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A business professional is typically a person who works in some capacity for a for-profit organization. Most often, business professionals work in office buildings and maintain regular business hours, often between 8am and around 6pm. They also are known to adhere to a formal, or sometimes business casual, dress code. However, the workplace is changing somewhat and many business professionals work from home these days.

To conduct their business, most professionals work on computers. The more financially minded workers may spend a lot of time using spreadsheet programs like Excel. They also need to know word processing programs and presentation software. Many professionals spend a good deal of time in meetings or on the phone.

On the other hand, there are professionals who work in a more hands-on capacity. Managers in restaurants, for instance, spend their days in kitchens or assisting food servers. Similarly, warehouse managers may need to operate forklifts or other equipment.

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Business Education in Florida

Every state needs a strong workforce of trained business professionals, and Florida is no exception. The Sunshine State needs workers who are current with new technologies as well as having an excellent understanding of the tried-and-true facts of the business world. As we progress into the 21st century, Florida and the world will surely face new and exciting challenges that a business degree will help professionals address.

Florida's industrial profile is as diverse as its population, with real estate, rentals, and leasing leading the economic pack. Business professionals who are skilled with assessing property values and administering maintenance crews tend to do very well in Florida. The state is also a strong player in finance and insurance, so those who have a strong sense of markets and budgets may also thrive. Given that Florida is home to so many retirees, it’s also an ideal home for financial advisers and investment professionals.

The state is strong in tourism and entertainment, both of which can make for exciting careers. This means that there are opportunities for those with a background in performing arts who have a strong sense of business. Those who are interested in running hotels and resorts will also find ample opportunities in Florida. However, keep in mind that many entry-level positions in these fields may involve a good deal of travel, which many anticipate but some may not want to deal with.

Florida is also strong in more traditional industries such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. Degrees from a Florida agriculture department can be put to immediate use in the orange and peach groves, among other crops. The state's growing population also demands expert construction managers, and local manufacturing facilities require experts in areas such as mechanical engineering, supply chain management, and product management.

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Since Florida's economy is so diverse, its colleges and universities have risen to the challenge by offering not only specialty business degrees that address specific niches but also an interdisciplinary approach that yields flexible business professionals. With a well-rounded business education, students can adapt and learn new processes and industries with ease.

Associate Degree in Business (AS)

An associate business degree is one way to get started in the world of business. When students elect to study at a local community college, they establish a solid academic foundation that can help them achieve great things for a low cost. This is because community college courses are typically far cheaper than those at larger four-year institutions, despite the fact that they teach you many of the same things as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, many states are moving towards offering free or drastically reduced prices for community college degrees. Since an associate degree includes the core college courses required by most four-year institutions, attending a community college makes great fiscal sense.

After graduating with an associate business degree, students can launch into an entry-level position with a local firm. The degree is sure to help them land interviews and get started in positions such as marketing, bookkeeping, sales, management, and even supply chain management. Later on, if they desire, associate degree holders might consider applying to four-year colleges or universities to finish their bachelor’s degrees.

Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

Careers in business usually get their strongest launch with a four-year bachelor’s business degree. The extra two years past the associate business degree allow students to focus on their primary major, business, or an associated topic. Those extra two years enable students to complete larger projects and to dive deeper into their field. They can also round out their education with a minor concentration or a double major. For instance, business students often major in specific areas like management, finance, accounting, marketing, or human resources, to name a few possible fields.

The four-year degree also enables students to add experiential learning courses, such as internships, to their resumes. Not only can students receive academic credit for these jobs, but they will be exposed to the working world. Internships can also enable students to start building a professional network.

Master's Degree in Business (MS or MC)

For a business professional, there is hardly any degree more valuable than an MBA. This degree is more versatile than it might seem and provides a near-instant return on investment for the holder. In fact, those who continue to work while they study often find that they receive promotions and raises even before graduation.

MBA students first enter their programs and are greeted with a graduate level review of general business concepts. The first year is spent diving deep into finance, human resources, marketing, and administrative issues. The second year of an MBA is spent on a concentration. Students should investigate what concentrations are offered prior to enrolling because the options are vast, but no school can possibly support them all. The choices can include, but aren't limited to, information technology, supply chain management, marketing, healthcare, leadership, and international business.

Finally, one of the chief benefits many MBA students find is the ability to network with fellow business professionals. This network can be helpful in finding the next employment opportunity or starting a new business altogether.

PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

A PhD isn't as highly valued as an MBA - business professionals tend to emphasize experience and practical knowledge over the theoretical explorations of a PhD. However, that may be changing. This is because of the increasing glut of MBAs in the business community. It can be surmised that soon, if a professional wants to distinguish themselves in the market, it could be helpful to have a doctorate degree in business. This may first become manifest in high tech fields.

Already, some of the top firms in the nation are helmed by professionals who hold a PhD or who are so-called ABD, which stands for all but dissertation. That is, they have completed the coursework and may have a dissertation project approved but have not yet completed their paper, nor had it accepted by their PhD committee.

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Become a Business Development Specialist in Florida

Becoming a business professional in Florida takes years of study, preparation, and determination. In fact, many Florida business professionals start showing signs of business acumen in grade school. These budding professionals may first demonstrate strong mathematical abilities. They might also show an interest in creating small ventures of their own. A classic example is the curbside lemonade stand but, these days, some youngsters are gaining the technical skill required to create clever video games. A new outlet seems to be in the NFT marketplace, where they may sell digital art for video games or simply to trade.

As they grow and develop, future business leaders will start to show an interest in leading schoolmates in sports, student government, or their favorite clubs. The president of a computer programming club, for instance, might be the next software mogul. This is because becoming a business professional in Florida requires not only the skills to get a job done but leadership for delegating and leading teams to success.

During their high school years, Florida's future business leaders should seek out the courses that will benefit them the most in the long-term. They may be lucky enough to have a nearby high school that features a full business curriculum. Most should offer courses in general business or accounting. Students should also pursue mathematics to the highest level possible. Computer courses will also be a benefit.

For college, students should seek out business programs that support their goals. For instance, some may have their hearts set on a career in marketing, but others may be more intrigued with finance. Still others may be natural leaders who wish to helm a team of professional software engineers, for instance. If there aren't business programs in their local area that support their long-term goals, they should look for an online business program. The second step is to ensure that their program at least has regional accreditation from a CHEA-approved agency.

A better option may be to enroll in a business degree program with accreditation from nationally recognized agencies such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. These programs tend to be highly esteemed and will be enormously helpful, not only in the job search but when it comes time to apply to MBA programs.

Careers for Business Graduates

  • IT Director:
    This might not immediately seem like a business position, but information technology is vital to all of today's business dealings. IT directors should have a great deal of experience or even an MBA that features a concentration in IT. For undergraduate students, a degree in management information systems may be helpful in attaining this position. Those with C-suite ambitions may eventually rise into the office of CFO.
  • Office Manager:
    An associate business degree will help students achieve this position. These professionals often serve multiple roles because they may oversee administrative tasks including fielding telephone calls, but they also may be vital in terms of maintaining supplies, overseeing IT matters, and more. Office managers gain important skills for a lifetime career in business.
  • Marketing Manager:
    This is a position that many achieve after many years working as a marketing professional. To become a marketing manager, an MBA will be enormously helpful. A specialization in marketing, leadership, or management can help achieve a promotion to marketing management.
  • Data Analyst:
    High-tech professionals are very highly valued in today's business climate, and data analysts might represent the next stage in that progression. To become an analyst, it's advised that you first become an expert in statistics, linear algebra, and computer science. Future career paths can include work in economics, public health, finance, and marketing, to name a few. This is also a field where a PhD will be very highly valued.

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  • Content Marketing Specialist/Manager:
    A strong business background and savvy regarding SEO practices will help launch this career. To launch this career, an academic background in marketing, communications, and computer science can all also help. Given the importance of the internet to business these days, this is sure to be a hot career for years to come.
  • Entrepreneur:
    Anyone with the moxie to develop their own creative ideas into a functioning business can be an entrepreneur. For instance, Jeff Bezos capitalized on his ability to raise capital from his family to start Amazon and to thus become the world's most successful entrepreneur. While there are no academics required to become an entrepreneur, a business degree will provide businesspeople with the knowledge they need to succeed.
  • Financial/Business Analyst:
    Many successful careers start off with this position. In fact, the investment banking community all begin their careers as financial analysts. The position is limited to around two years, after which most move on to graduate school for an MBA. However, other sectors employ analysts long-term career positions. Regardless, these skills are invaluable for those in banking, corporate finance, and elsewhere.
  • HR Specialist/Manager:
    Business students who focus on human resources might start their careers in a specialist position and then rise into management. The job can involve employee training on matters such as harassment or office behavior. They can also focus on benefits and negotiate the best packages for their employees. Given that every business is only as good as its staff, HR is vital to any successful firm.

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