As a high school student, it’s likely that you have at one point considered a career in business. One of the most applicable and appealing subjects, almost one-fifth of Americans who graduate with a Bachelors have a business major. This high volume of graduates go into the wide array of opportunities that a business education offers, from working in an investment bank to becoming a tech entrepreneur.
On the flip side, this large number of business major graduates represents a number of applicants which is even more monumental. Therefore, it is important to do what you can in high school to separate yourself from other applicants, which will maximize both the quality of your college education and lead to success in your career.
Therefore, let’s begin today’s blog about how to do a business major with a brief discussion of some of the most popular jobs in the field.
The Business with Business
As you can imagine, a business major is valuable anywhere where money is involved. One can work in any industry imaginable from tech to healthcare to education. With that being said, let’s briefly describe a few jobs traditionally associated with majoring in business, so you can do some further research on the ones that sound interesting.
- Financial Advisor – Work with clients to help them achieve their financial goals through guidance on investments, savings, retirement, and more.
- Accounting – Do the knitty-gritty work of filling out financial reports, tax returns, and other documents.
- Investment Banker – Help companies that want to buy other companies figure out the amount they should spend. Figure out how much a company should be listed at when they start selling stock. Invest in a variety of markets, including stocks, bonds, and foreign exchange.
- Project Manager – Plan and execute projects by managing a team with an emphasis on staying on budget and time.
- Industrial Engineer – Optimize and remove waste in any production process.
Beyond this, there are other paths that you are likely already somewhat familiar with like marketing, sales, and other typical office jobs.
Do these jobs not sound like a good fit to you? Check out A High Schooler’s Guide to Computer Science and see if programming is!
What To Major In
Not all schools have a business major, so there’s a few options when it comes to deciding what to actually major in – an important choice as you fill out your college applications.
- BBAs: The most traditional degree for a career in business straight out of college is a Bachelor of Business Administration. Within this type of degree, there are many specific major specializations to choose from. Listed below are just a few of the most popular BBA majors offered by universities:
- Real Estate
- Management Information Systems
- BA / BS / BSE: Many people who major in business incorrectly assume that to get a career in business they must pursue a degree with business in the name. In reality, many great schools, including almost every liberal arts college, lack undergraduate business programs entirely.
However, given the fact that success in business is so heavily reliant on networking and skills one learns outside the classroom, one can “get away” with majoring in an adjacent field while focusing their extracurricular and professional involvement in school, an action that BBA track folks should be doing as well.
Below are a few of these Bachelor of Science, Arts, or Engineering majors that are suitable for a one who wishes to major in business. Note that those who wish to pursue tracks that require extensive certifications should heavily prioritize finding a very specialized program. BA / BS tracks are for those interested in more technical and mathematically focused roles, such as a quantitative analyst.
- (BA/BS) Economics
- (BA/BS) Applied Mathematics
- (BA/BS) Information Technology
- (BS/BSE) Operations Research
Choosing a major is difficult. Want to speak with a college admissions counselor to discuss all of your options? Set up an appointment here.
How Do I Get Into a Business Program?
Now that we’re familiar with what exactly pursuing a business major in college entails, let’s talk about what you, as a high school student, should be doing to maximize your chances for success in the future.
Completing a personal project is one of the most effective ways to add value to your application; it’s generally free and demonstrates work-ethic and independent drive. As someone with a predetermined interest to major in business, you’re at an advantage since you can focus what project you make around that.
You could organize a workshop to teach basics of budgeting and finances to local middle schoolers, or even launch a small business.
Classes and Extracurriculars
As far as your coursework goes, you should take everything related to business as possible, in addition to math (unfortunately).
There’s many obvious extracurriculars for someone who wants to major in business, like FBLA, DECA, and other large, competition-based business clubs. These are a great way to connect with like minded peers, travel, and potentially win awards based on your business acumen.
While these opportunities are great if available, not everyone has the convenience. For those like this, I recommend making a business-focused club of your own which hosts discussions and events about a topic interesting to you, whether that’s real estate or the stock market.
Internships and Jobs
As one can guess, nothing beats real world job experience. Internship experience, if you’re lucky enough to get it, demonstrates dedication and familiarity with business. For many, there’s not many dedicated internships available nearby, especially not for high school students. I suggest those without opportunities to consider if there are any local businesses or organizations that could use your business assistance, especially through a role like a social media manager.
Also, one should not underestimate the value of a standard part time job. Spending your time earning money to support while in school yourself illustrates your willingness to work hard and balance many responsibilities concurrently.
Remember that the college admissions process is holistic, and you can shine in areas other than extracurriculars. Check out my blog on writing college essays to make sure you show your best self to admissions officers.
Remember: You got this!
Whether or not you want to get a business major, it is important to remember that college applications don’t mean everything. Strive to achieve the best version of yourself, but make sure that you prioritize your mental health, especially during the stressful season of college applications.
If you still have any questions about studying business in college, or applying anything else college or standardized test-prep related, get in contact with a Dewey Smart tutor today!