and finances. This kind of empathetic leadership promotes a human-centered approach that businesses increasingly value.

Take Your Next Career Step With a Business Degree

Understanding what you can do with a business degree and how it can benefit your career can help you choose a program that meets your goals. Consider Wilson College Online’s business programs, which include the following undergraduate and a master’s degree programs: 

Our programs foster ethical business practices with training in practical skills relevant to a range of career paths.

Find out how Wilson College Online can help you take control of your career.

Recommended Readings

Accounting vs. Finance: Which Degree Should You Pursue?

How to Start a Side Business

What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree?

Sources:

Indeed, Are Business Degrees Worth It? A Comprehensive Guide

Indeed, Is a Finance Degree Worth It? (5 Jobs You Can Pursue)

Indeed, 9 Benefits of Having a Business Management Degree

Indeed, What Is a Business Management Degree? (With Potential Career Paths)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business and Financial Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Field of Degree: Business

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