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What type of business should I major in?

I am interested in following a career in business. I do not know which business to major in. #business #money #love

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Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Eric. I majored in business in college. Usually business majors are subdivided into concentrations in things like Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Operations, or International Business. Each college is different, but these five are quite common.



  • Marketing: Could be good for you if you like the idea of studying how people think about, what they care about, and how to influence them. There's some creativity and a lot of investigating involved in this field.

  • Finance: Could be good for you if you're interested in the stock market, investing, and learning about how the financial markets work. This field is big on math, acquiring lots of knowledge, and handling extremely fast-paced and high-stress situations.

  • Accounting: Could be good for you if you are a rules-based person and want to look at business from the perspective of tracking the money. This field is good if you consider yourself very organized, and comfortable with numbers.

  • Operations: You can kind of think of this field as the great organizers of a business. Whether you're looking at a manufacturing facility or a storefront, there's a lot going on all the time, and someone has to keep everything organized and planned. Are you someone who likes to figure out puzzles? Might be good for you.

  • International Business: This one is easy. If you like to study countries, and want to do your work in an international context, you might be good for IB. Do you love and respect all cultures? Do you find the international news fascinating? This might be a decent option for you.


There are other majors in business as well. I went to NYU Stern, and we also had majors for things like Information Systems and Statistics in the business school. Research each school as you think about applying, and you'll get some new ideas, I'm sure. Hope this helps!

Thank you comment icon Thanks Jared! Marketing and International Business sound really interesting and they both sound like something I would like doing. Eric
Thank you comment icon You're most welcome. Happy to help. At my college it was quite common to major in Marketing and IB together. Go for it! Jared Chung, Admin
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Marc A.’s Answer

Hey Eric, this is a great question with a number of levels to it.

If business is an interest, but you are unsure of what areas of business to pursue, it might be helpful to further validate the things you are sure of...so let's answer some basic questions and see if we can't narrow the field a bit with a three-question exercise. So here goes:

(1) What are the attributes of business (the things that make up a business) that are the most interesting to you? -- the purpose of this question is to allow you to think about (or list) the things about business that are exciting to you. It could be a short list or a long one, but at the end, you'll have some visual results for the question, which you will be able to use as you continue through the validation process.

(2) What experience have you had that is related to business (summer job/internship, retail [Burger King, etc.], startup business of your own [mowing lawn, UBER], etc.), or perhaps you're working (full time) now? -- this question is designed to match the jobs you have (or had) with the first question, in order for you to match up and identify the aspects of business that interest you with the actual opportunities you've had, that tie the two together (visually). Once you've done that, it might not be a bad idea to stack rank your list (from most liked to least liked) in terms of which 'attributes' and 'job types/positions' rank higher for you.

There are instances where none of the attributes (or positions) in your experience rank high in terms of your interests...but the good news is that you at least will know what you're NOT willing to do in a business role/career -- that's the optimist in me (smile). So let's move on to the last question...

(3) What would be examples of businesses that you would consider to be of moderate to high interest for you? -- the goal here is to think about jobs in the field of business that you like and to list those out (yes -- you can put them in a ranking order as well). Once you have that list compiled, it should help you to match the attributes you identified for business (Question #1) to these businesses, in order to confirm which companies do some (or all) of the things that you're passionate about/interested in.

If you listed those businesses in some order, then the next step would be to do some research on those business (i.e., Google) and see what types of positions would be offered that meet your goals/desires. If you know of a person who works at those businesses, you can surely reach out to them for more information...not to mention that you'll have established that list of your top 'attributes' that would help you to answer any questions they might ask about you associated with a potential opportunity for employment (added benefit).

This would probably take you all of 30 minutes (on a weeknight or Saturday/Sunday afternoon), but in the end, it's a practical exercise that can help you to advance your level of understanding for what in the business industry is most important to you (positive), which is repeatable in future seasons of life as a 'check-in' practice. I hope this helps Eric and good luck.
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Terri’s Answer

Hi Eric,
Go to the websites of some of the colleges you are planning to attend. Look at all the majors offered and read the plans of study. This will show you exactly what you have to take and what should interest you.
I would also suggest you go to your high school counselor and ask to take a career test to show where your major interests lie. My son is in college now and that testing was the answer to him finding the right major! Good Luck.
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