If managing a big company or owning your own business has always been your dream, a business management degree may be the ideal choice for your college major. A business management degree combines classes that teach finance and marketing with the soft skills of teamwork and interpersonal empowerment. If you’re a natural leader and a strategic thinker, you can expand your knowledge with classes to take in college for business management.
Business management courses cover financial, managerial, marketing and human resources topics. Take electives to further specialize.
Start With General Education Classes
Before jumping into the courses required for business management, you’ll take general education courses. Classes like math, English, psychology, biology, history and sociology will help you have a well-rounded education and spark critical thinking through a global lens. Expect to spend about two years taking these classes.
Classes to Take in College for Business Management
You’ll take some lower-division courses right away to help you gain an overview of business management. These classes are designed to help you solidify your interest in the major and assess your aptitude to continue to upper-division courses. Common courses include financial accounting, introduction to business, macro and microeconomics and legal environment of business.
Satisfy Upper-Division Requirements
Courses required for business management that offer specific competencies and skill development comprise the core classes of the degree. Topics may include management principles, managerial communications, global business, principles of marketing and corporate finance. These classes are generally taken during your third year in college. Senior-level courses include human resource management, leadership and organizational behavior.
Choose Management Electives
Your final coursework is focused on business electives. Select classes that fulfill a personal interest or that round out your career aspirations. For example, marketing, business law, accounting or international business are common choices for electives. Some programs offer these courses as short-term certificate courses in management or as a minor.
Get Involved on Campus
In addition to coursework, it’s important to get involved on campus to demonstrate your leadership skills. Common student activities include a national professional business organization called Delta Sigma Pi, future business leaders of America called Phi Beta Lambda and an international organization called Financial Management Association.
Joining one of these clubs will help you practice your organizational skills and become connected with business alumni. You can also participate in national competitions and attend leadership conferences.
Seek an Internship
Pursuing an internship with a local business will help you gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a business professional. You may be able to earn course credit for the experience as a one-year business management course. You can also look for an internship during the summer when you’re not in school. Often, an internship may lead to a paid position when you graduate.
Complete a Senior Capstone Project
Most business management programs require a senior capstone project as a final requirement for the degree. This project is a lengthy, written document that involves research and analysis of a topic of your choosing. When you develop your capstone topic, consider an area of expertise that you want to showcase. You can discuss this project in job interviews and highlight it on your resume.
Consider Career Options
As you enter the end of your education journey, begin thinking about potential careers of interest. In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average annual salary for a business manager was $134,460. Pay varies by the type of organization and the level of job responsibility. Here’s a list of potential career options for a business management graduate:
- Contract administrator
- Financial analyst
- Retail manager
- Market researcher
- Venture capitalist
- Stock broker
- Health care management
You may also choose to continue your education by pursuing a Master of Business Administration.
Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Meier is is a regular contributor for The Equity Network and has worked in education for more than 30 years.