Have you identified your life’s “true calling?” We’ve all heard stories about compassionate individuals who knew they wanted to go to nursing school from an early age or a software developer who became fascinated with coding after playing video games for hours on end in grade school.
But the fact of the matter is that most of us don't have a clear cut idea of what we want to study in college, let alone how we want to earn a living for the rest of our adult lives.
And that's okay.
The reality is that we are living in an era of dynamic job growth and market diversification. Rapid advancements in IT are creating entirely new industries overnight. An increasingly global economy is generating unprecedented demand for innovative approaches to marketing and sales. The expansion of healthcare has created a seismic shift in the American workforce.
The common thread weaving together this complex employment market is that every organization in every industry needs leaders with a comprehensive understanding of business fundamentals. From finance and accounting to marketing and operations, here are some reasons why a high-quality business degree can offer the type of well-rounded education you need to become the ideal candidate for your dream job in any industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a background in business is not only versatile; it's potentially lucrative. Depending on your career choice, wages for many business-related occupations were much higher than those for other working professionals. In fact, the median annual wage for business and financial occupations was $67,710 in May 2017, a category that is projected to grow 10 percent by 2026.
Choosing the right business degree can also provide a solid return on your investment. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated business majors have earned a return of 17 percent on their degree for more than a decade, outperforming their counterparts who majored in degrees such as liberal arts, leisure and hospitality, and education, according to the report. Furthermore, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE®) projects top salaries for graduates of bachelor's and master's degrees in business.
One great advantage of earning a degree in business is the polished skills you can develop in areas that will serve you well for the rest of your life, regardless of the industry in which you choose to carve out a career. Coursework in communication, critical thinking, and ethics are mainstays in most highly regarded bachelor's and master's curriculums. However, in order to address today's era of specialization, forward-thinking universities offer students an opportunity to direct their business studies into a specific area of interest, such as:
- Management — A solid understanding of various functional areas within an organization (e.g. marketing, production, finance, etc.) that support a firm’s overall business objectives can prepare you for a future leadership role in any industry.
- Accounting — If you have a knack for numbers and an interest in learning how to evaluate and manage the financial performance of a business or individual, a degree in accounting can teach you how to perform tasks related to financial assets and liabilities.
- Healthcare — Healthcare is big business, and anyone aspiring to be a healthcare manager needs an up-to-date understanding of accounting, communication, regulation, and financial resource management as they apply to the healthcare industry.
- Human Resources — Are you a people person? Every company needs hard-working, problem-solving HR professionals to recruit and manage employees, shape company culture, administer benefits, set policies, and serve as business partners to company leaders.
- Information Technology — Technology is the backbone of all successful, future-focused organizations. Earning a business degree with a focus in IT Management can prepare you for a role as the technology linchpin for any organization.
- Marketing — If you're a creative thinker with solid communication skills and an industry-current understanding of how digital and social media improve marketing campaigns, the right degree program can prepare you for a variety of careers in marketing, promotion, and sales management.
- Health Information — Maintaining the quality of medical records is critically important for individuals as well as our healthcare system at large. Health Information Management (HIM) emphasizes a foundation in computer information systems and technology as they specifically apply to healthcare organizations.
No matter where your current interests and long-term career goals may lead, WGU's specialized curriculums in business and management are designed to prepare you with the foundation for growth and success. You'll be immersed in collaborative learning experiences and teambuilding exercises that replicate real-world working environments.
In today’s complex business world, there is always chatter about the actual value of a college degree. Some people believe work experience alone will afford you the career you want. Those who put in the effort to earn advanced degrees more often attribute their success to having that degree.
One of the best things about choosing to earn a degree in business is that it gives you flexibility down the road. A respected bachelor's degree can help put you in position for a desirable job after graduation, prepare you for career advancement, and enhance your prospects for being accepted into a top-tier MBA program, should you decide to continue your education once your career is underway.
The right school and the right program can be big difference-makers. WGU's College of Business programs are highly respected by employers, largely because they were developed with support and guidance from business leaders serving on our Business Program Council and National Advisory Board. Experts include representatives from organizations such as Google, Microsoft, AT&T, HP, Simmons Media Group, Hospital Corporation of America, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Your life's dreams and professional goals are only limited by your imagination and your ambition to succeed. How far you follow your career aspirations is up to you, but a degree in business can be a great place to begin the journey.