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A College Major Series Pt. 1: Business majors vary in skills, careers, salary

Growing up is hard.  Choosing a major to focus on in college which will ultimately help determine the direction in which your entire future will be headed is harder.  Here at The Paw Print, we understand the struggle, so sit down and buckle up for a series of articles that will highlight the ins and outs of majors you may have never even heard of, in hopes that this eases your anxiety just a bit.  First up: business majors.

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The idea of simply majoring in business doesn’t mean that your professors will be teaching you how to operate your own Fortune 500 company. Declaring yourself to be a business major is like answering the question of “What are your plans after high school?” It’s very general and requires many follow-up questions. 

Majoring in business has been the most popular major among college students of every race and ethnic group. Being a business major is more of an umbrella term. Obviously when people think of business, Business Management and Administration are thought to be the end all, be all.  However, majoring in Finance, Accounting, Real Estate, International Business and Sales are all business majors that are outside the traditional idea of running a business. Below are three majors and subsequent careers that could peek your interest if you’re leaning towards business.

ACCOUNTANT; MAJOR: ACCOUNTING

Accountants dissect and maintain companies financial records. Specifically, that would include ensuring that financial records are complying with the law, suggesting ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues and improve profits, and overall certifying that a business/person is perfectly stable on the financial side of things. According to US News, accounting is considered #3 best job for business and #24 in 100 best jobs. As of 2017, the median salary of accountants was $69,350 while the lowest paid 25 percent salary was $54,250 and the highest paid 25 percent was $91,770. Unemployment rate is as low as 2.3% with as much as 139,000 open positions for accountants. While people can become accountants with only an associate’s degree, it looks better with employers when you come to the table with a bachelor’s degree. If wanting to become an official accountant, you’ll need your accounting license. You’ll have to pass the four-part Certified Public Accountant Examination in your state.

Best Schools: University of Maryland, Loyola University, University of South California, University of Illinois, New York University and Penn State University

 

FINANCIAL ANALYST; MAJOR: FINANCE

Being one of the most coveted positions in the financial industry, financial analysts research large/small scale economic factors, gather financial information and the basic fundamentals in order to manage a business, and look for the sound recommendations that would financially improve a business. These analysts produce forecasts of business, industry, and economic conditions in order to make informed investment decisions. Employers expect analysts to be good with numbers, be problem solvers and have analytical ability. Another component of the position is presenting oral and written presentations to coworkers and clients. This position was ranked #15 in best business jobs and #79 in 100 best jobs. Financial analysts made a median salary of $84,300 in 2017, with the best-paid 25 percent making $114,980 and the lowest-paid 25 percent making $64,390. The best-paying states include Colorado ($110,290), Wyoming ($111,210), California ($109,580) with the highest paying being New York (134,560).

Best Schools: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University and the University of Virginia.

 

CORPORATE ATTORNEY; MAJOR: CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL LAW

Corporate attorneys are educated experts in commercial law. Typically, they work for law firms or are a part of a corporation’s legal team, ensuring compliance with corporate laws and regulations. The responsibilities of this position include representing companies in legal proceedings, protecting companies against legal risks and violations, negotiating deals on behalf of companies, and evaluating new business partnerships. Success at this profession requires skills of negotiation, excellent communication and high strong attention to detail and managerial skills. On the education side of things, corporate attorneys need at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and after that, they’ll need a license to practice law from their State’s Bar Association, along with a minimum of three years practicing law as a corporate attorney. As of May 2018, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average salary of lawyers in general being $120,910; with the lowest 10% earning $58,220 and the highest earning $208,000. Between 2016 and 2026, there’s a projected 8 percent growth in employment of lawyers.

Best Schools: Harvard Law School, Texas A&M University Law School, Cornell University, University of Minnesota, Emory University and Wake Forest University

 

Business degrees are by far the number one degrees sought at colleges/universities across this country, thus entering into the field of business will be a very competitive feat since everybody won’t find the job that they want based sheerly on the numbers. However, don’t be too discouraged by the competition ahead of you. As long as businesses are still flourishing in this country so should business majors.

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