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Business, General - Overview


General business programs teach people many functions of business. For example, students learn accounting, marketing, and human resources. They learn to plan and direct business events.

The business world is a mixture of many things. People, raw materials, and information come into the business. Technology, market forces, and laws affect what the business can do. To work in business, you have to know how all of these factors will affect the bottom line of profit or loss and how they will alter people's lives for better or worse.

A large number of colleges and universities offer general business programs. In general, the more years of education you get in this field, the more likely you are to specialize.

In a two-year or four-year program, you get a broad background in the liberal arts. You also learn at least the basics of the main subjects within the field of business. This includes accounting, marketing, statistics, and economics.

In general, two-year programs introduce you to the field. Most people transfer their credits to a four-year program. With a bachelor's degree you probably will have more specialized skills. You may get a job in the accounting, human resources management, or finance department of an organization. Some two-year programs also are specialized. These may lead to a job as a bookkeeper or personnel interviewer.

You may want to go on to further study in graduate school. You may study some specialized branch of business, such as accounting or management information systems. Or you may focus on how management is applied to a particular field. Public administration, educational administration, and health administration are some fields to consider.

You also might start by getting a four-year degree in a different field, such as liberal arts or social science. Then, enter a master's program in business administration (MBA). Usually it helps to get some work experience before you apply for an MBA program. The program typically takes two years. However, if you have a strong business background, you may be able to take a one-year, accelerated MBA program.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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