How to Become a Business Professional in Ohio

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What Business Major are You Interested In?


Business is business, whether it’s in Cleveland or Chicago. However, people often have preferences when it comes to where they live and, in that case, it’s best to learn how things work in the place you want to be. For those of you who want to live in Ohio, the Buckeye state has a lot of options for you where the type of industry you could join is concerned. Some industries are more prevalent in certain parts of the state than others (Columbus, for example is a major banking hub and several major store chains have headquarters nearby), but there are plenty of options for anyone who wants to be a business professional in the state of Ohio.

The most profitable industries in Ohio are financial services, real estate, and education. If those three industries are of interest to you, any part of the state will serve you well, though Columbus is the financial hub for the state and the home two several major colleges and universities. Someone who wants to work in sports could focus on Cleveland or Cincinnati since there are several professional sports teams in those areas. But, if you just want to work in business and work your way into management, almost any part of Ohio will offer those opportunities. You just have to ensure you have the right education and skill set to match what you want to do.


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Online Business Education in Ohio


If a career as a business professional is of interest to you, below you will find plenty of information regarding educational requirements and the process of advancing through a company.

There’s really no average day for a business professional because what a person does on a given day will depend on the industry in which they work. A business professional working in accounting might spend their days completing financial reports for clients or, if it’s tax season, they might be completing and filing tax returns for businesses and individuals. On the other hand, a business professional working in real estate might spend their time showing properties to prospective buyers or securing additional properties to put on the market. Most business professionals work in an office setting or at least out of an office on site. But past that, there’s a lot of variety on how a business professional spend their day.

Although a person can start their careers as business professionals without a formal education, some form of education will be required to move into top-level management positions. Below are the four levels of education a person can receive and some information on each.

Online Associate Degree in Business (AS)

An associate degree in business will provide a very basic education in business. You can choose a general degree in business or focus on business management, which will add theories of management into the courses you take in order to prepare you for supervisory roles. However, no matter what focus you choose, you will also need to complete general education courses. These are meant to provide a foundation for all other learning, and the credits earned from these classes are the most important to transfer if you decide to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. They could help you begin your bachelor’s degree as a junior instead of a freshman.

The degree takes two years to complete ad covers a variety of areas in business including:

  • Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Principles of Management
  • Intro to Marketing
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Cost Management
  • Macro and/or Microeconomics
  • Statistics for Decision Making
  • Financial Planning
  • And More

An associate degree takes around two years to complete, requiring 60 or so credit hours to pass. It can prepare a person for entry-level positions at many organizations. For those with work experience, the degree can also allow them to attain lower management positions.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

A bachelor’s degree is generally considered the groundwork for a career as a business professional. This is especially true for those with no prior work experience. The four-year degree provides an overall education in all aspects of business, as well as a general education to round out your learning. many programs allow students to choose a specialization so that they can tailor their degree to match their career goals. For example, someone who wants to work in advertising might choose a marketing specialization for their degree.

Some of the courses that might be included in a bachelor’s degree in business include:

  • Accounting I & II
  • Business Ethics & Law
  • Statistical Applications in Business
  • Macroeconomics & Microeconomics
  • Investments & Theories of Finance
  • Marketing
  • Theories of Management and Leadership
  • And More

However, if someone chooses to pursue a career in manufacturing, they might add certain courses to the curriculum that will make them more attractive to prospective employers.

These courses might include:

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Cost Accounting
  • Personnel Management
  • Human Relations
  • Conflict Management

Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete. Depending on the specialization, internships or portfolios might be required to complete the program. During those four years, you will complete around 120 credit hours, and you will want to keep your eyes open for any opportunity to complete an internship of some kind. The best internships will be in the industry where you hope to work after graduation, but any experience at all is better than none.

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

A four-year degree is enough to get a person started on their path to become a business professional. However, the competition for managerial and supervisory positions in many industries can be tight and, therefore, additional education is almost always required. The most commonly earned master’s in business is actually a master’s in business administration, an MBA. These degrees can offer students the opportunity to learn more about managing and running a business, especially if their undergraduate degree did not focus on management principles. A graduate degree builds on the foundation set by a bachelor’s and is tailored for those who want to run a business either as an owner or in a managerial role. Students may study some of the topics students covered in their undergraduate study but they will be taught in more depth at the graduate level.

Some classes in the curriculum might include the following.

  • Business Collaboration
  • Career Management
  • Strategic Human Capital
  • Business Communications
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Strategic Management
  • International Business Environment
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • And More

Graduate degrees usually only take around two years to complete as they only require around 60 credit hours. However, as many professionals take their courses part-time, these degrees can take up to five years to complete, and they often require either a capstone project or a comprehensive exam.

Online PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

A doctorate degree in business may also be known as a DBA. This is an option for those considering tenured professor positions for a college or university but is very uncommon for those looking to reach the highest roles in for-profit or non-profit businesses. Often these roles, called the C-suites, only require that you have a master’s degree and extensive experience. However, this terminal degree is also helpful to those who wish to become subject matter experts, especially those looking for more credibility or looking to become a consultant.

Students in these programs will often create their own study path, but some courses they might take include the following subjects.

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

Doctorate degrees take up to seven years to complete and a dissertation is usually required to be written and successfully defended before the degree can be conferred

Become a Business Development Specialist in Ohio


For those who want to become business professionals in Ohio, there are a few decisions that have to be made.

  • What industry do you want to work in?
    Ohio is ripe with opportunities in many different industries so, if you have a preference, there’s a good chance you can launch a successful career. Most people have an idea of what they do or don’t want to do, so that’s a good place to start. If you’re into music but don’t like science, a career in healthcare probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you like science but can’t carry a tune in a bucket, nursing could be a great option, while music teacher might not be a good fit. Pick an area of interest focus your next step on that.
  • How much education are you willing to get?
    Once you know what you want to do, you need to obtain training in that area. In many cases, this can be accomplished in two different ways. First, you can get an entry-level job in the industry and learn on the job, or you can attend college and receive a formal education. As was mentioned previously, there are several levels of education you can attain in most industries. If you don’t think you’re ready to commit to a four-year degree, you can start out with an associate degree. If you opted to go the on-the-job training route, eventually you’re need some formal education in order to advance. Your best bet is to figure out what is the most common level of education for your chosen industry and strive to reach it. It will make you more competitive in your industry.
  • Should I work before I get my education or wait until after?
    If you can find suitable employment in your field of interest before you finish school, then, by all means, work and gain experience in the field. This is a good way to determine if the job or industry is a good fit for you. But, if you would prefer to concentrate on your education and not work for a few years, that’s okay too. But, considering most college students do work at least part-time, seeking a job in your chosen industry is a prudent thing to do.

Potential Careers for Business Graduates


If it’s a for-profit operation, then it’s a business and therefore needs business professionals to run it. Here are a few example of the types of position that could be available to you as an aspiring business professional.

  • VP Operations
    A vice president of operations is basically the second in command at a business. They report directly to the president of the company. Operations is an umbrella for the overall performance of the business, encompassing all departments and employees. The VP has to understand how every part of the company runs and must keep track of its needs and do what is necessary to keep the organization operational.
  • Business Development Director
    A business development director molds the forward-facing image of a business. They are tasked with finding new business opportunities, increasing revenue, and creating the business’ brand. These new opportunities could come in the form of collaborations with other businesses, community outreach, or other forms of marketing.
  • Team Leader
    Team leaders lead a team of workers to complete a task or project. In most cases, the team lead was once part of the team, so they understand the ins and outs of the position, which makes training new members and offering advice on how to improve performance easier.
  • Administrative Assistant
    If you want to know an executive’s schedule, don’t ask the exec, ask the administrative assistant. Administrative assistants set up meetings, make travel arrangements, maintain the filing systems, and more. They are often tasked with greeting clients and handling most of an executive’s communication, both in person as well as in writing. They have excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Account Manager
    This is a catchall term for a person who directs a group of people who work with a client. Depending on the industry and climate, this could include leading a sales team, a creative team, or a team of customer service professionals. But the underlying core is that the manager ensures that the team meets its goals and enhances the business.
  • IT Director
    An information technology director oversees the IT department. They are responsible for the execution and strategy of the IT infrastructure for a business entity and they direct the effective delivery of disaster recovery, networks, and data development. IT directors are also in charge of technical projects that help an organization meet their goals.
  • Office Manager
    An office manager is the person who runs the show. The president of the company is kept in the loop but most day-to-day happenings of a business are overseen by the office manager. This person does much of the hiring, scheduling, and other office duties, as well as makes sure the business stays on budget.
  • Entrepreneur
    Entrepreneurs are business creators. They have a knack for creating solutions to issues and building a business around the solution. Entrepreneurs are risk takers and start new businesses while assuming much of the risk. They are also often tapped by current business owners to help them home in on their business idea and develop a plan to make the venture more successful.

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