The Different Types of Business Degrees: Which Path is Right for You?
Have you been browsing business degree programs and scouring job titles, wondering which one is the best fit for your career goals? Business is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of career opportunities. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in business, you may be wondering what types of degrees are available to help you achieve your goals.
Business degrees are not one-size-fits-all. Many factors should be considered when pursuing a business administration degree or switching career paths. There are a variety of business majors in undergraduate and graduate business schools. Business careers should align with your skills, strengths, interests, and what you want out of the rest of your career.
There are many different types of business degrees to choose from, each with its own set of business courses and areas of focus. A degree in business administration encompasses many different areas you could specialize in. Let’s explore what kind of business degrees and specializations you can get, and what factors to consider when choosing which career path is right for you.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Business
A bachelor’s degree in business is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in various industries, as well as provide a strong foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate studies in business. These degrees are a popular choice for students who want to pursue a career in this burgeoning field.
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
BBA programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in various industries, such as finance, marketing, human resources, and management. This is a four-year undergraduate degree that allows you to major in various specializations of business as well as core requirements. Graduates of BBA programs may also go on to pursue graduate studies in business, such as an MBA or a Master of Science (MS) in Business.
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business
BS in Business programs prepare students for a wide range of careers in business, including positions in finance, marketing, accounting, and management. Students in Bachelor of Science in Business programs may also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of business, such as entrepreneurship, business management, supply chain management, or business analytics through elective courses. A Bachelor of Science in Business undergraduate degree gives you a foundational knowledge of how the business field functions.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business
BA in Business programs focus on giving students foundational business knowledge through liberal arts studies. These programs are designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in business, as well as for graduate studies in business or related fields. Graduates of BA in Business programs may go on to pursue careers in areas such as marketing, advertising, public relations, and management, as well as in fields outside of business, such as law, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) is a type of bachelor’s degree in business that is offered in many commonwealth countries, particularly in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. BCom programs are designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in business, such as accounting, finance, marketing, business law, business operations, and management. A Bachelor of Commerce gives students general business knowledge and operation best practices, which is particularly helpful for small business owners. BCom graduates may go on to pursue graduate studies in business, such as an MBA or a Master of Science (MS) in Business.
Master’s Degrees in Business
A master’s degree in business can lead to a wide range of career opportunities in fields such as finance, marketing, management, accounting, and entrepreneurship. Many programs also offer specialized tracks or concentrations that allow students to focus their studies on a particular area of interest. Let’s explore master’s degree in business options.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
MBA programs are for individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s in business or a related field, and who are looking to further their education and advance their careers. Master of Business Administration programs typically require students to complete a combination of core business courses in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management, as well as elective courses that allow students to specialize in their area of interest. People who pursue an MBA typically have about five years of work experience or go in an Early Advantage MBA program.
Master of Science (MS) in Business
MS in Business programs are designed for individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field and who have a strong background in quantitative subjects such as mathematics, medicine, engineering, or science. MS master’s degrees typically require students to complete a combination of core business courses in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management, as well as advanced courses in subjects such as data analysis, econometrics, and statistical modeling.
Master of Accountancy (MAcc)
MAcc programs typically include advanced courses in accounting theory and practice, as well as courses in related areas such as taxation, auditing, and financial statement analysis. Many of these master’s degree programs require students to complete a certain number of hours of work experience in the accounting field, often through internships or other professional opportunities. This accounting degree will give you specialized accounting skills that will help you qualify for top-notch accounting jobs.
Master of Finance (MFin)
Master of Finance degree programs typically include advanced courses in financial theory and practice, as well as courses in related areas such as investments, financial markets, and corporate finance. Many programs require students to complete a certain number of hours of work experience in the finance field, often through internships or other professional opportunities. People with this degree are typically expected to perform financial analyses for businesses. Career paths with this degree include being a financial manager, a financial analyst, or a financial advisor.
Doctoral Degrees in Business
Doctoral programs in business typically require students to complete a rigorous curriculum that includes advanced courses in research methodology, statistics, and data analysis. There are numerous benefits of a doctoral degree in business. Graduates of these programs are well-equipped to pursue academic careers, as well as leadership positions in industry or government, where their research skills and expertise can be put to use.
DBA programs typically involve advanced business theory and practice courses, research methodology, and data analysis. Students are also required to conduct original research under the guidance of a faculty advisor and to write and defend a dissertation that significantly contributes to the field of business.
Ph.D. in Business
Ph.D. programs in business typically involve advanced coursework in research methodology, data analysis, and business theory, as well as independent research projects under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students are required to complete a dissertation that significantly contributes to the field of business and defend it in front of a committee of experts.
Specialized Business Degrees
Specialized business degrees are becoming increasingly popular among students who are looking to pursue careers in specific areas of business. Unlike general business degrees, which provide a broad overview of various aspects of business, specialized degrees focus on a specific field or industry. These degrees offer students in-depth knowledge and skills in their chosen field, preparing them for successful careers in highly specialized industries.
An international type of business degree is an excellent option for students who are interested in pursuing careers in global industries and who want to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. This area of business will teach you how to successfully run businesses in other countries and help you land various roles in those countries.
A degree in entrepreneurship is an excellent option for students who are interested in starting their own businesses, as well as those who are interested in careers in innovation and new product development. If CEO doesn’t fit your desired job title, you can earn an entrepreneurship degree and be prepared for roles such as project management, operations management, or organizational leadership. This degree hones your management skills to help you be successful in any leadership position.
A marketing degree prepares students for careers in marketing and advertising, where they can help businesses develop and implement marketing strategies to effectively reach their target audiences. This degree educates you on consumer behaviors, market research, and branding. You will be uniquely successful in this field if you have good management skills and a passion for building relationships with new and existing customers. Roles in this area of business include market research analyst, marketing manager, chief marketing officer, marketing specialist, or marketing data analyst.
An accounting degree gives students the fundamentals for careers in accounting and finance, where they can help businesses and organizations manage their financial operations. Accountants know about auditing, reporting, and information systems. Professionals are particularly successful in these roles if they have attention to detail.
This degree prepares students for careers in finance, where they can help businesses and organizations make informed financial decisions and manage their financial operations. Roles in this area of business include sales manager, banker, financial analyst, or financial advisor.
Human resources is a rapidly growing field, with increasing demand for skilled professionals who can help organizations attract and retain top talent. As businesses become more focused on creating positive work environments and developing diverse and inclusive workforces, the demand for HR professionals is expected to continue to grow. A degree in HR will help you land roles in human resource management, recruitment, or as a services manager. HR professionals are most successful when they possess strong management skills, conflict-resolution skills, and organizational leadership skills.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is swiftly expanding as well, with increasing demand for skilled professionals who can help organizations meet the challenges of a globalized economy. As businesses become more focused on reducing costs and improving efficiency, the demand for SCM professionals is expected to continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, supply chain management is expected to increase by 28% by 2031, which is much faster than the national average.
Hybrid Business Degrees
Hybrid business degrees are becoming increasingly popular as more students seek flexible learning options that fit into their busy schedules. These programs are particularly well-suited for students who work full-time, have family responsibilities, or live in remote areas.
There are programs that offer students the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s fast-paced business environment while also providing the flexibility they need to balance their work and personal lives.
MBA/MPH (Master of Public Health)
The MBA/MPH program typically takes three years to complete and requires students to complete coursework in both business and public health. Some programs may also require a capstone project or internship in a healthcare organization. Students in this program often benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of their classmates, who come from a range of backgrounds in business, healthcare, and public health.
These professionals protect the health of populations and communities and educate others on healthcare management best practices. Roles in this field include healthcare administration, community outreach coordinator, or health educator. A master’s degree in this area is most well-rounded if you have a medical background.
MBA/MPP (Master of Public Policy)
The MBA/MPP program typically takes three years to complete and requires students to complete coursework in both business and public policy. Some programs may also require a capstone project or internship in a public sector organization. In this program, students often learn a lot from their peers, who bring a wide array of experiences and ideas from the world of business and public policy.
Work experience in this area consists of auditing current policies to identify improvements and form solutions to policy gaps. Roles in this area include certified public accountant, public relations, and human resources, as well as various roles in the nonprofit or government sectors. Most top B-schools provide MBA/MPP accreditation, providing you with many career options.
MBA/MSW (Master of Social Work)
The MBA/MSW program typically takes three years to complete and requires students to complete coursework in both business and social work. Some programs may also require a field placement or internship in a social service organization. Students in this program benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of the other students, who come from a range of backgrounds in business and social work. Many professionals with this degree go into public relations or the nonprofit sector.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business Degree
Choosing a business degree can be a daunting task, as there are various factors to consider before making a decision. With so many types of degrees available, it’s important to understand your interests, professional goals, and personal preferences. Choosing the right business degree program is an important decision that requires careful consideration alongside your life goals.
Personal Interests and Career Goals
Consider where you see yourself in the future and what kind of job you would like to have. If you want to work in management, an MBA might be the right choice. If you want to work in accounting, a degree in accounting might be more suitable. By aligning your degree with your career goals, you can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your desired field.
Cost and Time Commitment
When considering cost and time commitment, it’s essential to weigh the benefits of the degree against the investment required. While pursuing a business degree can be expensive and time-consuming, it can also provide a significant return on investment in terms of career opportunities and earning potential.
Reputation of the Program and School
When considering the reputation of a program or school, it’s important to look at factors such as accreditation, rankings, and reviews from current and former students. Accreditation ensures that a program meets certain standards of quality and can provide a solid foundation for your education. Rankings can also be helpful, although it’s important to note that they can vary depending on the source and criteria used.
Job Outlook and Potential Earnings
It is important to research the job outlook for different business fields, as this can also be helpful in determining the potential demand for jobs in a particular area. This can help ensure that graduates will have ample opportunities to enter the workforce and advance in their careers. The job outlook for your desired specialization may speed up your decision-making process.
For example, if you do not want to make about $74,000 managing social media and researching industry pricing when the job outlook is expected to grow by 18%, marketing may not be for you. However, if you are interested in making a similar salary to delegate products from the supplier to the customer, supply chain management may be a more suitable match.
Associate degree… or bachelor’s? Should you explore master’s degree programs, or go straight into a doctoral program? Would you like to be on campus or get an online degree? What about specialized certificate programs? All of these are valid questions when making such a big decision. Ultimately, you should consider your long-term life and career goals, the cost and time commitment, and the outlook of the fields you are considering. The choice is yours.
If you need guidance in choosing your next career move, we can help. With our expert counselors, robust network of industry professionals, and a community that fosters growth and innovation, we don’t just offer advice — we partner with you to ensure your career trajectory is on the rise. Trust in Crummer to be the catalyst that propels you toward your aspirations.