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Bachelor Degree Business - Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business

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Students in some undergraduate programs report a common nagging question from parents: “And HOW will you use that degree?” However, business majors typically don’t have this problem. Pursuing the bachelor degree in business has long been regarded as a sensible undergraduate decision. After all, the applications of business are widespread and will always be in demand: virtually every economic sector requires bookkeeping, financial guidance, and other skills acquired by business majors. Furthermore, graduates tend to enjoy relatively high salaries and have jobs with benefits.

Types of Bachelor’s in Business Degrees

Some students earn basic degrees in business with titles such as Bachelor of Arts in Business (BA) and Bachelor of Science in Business (BS). It’s more common though to earn a business degree that conveys a specialty. For example, students can earn the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BBA).

Undergraduate students can typically choose from a variety of concentrations within a business college. Some popular choices include accounting, economics, marketing, sales, and organizational behavior. Students who are especially adept at math might also enjoy a quantitative methods focus.

What’s Studied in a Business Bachelor’s Degree Program

Students in undergraduate business programs take a range of courses in order to understand the fundamentals of business. A typical course plan would include courses in accounting, ethics, human resources, marketing, sales, and other major areas. After taking these core classes, students could take upper-level courses that were more tailored to an area of concentration. For example, a quantitative business student would likely take all math courses during senior year.

For more than a century, top business degree programs have educated students via the case study method. Students study actual business case histories in-depth, becoming familiar with each business’s products, management, payroll, competition, and other factors affecting its viability. Based on these case studies and principles learned in class, students are expected to recommend strategies for these and other organizations. With enough practice, students are able to efficiently analyze and approach complex business scenarios.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Business Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in business is traditionally earned in four years, but there are some important exceptions. For one thing, undergraduate degrees in all subjects nowadays tend to require an extra semester or two beyond the traditional four years. That’s partly due to budget cuts that reduce class availability. To save time, students can transfer AP credits or otherwise test out of course requirements. Summer courses also speed up the process.

Another option is to attend online school. Online colleges often let students accelerate schooling by transferring credits, testing out of courses, taking heavier course loads, or taking classes year-round. At the same time, students who prefer slower schedules can be accommodated with part-time programs.

How Much Can I Earn with a Bachelor’s in Business?

Positions in the business world tend to support a comfortable living. People in management positions are especially well-compensated. Here are some salary ranges for business graduates as reported to Salary.com in July 2010:

Human Resources Manager $45,075 – $73,899
Retail Store Manager $34,698 – $55,563
Staff Accountant $37,584 – $49,825
Senior Accountant $49,754 – $64,102

For the best shot at advancement, graduates are generally advised to earn an MBA after gaining a few years of on-the-job experience. Chief financial officers and other top executives can earn well above $100,000 annually. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Services reports that the median salary for top managers in computer systems design and related services was $133,140 in May 2008.

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