Are Business Degrees Worth It? A Comprehensive Guide
If you're interested in pursuing a career in business, you may wonder if it's necessary to obtain a business degree. You may ask if employers value a business degree and if it provides you with a better chance of gaining employment. Understanding the versatility of and specializations within a business degree can help you make an informed choice about your studies.
In this article, we discuss whether business degrees are worth it and the types of business degrees and fields where business graduates can find employment.
Are business degrees worth it?
A business degree generally refers to a bachelor's degree that provides foundational knowledge across all business functions and an understanding of how professionals can apply these fundamentals in nearly any industry or career. Some entry-level positions in finance and management require a business degree, for example. Here are three reasons to consider earning a business degree:
The business world is diverse and covers a broad range of fields and careers. It incorporates a variety of subjects, such as accounting, business administration, business analysis, business computing, business ethics, business statistics and commercial law. Exposure to different disciplines can benefit students who aren't sure which career path to pursue by helping them pick a specialty field.
2. High demand
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the business and financial sectors is predicted to increase by 7% by 2031, which is faster than the average growth rate for other occupations. Globalization and a growing economy are both contributing factors to the increased demand for business graduates.
3. Useful skills
Business degrees provide students with practical skills that directly apply in the workplace whether this is creating a budget, interpreting reports or putting together a client proposal. In addition to useful hard skills, business degree courses help students to improve valuable soft skills, such as leadership, organization, communication and collaboration. Employers may seek these skills from job candidates when recruiting business graduates.
Types of business degrees
If you are interested in a business career, there are three types of business degrees you might consider:
Bachelor's in Business Administration (BBA): A BBA provides students with a general and broad knowledge of business and typically includes subjects, such as management, accounting, economics and marketing. Candidates can also choose to specialize in a particular field of business, such as human resources or finance.
Bachelor of Arts (BA): A BA in business consists of business subjects, humanities and social science subjects. Candidates who pursue this type of degree may choose to study foreign languages, which can be valuable for careers in international business.
Bachelor of Science (BS): A BS in business includes business subjects combined with math-oriented and analytical subjects. This type of degree is great for business occupations with a strong analytical focus such as financial analysis.
After earning a bachelor's degree, many professionals seek advanced degrees at the master's or doctorate levels.
Related: Top 20 Business Degree Jobs
Business degree specialties and common careers
To help you decide which business field you want to specialize in, here's a list of degrees and fields that offer exciting job opportunities for business graduates:
This specialization focuses on various aspects of employee, organizational and infrastructure management. Students learn how to effectively use human and material resources to create efficient systems. They also learn how to conduct marketing research, complete sales forecasts and manage a brand and its products. Typical college coursework includes business policy and strategy, human resources management, financial management, accounting and management information systems.
A student specializing in business management might work in the following roles:
Sales manager: A sales manager leads a sales team. Their duties typically include providing training, developing sales plans, helping sales members reach their sales targets and providing upper management with sales reports.
Marketing students learn about the key principles of marketing and how to implement marketing strategies to help an organization reach its goals. Studies focus on the planning, execution and evaluation of marketing strategies. Students also learn how to measure market demand, establish product pricing and manage products and brands. Typical college coursework includes business communication, international business, marketing research, industrial marketing and marketing strategy.
A student specializing in marketing might work in the following roles:
Marketing manager: A marketing manager's job is to increase a company's market share by raising brand awareness and generating interest in a company's products or services. They analyze industry trends, customer demand and a company's competitors to develop marketing strategies accordingly.
Market research analyst: Marketing research analysts develop methods to collect data regarding customer preferences. They then analyze the data and advise a company on how to improve the way it shapes and markets its products or services.
Public relations specialist: A public relations specialist grows and maintains a positive public image for a company. Their duties include maintaining existing media relations, identifying new media opportunities and developing public relations strategies.
A business degree in economics focuses on how market conditions influence various business fields, such as accounting, finance and management. Students learn how production, supply and consumption affect global markets and study industries, such as banking and finance. The degree program offers subjects, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics and business analysis.
A student specializing in economics might work in the following roles:
Investment banker: Investment bankers are financial advisors who help their clients raise capital by issuing stock or borrowing money. They also advise clients on investment opportunities and assist them with mergers and acquisitions.
Financial analyst: Financial analysts gather and analyze financial data and use their findings to advise a company regarding business decisions. Apart from recommending a course of action such as selling or buying a company's stock, financial analysts also make predictions about businesses, industries and sectors.
Senior business analyst: A senior business analyst examines a company's business processes and then provides advice to improve business efficiency. They assist a company in developing effective business strategies and implementing them.
Business students who study finance learn how to implement the principles of finance to assess and solve business issues. They also learn to analyze business functions and processes with the help of quantitative tools. College coursework includes subjects, such as mathematics, economics, accounting, business statistics, banking and corporate finance.
A student specializing in finance might work in the following roles:
Commercial banker: A commercial banker works for a commercial bank or a similar financial institution. They manage corporate accounts, facilitate loans and market the bank to attract new clients.
Financial manager: Financial managers are responsible for ensuring the financial health of an organization. They develop strategies to help a company reach its financial goals, direct investment strategies and produce financial reports.
Budget analyst: Budget analysts help companies maintain a balanced budget and organize their finances in general. Their duties include monitoring a company's spending, reviewing budget proposals, preparing budget reports and planning for future expenses.
A business degree with a specialization in human resource (HR) management focuses on optimizing human talent in the workplace. Students learn how to manage conflict management, establish performance standards, determine a compensation structure, implement disciplinary processes and develop a personnel selection process. College coursework includes subjects, such as HR management, organizational behavior, business statistics, business economics and training and development.
A student specializing in HR management might work in the following roles:
Human resources specialist: An HR specialist finds and hires suitable employees for a company. Apart from recruiting staff, these specialists also manage employee relations, compensation, benefits and training.
Human resources manager: An HR manager oversees the activities and operations in an HR department. Their duties include managing an HR team and developing and implementing HR plans and procedures.
Training and development manager: Training and development managers assist with the professional development of staff. Their duties include managing training budgets, overseeing training staff and reviewing and selecting training material.
Health care services
A business degree with a specialization in health care services equips candidates to become health care managers. Students study a wide range of business topics and learn how to use these in a health care environment such as a hospital, private practice or a nursing home. College coursework typically includes a combination of business and health care subjects, including microeconomics, business statistics, HR management, medical terminology, health care information systems and health care ethics.
A student specializing in health care management might work in the following roles:
Health care financial manager: A health care financial manager oversees the day-to-day financial operations of a health care facility. Their duties include managing budgets, directing investment activities and overseeing financial reporting.
Health care department manager: A health department manager directs a department at a health care facility. Apart from overseeing health care staff and evaluating their work, they develop budgets, create reports and implement policies and procedures.
Practice manager: A practice manager oversees the daily operations of medical practice. Their duties include managing administrative staff, ensuring compliance with regulations, implementing policies and strategies and ensuring that the practice runs profitably and efficiently.
Read more: 25 Business Degrees To Consider Pursuing
A business degree in accounting offers a curriculum of accounting, business and management. Students learn about generally accepted accounting principles and how to employ these within a business context. Accounting includes subjects such as auditing, cost accounting, taxation and financial analysis. They also learn how to create and analyze financial reports, follow accounting laws and regulations and conduct audits.
A student specializing in accounting may work in the following roles:
Internal auditor: An auditor is an expert who provides an independent and objective evaluation of a company's financial and operational activities. They ensure that a company is in compliance with federal and state laws and that necessary internal controls and risk management processes are in place.
Tax professional: A tax professional is qualified to calculate, file and sign a company's tax returns. They can also represent a company during an examination of its tax returns.
Accountant: Accountants analyze and report on a company's financial matters. They take care of a variety of finance-related tasks, such as bookkeeping, preparing financial documents, auditing and preparing tax returns.
Explore more articles
- How to Become an ESL Teacher
- What Are the 16 Career Clusters? Definition and Guide
- 10 Reasons To Become a Teaching Assistant (With Tips)
- 25 Jobs in Environmental Studies (With Salaries and FAQ)
- How To Become a Behavioral Therapist (Plus Average Salary)
- Supervisor vs. Team Leader: What’s the Difference?
- 16 Jobs for Young Adults (With Salaries and Duties)
- How To Become a General Contractor in New Jersey (Plus Tips)
- 12 Reasons To Become a Surgeon (Plus Skills and Tips)
- How To Get Hired as a Consultant: 7 Steps and Tips
- How To Become an Animator in 5 Steps (Plus Salary)
- 17 Popular Careers in Entomology To Consider