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December 9, 2022

Why is higher education important for business careers?

Written and reported by:

Kendall Upton

Staff Writer

two diverse college students seated and talking in a classroom

Whether you’re interested in the mathematical side of business such as finance and economics or the more creative realm of marketing and entrepreneurship, or anywhere in between—higher education could be the key to unlocking career that’s right for you. With so many business degrees available, you’re bound to find something that fits your unique interests and strengths.

Business degrees can be advantageous for nearly anyone, from undergraduates going to college for the first time, to career changers, to someone that just wants to advance their skills in their current occupation. No matter where you fall, a business degree can be an incredibly worthwhile investment in your career—here’s why.

7 reasons higher ed matters

1. A business degree is versatile for many career paths.

There’s a reason why business degrees are the most popular baccalaureate major in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Business is an incredibly versatile discipline and can prepare you for a vast range of different career paths. The knowledge and skills that you acquire by getting a business education can be applied to just about any occupation. 

2. There are many different specializations available.

male student reading in the library

A business administration degree is diverse multi-disciplinary major that gives you a taste of many aspects of business. However, most institutions that offer business degrees also have a ton of concentrations or specializations to tailor your degree to your particular interests. If you’re looking for something a little more specific, you might consider any one of these majors that fall under the business umbrella:

• Economics
• Entrepreneurship
Human resources management
• Information systems
• Public relations
Supply chain management

By specializing, you gain a unique set of skills that can be applied to your profession and possibly open up unique career opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you without that experience.

3. You gain valuable networking and communication skills.

professor talking to two students in the hallway

When you join the field of the most popular college major in the country, you’re going to be connected with a wide network of people and resources that can come in handy for your career. Business as a discipline is especially big on the value of networking, because it allows businesses to create a trade of ideas and services that can mutually benefit everyone. On a more individual level, networking and knowing the right person could be the foot in the door you need to land your dream gig.

When you get a business degree, you are taught the value of networking and how to hone your communication skills to network successfully.

4. Higher education can increase your qualifications and credibility.

woman being interviewed by two interviewers

While some professions may not value education as much as experience on a resume, many occupations across all disciplines do prefer and/or require employees to have some sort of postsecondary education. When you invest in your education, you are expanding the number and types of jobs that you may qualify for. From an associate degree in marketing to an MBA in project management, a degree could set you apart from the competition and make you a more desirable job candidate.

5. A business degree can jumpstart a career as an entrepreneur or business owner.

cafe owner smiling in his shop

If you already know you’ve got a great idea for an innovative product, business venture or just want to set up a brick-and-mortar establishment, a business degree can give you the foundation to get your dreams off the ground. You’ll need to know things like how to procure necessary resources, finance a business, manage employees, create a successful marketing model and so much more. Although it's not the only option, a business administration degree may give you the best taste of all these aspects of building a successful business.

When you combine those skills with the connections you’ll make through a business program, you could be poised for success no matter what your entrepreneurial aspirations consist of.

6. Higher education may increase your earning potential.

woman enjoying the view of the city

From associate to doctoral degrees, you’ve got a good chance of earning more money when you invest in higher education even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2022 report, the median usual weekly earnings of workers over 25 years of age increases with every level of higher education. For example, the median usual weekly earnings for people with just a high school diploma are $809, which goes up to $963 for people with an associate degree, $1,334 for a bachelor’s degree and so on. Your particular salary will depend on many factors like your specific job, location and experience, but the data remains consistent: higher education could increase your earning potential.

7. There are lots of online degrees out there.

woman studying online at a brightly lit space

Since there are so many different types of business degrees it’s probably not surprising that there are also a lot of online degrees available too. An online business education can be a great option for several reasons, including the fact that they tend to cost a little less than in-person programs and have a much more flexible schedule that can usually accommodate other commitments. And, with so much business being conducted remotely now anyway (nearly 18% of workers in 2022), an in-person degree may not be as necessary as it once was. You may even find that you thrive in an online learning format when you are able to work at your own pace and be a little more independent with your education.

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