Is an Associate Degree in Business Studies for Me? Five Things You Should Know

By Ellie Walburg on March 21, 2019

Look at a typical business, and you'll find they have several different divisions that allow the organization to run smoothly. The sales teams work with clients to acquire new leads. The marketing teams promote the business' brand, products and services. IT personnel make sure all technology functions efficiently. Finance and accounting departments track the books and set the budgets. Leadership teams help guide and support the organization to succeed.

With any role, a solid, practical business foundation can empower team members to thrive.

With such popularity, the business major has often been one of the most frequently selected fields on college campuses. Such a universal foundation equips students to explore and pursue a vast number of career fields that spark their interest.

From management to sales, marketing to finance and so much more, a degree in business can empower you in today's changing global marketplace.

But how are you to know if building that business foundation is the right path for you? Here we share with you five things you should know in following that decision.

1. Make Your Next Career Move

No two educational journeys are the same. Each student enters a degree program with his or her own motivations, goals and dreams. Some complete their degrees in a couple of years; others achieve it on their own schedule.

Perhaps you're looking to get back into school to pursue a new career direction you've been waiting for. Maybe you're working toward that next promotion, so you want to show a supervisor your dedication to professional development. Or maybe after starting a family, you're ready to show your kids the value of earning an education and accomplishing your goals. You're ready for new doors to open and to be strengthened with feet to walk through them.

Each student has a story, which is why engaging in the diverse learning community of an associate degree in business has such great value and significance.

Starting out in an associate program also allows you to easily transition as you move from the associate to bachelor's level to continue to grow your knowledge, skills and experiences. At PGS, you can easily move on to a B.S. in Organizational Management or B.S. in Business Administration and Leadership to advance your credentials and get to where you want to be.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I aspire toward a career in the field of business?
  • Am I motivated by my personal and professional goals to be driven to succeed?
  • Am I interested in furthering my education with a bachelor's program?

2. Establish a Foundation of Practical Business Knowledge

View of a table top with a newspaper, calculator and person paying a bill on a smartphone

What sets an associate in business apart is the practical knowledge, skills and experience you'll gain in a variety of areas of the business field. Course work in this program is rooted in building up essential principles in business and management, allowing you to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the practical context of your job.

In addition to general education courses that empower you with applicable skills, you'll build a foundation of business experience with courses such as leadership studies, introduction to global business and personal financial planning. You'll also engage in specific areas within business such as marketing and entrepreneurship, along with analyzing current problems in business through case studies.

This curriculum within a business program is designed to provide you the foundational building blocks as you grow in knowledge, skills and experience to advance your career and be an influencer where you are.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in growing in my understanding of business operations and leadership?
  • Do the disciplines such as global business, leadership and financial planning intrigue me?
  • Do I desire an educational journey that empowers me for a variety of career opportunities and directions?

3. Enhance Your Transferable Skills

The foundational business knowledge you'll acquire in an associate program is already highly practical to your work. Through each class, assignment and project, you'll also establish and enhance those human resource skills that are an essential part of growing as an employee, parent, spouse, volunteer and any other role you find yourself fulfilling.

An associate program builds upon that foundation you've gained through your high school education or in earning a GED to take you to the next level of being equipped for work.

These skills are varied and often fall into different categories such as people skills, technical skills, communication skills and more. Think of core competencies such as writing, public speaking, budgeting, listening, conflict resolution, note-taking, comprehensive reading, just to name a few.

In an associate program, you'll have the opportunity to establish and grow in these transferable skills to use wherever life takes you. Boost your self-confidence as you give presentations to your class, mastering key skills that will allow you to excel at work when presenting essential information to your team. Enhance your reading comprehension with course assignments that ask you to summarize current market research trends. Deepen your communication skills through discussions in your class that you can apply when navigating customers complaining about a product or error.

Through practical course work providing both business-focused content and foundational skills, an associate in business studies is designed to empower you to thrive holistically.

Is it for me? As yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in deepening my transferable skills to apply to my desired field in business?
  • Do I desire to develop my effective communications skills to apply to conversations with clients, customers, team members and supervisors?
  • Am I confident in my ability to use my transferable skills to thrive wherever I go?

4. Increase Your Earning Potential

Person writing a dollar sign in a notebook

The career opportunities that accompany a degree in business are numerous, making it a great option for those looking to make a career change or take their next step to another role.

Engage in roles of small business or nonprofit management and operations. Get your kickstarter off the ground as an entrepreneur. Secure your eligibility for a new direction in fields of government, retail, sales. Show your managers you're ready to take on leadership roles as a supervisor. With such an applicable foundation, you can take this degree to match your career goals.

With an associate degree, you'll also have a competitive edge over other candidates in your desired field who may only have a high school diploma or some college experience. By investing in yourself with a degree, you'll boost your overall earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate between those with just high school education and those with an associate degree is significant. In 2017, the unemployment rate for those with just a high school diploma was 4.6%, compared to just a 3.4% rate for those with an associate degree.

Once you earn a bachelor's and master's degree, those unemployment rates continue to decrease. Equipped with an associate degree, you'll also have a higher earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes that the median weekly earnings of those with just a high school diploma is $712, while those with an associate degree earn $836. Once you move up to the bachelor's level, those earnings increase up to $1,198. These employment trends show that an associate degree has great value in the job market and for future learning.

Is it for me? As yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in advancing my education to a bachelor's level program to continue to boost my earning potential?
  • Am I willing to put in the work and time in to boost my earning potential?
  • Do I seek to be equipped with valuable knowledge, skills and experiences that give me a competitive edge over other applicants in my desired field?

5. Grow as a Leader

Two adults meeting at a table

Where do you seek to expand your influence?

From your workplace to your family and community, you make a difference. With an associate in business, you can continue to enhance your knowledge, skills and experience to lead effectively.

Whether you're looking to take the next step at your organization or chart off on something new, developing practical skills in leadership and management can help you get there.

There's such a need for effective leadership in today's organizations. Part of being a good leader is having the attitude of a learner that sets the tone for others around you.

The foundational business content and the development of transferable skills can help you reach those leadership goals to be a positive influence wherever you are.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in developing my leadership potential at my organization?
  • Do I aspire to influence and encourage the team around me, at whatever position?
  • Do I have an attitude of learning that leads to effective leadership?

Discover an Associate in Business Studies Program Designed For You

How will you be better equipped to pursue your personal and professional goals? With the practical knowledge, skills and experience gained through an associate degree in business studies, you can proactively pursue a career that matches your strengths and enables you to achieve your goals. And in a degree program at PGS, you can establish that valuable foundation in a convenient format that's designed for the busy working adult.

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Category: Why College