Do you know what assets and liabilities are in a spreadsheet? What is the GDP of the US? Whether you pursue a college business major or open your own business, taking business-related courses in high school helps you learn more about aspects of business. High school business courses can help in building a sense of accountability, leadership and teamwork as you learn more about how businesses operate. These course options can include classes in math, accounting, computers, marketing, finance and economics. By taking business courses, you will potentially gain necessary practical life skills like budgeting and check writing but will also have a foundation for starting a new business or working toward a higher business education. Many high schools have expanded their course offerings to focus on Career Training Exploration (CTE) courses to prepare students for careers with a high school exploration in subjects like business.
Computer classes give you an overall working knowledge of computers and software programs. You can learn proper keyboarding techniques and different software programs to create word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and web pages. You may also learn to organize data, troubleshoot computer issues, code programs and evaluate online resources. Gaining computer skills can give you a technological advantage throughout your life but are expected in the business world. Different business fields require different computer skills. An accountant may need to create and analyze spreadsheets while a marketer may need PowerPoint or Prezi presentation skills.
Management classes provide you with an understanding of business organizations. You'll learn essential skills such as leadership, problem-solving, decision-making, planning, organizing and communication. Classes that relate to management include accounting and personal finance. Both teach you how to analyze business transactions, prepare financial statements and create budgets. Many high schools offer a required personal finance class that teaches students about foundation skills like budgeting and check writing. While these skills are geared toward personal finance management, they also are the base for a future career in business.
Economics classes introduce you to the structure and operation of the U.S. and international economies. You'll learn about the role of the federal government in the economy regarding fiscal and monetary policy. In a high school economics class, you may also study concepts like scarcity and opportunity costs, the role of prices in the economy, labor market operations and trends. As part of economics studies, students also learn how to calculate the gross domestic product (GDP), consumer price index and the country's unemployment rate. By studying economics, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of international trade and foreign exchange policy. Critical thinking, organization and communication skills in an economics class may prepare you to operate your own business or further your college education. When students take corresponding college economics classes, they further learn about micro and macro-economics.
High school marketing classes can also offer you an overview of the marketing operations of a business. Within the course framework, you can learn about aspects of marketing like promotional materials, market research, product planning and salesmanship. In addition, you'll learn about human relations and how to direct marketing campaigns to potential customers. Practical knowledge and skills gained from marketing classes will provide a solid foundation for you to excel in your personal life, college career or business endeavors.
Students looking to purse a career in business might also join and participate in Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) programming and other high school business clubs. DECA focuses on competitive events in fields like business management, business administration, finance, hospitality, tourism and entrepreneurship.
Jeannine Lowe is a business technology teacher at McKenzie High School in Tennessee. She has been writing on business and marketing topics since 2007. Lowe obtained her Master of Science in education through Walden University, specializing in integrating technology into the classroom.