A career in business can offer many different adventures. Some people start their careers at established companies and then switch mid-career and launch their own enterprises. If you know you want a business career but you’re unsure which direction to choose, take a look at these four business specialties to decide which one is right for you.
If you admire leaders like Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Indra Nooyi or Marissa Mayer, then you might be a candidate for management. You’ll need leadership chops, an eye for great opportunities and the ability to get the best from the people who work for you.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in management. If you want a more focused bachelor’s degree than just a bachelor’s in general business, go with a bachelor of management (BAM) degree. This degree will prepare you for management in companies of all sizes (read this article from one accredited BAM program comparing management in both small and large companies).
- Go for your MBA. If you already have a bachelor’s degree and you want to earn a master’s, apply to an MBA program. Many online MBA programs are designed to fit around a busy work schedule.
- Think about human resources. If your primary strength is people management, consider earning a human resources degree. You could still make your way into management positions, even becoming a company’s VP of human resources.
Today’s accountants work with the latest technology, using powerful data analysis tools to interpret and quantify business performance. If you have a head for numbers and a strong sense of ethics, take one of these paths toward becoming an accountant:
- Land your accounting degree. An undergraduate degree in accounting is usually good enough to start your accounting career. If you already have a bachelor’s or if you want to become a CPA, apply to an MS in Accounting program.
- Pick your specialty. Accountants can specialize in taxation, auditing, not-for-profit accounting and management accounting. Pick the track that most closely matches your interests. If you want to eventually open your own practice, then work toward taking the CPA exam.
- Think different. Not all accountants work within corporations or own their own practices. Many work with law enforcement as forensic accountants or as certified fraud examiners (CFE).
If you love developing the perfect product pitch or if you live and breathe social media strategy, then a marketing career could be right in your wheelhouse. Consider these options:
- Pursue a marketing degree. Many colleges allow you to focus on marketing even at the bachelor’s level. At the master’s level, you can earn a traditional marketing degree or choose a school that offers social media specialization.
- Get an internship. Marketing is a competitive field, and an internship could put you on the inside track for a great job offer. Internships also allow you to explore whether you prefer the public relations or advertising side of marketing.
- Start a portfolio. Most marketers need Web portfolios showcasing their copywriting and creative skills. Start a portfolio for yourself, even if it’s just student work, to stay ahead of the game.
Accounting considers acquiring and presenting financial information, but finance focuses on using market strategy to find, acquire and manage assets. If you love following the stock market and using your quantitative know-how, then finance could be your optimal career track.
- Get a finance degree. Some programs let you specialize in finance as an undergrad, and many MBA programs offer a specialization in finance that can put you on the path to becoming a CFO.
- Read all that you can about investing and business. You can learn a lot in school, but you need to stay on top of the latest financial market information to be relevant.
- Research your career options. As a finance major, a corporation isn’t your only employment option. You could start off your career at an investment bank and then become a stock trader or a personal financial planner.
A business major can lead to a varied, rich and rewarding career. Pick the track that fits your interests, and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.