How to Get Started in a Career in Business Part 2

If you take a significant number of your required introductory college courses online for credit through an online college course provider like StraighterLine, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time and money as you work towards earning your degree in business. Taking self-paced online classes allows you to move as quickly or slowly as you want. Also, taking college courses through StraighterLine gives you a leg up when it’s time to enroll in college. StraighterLine credits automatically transfer to their partner colleges (and are available for transfer to an additional network of over 1800 ACE CREDIT participating colleges and universities). Choosing a partner college saves you the hassle of spending any time worrying over the college credit transfer process.

Another option to consider is to earn college credit through credit-by-exam programs or through a Prior Learning Assessment. This can be an efficient choice for those who already have a significant amount of on-the-job training or prior learning in specific subject areas. If this true in your case, you can take CLEP exams or DSST tests which allows you to essentially “test out” of taking certain prerequisite courses in the same way that passing AP exams does for high school students planning on going to college.

Pathway 2 - Gain Business Experience While Going to School

Your chances of finding a job in a business field upon graduation increases with your ability to prove that you have on-the-job skills that employers actually want. The best way to acquire these skills is through gaining work experience while going to school. But before you look for a position while earning your business degree, you should determine which career path you’d like to move into: accounting, marketing, IT management, sales, human resources, project management, finance or administration in a field outside of business such as nursing or education.

Once you’ve determined the field you want to move into, it’s time to start gaining the experience you need. If you already have a job, great. Speak up to colleagues and management about working on projects that include your recently acquired skills. If you aren’t currently employed, look to internships, co-ops, volunteering or other flexible positions where you can help a company complete work that needs to be done, and you gain real world experience in the process.

Also, keep in mind, that many careers in business require specific credentials like a CPA or Six Sigma or PMI. If you already have a degree in another field, you may want to consider taking business courses online and earning a certificate in the specialty areas where you are weak, such as finance, accounting, small business management, HR or organizational leadership.

Pathway 3 - Earn Your Associate in Business

You can earn your Associate in Business through a variety of traditional on-campus and online colleges, community colleges and universities. An associate degree is typically earned over the course of two years. However, you can greatly speed up this process by taking self-paced prerequisite college courses online and transferring them to the institution where you plan on ultimately earning your associate degree.

Associate degrees in Business generally are earned within specialty areas such as accounting, business management, tourism, and marketing. If you are serious about going back to school and earning your associate degree, but are on the fence about whether or not you might eventually earn a Bachelor’s in Business, you should give serious consideration to schools that have partnerships with 4-year schools that will enable you to easily transfer your credits and continue on the path you’ve already started at that institution.