Business and related subjects (such as the ‘FAME’ group – finance, accounting, management, and economics) are among the most popular fields of study at universities worldwide, particularly at graduate level. You might have some vague ideas about why this is the case – business graduates are in high demand worldwide, business touches on pretty much every aspect of modern human society, careers with a business degree are diverse and often highly paid – and these assumptions are likely to be largely true.
The term ‘business degrees’ is typically understood to include a fairly wide group of courses, some highly specialized and others more interdisciplinary; some more academic and others primarily focused on practical professional development. You can categorize types of business degrees by level (ie. undergraduate, graduate, professional), and also by subject focus. Some of the areas of study likely to be covered by different types of business degrees, either directly or as supplementary elements include: accounting, management sciences, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, human resource management, strategic management, and Economics.
At an undergraduate level, and on some graduate-level business degrees, students are able to gain a foundation in many of these aspects of the business world, before choosing a specialization. From master’s level onwards, it’s more usual for business degrees to be focused on a particular aspect of business though there may still be a lot of flexibility for students to shape the course to match their own interests. Meanwhile, MBA (Master of Business Administration) and Executive MBA programs are targeted at those who have already gained significant professional experience, and typically have more of a focus on professional development.
Business graduates go on to work in myriad different sectors, and not all of them are those you would typically associate with business in general. More obvious careers with a business degree include roles in accounting and finance departments, which take in large numbers of business degree graduates. Other sectors with high demand for business graduates include marketing and advertising, as well as retail, sales, human resources and business consultancy. The diversity and plenitude of careers with a business degree underlies the subject’s appeal for many students.
The message really is: the business degree itself does not automatically mean a high salary – though graduating from a highly reputed business school with strong grades is certainly likely to open up some interesting opportunities and perhaps a large business degree salary. You’ll still need to prove yourself, and be ready to work hard, if you want to reach your career and salary goals – and be prepared for plenty of competition