Undergraduate students majoring in business on any campus in the U.S. have to take a prescribed schedule of classes, both business oriented and more general. Electives may relate to their business major.
Within a business major itself, they may take business management, accounting, economics, computer information systems, finance, entrepreneurship, human resource management, general business, marketing, or managerial marketing.
Each specialization opens business students to rewarding careers. However, to achieve their goals, students need to take advantage of everything their instructors and their college offers them. This means they need to request financial aid, enroll in an accredited program, read and take advantage of business journals and open access resources, and earn an internship.
Once students have earned their degrees, the studying and learning doesn’t stop. They need to earn needed certifications and attend business conferences as well in order to stay in the loop.
Top Resources for Business Students
Accreditation is vital for all majors who want to benefit from the education they worked so hard to earn. While accreditation also benefits the university and its individual programs, it provides many benefits to students. Because you are planning on a business major, you should have an understanding of which agencies provide accreditation to your university and other universities in the country. Look for two accreditation types: regional and specialized to each business degree program.
Specialized accreditation applies only to degree programs, such as business degrees. The most well-known accreditation for business degree programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) accredits programs around the world.
Questions About Financial Aid
Undergraduate students majoring in business can receive several forms of financial aid. After filling out their first FAFSA, students will be eligible for grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans. Undergraduate students are eligible for the Pell grant, provided they are able to prove financial need (grants are most often need-based). Grants for college are usually free money that doesn’t have to be repaid.
They may also qualify for grants administered by their own universities. As long as they maintain a GPA that is at or above the requirements to receive the funds, and they fill out an annual FAFSA, they will continue to receive funding.
Work study is also a financial aid program. It is designed to open part-time employment opportunities to students, who receive regular paychecks instead of a lump-sum financial aid payment at the beginning of the semester. Scholarships are another form of free money. Students can apply to receive outside and undergraduate business scholarships, and prestigious external scholarships. Finally, student loans are another option. Whether federal or private, these should be used only as a last resort.
Business Associations for Students
When you begin taking your business courses, your professors should introduce you to the existence of business associations and their student chapters. These are valuable resources that you will take advantage of well into your business career. By joining a student chapter of a business association, you’ll add value to your resume. If you are able to get a temporary job performing a business function such as accounting, you’ll also be able to gain work experience relevant to your career.
Professional organizations are generally non-profits. They work to make a specialized profession better known, as well as benefiting the interests and needs of members.
- American Society of women Accountants (ASWA):
The American Society of Women accountants was formed in 1938. This association works to empower women who are majoring in or working in all finance or accounting fields.
- American Bankers Association (ABA):
This association was formed in 1875 and works to represent banks from small to large. ABA also provides support for banking employees and the banking industry.
- National Association of Black Accountants (NABA):
In 1969, the NABA was formed in order to help promote minorities who are professionals working within the finance and accounting fields.
- American Marketing Association (AMA):
The AMA is one of the largest marketing organizations in the US. It provides support to professional marketers.
- National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP):
Established in 1991, the NASP works to develop sales professionals, helping them to become leaders in a world that changes every day.
- Social Media Club:
This professional organization works to promote literacy in social media. It is working toward developing industry standards and informing members of industry trends.
- American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS):
This association supplies research, education, and certification programs for operations management and supply chain professionals. Students are welcome to join.
- Entrepreneurs Organization (EO):
This association works globally, helping entrepreneurs to develop their abilities and become successful. Members discuss, learn, and grow from the experience and knowledge of other members.
- National Human Resources Association (NHRA):
This association was established in 1961 in order to help support the growth and professional development of human resources professionals.
- American Association of healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM):
AAHAM is the premier organization for healthcare administrative management. It is an excellent resource for education and information on trends and issues in healthcare management.
Student or Open Access Journals
As much reading as business students already have, it may benefit them to add another source of knowledge to their reading list. Open access or student business journals contain reams of information that is valuable to students and professionals.
Even better, if that article has been published in a scholarly journal, is has probably been peer-reviewed, making the information between its pages of even higher value.
Depending on what sector of business any student is studying, you should be able to find some of the best sources available to you, either on library shelves or online.
List of Online Resources
Even though business students are enrolled in an accredited degree program, they may find that they need additional learning. From Coursera to Udemy, students can, for a small fee or for free, access online courses that help them to learn everything they need.
Using online courses called MOOCs, students can gain access to entire business course which are videotaped, with tables, charts, and PowerPoint slides. Instructors give assignments which students complete and use to earn a grade. Universities, some of them world-famous, have jumped onto the MOOC bandwagon, opening their regular classes to students all around the world. Here are just some:
Courses on the edX website are free and self-paced. Business courses include Business communication, Becoming a Successful Leader, and Strategic Management.
More than 100 universities and colleges have paired with Coursera to make entire classes available to students who live far from the physical campuses. Depending on student need, courses can last weeks to several months.
Instructors and experts from all over the world have offered on-demand courses for students to take. Classes may include Business Leadership and Management and Marketing Essentials.
- MIT OpenCourseWare:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes business courses available for undergraduate and graduate students through its OpenCourseWare. These courses go beyond the introductory level, offering the cachet of an MIT education.
Apps assist the business student, helping to make their university life a little simpler. They may use these apps to manage time and assignments; or they may use them to gather needed data for class assignments.
Students in any major, including the BBA, are really busy. This makes time management and the moderate use of websites and social media a must. Some of these websites block social media and websites, freeing students to study. Others allow students to gather information they need while still others help students to save all of their study documents in one place. Today’s students go to class with laptops and tablets so they can quickly take notes, track assignments, and even start working while they are still in class. Here are some apps made just for students.
Dropbox works in the cloud, allowing students to save their notes, papers, and study materials in one spot. This way you can’t lose your work, and even if you forgot to print it, you’ll always have access no matter where you are.
This app is an alarm that students can’t put on snooze—they have to perform an action to make the alarm stop.
This project management app allows students to make notes on boards. These boards can work for group projects.
This app gathers vast amounts of data, allowing students to access information they need.
Evernote is easily accessible so students can take notes on their computers, laptops, or tablets. Images can also be saved to Evernote.
Internships are a highly valuable way for business majors to get actual work experience they can use for their resume and, once they accept a job offer, in their jobs. Companies compete to find the best business majors—in fact, companies can be in almost any field such as healthcare, sales, or marketing depending on your focus.
Good business degree programs will require that their students find and take part in an internship. Professors may be able to direct students to resources for internships; or the student can visit the career and placement center at their university to research what upcoming internships will be available. Looking for, applying to, and completing an internship is a valuable experience for real-life job searching.
Resources for Students and Professionals
Business Certificate Options
Certifications help people in all professions to sharpen their professional skills—this includes people working in business. If, at some point in their career, a student wants to combine business and politics, they can take a certificate course which will give them the knowledge needed to enter this field. Other options include global management, real estate (undergraduate level), energy management, healthcare business, risk management, etc.
Once you know which specialization you want, you’ll be able to choose which certifications you need to take. Even better, you can take them while you are still in school or you can wait until you’ve begun to work.
- Certified Associate in Project Management Offered by: Professional Management Institute
To be eligible for this certification, you need your high school diploma or an associate degree. Submit an application to join Project Management Institute, study the course and take an online proctored exam.
- Digital Marketing Certification Offered by: Columbia Business School
A digital marketing certificate gives you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in this form of marketing. Sign up for this course and, in three months, you will earn your certificate.
- Sales Certification Offered by: National Association of Sales Professionals
Enroll on the NASP website and begin working to build your sales skills. NASP teaches you how to use good sales skills and negotiate a sale to closure.
- Data Analysis Offered by: Certified Analytics Professional
The Certified Analytics Professional has the skills and certification needed to move up in their career. You’ll have to meet specific eligibility requirements, then take courses in the Code of Ethics and soft skills.
- Certified Supply Chain Professional Offered by: Certification and Professional Development
Professionals can choose a learning option that fits their needs. Read the course brochure to ensure you meet CSCP requirements, then sign up.
Certification Study Resources
Passing a certification course isn’t easy. You need to study—and you need the correct study resources. What you are studying has to be specific to the certification you’re working to earn. You may be required to meet with other professionals to participate in study sessions. Qualified professional instructors will guide you through the material you need to learn. Once you have completed the study course, you’ll be ready to take the exam pertinent to the certification you are earning.
- Human Resources Professional Certification Study Course:
This study course is offered at Wright State University by the Department of Management and International Business.
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification:
This course is offered by Corporate and Continuing Education at Central Piedmont Community College.
- Certified Scrum Master Training:
This certification course is also offered by Corporate and Continuing Education at Central Piedmont Community College
- Quickbooks Certified User: Exam Review and Certification Test:
This Quickbooks certification course is also offered by Corporate and Continuing Education at Central Piedmont Community College
Resources for Business Professionals
Once a student has graduated and entered the world of business, it’s vital that they find professional business association to join. Joining these associations and going to meetings and events allows new business professionals to meet people who have been working in their field for years and may allow them to find someone who will mentor them and guide them as they grow in their new profession.
Membership also opens those new to the world of business to find and capitalize on new resources, such as certification opportunities, professional development, or just connecting with those who think as they do.
Keeping up with your professional business field is vital if you plan to advance into management or the C-Suites. You need to keep up with new developments and events in the business world, which means you need to keep up your business reading. Business journals are designed to give you quick access to the information you are seeking.
One of the best ways to get your hands on at least one business journal is to join a professional business association in your field. Subscribing to and reading pertinent articles will help you to think creatively and move your department ahead in its goals.
Industry Conferences for Business Professionals
Along with belonging to professional organizations and reading business journals, the most up-to-date business professional needs to attend industry conferences. They allow professionals like you to meet and rub elbows with other business people. You’ll take part in breakout sessions and listen to speakers talk about their specialties, such as human resources management or healthcare management.
You may also find that these conferences are a valuable resource of professional opportunities should you decide that it’s time to move into a different organization or position.
- 10X Growth Con:
Created for entrepreneurs, the 10X Growth Con features speakers who excite their audiences. This conference focuses on teaching attendees to invest in themselves and in their businesses.
- Forbes Agency Council:
This conference is reserved as an invitation-only event for those professionals (executives) who are successful in their careers (advertising agencies, public relations, creative agencies, or media strategy).
- Brand Storytelling:
This conference is geared toward those who create brands for business clients. Attendees and the speakers know how to tell a compelling story—people who attend will learn much.
Professional Business Software
Business professionals dive, whole-body into business software, which helps to make their workdays run more smoothly. Organizations from the smallest, one-person LLC to the largest, world-famous companies, need to know what professional software will make their work easier. Such software does more than process bookkeeping or accounting, it also helps companies to predict the risks of decisions they are considering. Most of all, good business software will make daily organization easier.
Such software is a set of programs or even an app that helps to automate, support, or improve business processes. If this is accounting software, it will identify and correct errors; other software a business buys and uses may help to identify where efficiency can be improved. Where business professionals used to use pencil and paper to complete business tasks, software helps them do this work more efficiently and effectively.
Types of software include:
- Word processing
- Business invoicing
- Database software
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Asset management