6 answers

What community college classes can I take in high school to get ahead in the business field?

Updated Redwood City, California

6 answers

David’s Answer

Hi Kelsey,

If your high school offers any business related classes (accounting, personal finance, management, economics, data analysis, etc) start there! In addition, the business world requires a lot of other skills, such as communication and problem-solving. While you may not need complex math skills in a business job, taking some tougher math courses can help you think through numerical problems to find creative solutions. Similarly, philosophy and sociology classes encourage you to see things from a different perspective, which can be a great skill to bring to the table in a business position. Finally, english, public speaking, and creative writing courses can help you better express yourself, both in writing and verbally, which is arguably the most important business skill to have. Communication dominates the business world, even more so than technical business knowledge. Remember - if you can't clearly and easily communicate what you need to say to clients, coworkers, or investors, your business knowledge is irrelevant. Getting your point across is always the top priority in business.

Linnea’s Answer


Hi Kelsey,

I'm impressed you're thinking about this! Here are three courses I'd definitely recommend:

  • Micro & Macro Economics - for foundational business concepts
  • English - being able to clearly communicate (in person and in writing) is an extremely important skill in business
  • Statistics (or prerequisite math classes to be able to take statistics) for non-majors - understanding probability and statistics is arguably the only math class you'll use after college.
  • Bonus: Political Science - will help you understand the ways that international and domestic politics impact businesses

It really depends on what type of job you'd like in business - you can go a few different directions like marketing, operations, finance, sales, etc. - but all the courses (or topics) above are broadly useful for anywhere you want to go next. I've been in marketing for 7 years now, and I use these skills every day.

The other advice I'd give you is to get a job in an office environment, so you can get familiar with office dynamics, learn how to navigate a business environment, build organization skills, and learn more about what types of work you do and don't like.

Good luck and have fun!

Jeremy’s Answer

Hi Kelsey,

I admire your ambition and eagerness to get ahead!

To answer your question, I would recommend taking an introductory Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, or other Finance class offered. By taking such classes, you can gain a good foundation in some of the general business/economics principles (such as supply vs demand).

Best of luck!

Eden’s Answer

That's awesome you're thinking ahead!! My answer is not necessarily related to only business, but I know some community colleges offer classes in Career Exploration for specific fields (business potentially being one of them). I know friends who have taken these course even after graduating from 4 year colleges when they want to make a career change. These courses help you really get a sense of what that career is like and you get to hear from real people in the field. I would highly recommend taking a few of these now so you are even more equipped to pick a major/career path that is interesting and exciting to you. And remember, it's ok to explore and not settle. Much easier to switch before committing to a career than later in life, although that is of course always possible too! I studied business/finance and made a career change at 26. I could have used this advice before college ;) Best of luck!

Barry’s Answer

Updated Everett, Washington

Hey Kelsey, that's a great question! If I could do it again I would have taken community college classes in high school as well. Most 4 year degrees have all the same undergrad classes, you'll have to take basic Math, English, Public Speaking.... You can find the course list for bachelors degrees on most universities websites, but there is usually a group of classes required as electives, and then some specific to the degree you're looking for.

Either way, anything you can take in high school will be great at setting you up for a smooth and quick college experience. Best of luck!

Hannah’s Answer

Hi! There are some great pre-requisite classes in most business programs that you can take while in high school. I would recommend the following:

  • Intro to Financial Accounting (or any other accounting intro class)
  • Microsoft Excel (this may be named differently depending on the community college)
  • Business Law

Most business schools require these as prerequisites, and even if they don't, they give helpful background to any business program.

Hannah recommends the following next steps:

  • Research courses at your community college to see if any of these are offered, the timing of the courses, and the cost/payment options.