Types of Business Degrees and When to Pursue Them

Earning a business degree can help individuals interested in the world of business gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need to start new businesses or sustain existing ones. However, there are different types of business degrees to consider, and each degree is appropriate for individuals at a different stage of their professional journey.

The Business Landscape Explained

A business is an entity that conducts professional, industrial, or commercial pursuits. While these pursuits typically center on the sale of goods and services, they also can focus on raising money for social causes, as in nonprofit organizations.

Types of Businesses

Businesses range in size and structure. A small business commonly employs fewer than 100 people, while a big business typically employs 250 people or more. Organizations that fall in between these two are usually considered midsized businesses.

Businesses also have different structures, which determine various elements of their business operations, such as their taxes, accounting methods, and personal liability. These structures include the following:

  • Sole proprietorship: A business owned and operated by a single person or a married couple
  • Partnership: A business owned and operated by multiple people
  • Limited liability company (LLC): A nonincorporated business that protects the personal assets of its owners, partners, and shareholders
  • C-corp corporation: An incorporated business with the strongest personal asset protection 
  • S-corp corporation: An incorporated business with asset protection and additional tax benefits
  • B-corp corporation: An incorporated for-profit business guided by a mission as well as profit
  • Nonprofit corporation: A corporation that focuses on working for the public benefit

Education Requirements

Technically, starting or owning a business does not require a college degree. However, earning an undergraduate or a graduate degree in business can provide prospective business owners with certain advantages. It can also provide professionals who work in business or who want to become leaders in their organizations with the business acumen needed to succeed. 

Earning a business degree can help prospective or current professionals grow their generalized and specific understanding of business processes and objectives. This can help them avoid potential mistakes, execute strategies, and improve an organization’s bottom line.

It may also open up more career opportunities for business professionals. Many jobs in business require a business-related degree, and earning a degree often can set up professionals for career advancement. 

Career Outcomes

The business landscape spans a vast number of industries and sectors, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. This makes it possible for people to work in an industry that aligns with their interests.

Individuals also can choose a career path focused on a specific element of business. For example, an individual interested in a business role with an emphasis on creativity may consider pursuing a career in marketing. A person who has a facility with numbers and an interest in strategic development may want to pursue business roles that focus on finance. And someone who enjoys working with technology systems may decide on a career related to information technology (IT).

What Are the Different Types of Business Degrees?

Earning a business degree can help professionals develop the competencies they need to make a positive impact in their business. Programs for these degrees typically have concentrations that apply to a specific aspect of business, such as marketing or finance. They are designed to help individuals progress in their careers; for example, earning an advanced degree may open the door to higher-level career opportunities, such as executive-level roles.

There is a solid market for new business talent, and this trend is predicted to continue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 911,400 job openings are expected to be available each year across all business and finance occupations between 2022 and 2032. 

The most common types of business degrees include the following. 

Bachelor of Business Administration

A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program helps individuals establish the foundational principles needed to succeed in business. It introduces students to the core functions that move businesses forward, such as accounting and marketing. It helps students cultivate the soft skills that are essential for business professionals at any level, such as communication, time management, and critical thinking. Common focus areas in BBA degree programs include communication, data analytics, and healthcare management.

Earning a BBA can help prepare students for business roles where they can apply their skills and make a difference. Payscale reports that the median annual salary for BBA degree holders is $75,000 as of March 2024. Roles that BBA graduates can pursue include the following:

  • Project manager
  • Information technology manager
  • Systems analyst
  • Entrepreneur

Master of Business Administration

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program can help students deepen their business acumen and leadership competencies. The program allows individuals to explore high-level business topics that are directly related to the growth and stability of organizations of all types, such as human resources, organizational behavior, legal elements, and business from a global perspective. 

Earning an MBA also can enable students to narrow their focus to a specific area of business, such as accounting management, human resources management, or international business management.

Earning an MBA can open the door to higher-level career paths which potentially can lead to more lucrative salaries. Payscale reports that the median annual salary for those with an MBA is $97,000 as of March 2024. Roles that MBA graduates can pursue include the following: 

  • Human resources manager
  • Chief financial officer (CFO)
  • Business operations manager
  • Chief technology officer (CTO)

Master of Arts in Leadership

A Master of Arts in Leadership (MA in Leadership) degree program prepares students for executive-level roles within businesses and organizations. The program focuses on core elements of quality leadership, such as leadership practices, leading organizations through change, workforce development, and office dynamics. 

An MA in Leadership program may offer concentrations that allow students to develop their leadership skills for a specific professional setting, such as business management, higher education administration, ministry, or public administration. 

Executive leadership roles tend to be well-paying roles. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for top executives is $100,090 as of May 2022. Roles that MA in Leadership graduates can pursue include the following: 

  • Health services manager 
  • City manager
  • Management consultant 
  • Chief executive officer (CEO)

Start on the Path to Business Success

A business career can be a rewarding one, tailored to meet an individual’s interests. While there are different types of business degrees to consider, each one is designed to help guide students toward a fulfilling career in business. 

If you’re interested in starting or advancing your business career, consider how one of Mid-America Christian University’s business degree programs can help prepare you to succeed. MACU’s undergraduate, graduate, and certificate options are available in various online and on-campus formats and include the following:

Our business programs are designed to help you cultivate your knowledge and skills to become an effective leader in your sector and business at whatever career stage you’re in. Our programs are flexible, accessible, and practical to meet your needs and help you thrive.

Learn how MACU can help you start or advance your career in business today. 

Additional Resources to Explore

To pursue this career path effectively, prospective teachers should access and review current research and guidelines from professional organizations, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Additionally, prospective educators should learn about the standards set by the educational institution, school district, and state where they hope to work. They can visit the websites of reputable educational institutions and the U.S. Department of Education for the most current curriculum standards, certification requirements, and teaching practices.

Begin Your Career in Teaching

Pursuing a career in teaching offers numerous rewards, including the deep personal fulfillment that comes from making a difference in young children’s lives. Moreover, the demand for qualified teachers makes it a stable career choice. With opportunities for growth through further education and the potential to work in various educational settings, teaching is a career that promises both diversity and dynamism.

To learn more about becoming a teacher, including how long it takes to become a teacher, explore Mid-America Christian University’s online, hybrid, and on-campus education degree programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and Master of Education in School Counseling programs. Learn how we can get you ready to thrive as an educator.

The amount of time it will take for you to become a teacher will depend on the path and mode of study you choose. However, the impact you can have as a teacher is immeasurable. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance your career, there has never been a better time to step into the world of teaching. Let us help you turn your passion into a rewarding career that changes lives every day. Join us, and be the change you wish to see in the world.