How to Get Started in a Career in Business Part 3

Pathway 4 - Earn Your Bachelor’s of Arts or Bachelor’s of Science in Business

A BA or BS in Business is a 4-year degree that can be earned on-campus or through an online college and university. Unlike an associate degree program, when you enroll in a BA/BS business program you should be prepared to take a wide variety of general education courses, in addition to your business specific classes like Business Ethics. These courses can include those in the humanities like English Composition I or social sciences like Psychology I, History I, and even the sciences like Introduction to Biology or Chemistry I.

Typically, a Bachelor’s in Business equals approximately 120 credit hours. However, some respected online colleges and universities, like Western Governors University, are moving more towards a competency based system. What this means to you, particularly if you are looking to earn a degree at your own pace, is that you can move through business “competencies” through an ongoing series of assessments. In essence, this enables you to move as quickly or as slowly towards earning your degree as your existing skill base and aptitude allows. And when you do graduate, you have a unique skills-based proposition for employers, and the confidence that your degree actually means something concrete.

A note on accounting, statistics, math and use of technology in business: Increasingly, educational institutions and employers alike are putting an emphasis on hiring graduates with an analytical background, particularly when it comes to using statistics and analyzing data. There is also a growing expectation that employees are comfortable using technology in a number of different areas. It’s important to use going back to college as an opportunity to fill in any gaps that you may have in those areas.

Pathway 5 - Earn Your Master’s in Business Administration

Earning an MBA is an excellent way to add business skills to a bachelor’s you might have earned in another field. An MBA tells employers you are serious both about your career and adding value to an organization. Earning an MBA also provides you with the tools and language necessary to hold your own in any business or corporate discussion or to specialize in an area of particular interest.

For a working adult, earning an MBA by taking advantage of an employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement program and enrolling in a flexible online MBA program allow you to go back to school without sacrificing any strides you might be making in your current career. Employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement programs also allows you to avoid any significant financial hits that may come with choosing to go back to graduate school, particularly if you go to school part-time.

Thousands of working adults go back to college and earn their MBA part-time. In fact, for those who took the GMAT in 2011 (required for many schools to gain entry into an MBA program), 31,000 of them indicated they were planning on earning their MBA part-time.1

It’s quite common for most students to focus on the ROI of their college degree (return on investment) when choosing to go back to business school. And though ROI is extremely important, earning an MBA also offers students an ability to change gears professionally – and leverage any previous work experience with a newly acquired education. Earning your MBA can offer you the opportunity to move into a career that might be a better fit on a daily basis, and in the process, allow you to enjoy a higher quality of life.

1 GMAT Official Blog, 7/17/2012, p.1