Picture this: A shark is right in front of you. Face to face.
No, not the ocean kind with sharp teeth. The investor kind with millions of dollars in their pocket.
Sharks like FUBU founder Daymond John or Barbara Corocoran, who built a billion-dollar residential real estate company.
If you enjoy watching the show Shark Tank, then you already have a glimpse into the business world. There are different backstories, many unique products, and various business models.
The question is, do you understand how companies work and how to succeed in a global market?
Could you stand in front of one of these Sharks as an entrepreneur?
Or could you play another role in accelerating the company’s growth?
If you’re intrigued but unsure what you could do, that’s ok.
Many fun areas exist. It’s a great field to study.
In this article, we’ll tell you the benefits of studying business, why it’s important, and how to figure out if a business degree is for you.
Why Is Studying Business Important?
Getting a degree in business means studying how to enter almost any industry—from starting your own small business to working in global corporations. Business students learn the nuances of commerce at each of the 3 levels of business.
Level of Business
Number of Employees
Less than $40 million
Less than 1,500
$40 million to $1 billion
Between 1,500- 2,000
More than $1 billion
More than 2,000
Within each level of business are online businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses. Of course, many businesses operate in both capacities. The key to keep in mind is business affects our whole economy and we interact with them every single day.
When thinking about getting a business degree, there are multiple areas of study to consider. Several are in high demand.
Some schools offer a general business degree through their school of business. Typically, these degrees cover the fundamentals of a wide range of business topics and prepare students to enter into many business-related fields.
More commonly, students will choose a specialty to focus on within the realm of business. By choosing to specialize, you gain a more advanced understanding of the required work and better your chances of finding a job in the field.
8 Benefits of Studying Business
As the world becomes more interconnected, so do businesses. Even small businesses are creating an online presence and tailoring their marketing to a global audience. Graduating with a business degree means having the skills to help a company compete on a global scale and sell products consistently.
Here are the top reasons studying business can benefit you and your future.
1. Develop Leadership Skills
To be successful in business management, it’s essential to have strong leadership skills. Those who study business will learn how to manage and motivate teams, make difficult decisions, and delegate tasks effectively.
Students enrolled in Outlier.org’s Intro to Business course learn about the 5 Categories of Power. The power a leader uses influences how employees view their work and how they interact with the leader. By knowing this, you can learn to lead in an inclusive way—motivating employees toward growth.
Students looking to advance their leadership skills in project management or another specialization can look into MBA programs—Master’s in Business Administration—after earning a bachelor’s degree.
Marketing is promoting and selling a product or service. Marketing is a vital part of any business’s success, and business majors will learn how to create and implement effective marketing campaigns. This means knowing how to sell a product to a target audience.
Marketing consists of 4 key elements:
Product - How does the good or service fill a need?
Price - Is the good or service accessible to the customers?
Place - Do the customers visit where it's being sold?
Promotion - What approach is the most persuasive to the customer?
Learning how to market a product means being able to show potential customers what you sell is worth buying. The marketing funnel helps you achieve that.
The marketing funnel “defines the stages that consumers go through when making a decision,” according to Intro to Business professor Jim Alvarez Mourey, Ph.D.
Learning the marketing funnel benefits college students studying business in several ways:
Builds foundational knowledge: Understanding this key concept is essential for grasping marketing strategy.
Enhances decision-making skills: Students learn to identify target audiences and tailor marketing efforts accordingly.
Boosts creativity: Developing unique strategies for different funnel stages fosters innovative thinking.
Enhances data analysis: Students learn to interpret data and adjust strategies based on results.
Having these business skills means knowing how to avoid bankruptcy and make a profit to continue growing.
4. Understand Business Ethics
Those who study business will learn about the ethical issues businesses face and how to navigate these sensitive topics. Business ethics includes running a company based on integrity and trust. An ethical business also promotes equity and diversity among its employees.
Corporate social responsibility and sustainable development help a company consider the impact of its practices on other people and the environment. These forms of self-regulation are sought after in both the nonprofit and corporate worlds—and you’ll learn both in business school.
Good communication skills are essential for internal messaging and public relations. Being able to present a message clearly means everyone understands what’s happening and why it's being done.
Business schools teach students how to:
Create clear contracts
6. Work Well in Team Settings
It’s crucial for a company’s employees to work well together. Your business degree teaches you how to work with others who differ from you.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates helps you delegate tasks appropriately. You’ll ensure projects run more smoothly and set your team up for success.
7. Enter Multiple Industries
No matter what field you want to go into, a background in business will give you an edge over the competition. Your business degree can get you into some of the highest paying jobs.
Imagine working for a local bank or a large hospital or a global nonprofit or an international manufacturer. Business skills such as marketing, finance, and management are valuable in any industry.
8. Be a Self-Starter
Many people dream of starting their own businesses. The idea of setting your own schedule and working from anywhere in the world is highly appealing. Having a business degree gives you the skills to do it.
Business school not only gives you the skills to manage your own business but connects you to others who share your passions. While in business school, you’ll be able to propose business ideas and get valuable feedback from experts and peers.
The connections you make in business school can lead to tremendous opportunities after you graduate. The ability to network with other professionals can bring your dreams of owning your own business to reality.
How To Choose a Business Program
Choosing the right business program can be a daunting task. You have many factors to consider, such as:
The program's accreditation
But with a little research, you can find the perfect fit for you.
Here are a few tips on how to choose a business program:
1. Do Your Research
Before making any decisions, do your research and ask around about different business education programs. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues who have studied business or are currently enrolled in a business program. They may have insights you didn't consider.
When researching business schools, consider cost as well. Think realistically about what you can afford and what your return on your investment might be. Tons of grants and scholarships are out there, which can help you get the money you need.
2. Define Your Goals
Think about what your goals are for a business program. Are you looking to gain theoretical knowledge? Or are you looking for a hands-on education to prepare you for the workforce or moving into entrepreneurship? Once you know what you want, you can narrow down your options.
3. Consider Accreditation
One of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a business program is accreditation. Accreditation ensures the program meets certain standards set by an external body. Make sure the program you choose is accredited by a reputable organization, such as the AACSB or EQUIS.
4. Look at the Curriculum
When looking into a business program, see if the curriculum matches your interests and goals. Does the program offer courses that interest you? Are there opportunities to specialize in an area of interest? The curriculum should also be challenging enough to help you grow as a student.
Many business programs even have an internship requirement. This allows you to graduate from the program with solid work experience and quality references.
5. Consider the Faculty
Another important factor to consider is the faculty teaching in the program. Do they have experience in the industry? Are they respected scholars in their field? You should feel confident the professors will be able to provide you with a high-quality education.
6. Follow Your Intuition
It can be difficult to decide which school to attend and figure out what major is right for you. Pros and cons lists can be helpful, but they can also lead to a lot of stress over choosing the “right path.”
Keep in mind there is no one right way to move forward. Taking the time to get an education in business has many benefits, and no matter what program you choose, you will gain valuable skills.
After doing all your research, listen to yourself and what feels right. Have confidence in knowing you will come out ahead at the end of your program and enjoy the process of bettering yourself and your future.
Is a Business Degree Right For You?
Still undecided if a business degree is the right fit for you? Luckily, you can take business courses before committing 4 years of your life to it.
Outlier.org has teamed up with Golden Gate University (GGU) to offer an Associate of Arts in Business Administration through the Degrees+ program. You can earn your associate degree fully online through Outlier’s award-winning platform—for only $149 per credit.
Students enrolled in Degrees+ can complete their associate degree in as little as 19 months. The credits earned through GGU are transferable and accredited, meaning you can take them to another institution to complete your bachelor’s degree if you choose.
Plus, you’ll earn a career certificate from a top company like Google or Salesforce. So you’ll have the skills to enter the workforce or continue with your education.
Running a business is challenging. It’s like a complex machine with many different areas like money, advertising, and leading people.
Whether you work within a company or run your own shop, understanding business is a must.
The business world is like an ocean with many companies competing to make a profit on their products or services.
You want to succeed? Learn to swim.
Whatever path you choose for gaining experience, kick and splash hard. (That is, give it your all.)
Just be ready for any sharks you may run into!
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