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Also frequently referred to simply as a businessperson, a business professional is someone who holds a position in a company. There are many positions which garner the title. Depending on the specific position, business professionals usually perform a wide variety of everyday tasks such as developing business plans, conducting analysis, monitoring budgets, managing employees, and much more.

Business professionals have many employment opportunities. Generally speaking, they are likely to find a job in human resources, marketing, management, accounting, and public relations. In order to obtain a position as a business professional, earning a business degree in Idaho will be absolutely necessary. There are also degrees online or from nearby states, but local schools are the most likely to offer internship opportunities with local businesses and may provide the best point of entry into the world of business in Idaho.

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Business Education in Idaho

Professional and business services is a top industry in Idaho, contributing roughly $8 billion to the state’s GDP. Partially because professional and business services is such a big industry in the state, there are many excellent business degree programs available at local four-year institutions.

According to the U.S Bureau Labor of Statistics, this industry features the following industry groups: accounting, advertising, management, and office administration. The good news is that many colleges in Idaho boasts business degree programs that specifically focus on accounting, business management, marketing, and human resources, among others.

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Associate Degree in Business (AS)

An associate business degree is the perfect option for people who want to explore the business world. During the associate business program, students will learn basic skills such as problem solving, accounting, critical thinking, and communication.

An associate business degree may improve the job prospects of lucky candidates. However, most aspiring business professionals who are searching for an entry-level position will need to obtain a bachelor’s business degree from a four-year institution. In fact, many associate business degree programs are specifically designed to prepare students to transfer into a bachelor’s business program at an Idaho accredited institution.

Future business professionals who want to earn an associate business degree from a liberal arts college should consider enrolling in the College of Western Idaho, the College of Southern Idaho, North Idaho College, or Lewis Clark State College.

Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

A bachelor’s business degree program is the perfect choice for students who would like to get into an entry-level position in the business field. The program will expose students to key business concepts through courses such as Marketing, Foundations of Management Theory, and Business Analytics. Students will also learn about business communication, business technology, statistical methods, marketing, and business law.

Many students who complete this program go on to obtain a job in the following fields: general management, human resource management, sales/promotion, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Some of the best business schools in Idaho are found at the University of Idaho and Lewis Clark State College.

Master's Degree in Business (MS or MC)

Although there are some management positions that business professionals can get with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s business degree and an MBA equivalent will definitely lead to a business management career.

In order to prepare students for a business management career, the program will cover topics such as business economics, marketing, supply chain management, accounting, business analytics, and data management. These programs also offer many internships and experiential learning opportunities.

A master business degree program is available in many formats including full-time, part-time, and online. Many full-time working students prefer the online class sessions because of the flexibility. The curriculum usually includes the following on-campus or online courses: Operations Management, Business Policy and Strategy, Applied Business Solutions, and Advanced Financial Reporting.

Idaho is home to Boise State University and Idaho State University, which are two institutions where students can earn a master business degree.

PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

A PhD/Doctorate degree is the perfect choice for students who want an exciting career in business. As students of a PhD/Doctorate program, future business professionals are likely to have to complete an immersion experience that aligns with their business aspirations. Many PhD/Doctorate students choose immersion experiences that focus on leadership development in a company.

Students who wish to receive a PhD/Doctorate degree should consider attending the University of Idaho.

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Become a Business Development Specialist in Idaho

When students research the steps toward becoming a business professional, they may find suggestions on how to become a business consultant or how to get into finance or insurance specifically. That’s part of why it is so important that the first step you take be to decide what career you are looking for in business. There are so many options available that you must know where you want to end up in order to find good information about exactly what steps you need to follow.

Even so, here are some of the steps to become a business professional.

  • Get a High School Education

    First things first: Aspiring business professionals need to obtain a high school diploma. Future business professionals should also enroll in STEM options because these classes will prepare them for college-level courses.

  • Earn an Associate and/or Bachelor’s Business Degree

    For people who are hesitant about becoming a business professional, obtaining an associate business degree in liberal arts may be the next step. An associate business degree will introduce students to general business concepts like business decision-making, accounting, management, and marketing. Students who exceled in STEM options like calculus and science during high school should be able to complete this business degree program without any problems.

    But, while getting an associate business degree is certainly great, it’s really just a starting point. Most employers are actually looking to hire candidates with a bachelor business degree, which is why those who are serious about business should strive to earn this specific degree. In most cases, earning a bachelor business degree will lead to an entry-level position in the business field.

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  • Earn a Master Business Degree
    If you want to pursue a business management career, you may also want to receive a master business degree. Many employers prefer to hire business professionals with a master business degree because these qualified candidates know exactly how to make savvy business decisions and lead high performing teams. Business professionals with a master business degree often work in management positions.
  • Obtain Professional Certifications

    A great way for business professionals to advance their careers and qualify for certain management positions is to obtain professional certifications. For business professionals who want to be a certified accountant in Idaho, they must pass the CPA exam offered by the Idaho State Board of Accountancy. A certified business analysis professional certification program is available for business professionals who have a strong desire to analyze businesses. Project management professional certification is highly recommended for business professionals who want to work as exceptional project managers.

    Idaho also offers many Salesforce certifications so that business professionals can pursue careers as a Salesforce system administrator or sales representative. Check out these certifications: Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant, Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant, and Salesforce Certified Administrator.

    While the state itself does not have a license requirement for those working in business in general, business professionals who would like to own and operate a business will need to register their business with the Idaho Secretary of State.

  • Secure Employment and Attend Professional Development Trainings

    After earning a bachelor or master business degree and before or after obtaining professional certifications, business professionals will be ready to search for employment.

    And, since the business world is constantly evolving, it’s extremely important for business professionals to never stop learning. Many business professionals have the opportunity to receive developmental trainings while working in entry-level and managerial positions. The best professional developmental trainings will cover important topics such as project management, strategic leadership, complex problem solving, business analysis planning, and marketing strategy.

    Small business professionals can also receive excellent developmental training. The Idaho Small Business Development Center is a great resource for this. The center offers low-cost training for business professionals who want to improve their skills.

Careers for Business Graduates

When it comes to business careers, professionals have many options. Whether you choose to work in finance, business technology, marketing, human resources, healthcare administration, or another business field, you are sure to have exciting careers throughout your life. Here are just some of the options.

  • Project Manager:
    The primary role of a project manager is to oversee many different aspects of a project, including the day-to-day activities, team building, budget, and resources. These business professionals are ultimately responsible for making a project successful.
  • Chief Operating Officer:
    Chief operating officers makes sure that a company is always running smoothly. They oversee a company’s operations by following a business plan. This C-suite professional should also promote a positive company culture.
  • Chief Financial Officer:
    A chief financial officer is expected to manage the financial activities of a company. They work closely with the CEO, ensuring that a company always meets its financial goals. The job responsibilities of chief financial officers include leading an accounting and finance team, preparing budgets, and identifying opportunities for growth.
  • Chief Executive Officer:
    A chief executive officer’s main job is to ensure that a company is successful. Most chief executive officers are expected to engage with the board of directors, shareholders, and the public.
  • Human Resources Specialist:
    Human resources specialists are trained to handle the recruitment processes in a company. These professionals are often seen managing administrative work, interviewing qualified candidates, and improving employee relations. They may also be responsible for tracking employee performance and termination of troublesome employees.
  • Business Development Director:
    The main goal of a business development director is to significantly increase a company’s revenue by identifying good business opportunities. In order to perform well as a business development director, these professionals must thoroughly understand a company’s products and services.
  • Content Marketing Manager:
    A content marketing manager is a business professional who manages a company’s content marketing strategy and tracks the company’s performance through various metrics. The top content marketing managers will have strong SEO, research, writing, and editing skills.
  • Public Relations Manager:
    A public relations manager is on a mission to create a powerful public relations strategy for a company. The overarching goal of these business professionals is to significantly improve a company’s reputation or maintain an already stellar reputation.
  • Healthcare Administrator:
    A healthcare administrator oversees the operations of a healthcare establishment. These professionals are supposed to provide patient support, monitor budgets, manage employees, and engage in strategic planning.
  • Hotel Manager:
    A hotel manager is a rewarding position in the hospitality and tourism industry. The best hotel managers are ones who successfully handle a hotel’s daily operations, from supervising employees and managing budgets to welcoming guests and overseeing the hotel’s online presence.
  • Corporate Travel Manager:
    A corporate travel manager is the perfect career for business professionals with a strong interest in travel industry management. The primary duty of corporate travel managers is to create travel policies for a company.

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