Why Now Is the Right Time to Study Business
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Whether you're searching for your first job right out of college or you're an experienced professional trying to switch careers, business knowledge could give you the edge on competitors. Business skills are relevant to every industry and are useful to business owners and managers in companies of all sizes. If you want to add something to your resume that will help you qualify for a wide range of jobs within your chosen career field, business courses are the answer.
These courses are now widely available, including some prestigious online programs that you can take from home or on your lunch break at work. If you want to qualify for more jobs or show your current employer that you're ambitious and qualified for a promotion, completing a few business courses may work to your advantage.
Types of Business Courses
There are a wide variety of business courses available today, and what you choose will depend on your past training and future goals. For instance, someone with no prior business training would select a different course than someone who just needs to update their knowledge because it's been years since they completed their degree.
Business courses range from introductory to advanced level and cover a long list of specialties, so there is always something new to learn. The variance in programs also makes it easier to customize your education to your career goals.
The options range from certificate and non-degree courses to a wide range of business degrees that come with a diploma to hang on your wall. If you choose a degree program, you will also have the opportunity to select a specialization, targeting your education to skills that are highly valued in a select career field. Some specializations also teach skills that are of value to businesses in all fields.
Some of the most common business specialties include:
- Business Management
- Public Relations
- Human Resources
If you aren't ready to tackle a degree program and declare your specialty, general business classes will teach valuable skills with less investment of time and money. You can find many basic business classes at community colleges, and many community programs will offer classes for their local area. In many cases, you don't even have to provide a high school transcript or officially sign up for college to complete these courses. Just keep in mind that these are basic courses that provide only introductory information.
The next step up is a business certificate program. These programs are widely available online and are a good starting point if you want to add solid business knowledge to your resume in a short period of time. You can select business certificates in advertising, human resources management and many other specialties that are in high demand today.
Certificate programs are faster to complete than degree programs, and they allow you to start applying new knowledge to your work immediately. These programs are often starting points for people who want to add to their resumes or qualify for a new position quickly. Many students will complete degree programs at a later point in their careers.
What You Will Gain from Business Courses
When Investopedia looked at the academic backgrounds of 13 prominent CEOs, they found that seven of those high-level professionals hold some type of business degree. In fact, several CEOs have secured their MBAs, which is an accomplishment that many top-level professionals strive to achieve. Business training on this level teaches leadership and management skills that are valuable in all industries.
You don't have to study business at the MBA level to achieve skills that are transferable to a wide variety of career fields. Every business class that you complete, and every certificate or degree added to your resume will help you reach current and future career goals.
If your starting point is an introductory course at a community center, that will eventually lead you to a certificate or degree program with more advanced skills. The secret is to just get started regardless of your starting point because many employers gravitate toward resumes that reflect business training. This is due to the general skills that are taught in business programs.
For instance, the following skills are taught through most business courses:
- Communication skills
- Analytical thinking
- Problem solving
- Report writing
- Decision making
- Presentation skills
- Financial data interpretation
- Time management
Business degrees are often thought of as non-specific because the knowledge and skills learned can apply to so many different career fields. This is an advantage in today's business climate. It's also to your advantage that most business degree programs have an international focus because the business world is more global than ever due to advanced technology.
Making Business Courses Affordable & Manageable
If you haven't furthered your education because it's too expensive or you don't have hours to sit in a classroom each week, online business courses may open new doors of opportunity. There are some highly reputable schools offering online business programs, and you can take business certificate courses online as well.
Many universities are also offering self-guided study courses that allow you to work at your own pace. In many cases, you will pay less for these courses because they aren't graded or monitored by an instructor. You work through pre-recorded videos and written materials whenever you have the time.
Even if you select a degree or certificate program with an instructor, studying online allows you to take courses at your own pace. This also allows you to stretch the cost of your education out while keeping the time commitment manageable for your current situation. Each course completed adds current education and new skills to your resume, and you will eventually get to add your business certificate or degree.
To reduce the amount of time and money that you invest in your business education even more, look for online schools that offer competency-based learning programs. There are a variety of programs that can fall under this category, but one of the most valuable is the opportunity to earn credit for college courses based on your real-life experience.
Depending on your past professional and educational accomplishments, you may qualify for some college credits without paying for them. This allows you to earn your degree faster, but it also lowers the overall cost of a business degree.
Could a business degree give your career a must-needed boost? If so, the next step is to do more extensive research into different types of business degrees and programs. The faster you take action, the faster you can add valuable business skills to your resume. What you do today will have a direct impact on your future.
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