Earning a Business Degree
There are several types of business degree, and the one you want will depend on what career path you plan on pursuing.
The most popular business degree is the MBA. An MBA (Master’s Degree in Business Administration) is a post-graduate degree earned through a specialized business education program at a college or university. General MBA programs provide a well-rounded education on several areas of business management and administration, focusing on the most relevant and current skills expected of managers. Some programs focus on a particular concentration of business, such as finance, risk management or human resources. The most expensive MBA programs are extremely selective, with students applying for entry and preparing their applications sometimes up to a year in advance. More recently, however, smaller universities and career schools are offering more condensed, affordable MBA programs to accomodate growing demand for programs.
Other popular business degrees include master’s and bachelor’s degrees in various business specializations. These programs generally provide training in specific areas of business, with an emphasis on group projects and specific professional skills rather than general management.
MBA Course Content
MBA courses are designed to prepare students for specific areas of business, with the combination of courses depending on the program’s concentration. (For more information about common business concentrations, see Popular MBA Career Paths.) The direction you take with your degree will largely depend on what you want out of your MBA and your career, but there are some course subjects that apply to all or most MBA degrees.
Here are some universal subjects that apply to most MBA specializations:
- Administration and management
- Business law
- Customer relations
- Risk management
Online Business Degrees
Many schools offer business degree programs online, with the advantage of accommodating working adults’ schedules. (See other advantages of online programs.)
Online programs are taught via a Web interface and provide video lectures, chat discussions, message boards and other Web-based tools. Communication is carried out through email, though members of the class can meet in person if they wish.
Online classes usually follow a group-project format, with teams of students working together to complete a project, which they turn in together. Because of the home-based nature of online business programs, self-motivation and discipline are central to a student’s success.
Specific information on online MBA programs is available at What’s an Online MBA Program Like?.
Finishing a Business Degree
After training, MBA students typically join a rotation program, working 3 to 5 short stints for different companies as they gain experience. After rotation, they may be hired by one of their rotation companies, or they may search for work elsewhere.