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Business professionals are everywhere. Every industry. Every organization. Everywhere. For those who want to become a business professional, getting a job working for a business is all you need to do. Now, if you have specific plans or desires when it comes to working as a business professional, that’s where customizing a plan comes in.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for managers is going to increase between 2020 and 2030. Part of this need will stem from people retiring, while an increase in the number of businesses that are expected to be created will also add its share of jobs. And Minnesota is expecting the need for managers in all industries to increase. So, if you want to make it as a business professional, this is a great time to get started. You technically do not need a formal education to become a business professional, but if you want to move into management positions, then a formal education is good to have and will serve you well.

If you have the goal of working as a manger of senior professional in the state of Minnesota, then keep reading. Below is information about the education needed and positions that can be pursued.

Business professionals are people who work in a business. It really is that simple. Where things get complicated and interesting is when people decide what kind of business professional they want to be. Some want to become fantastic salespeople, others want to secure management positions, while others choose to go into business for themselves. A typical day for a business professional consists of emails, performing the tasks that are part of their job description, and assisting when and where they can to make the business more successful, efficient, and profitable. A true business professional balances their desire to progress in their career with what is best for the business.

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Online Business Education in Minnesota

Since a business professional is literally anyone who works for a business, a formal education isn’t necessarily required to become a business professional. However, for those who want to move into management positions, the more education a person has, the better. Below are the most common online business degree levels a person can achieve.

Online Associate Degree in Business (AS)

An online associate degree in business is a good foundation for people who might not be sure if pursuing a business degree is what they want to do. If they decide this is the path they want to follow, the degree is a good starting point for a bachelor’s degree. If they decide it’s not for them, then the courses are still good to have for general knowledge. Associate degrees take two years to complete, which is generally four semesters, though some people finish sooner while others need more time.

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While enrolled in a business administration program, students will take courses such as:

  • Accounting I
  • Business Ethics & Law
  • Intro to Management
  • Intro to Marketing
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

Most online four-year degrees in business allow students to have a specialization to complement the business generalization. A specialization is comprised of additional courses taken beyond the general business core curriculum, and can include classes in accounting, management, marketing or other courses specific to the specialization.

For example, someone who wants to go become a financial analyst might take the usual business courses such as:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Statistics
  • Analytics
  • Business Management

However, someone who wishes to work in business administration and become a manager might follow a different track that includes more classes in management techniques, in-depth business courses, and hands-on learning.

Online Master's Degree in Business (MS or MBA)

An online master’s in business administration, aka an MBA, may be a requirement for those who want to enter into senior management positions in a company. While a bachelor’s degree is enough to start a career in finance or other areas of business, additional education to effectively manage people and companies is generally required for high-level supervisory positions. MBA programs build on what was taught at the undergraduate level but add additional critical thinking and analytical courses into the mix.

Graduate students will take courses such as:

  • Advanced Business Communication
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Statistics
  • Financial Projections
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Quantitative Business Analysis

With an MBA and several years of work experience, a person could be tapped for middle-management positions and, in some cases, upper-level management position could be available to them once they spend some time in an industry.

Online PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

A doctorate in business administration, aka a DBA, is another option, but the need for this degree is specific and limited. Those seeking to become tenured professors for a college or university are the most likely prospective candidates. The degree is also helpful in a business setting, but it is used more often in academia.

Those who pursue this degree will study the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Human Development (in an organization)
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operational Management
  • Organizational Leadership

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Become a Business Development Specialist in Minnesota

As was mentioned previously, becoming a business professional is accomplished by working for a business. So, for the sake of this section, we’re going to focus on how to become an upper-level manager for a business.

The first step is deciding what industry is the best fit for your personality, interests, and overall goals. Upper-level managers exist in every industry, so choosing the industry in which you want to work is key. Let’s say you are interested in managing an advertising agency. You’re going to need an education in advertising, marketing, and business. Getting a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business administration is a good place to start. While you’re working on your degree, landing an internship with an ad agency is a good way to get a feel for how the industry operates. It’s also a great way to get your foot in the door of an ad agency. Once you’ve completed your four-year degree, getting an entry-level position with an ad agency should be your next step. While you are working in your entry-level job, continuing your education is also not a bad idea. You could seek a master's degree in marketing or business administration. Either one will provide the education needed to take on management positions.

With your graduate degree, you should be poised to become mid-level employee, provided you’ve paid attention to the industry and learned everything you can while working. Between work experience and graduate studies, you should be ready to move into a management position. Once you are in management, at this point you should keep honing your skills, performing your job to the best of your ability, and either wait for that upper-level management position to become available or strike out to find another company where your talents are more immediately needed.

Another option is to become your own boss. You’ll still want to attain the education and work for another agency so you can learn how the business operates, but once you’ve gained experience and education, this could be the time for you to strike out on your own.

Potential Careers for Business Graduates

  • VP of Operations
    The VP of Operations is the person who runs much of the day-to-day of the business. The only answer to the president/CEO and other managers report to this person, though there are some cases where there are other VPs (Vice Presidents) that are in parallel positions. The VP of operations is a big picture person, they have to see all aspects of the organization and evaluate whether things are working as well as they can. When they identify problems, they task the managers that run the problematic area to fix things. Most VPs have advanced degrees such as MBAs.
  • Team Leader - Operations Manager
    As the title indicates, the team leader is in charge of a team. This could be in sales, advertising, or even a group of social workers. Team leaders track team member progress and add or remove people from the team as needed. A team leader at a fast-food restaurant might only have an associate degree, while a team lead for a tech company could have a master’s degree.

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  • IT Director
    Information technology directors oversee the IT department. They assign people to different teams and make sure there are enough techs to handle issues for the organization. They also handle the budget for the IT department and make sure they have the equipment and tools to handle everything. Most IT directors hold several certifications and are up to date with the latest technology.
  • Entrepreneur
    Many people assume that a business owner is an entrepreneur. However, this isn’t really the case. An entrepreneur is a person who can identify a need and create solutions to meet that need. They might implement the solution themselves or they might put together a team to do it. Either way, many entrepreneurs have no desire to be part of the normal operations of a business. They like to create and implement the solution and move on to the next adventure.
  • Administrator
    An administrative assistant is a person who keeps the trains running on time. They keep the schedules of upper management, welcome visitors to the organization, set appointments, and carry out a host of other duties. Some admin assistants are more secretarial, while others are closer to junior management. It depends on the organization what kind of duties admin assistants will have.
  • Office Manager
    Every business needs someone to run it. The office manager is the person that makes sure that all the normal tasks that keep a business operational are getting done. Other office workers report to the office manager and the manager reports to the owner. In many organizations, the office manager has a better idea of what is going on than the owner. Managers hire and fire personnel, keep schedules straight, and perform other duties as needed. This position is a good way to get an idea of running your own business might look like.
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager

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