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Finding the right business career shouldn’t be daunting if you know where to look. Regardless of your professional goals, you’ll find many opportunities in business, from human resource management to marketing strategy or financial advising. You might work in a business-to-consumer (B2C) role or a business-to-business (B2B) role. For example, most sales associates serve their customers directly while some account executives from one business sell their products to another business.

 Business is one of the most common majors across all bachelor’s degrees conferred today. Likewise, graduates with business degrees are among the most sought after by employers due to their variety of skills.

But What’s The Best Way to Choose a Business Major Without Feeling Overwhelmed?

You can begin by narrowing down which type of degree best suits you. Many schools offer general business degrees that provide an overview of business areas and how they intersect. Most colleges and universities, through their business schools, also offer specialized degree programs like finance, accounting, and marketing. You should first decide whether you’d like to become well versed in a general knowledge of business or proficient in a particular business discipline.

What Is a Business Major?

A business major is an emphasis of study designed to offer students a thorough understanding of foundational business principles like economics, leadership, sales, and more. One important principle covered in most business majors is finance, which is the study of the acquisition and management of money and investments.

Finance includes various fields driven by economic principles and practices, including banking, credit, debt, and capital markets activities. A finance degree can open doors to careers across most economic sectors.

Popular Business Majors

Of course, finance is just one of many business majors. Whatever your interests, a major in one of the following areas will grant you the knowledge and skills to work in an industry that’s right for you.

 Accounting

  • Accounting involves reviewing, reporting, and advising on the proper spending of money. Accountants ensure that financial business ethics are upheld. They also consult with individuals or entire businesses about money management goals.
  • Students who pursue an accounting degree typically learn to be skilled in numbers, data analysis, auditing, bookkeeping, and more.
  • Common accounting roles include those of a controller, certified public accountant (CPA), tax accountant, financial director, personal finance advisor, and more.

 Marketing

  • Marketing is all about selling a product, service, or idea to someone. Marketers create strategies and campaigns to make that sales pitch persuasive and on brand.
  • Marketing majors learn skills in consumer behavior, content creation, branding, sales, and project management, among others.
  • A career in marketing might include roles like social media manager, content marketing specialist, sales manager, digital marketing analyst, and more.

 Finance

  • Finance is the basic term for the study of money, investments, currency, and capital. Studying finance means learning about buying, selling, and managing money.
  • Students who major in finance acquire skills in financial data analysis, financial planning, portfolio management, and technological advancements like blockchain and cryptocurrency AI.
  • Careers in finance might include working as an investment analyst, actuarial specialist, chief financial officer (CFO), or the director of a credit union, among other roles.

 Business Management

  • A business management major teaches students how to become leaders of an organization or company. These students learn principles like entrepreneurship, managing teams and departments, overseeing projects, and delegating responsibilities.
  • Students of business management usually learn skills in organizational behavior, communication, operations management, critical thinking, and decision-making.
  • Roles that a business management program can prepare learners for include account executive, project director, business analyst, chief operating officer (COO), and more in a variety of industries.

 Sales

  • Some business majors include the specific study of sales—representing a company or organization by selling its products or services to customers. The field of sales has slowly gained a foothold online in digital storefronts and still thrives in brick-and-mortar and door-to-door contexts.
  • Those studying sales typically yearn to be self-starters and entrepreneurs in the driver’s seat of their careers. They learn how to connect with potential buyers, how to give a compelling sales pitch, and how to retain existing customers.
  • Primary positions include sales representative and sales manager. They typically work in-office over the phone or via email or as boots-on-the-ground representatives out in the field.

 International Business

  • Since commerce is conducted globally, some majors focus on international business. This major teaches how to manage multinational businesses and how to conduct trade across national borders.
  • Students of this major learn skills in negotiation, supply chain management, macroeconomics, importing and exporting, and more.
  • Career roles in international business are the same as those in other business fields, but with emphasis on global and foreign trade.

 Human Resources

  • Human resource management—or human resources (HR)—is designed to guide an organization’s employees from their initial hiring throughout the entire time of their employment. This includes recruiting, training, and compensating each employee.
  • This major teaches students how to connect with employees, use HR technology, manage workplace policies and benefits, and more.
  • The most common roles in human resource management include recruiter, payroll specialist, training and development specialist, and director of HR.

Types of Business Degrees

A business degree prepares graduates for many career opportunities, including jobs in marketing, healthcare, information technology, and financial services. Keep in mind that different degree levels can determine the type of job and salary you qualify for.

 For example, an associate degree in business equips students for entry-level roles like bank teller and financial clerk. A master’s degree in business, however, could lead individuals to an executive-level position in a company or open the door to a consulting career.

 Associate Degree in Business

  • An associate degree in business introduces students to core business fields. There may be a greater emphasis on breadth over depth.
  • Full-time students usually complete their associate degree in two years, while part-time students may take three to four years to finish.
  • Learners in associate programs explore fundamental business principles like marketing strategies, financial management, and laws and regulations governing small businesses and large corporations.

 Bachelor’s Degree in Business

  • Bachelor’s degrees in business tend to cover more specific areas like economics, business management, finance, and accounting. Bachelor’s programs place more emphasis on depth than associate programs but not as much as master’s programs do.
  • Students in school full-time can complete a bachelor’s in business in around four years, while part-time learners could take up to five or six years. WGU students can earn their business degree faster than average thanks to our flexible, online structure with no set log-in times for coursework.
  • Those pursuing a bachelor’s in business typically spend more time with specific frameworks and models of learning. For example, they might earn industry certification or gain practical experience during a program internship.

Master’s Degree in Business

  • Business master’s degree programs are designed for thorough exploration of high-level business management concepts. These can include operations management, organizational behavior, leadership theory, or advanced data analytics. Students then finish their program with a capstone project where they demonstrate their mastery of applied principles.
  • Typically, full-time students earn a master’s in business in about two years. WGU students can potentially finish faster depending on how many courses they take per six-month term.

Become a Business Expert

If you’re looking to become an expert in a particular field of business, it helps to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and some work experience. Earning an associate degree is a good start to break into the business job market, while a bachelor’s or master’s degree could help you find a more fulfilling, long-term career.

 When it comes to higher education, consider the various degree programs in business that WGU offers. Whether it’s business management, marketing, finance, or another area, you can find an accredited bachelor’s or master’s program at WGU that fits your budget and schedule. Our business programs are designed with input by industry experts and teach students the types of skills that employers love to see.

 At WGU, you can progress through your business program as fast as you master the material. Plus, you’ll never be alone in your journey thanks to a personal Program Mentor who can guide you to graduation and beyond.

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