When you’re 17 or 18 years old, trying to decide what you want to do for the rest of your working life can be an intimidating decision to make. There are so many different directions you could go in as far as a future career, how do you even begin to decide if a degree plan is right for you, let alone a business degree?
Maybe you know somebody who works in the corporate world, or you’ve seen The Wolf of Wall Street, and you thought, “That’s the job for me!” when you saw Leonardo DiCaprio balling and burning through cash. But guess what? While the movie is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, corporate America has come a long way since Belfort’s day.
If you have a genuine interest in how businesses operate, or how our economy functions, a business degree might be an excellent choice for you. Or, maybe you’re a “people person,” and interacting with dozens of people every day is something you love to do. If this is the case, a degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources might be an excellent choice for you.
In today’s economy, the business world is changing. Gone are the days of stark corporate cubicle death marches under fluorescent lights. While today’s business world might be just as tough to climb the corporate ladder in, there are a lot more aspects of “business” to diversify into – niches, if you will. And business degrees have come a long way to meet the needs of all those niches.
Unlike the days of old, you don’t have to pick one business track and stay with it because business degree plans today allow for a broader scope. For example, twenty years ago you would’ve had to choose between a concentration in economics, finance, marketing, or accounting. Today, a business degree is much more flexible, allowing you the opportunity to get a taste of each one of those specialties. In fact, a degree in business management will give you a great foundation to build upon if you decide to pursue a higher degree such as a Master’s or Ph.D.
A business management degree also provides you with an extensive look into the corporate structure and culture. Even if you decide you don’t want to pursue a job on Wall Street, you will be able to put your degree to use in almost any other field except highly specialized ones like the medical, dental, or veterinary fields.
One of the greatest things about a business degree is that it will set you up to work in almost any environment at any time. What I mean is, like a degree in IT, there will ALWAYS be a need for people to work in the business arena. Unlike the man who used to deliver milk directly to people’s homes, this job field isn’t going anywhere for a long time to come. So, if you’re considering a business degree, try to schedule a campus visit to see what the curriculum and learning environment is like and ask some business students why they chose their degree plan and how they feel about it now.
You can also see about visiting a local company and following a worker around for a day to really get a feel for what it’s like. Either your parents or your guidance counselor can help you schedule something like that if you don’t know how, or who to contact.
At the end of the day, you need to choose the degree that aligns with what your interests already are. If you absolutely hate math, a degree in economics or accounting probably won’t bode well for your future. On the other hand, if you love reading the NYSE ticker, a business degree is definitely a step in the right direction.