5 Skills You Will Learn While You Pursue A Business Degree
Degree programs are designed to teach you a lot of things. For most majors, they'll be highly related to your field of research—how to work in a lab, or best practices for writing essays.
In some respects, that's true of business degrees as well; if you're here for accounting, you'll be learning a lot about how to keep records and balance budgets.
However, a big part of what makes business degrees stand out from most others is the fact that there are a lot of other skills you'll pick up in business school that can be applied in almost any aspect of your adult life.
Let's take a look at a few of these skills and how they're useful, both within the world of business and beyond.
1. Leadership skills
One of the key positions that business schools prepare students for is management. In many businesses across the country, simply holding a bachelor's degree is a requirement for higher-level positions, and even entry-level jobs may see higher pay for applicants with a degree.
Business schools focus heavily on leadership to help you in this regard, offering advice and experience managing small groups, settling conflicts, and facilitating team building and camaraderie.
By utilising group projects and simulated business experiences, business schools can give students the firsthand knowledge they need to improve their leadership.
Outside of a business management career, leadership experience can also offer benefits with activities like sports teams, fundraising and charity work, or even help you to provide an authoritative voice in an emergency situation.
2. Networking skills
No, I'm not talking about the internet, although business degrees with a concentration in information technology are certainly an option, if that's your thing.
Rather, in the context of business, networking means making and building relationships with other professionals which can benefit both of you.
One of the reasons that top-ranked business schools are so popular and competitive is because of their networking potential.
With a great education comes a better shot at success, and the classmates you've gotten to know over your college career are likely to go on to start major businesses that might even impact the global economy.
You can utilise these relationships to help in the building of your own business, such as if a classmate owned a business that might make an excellent supplier for materials you need.
Schools also frequently offer opportunities to network with alumni, making use of your shared experience at the university as a foundation for a relationship.
It goes beyond that, too. While the opportunities are quite valuable themselves, the experience of building and maintaining relationships will be useful even after graduation, helping you to learn what's needed to stay on good terms over a long period of time.
In everyday life, that can mean little things, like calling relatives regularly or keeping in touch with old school friends, which even in the age of social media can be tougher than it looks.
As long as the people you're in touch with aren't toxic or dangerous, you can never have too many friendships.
3. Finance skills
While not everyone is going to have a concentration in finance for their business degree, just about everyone in the program will have to take basic courses on finance at some point.
Finance teaches you how to manage money, both for businesses and individuals.
You'll learn to keep records on the value of assets and maintain a running tally of expenses.
Even if you don't plan on a career in finance, knowing how to do this can be invaluable in the early days of a start-up, before you're able to hire a dedicated finance department to handle it before you.
The utility in everyday life is pretty obvious—if you know how to manage other people's money, you know how to manage your own as well.
4. Decision-making Skills
Decision-making hardly seems like a skill, doesn't it? Or at least, that's how it seems until you're sitting around in the evening trying to figure out what to eat for dinner when no one is willing to make up their mind.
Decisiveness is something a lot of people struggle with, even for fairly unimportant situations like dinner, so you can only imagine what it's like when the stakes are higher—a business merger, for example.
Business schools put heavy emphasis on encouraging students to be decisive, but that doesn't mean picking one of your options at random.
Through simulated business scenarios, students are put into situations where their group or faux company must choose between the available options, which may dictate the success of the entire group.
Gathering information, communicating with those working under you who may be affected by a choice, and standing by your choice once you've made it are all key aspects of decision-making.
Students learn to make informed choices and understand the possible consequences. And hey, maybe it'll make dinnertime a little less complicated in the evenings.
5. Communication skills
In business, communication has a lot of meanings. You'll need to communicate with those working under you and those above you.
You may also need to communicate with clients to ensure that your work is meeting their needs and delivering what they want. You'll have to communicate with those in other departments, and sometimes those in other companies, such as suppliers.
We all communicate every day in dozens of different ways, but much of your day-to-day communication probably isn't as effective as you think.
Misunderstandings in the world of business can potentially cost millions, so clear, effective communication is absolutely vital.
Business schools address this need by teaching students how to get ideas across in concise ways that limit the possibility of miscommunication.
Public speaking is commonly required, to get students used to addressing groups, as well as shaping a message so that the idea is understood in the way it was meant to be.
Programs also include a lot of writing, to ensure that you can communicate through text as well as you can through speech. And once you've built these skills, they'll stick with you, helping to communicate better with friends and family, or avoiding silly fights over misunderstandings.
These skills are not only crucial for success in business careers, but they're also necessary for success in society.
A business degree can teach you all these things and so much more, opening doors in both your professional and personal lives. All you need to do is accept the call and get started today