Career Woman

Studying for a career in business

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There are many routes into a business career, and a straightforward degree in business management is just one of them. Just as the term “business” covers a wide range of roles, so choosing a path of study should be determined by your interests, ambitions, and abilities. In business, almost anything can be turned to your advantage, depending on where exactly it is you want to go in your career.

Do I need to study at all?

We’ve all heard the stories of successful business people who achieved great things after dropping out of college, or even not finishing high school. It’s true that in some cases personal characteristics like drive, energy, charisma and brilliant ideas are going to be more important than qualifications, and there is a lot to be said for getting started in the world of work as soon as possible.

The fact is that it’s going to be a lot easier to embark on a business career with academic qualifications than without them. College doesn’t just give you an internationally-recognized qualification. It also provides you with invaluable networking opportunities and space for personal development. You should come out a more well-rounded, confident, knowledgeable and capable individual.

Start thinking about business early

Your business education should begin in high school. Make sure you do well in English and math. Not only are these the basic subjects that you need to excel at in order to move on to the next stage in your education, or to get an entry-level job, they’re also highly relevant to a business career, which will require excellent financial and communication skills. At the same time, start thinking about what area of business you’d like to work in. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your interests and long-term goals? The answers to these questions should help to determine where you go from here.

Choose a good college

The better grades you achieve at high school, the better the chance you’ll have of getting into the college of your choice. Look for regionally accredited colleges as regional accreditation is the best guarantee that their courses meet the standard you and your future employers will expect. Bryant and Stratton College is regionally accredited and offers a wide range of business-related courses at bachelors, associate and diploma level, including general management, accounting, digital marketing, and human resources.

What subject should I study?

You don’t have to take a straightforward business management degree in order to have a career in business, and indeed there are many other subjects you might want to study at the undergraduate level in order to broaden your horizons. Again, it depends on what area of business you might want to enter, but classes in economics, marketing, and public relations are all obviously relevant. If you’re thinking of going into HR then a psychology degree might help, while English and journalism graduates might do well in marketing.

If the business sector you want to enter is science or technology-based then a relevant degree, say in electronics, computing or IT, could help your prospects. Foreign languages are also always useful. Taking a number of business classes alongside other subjects might be the way to proceed. If you complete a bachelor’s degree in a wider field you could then apply to take a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Work experience

Alongside your studies, you should also try to get as much relevant experience as possible. If you need to get a part-time job to pay your way through college, try to choose something that will look good on your business CV, even if it’s just a low-level job in sales. Look for placements and internships that will help you make contacts, and start your own business while at college. Even if it fails, it will still be a valuable learning experience.

Working alongside other people in any capacity will help develop “soft skills” that can be just as important as academic ones. Volunteer for college radio; write for the college paper. Helping to run college societies will give you valuable admin experience, and you could also volunteer to help with charitable organizations. If you want to go into PR or marketing, starting a blog or a YouTube channel will start to get you noticed and will give you a portfolio of work to refer to.

The path to a business career is not always a straightforward one, but hard work, focus, and determination will get you there. Never stop learning and keep looking for opportunities to improve your skills.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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