Now that “Googling” something as a means of uncovering information is commonplace, asking important life questions like, “Should I get a business degree?” to a computer instead of a human being has become almost second nature.
But of course, that’s not where one’s research ends. Earning a business degree is a big decision and typically requires answers to multiple questions. But don’t worry; we’ve already done the research for you!
We conducted our own primary research using a Google consumer survey of 2,000 individuals who have earned a degree in a business-related field. We asked them six common questions that just might help degree seekers like you decide if a business degree is the right option.
We even included actionable tips for you to consider along your way.
Question #1: Is a business degree boring?
Throughout the course of earning a degree, you will study a variety of subjects. And while general education classes like math, science and humanities are typically required regardless of your major, deciding on a business program that intrigues you the most is a great way to avoid boredom and stay engaged in the classroom.
The chart below highlights the percentage breakdown for the most exciting or engaging business degree courses from our survey respondents.
Overall, it was a tight race with only two percentage points separating the top four classes that our respondents considered to be their most exciting subjects. It’s worth noting that finance and entrepreneurship were the top choices among male responses while management and marketing held the top spots among females.
Maybe these results reflect the countless number of Wall Street-style movies that feature a strong male lead; maybe they’re due to the disproportionate number of top entrepreneur lists that often feature more men than women. Maybe it’s neither of these things.
The point is that there are many different types of business degrees beyond just the five from the survey and, regardless of gender, the opportunity for building your career is there.
TIP: Check out the required classes within the different business programs you are considering to see which course lists pique your interest the most.
Question #2: What jobs are available for business degree graduates?
Because the need for qualified business savvy individuals in the job market is high, the number of jobs you can pursue with a business degree – business analyst, account manager or project manager, to name a few – is also high.
With the help of Burning Glass, an online job analysis tool, we identified 1.2 million jobs available jobs over the past 12 months from and ranked them according to occupation groups. Anyone considering earning a business degree will be excited to know that three of the top six groups are business-related careers!
It should be noted that “occupation groups” lump together all business-related jobs, the fact is that jobs are available for business graduates in nearly every industry from professional services, insurance and hospitals to even national security, sporting goods or educational services.
TIP: Do some research into occupation groups as a whole to learn more about their functions, responsibilities and specific job titles in order to better understand which career path is right for you.
Question #3: What is the job outlook for a business degree?
Careers nowadays can last 40-plus years so, when you’re seeking the path for you, it’s smart to be aware of the job outlook for your chosen field. Below are nine business-related occupations with respective growth projections that range from 14-36 percent through 2020.
The differentiating factor here is that the projected job outlook for many of the occupations on this list meet or exceeds the average – 14% – among all other occupations.
TIP: Learn more about these occupations and the education and work experience commonly required to direct yourself down a specific career path to help make that dream job into a reality.
Question #4: What are the required courses for a business degree?
Before enrolling in a business degree program, make sure to review the required courses in addition to the general courses that prepare you for your new career. Depending on your specific degree program the courses will vary. For example an accounting major may take a course in financial reporting, while marketing majors could take a course in web analytics. Every program is different because the targeted career fields require specific skill sets.
We get it. Taking a lot of classes to complete your business degree is tough. It’s easy to get frustrated, bored or even overwhelmed, but try to remember that you’re taking these courses in preparation for a promising career. In the word cloud below, the different words represent the courses business major took. The larger the word, the more prominent it was in our survey results.*
Accounting, math, marketing, economics and finance were the favorite course subject matters among the business degree graduates that we surveyed. The variety of courses found within business programs will also open the door to working in many different positions in the field.
TIP: Review all course listings – required and elective – prior to choosing a program. You might find a required course that piques your interest or an elective course to steer clear of. Either way, you’ll be able to match your interests with the program that is right for you.
Question #5: Is a business degree worthless or worth it?
When it comes to deciding whether or not a business degree worth the investment, it’s largely a personal decision. But it is worth noting that according to our survey, 63.4 percent of respondents rated their degree as 4 or higher, on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 mean ‘worthless’ and 5 is the highest possible praise). Just 10 percent of respondents said their business degree was not worth it.
TIP: In addition to job security or marketability, potential salary is another important element that might help you decide if a degree is worth your investment. You can use the National Wage Estimates to see where specific careers and occupation groups rank to help you decide for yourself.
Question #6: Is a business degree a good or bad idea?
Deep down, you may already have an idea about whether or not you think a business degree is worth it.
As a means of helping you further validate your reasons and maybe even your own gut feelings, we asked respondents if they would recommend pursuing a business degree. It took our responders, on average, just 3 seconds to respond. The results showed that 70 percent of graduates would recommend pursuing a business degree.
TIP: Go with your gut instinct when it comes to choosing whether or not you should get a business. Maybe even try creating a pros and cons list for pursing your degree to illustrate any hesitations or clear-cut feelings you may have.
A final thought
At the end of the day, Google queries and experienced business professionals can provide you with only so many answers, info, insights and opinions.
The question “Should I get a business degree?” really has only one right answer: the one that makes sense to you. We surveyed 2,000 people and found that almost 64 percent of respondents feel their degree was worth the time and money they put into it. Honestly, we could probably survey a million people and find similar results. Does that matter to you? Probably not. It only matters if you believe that their answers to these six questions align with your thoughts on getting a degree.
If you’re at the point where you feel a business degree is right for you, check out our business degree program. If you’re still not sold, here’s a handy tool to help you decide which career is right for you.
*Source: Google Insights Survey, Business Degree Questions, October 11th, 2013
*Source: BurningGlass.com (Analysis of occupations groups with the most job openings, Oct. 14, 2012 to Oct. 15, 2013)