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Careers in Business

Graduates with business degrees are well prepared to pursue a variety of careers because of their diversified skill set. Business degrees focus on a broad range of functions such as entrepreneurship, management, human resources, marketing, financial analysis, and basic accounting. Business principles can be applied across industries and can lead to careers in government, healthcare, commerce, information technology, and many others. Graduates with business degrees possess practical knowledge that enhances their ability to advance in business and leadership roles in private, public, and nonprofit sectors. 

Select a program below to learn more about faculty recommended resources for exploring career paths, employment websites, professional affiliations, virtual communities, conferences and much more.

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Useful Skills Within the Business Administration Field
  • Decision Making - Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics and/or statistics to solve problems.
  • Problem Solving - Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • Reasoning - Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Listening - Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Managing Time - Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • Reading Comprehension - The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • Communication - Concise writing skills and able to speak in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading, encouraging and motivating others to accept your ideas.
Career Options

A business degree is a general foundation rather than a specialized training program. Careers in business administration vary and may involve common functions such as management, finance and marketing. However, there is an increasing need for business majors to apply their skills in government, international commerce, information technology, health care, and non-profit organizations.

Depending on one’s interests, talents, qualifications, and goals, students can refine their skills in other areas such as:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Entrepreneurship
  • General Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Information Systems Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Public Administration
  • Sales Management

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the business field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.”

Career Spotlight: Entrepreneurship

With a growing trend in small startup companies, there is an anticipated demand for business consultants who can guide business owners on the ins and outs of starting a company. A concentration in entrepreneurship focuses on the startup phase of small companies. Entrepreneurship skills can be useful in the areas of drafting a business plan, performing market assessments, identifying funding, and all areas that are necessary to create a well-rounded business.

While a specialty in entrepreneurship can be advantageous to business startups, the knowledge can easily be applied to middle management positions with larger organizations. Large companies have a need for people who are knowledgeable in all aspects of business planning and have the ability to convert the plan into practice and execution. With knowledge learned in entrepreneurship, one has the potential for positions in a variety of departments such as marketing, research and development, and sales. Additionally, one could apply the very same skills to positions in the non-profit sector.

Non-profit organizations have similar business needs and concerns as for-profits, with the addition of fundraising. Fundraising for worthwhile charities and causes can be an area of specialty to consider. Knowledge learned in the entrepreneurship concentration can be applied in the areas of marketing and networking as non-profits have an endless need to seek support from both the public and private sectors.

Translating Your Degree into a Federal Position

There are several government agencies and organizations that seek B.B.A. and M.B.A. candidates. The list below provides an example of federal position titles and agencies that seek business majors. Clicking on the position title will take you to the corresponding position classification guide provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Each position is classified under a series of numbers. For example, the “Business and Industry Group”(PDF) is within the 1100 series. You can narrow down the exact series number based on your interest and search it on USAjobs.gov across hundreds of federal agencies.

Getting Started: Internships

Gaining real life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. There are government organized internship programs that provide students or recent graduates the opportunity of gaining real life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. Searching USAJobs.gov or looking at each agencies' career portal are the best ways to identify potential internship opportunities and their requirements.

Pathways

The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students and training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans, due to their military service obligation, will have up to six years to apply).The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)

PMF is designed to attract to federal service outstanding men and women from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university.

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of whom makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation, and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.

Keeping Current: Professional Organizations and Associations
Conferences and Expositions
Get Connected: Social Media
  • APU Business Administration and Management Programs - LinkedIn
  • American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) - LinkedIn
  • American Management Association (AMA) - LinkedIn
  • Financial Management Association International (FMA) - LinkedIn
  • International Project Management Association (IPMA-USA) - LinkedIn
  • Professional & Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) - LinkedIn
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - LinkedIn
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