If you were to take a look at the world, or even just your own home, you would start to see that every single item you come across has to do with a certain industry. And in each of those industries, there are multiple business functions. This is hugely complex, which is also why there are so many different types of business degrees. The list of specializations is nearly endless, and this can make choosing the right degree for you quite a daunting task. That being said, there are 16 main facets of business that you could study towards, making it easier to align a potential degree with your personal interests.
This field is perfect for those with an excellent eye for detail and a love for numbers. You will learn about the GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), how to manage finances, tax laws, and how all of that affects the way a business operates. There are many different career paths within the field of accounting, including tax, audit, and general accounting. Some of the roles you could take on once you graduate include financial analyst, accountant, auditor, and payroll manager.
In terms of the type of degree itself, you can start by completing a bachelor’s degree. However, if you want to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), you will need to either take additional credits, or complete a master’s or MBA degree in accounting.
2. Business Management
Managing a business, or even a single department, takes a lot of skills and knowledge. Opting to have a business degree with a business management concentration means that you learn about the foundational issues affecting this. There is likely to be a focus within your degree on areas, such as sales, accounting, organizational leadership, and managing operations. Once graduated, you will be expected to have excellent leadership, which means you have the potential to advance your career as well. Common job titles for those with a business management degree include sales manager, account manager, and project manager. Most of those who are interested in the field of business management will go on to complete an MBA (more on that later).
The field of advertising is the most creative business degree out there. You will be responsible for creating advertisements that stand out from the crowd, deliver an important message and stick in the minds of potential customers. You will know what makes consumers tick, and how you can reach specific demographics. If you are creative, but you don’t want to be a starving artist, this may be the right degree for you. Common job titles for those completing this type of business degree include account executive, copywriter, and media planner.
A focus on entrepreneurship is for those who want to create their own businesses, build them up, and manage them, often selling them once they get to a certain point. With this degree, you will be equipped with the skills needed to be successful. The masters in entrepreneurship degree may not always be for those who don’t want to set up their own business, however, as the knowledge gained can be applied anywhere. Common job titles include business owner, business manager, and management analyst.
A business degree in economics teaches you about the theories and principles of economics. This is for those who like to crunch numbers. Through your knowledge, you will be able to predict trends and analyze economic fluctuations, helping to make businesses perform better in the long term. Common job titles include budget analyst, contract specialist, and economist.
6. Health Care Management
The field of health care is a service industry, but it is also a business. It is very important that any health care facility runs at a profit, in a smooth way. With this degree, you will be ready to strategically manage the business element of clinics, hospitals, and private practices. You will face some very unique challenges in this field, not in the least the tremendous growth in demand compared to the decreasing availability of funding. There are proven management techniques that you will immerse yourself in, but you will also be encouraged to develop your own in response to new and emerging health care needs. Some common job titles in this field include health services manager, patient care associate, and medical director.
Those who study finance learn about the skills and concepts necessary in the financial world. These include portfolio management, statistics, economics, and financial analysis. With this major, you can work in finance, investment, accounting, banking, and more. Potential job titles include risk manager and financial analyst. A bachelor’s degree in finance is usually sufficient to get to work. However, if you want to work in a more specialized role, such as a stockbroker, you will require further education such as a masters degree in finance, and you may also need to be certified.
8. Hospitality Management
The field of hospitality management is perfect for those who like working with people, making sure their every need is met. With this degree, you can manage event venues, hotels, casinos, concert halls, theaters, and other such establishments, which all have very unique business needs. The focus is not just on business management here, but also on communication. Common job titles include guest services manager and general manager.
9. International Business
The field of international business focuses on how the world is becoming increasingly global. You are likely to work in multinational companies, where people who understand the unique challenges of doing business in various countries are most needed. Common job titles include management analyst, supply chain analyst, and business development specialist.
10. Human Resources
Human resources are any business’ most important asset. This deals with the people component of a business, ensuring employees can access the right benefits, and ensuring businesses can attract the right talent. To excel in this field, you need fantastic interpersonal skills. During your degree, you will learn about managing labor practices and businesses, training, resources planning, and organizational development. Common job titles include HR generalist, recruiter, and benefits specialist.
11. Project Management
The field of project management is for those who are excellent organizers and planners. You will gain the skills you require to manage and oversee any type of project, remaining accountable for each element of it, which includes deadlines and budgets. You also need to know what to do if things don’t go according to plan. Common job titles include project manager, business analyst, and project coordinator.
A business degree in marketing is for those who want to help businesses grow and maintain that growth through the attraction and retention of customers. You will focus on areas such as marketing strategies, communication, and market research. Your goal will be to manage new product launches, consumer research products, and promotions, with the aim to improve customer retention, brand awareness, and sales. Common job titles include marketing manager, marketing coordinator, and marketing specialist.
13. Supply Chain Management
In today’s world, everything, including shopping, is done online and customers have the expectation that if they order something today, it will be with them tomorrow. Achieving this requires knowledge of logistics and supply chain management. Because the world is becoming globalized, it is likely that there will be a focus on international supply chain management and logistics as part of your curriculum. Common job titles include logistician, logistics analyst, and operations manager.
The amount of data that is being collected is now so huge that it requires special skills to be able to manage it. All this data has to be collected and analyzed, after which it can be reported on to make projections and to review past operations. This is what a statistician does: collecting, organizing, interpreting, and analyzing data that is provided in a numerical format. Common job titles include statistician, data analyst, and business analyst.
15. Public Relations
Finally, there is PR (public relations). Here, you will work on interacting with the target consumers of the organization you work for. This means you have to understand business strategies, but you must also be a fantastic communicator. With this major, you will learn about event planning, strategic communication, and dealing with the media. Common job titles include public relations manager, event coordinator, and communications specialist.
16. Sales and Distribution
The field of sales and distribution is one of the only business degrees where an associate’s degree is usually the only requirement. While closely related to marketing, it focuses more strongly on a combination of elements, including business economics, entrepreneurship, and selling skills, but not as in depth as a full degree in each of those specific areas.
The Master in Business Administration Degree
The gold standard among all business degrees is the Master in Business Administration, or MBA. This degree is now so popular that there are multiple concentrations available to choose from. The MBA is an expensive degree to obtain, but it is also believed to be the most profitable, delivering the greatest return on investment.
To take part in an MBA, you will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business-related field. This means you can complete the MBA more quickly, sometimes in as little as one year. MBA programs are incredibly competitive, and you need to make sure that you meet all the necessary prerequisites before you apply. Some of these prerequisites include passing calculus and computer skills, the GMAT, a school admissions test, and a certain amount of work experience in a specific field. A number of Online MBA programs are also a available today.
The list of MBA concentrations you can choose is now almost endless. However, some of the most popular ones include:
- Global business
- International business
- Information technology
- Supply chain management
- Operations management
- Corporate social responsibility
As you can see, there are many different types of business degrees, ranging from associate’s degree to master’s degree. There are also some doctorate degrees in business, but they tend to be solely for those with an interest in becoming faculty staff, teaching the next generation of business students.