17 answers

What does being a business major take?

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I'm looking for colleges and I want to be a business major, but I don't know what to focus on and I'm not sure how to go about college (majors and minors). #business #major #college

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17 answers

Kevin’s Answer

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Good question! I graduated college with a business degree. I found that having some technical classes (finance, accounting) helped me in my first job (consulting). Now, many years after starting my career, I am also glad that I took a wide variety of non business classes as well (history, philosophy, English literature). I think that today taking classes in programming including workflow programming would be a plus when applying for jobs.

Taking one general business class in your Freshman year and learning about what focus you want to have as your major would likely be a good approach. Since you typically don't have to declare a major until your Sophomore year you can use your freshman year to learn what you like and don't like about the majors offered.
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Deborah’s Answer

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Hi Zachary,

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on a college which can be overwhelming! Some things to consider are: how far do you want to be away from home, tuition, in-state vs out-of-state (typically going to school in-state would be cheaper than going out of state), scholarships, financial aid packages, campus and the programs offered. I was a Business major and I didn't look at going to a school that was designated as a "Business School"; I personally think this is more important when selecting a graduate school for your MBA (Masters in Business Administration). I worked in the Alumni and Parent Programs Office while in school and learned the importance of creating connections with the Alumni as those are the ones that can help you get a job afterwards or recommend internships/jobs.

The great thing about a Business major is that it is broad and can allow you to move into a lot of different industries. You'll have to take the standard business classes for your college and then you'll probably select a concentration (examples: Marketing, Finance etc.) but that doesn't need to be decided as a Freshman. You can have some flexibility with the first year and even to a certain degree your second year; you may find that you don't like Business at all and want to do something else which is ok. You can always change your mind but note that this may mean a longer time in school but you have to do what you feel is best for you.

Good luck!
Thank you Deborah, this was very insightful and helped me with possibly finding my future career. Zachary S.
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John’s Answer

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Regardless of the specific business major, I'd always recommend balancing technical classes (Finance, Accounting, IT Management, etc.) with traditional Liberal Arts courses, such as Philosophy, History, and Political Science. In my experience going into accounting/consulting, the technical classes helped me immensely in understanding what I was doing and building a foundation. However, the broader courses often helped me with "how to learn" and were often conducted in seminars or section cases that forced me to think in different ways, often in subjects I was not particularly strong at. This translates directly to so many of my business experiences where I'm challenged to think creatively and laterally, and often spend significant portions of time listening to and learning from other experts to develop a frame of thought.
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John’s Answer

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Hey Zachary,

I recommend figuring what about business is interesting to you. There are so many different kinds of business jobs out there. For majors and minors, experiment with which classes you take to get a feel for what is interesting to you. I also have some good news! Your college major doesn't determine the rest of your life, it is just a starting point. It may seem very stressful right now, but looking back on it, the major is less important than making sure you finish your degree. So choose classes that interest you and then get a major in that! One thing you can start doing now is talk to people in different jobs that sound interesting to you. If you don't know anyone in that job, create a LinkedIn profile and reach out to new people. It may seem a little scary at first, but most people are very willing to share their experience with you!

I focused on communication studies and business because I like public speaking and I enjoyed marketing and organizational development classes. I ended up getting my MBA later after I had some work experience. Now, I work in different kinds of jobs across my company, finding ways to improve the company. It's a lot to figure out and you don't have to know everything right now, just make a plan and then be willing to change the plan as you learn more about the career options that interest you.
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Josh’s Answer

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What an exciting time for you Zachary. I can imagine this decision can be pretty stressful for you. Why did you declare business as your major? What are your interests? What would you like to do after you graduate? Answering those questions will likely help you to determine your specialty within the business degree. The good news is that you do not necessarily have to declare a major when you start college. And for sure, you don't need to declare your specialty immediately. When I started college, I declared my major as psychology and I minored in theatre. I was in a theatre scholarship program, so that helped me make that decision. :-) In my first two years of college, I did not take any psychology classes. When I started my sophomore year, I begin taking those classes and quickly learned that it was not for me. I took some time off from school and started working and quickly learned that my interest was really in the business field. I started school again with a new focus around a business degree. I declared my specialty in business management. I continued to work part-time while I was in school. I was eventually hired full time and graduated from college. I have been working for the same company now for 20 years and have been in a leadership role for 17 years of that time. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you in your career.
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Patrecia (Trish)’s Answer

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So here is the thing. . . Business Administration can get you into anything really. I would play around with extra classes as suggested by others to see if there is a specialty area that you may like better than another, you may not even find it until after you graduate. When I went to college I change Degree plans 3 times and ended up in a business degree and my career I ended up in Information Technology. . .WHICH Lord believe me I never thought I would end up in. ME a TECH HEAD!!! NO WAY, I started off my college degree in interior design. Do not get discourage you will figure it out.
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Shamecca’s Answer

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Hello Zachary! Business is such a large umbrella and many things fall under that: Accounting, Finance, Business Administration and Management, Marketing, Real Estate and the list goes on and on.

Think about narrowing it down under Business. What are you passionate about? What do you like to do? Is there a particular job or company you want to eventually work at? Research colleges you are considering attending after graduation and see what they have to offer.

And then put a plan into action once you narrow down what you would like to do.

Good Luck!
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Sharkita’s Answer

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Hi Zachary,

If you know that you enjoy business or that's the route that you want to go, that is awesome. I was an Accounting major!

Typically as a part of general requirements, business schools will require you to take the introduction level in all of the possible disciplines (i.e. accounting, marketing, finance, etc.). This will give you a flavor/idea about what the topic is about and then you either declare a major at a later time or apply to the college at a later time. This will give you the opportunity to explore.

I would also suggest that you do some research on the different disciplines and if possible talk to some people in those fields.

Hopefully this helps!

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Melissa’s Answer

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Hi. Almost no matter what business major you pursue, a sales position is usually the entry position. The reason behind that is that as a sales person you get to understand the product and services as well as the customers. Accounting and Finance probably will not be a sales entry level position since they are numbers focused. No matter what you choose, research the type of current career opportunities available and their future trend. If afforded the opportunity, talk to people that currently have the career you are interested in.

In regards to colleges, ask questions like...
What does your business school specialize in?
What differentiates your business program from other colleges?
What is the rate of employment within the degree received after graduation?
What associations, partnerships, relationships exist with the business program and successful business companies?

Hope that helps!
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Elizabeth’s Answer

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Starting as a business major is a wonderfully flexibly place to start. There are many classes that are applicable to whatever specialty you decide interests you. I am finishing my final semester with a dual major in Business Management and Human Resources after working in management at a telecommunications company for almost 10 years. Being able to see how the classes apply to real world scenarios is very interesting, and makes learning easier.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

  • Attend job shadows and career fairs to find out about positions and industries that interest you.
  • Start with a general major and narrow your focus as you find something that interests you.
  • Research growing fields and trends in employment to increase your chances of having a job lined up when you are ready!
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Sergio’s Answer

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Business Majors generally take:
Marketing, Accounting, HR, Business Law, and Information Systems classes.

It may be best to declare your major as General Business and then as you start to take general business classes which are required you will grasp more of a feel of what you wish to focus on.

Tips: lucrative business degrees are Business Analytics, Finance, and Business Management Information Systems.

Join clubs early in college too that will also allow you to network and meet individuals that can influence you.
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Tania’s Answer

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I graduated with a business degree from Baylor. As some of the other folks have said, there are many options under "business" which is nice because you can go with what you are most interested in. Most colleges will have required courses based on what you have selected as your major - could be a finance track, marketing track, etc. You will take a variety of subjects to ensure a well-rounded education.
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Justin’s Answer

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Being a business major takes perseverance. There are some classes that may be challenging but you are required to find ways to succeed in them. Some of the challenging classes I took required me to reach out to other students for help, form study groups, and attend office hours. You can do it. Good luck!
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Jill’s Answer

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Business Administration is a great college path. It will expose you to many different areas which you can specialize in such as marketing, accounting, finance, project management just to name a few. A business degree is applicable in any industry, so it makes you more marketable to many employers when you graduate. A business Administration degree will take you 4 years if you take a normal course load each semester. Don't worry about trying to figure out your concentration just yet, you'll need to do that in sophomore year. Freshman requirements are designed to give you a basis for making that concentration decision. When you decide on a concentration, it's very important to work in that field before graduation. Take on an internship if one is available. Don't worry about the pay, the experience is priceless!
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Amy’s Answer

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Hi Zach,

There are multiple areas within the Business major that you can specialize in. These include accounting, finance, marketing, economics, advertising, human resources, management, marketing, supply management, etc. I would reach out to your school's academic advisors to learn more about the programs offered by the school and to better understand which ones are most interesting for you.
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Carl’s Answer

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There are many disciplines within business for majors. I suggest that you go to the career center of the colleges you may be interested in and ask them where they are having success placing people in jobs out of their schools and what they think is the best direction to explore for your future.
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Cathy’s Answer

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Hi Zach, there are many subjects that are within the Business major: accounting, advertising, human resources, management, marketing, supply management, etc. Perhaps the best way to decide on which subjects you want to focus on is to take the survey of your skills and interests. There are a couple of websites that can help you figure out what your career might be:

https://www.mycareerpathways.org/how-to-choose-a-career-path
https://www.onetonline.org/
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