Business is a diverse, enigmatic, dynamic field requiring skilled professionals with a wide range of abilities and expertise. No longer can one expect to cultivate a solitary aptitude in one aspect of the business field with the expectation that the one competency will ensure success. Forging and relying on a particular niche will preclude advancement. Business leaders learn and develop a proficiency in all facets of the industry in which they serve. Success requires a comprehensive knowledge of the mechanisms which keep a business strong and propel it forward. It is the multifaceted individuals on whom the business world relies and who will reap the rewards of success.
1. Choose A Business Field
Preparation for a career in business begins with a decision; in which business field do you want to pursue a career? The business field is comprised of numerous areas of specialization. This decision should be made after much reflection and consideration. Assess your personal skills, interests, and values. Determine which field corresponds closest to the area where your strengths and interests lie. Areas which may be considered include accounting, consulting, finance, marketing, retail, real estate, sales, corporate, entrepreneurship and human resources. Within each of these fields are specific concentrations in which a person can choose to specialize.
There are many resources which can be used to assist with determining the area of business you may want to pursue. Career workshops and job fairs offer the opportunity to meet with professionals in the various business fields. Career counseling is another option which offers the additional benefit of individualized instruction. Career counselors help evaluate your goals, offer guidance, provide career planning and assist with job searches. Information labs offer collections of printed materials. Professional associations are a rich source of information for acquiring valuable information and insight about and into a specific field.
2. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree is required by the majority of companies for persons seeking a professional position. Though in years past employees were able to work their way through the ranks, from clerk to corporate officer; the advancements in technology and the complexity of the current economy have made it so an advanced education is now a necessity. As businesses require individuals with a large range of skills, your undergraduate degree need not necessarily be in a business field.
Certain degrees provide a foundation in fields not commonly considered advantageous for a career in business but which are relevant to the field. A degree in an English major extends a promise to a business the prospective employee has a proficiency in writing, analytical reading, and other related abilities which are advantageous in a company.Computer science degrees provide job candidates with an understanding of the complex mechanisms and systems of the main technology source used by today’s businesses. If your goal is to enter into the business field, try to choose a major which will have some relevance to the specialized field or the aspect of that field in which you want to work.
3. Take the GMAT
Businesses offer opportunity for substantial advancement. As the business field is extremely competitive, these opportunities are afforded to individuals who have the most to offer the company. A graduate degree in business furnishes a competitive advantage. Most graduate schools require prospective students to take the Graduate Management Admission Test known as the GMAT. The GMAT is a standardized test which assesses the business school applicant’s abilities and qualifications. Applicants must register for the exam. The registration can be completed online at the website along with payment of the $250 fee charged for the exam.
Once the GMAT appointment is scheduled, applicants should begin preparing for the exam. Preparation classes are offered by various schools and programs. Some colleges and universities provide information on GMAT preparation software or offer free access to the GMAT test preparation software. The GMAT official website, mba.com, offers free software to registered users of the site. Preparation for the exam could help increase an applicant’s score. Since more than 1700 business graduate schools use the GMAT scores to select the students to whom admission will be extended, a high score is of some importance.
4. Get A Graduate Degree
Completing a graduate degree in business is an investment into the future. Graduate school provides in-depth study of the complex business world and academic training providing the skills and abilities to succeed in it. The graduate degree equips future business professionals with the leadership and management skills coveted by companies. The earning potential of individuals in the business field with graduate degrees exceeds that of individuals with undergraduate degrees by almost double. Besides the financial benefit a graduate degree elicits, the preparation afforded the future business professionals at graduate school will ensure their place as leaders in the field.
Graduate school also provides a number of opportunities for business students. Many graduate schools have forged partnerships and relationships with well-regarded businesses. The businesses partnered with the school offer students internship opportunities. Internships allow students to gain valuable work experience and to develop relationships in the business field. Job recruitment is often carried out conveniently at the business school campuses. Research centers and special projects administered by the graduate school provide opportunities for intellectual development.
5. Market Yourself
Successful marketing is critical to soliciting lucrative job offers from renowned companies. Career counseling centers at graduate schools provide experienced assistance with the effective presentation of the skills, accomplishments and talents which draw attention from the businesses looking to hire. The effectiveness with which you market yourself is critically viewed by companies; revealing the strength of professional communication skills. Taking advantage of the services of the career counseling centers can lead to opportunities which may not have occurred without the expert assistance.
Successful business careers are built on knowledge, skill, education, and talent. But there are other factors and resources which can provide an advantage. Staying abreast of the most current trends and events affecting the business world can offer a preview to potential future occurrences. Successful business professionals keep up with these events by reading the business journals and newspapers, attending conferences and alumni events, and becoming active members in professional organizations. Remember that graduation doesn’t mark the end of your education, it is just the beginning. You should enter into the field of business with the understanding that there will always be something more to learn. And if you aren’t prepared for a life time of continuing education, there may just be an expiration date on your career.