Want to be a business major? Here are some tips
Why should I consider a business administration major?
Business majors will always be in demand because there are so many career opportunities. Employers in various industries need people who know how to organize, plan and manage within an organization.
If you study business, you’ll also strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills by dissecting business problems and recommending solutions. You’ll learn to use information technology tools to gather, organize and represent data for presentations and papers.
In other words, even if you don’t plan to end up in what’s considered a “business” field, earning a business degree will give you a business mindset and skill set that many different kinds of employers want.
How do I choose a school for business administration?
No matter what major you're pursuing, it’s a good idea to research a variety of schools — from large regional universities to smaller colleges. The more you research and visit, the greater the chance you’ll find what matters the most to you and your future.
A good school to study business mimics the business environment by supporting healthy competition, scientific inquiry, critical thinking, innovation and creativity.
If you’re interested in studying business, keep these criteria in mind when deciding which school is best for you:
• flexibility to focus on multiple aspects of business
• curriculum with a practical approach
• professors with real business experience
• personalized attention
• an alumni network to help you before and after graduation
Your professors and advisors should be as committed to your success as you are. While looking at a school, schedule a meeting with a professor from the business administration department and ask to visit a class. They should be willing to share with you more information about the major itself, as well as average class size in the department, their teaching style, course/major expectations, and details about advising and internships.
Most business administration degree programs will have a set of required core courses, including: accounting, business communication, economics, finance, management, marketing and statistics. If you look deeper, you should find instruction — either in standalone courses or as a part of other classes — focusing on leadership, ethics, supply chain and operations, strategies related to start-ups and small firms, entrepreneurship, global business.
Career and internship support
Don't underestimate the importance of guidance opportunities. Ideally, any school you consider will offer help finding and landing all-important internships, preparing for job interviews, preparing graduate school applications, and/or providing career advice.
What can I do with a business administration degree after I graduate? How much do business administration majors make?
The best business major for you depends on your strengths and abilities, and what field you think you might want to go into after graduation. A major in business administration can go in many directions, bringing you a variety of career paths. A partial list includes:
• management consulting
• health care administration
• human resources
• financial analysis
• supply chain management
• social media management
• college admissions
• business teaching
• business reporting
• non-profit management
According to payscale.com, on average, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration make $66,505 annually. The range of annual salaries varies due to the many fields and careers possible for the major:
Augustana’s business administration program
Business administration is one of Augustana’s most popular academic programs. Business majors may choose an area(s) of emphasis that fits their strengths and ambitions: management, marketing, finance, international business or management information systems.
Augustana's liberal arts approach gives students an edge in the business world. According to Forbes magazine, companies today want innovative employees who are critical thinkers and can quickly pivot and adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Faculty relationships and small classes
Because Augustana professors are focused on student success, teaching is their first priority. The department has 12 full-time faculty members, nine of whom hold a doctorate. There are no teaching assistants at Augustana; 100% of classes are taught by professors.
Augustana professors truly want to get to know you. The ability to form relationships with professors allows you to find mentors and advisors in your specific field. These close relationships can result in real-work experiences and job or grad school reference letters that will help you stand out!
Before beginning coursework in their specialty, all business majors complete general courses in economics, statistics, accounting and business communication. The department’s focus on written and spoken communication is reinforced by small, interactive classes.
Outside the classroom
The annual Business Plan Competition at Augustana awards thousands in prize money to students with the best business ideas. The competition allows selected teams or individual students to present their business ideas and plans to a panel of business professionals.
Augustana has clubs/teams specifically geared toward business majors: Beta Upsilon Sigma (Business Club), Student Investment Club, Advertising Developers (ADs), Augustana Accounting Association and the CFA case competition team.
Augustana is affiliated with the CFA Institute, a global, not-for-profit organization, that is the world’s largest association of investment professionals. In February 2020, Augustana students battled 11 teams from the Chicago area, some representing much larger institutions, to win second place at the 2020 CFA Institute Research Challenge in Chicago (see photo above).
Location and internships
The Quad Cities (population 400,000) along the Mississippi River gives you opportunities for internships and jobs in Fortune 500 companies, including Deere & Company, and top accounting firms, consulting firms, banks, retailers, startups, non-profits and more.
As you choose your next step after graduation, the resourceful team at CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) can guide you in the right direction. They’ll help you prepare your résumé, find internship and career opportunities, and prepare a portfolio and application for graduate school.
Augustana’s full-time director of business internships works closely with students to place them in their ideal internships, both national and international. Ninety percent of Augustana’s business students complete internships, compared with 75 percent nationwide.
Viking Connections is Augustana’s Career Alumni Connector Network to bring together accomplished alumni, current students and fellow alumni. Alumni Connectors are available to share advice on careers, industries, employment trends and organizations within their areas of expertise.
If you’re a current high school student who is still looking for the right college, consider adding Augustana to your list — even if you're not sure you want to major in business. Augustana students benefit from small classes that allow for strong faculty relationships, excellent advising and endless opportunities outside of class.