Many people considering a business career wonder if getting a degree in business would be a good path for them. Certainly, there are a lot of academic options for people considering business careers, including some non-traditional paths, like degrees in the liberal arts. That being the case, it’s important to consider why someone would pursue a business degree. Below are some of the reasons why someone might benefit from a business degree and why some people choose this path over others.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Business

Careers in Business

When people are first considering careers in business, they may not understand just how broad this category is. According to the College Board website, a number of careers fall into this category, and while these careers have a number of things in common, they can also be quite different from one another.

How Do I Know if Business is a Good Degree Path for Me

Here’s a look at some of the different types of business careers that people can have:

  • Marketing, advertising and sales: People in these careers are in a position to promote and sell their company’s products and services. They usually like to talk with people and will often create campaigns that will boost their company’s marketing efforts. That being said, there are some differences between these careers. Advertising and marketing careers are centered on the promotional side, whereas sales deal with the sale and distribution of a company’s products and services.
  • Finance: Finance careers allow people who are good with numbers and data to interpret that information. These business professionals create budgets or plan investments. They don’t typically have the same day-to-day contact with the company’s customers than the sales and marketing team will.
  • International business: This business career deals with a company’s business dealings in foreign countries. The person holding this job must have not only a strong understanding of business but also of culture. How a company’s marketing and advertising translate in a different culture is of primary concern for the person involved in international business.

Most of the foundational coursework for all of these different career paths (and the college majors attached to them) is the same. These classes introduce would-be business majors to different aspects of business. Each course gives these students a chance to consider all of the careers above before embarking on a specific business degree path. Being in these classes may make choosing a business major easier because they give people a look at the major.

Natural Interests and Aptitudes

People considering a business degree should be honest with themselves about their natural aptitudes and interests. Many people consider business careers because they offer a high salary. While some jobs in business pay under $40,000 a year, others pay over $100,000, according to Payscale.com.

However, just because a job pays well doesn’t mean it’s a fit. For example, people who love working outside might be better suited to jobs in forestry than jobs in business. A person’s natural interests and aptitude should also be taken into account when deciding on a business major.

Actual Experience

There is one final way to decide if a business degree would be a good option: actual experience. For the person who will inherit a family business or who has had enjoyable internships in the business sector, these jobs can color their major decision as well.

In these cases, a business degree makes logical sense. These students decide to be business majors because they either know they like business from past job experience or they know that a business degree will help them in a planned future career path.

Final Words

It’s difficult for most people to choose a major. However, there are some majors, like business, that come with a bit more financial certainty attached to them than other academic paths. This makes these degrees, in theory, very attractive.

However, the reality can turn out to be much different. Ultimately, deciding if a business degree is the right path boils down to a couple of factors: future usefulness, salary and advancement desires, and natural aptitudes and interests.