Studying for a degree in business is one of the most versatile academic choices that you can make. Since any employer that you work for in the future is going to be in some kind of business, understanding what makes a successful organization tick is going to ensure that you are a professional who is in demand.

Whether you’re just starting out making your application to study business, part-way through your degree, or close to graduation, you might be wondering what your options are afterward.

And the list is endless; along with many career opportunities that you can explore once you have a degree in business administration or similar, there are plenty of alternative options to think about, such as graduate schemes, postgraduate study, industry qualifications, and even starting your own company.

Postgraduate Study

Whether you simply want to learn more or have a career path in mind that requires you to get an MBA or another postgraduate qualification, continuing on to get a master’s degree is a popular choice with many business graduates.

There are many benefits to getting an MBA or another business-related postgraduate qualification, including:

  • It allows you to focus on a certain aspect of business that you are interested in the most
  • You will get plenty of networking opportunities
  • You can refine your skills and develop new skills in order to better prepare you for a business career
  • You will set yourself apart from the competition in the job market
  • You can get more knowledge and skills that will stand you in good stead if you are aspiring to launch your own company in the future

Postgraduate study is easier than ever, and in the world of business, it’s often worth the investment.

While it does mean student debt, the fact that MBA graduates are so well sought-after all around the world, and that they tend to earn more compared to their non-MBA peers, means that it’s a financial investment that is likely to pay off handsomely.

There are also many different options available for getting your MBA, including:

  • Traditional, campus-based college degree programs
  • Online MBA programs that you can study from home to easily fit them around work and other commitments
  • Part-time MBA programs which are ideal for those who would struggle to dedicate full-time hours

Of course, an MBA isn’t the only option to consider if you want to embark on a postgraduate business study. You can focus on master’s degrees in subjects like:

  • Marketing
  • Finance and accounting
  • Human resources
  • Entrepreneurship

You may also want to consider a master’s program that allows you to access careers and opportunities in an industry that would be difficult to break into with a business degree alone, such as engineering.

For example, a master of science in engineering management qualification is ideal for trained engineers who want to pursue a career in management or business ownership. You can find out more about choosing between an MBA or an MSEN at Kettering University Online.

Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes are offered to university leavers by some of the top companies around the world, and they are an ideal way to access on-the-job training and develop your skills right out of college.

If you’re not sure what you want to do with your business career, applying for a graduate scheme can be an ideal way to get a foot in the door in an industry that you are interested in, or get valuable skills and experience that will help you determine what you want to pursue in the future.

Graduate schemes are usually offered by some of the world’s top, most well-respected companies, so they are an excellent addition to your resume.

A graduate scheme might also give you the opportunity to get a postgraduate qualification; you may be able to get your MBA or another master’s degree through the company with tuition covered, as long as you can commit to working for them for a number of years.

Various companies offer a range of graduate schemes that you can apply to, all over the world. It’s not uncommon for some companies to offer graduate schemes that include overseas travel, or if you are interested in living abroad for some time, you might want to consider applying to a graduate scheme based in another country – the choice is yours.

Some of the top companies offering graduate programs and schemes include:

  • Adobe
  • Manpower
  • LinkedIn
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Chubb
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Michelin Group
  • Nike
  • IKEA
  • Salesforce
  • ALDI
  • NASA
  • Siemens
  • Hyundai
  • Sony
  • American Express
  • …and many more!

Getting a graduate position with a top company is easier said than done, so it’s important to apply early and pay a lot of attention to your application – it’s probably going to be harder than applying to study for your university degree.

Graduate programs, schemes, and positions at the top companies for college leaders tend to be very competitive, as they are looking for only the best of the best to come and work for them and want to fill their workforce with some of the top talents from around the country.

To be in with the best chance of landing a position at some of the top graduate employers, consider the following:

  • Think about what type of work you would like to do as a graduate and where your skills lie so that you can narrow down your options to companies and positions that will provide you with meaningful, fulfilling and enjoyable work that you are a good fit for
  • Network with people who have successfully been accepted onto graduate programs and ask them for advice and guidance. It’s especially helpful to network with people who have been accepted onto the graduate programs that you’re considering, since you’ll be able to get more specific advice from them, along with finding more about what to expect
  • Get involved with extracurricular activities that will help to give your resume character and enable you to further demonstrate your soft skills, which are often a very important factor in choosing which graduates make it onto the program

Running Your Own Business

Starting your own company is another option that you might have considered as a business student. Since there are no official educational requirements for becoming an entrepreneur, this is something that you might even be able to start while you are still at college.

Everything that you learn while studying for a business degree will prepare you in some way or another for managing your own company if this is the route that you would like to take. There are many benefits to starting your own business:

  • You can be your own boss, which includes deciding where and how often you would like to work
  • You can get to work straight away as a graduate; no need to wait for employers to consider your application and offer you a position
  • You can earn an unlimited amount of money
  • You can choose to start a business that is centered around your passions, interests, and hobbies
  • You can create more jobs in your local community

While starting your own company might not be as steady and stable as going into employment, the risk that you take can definitely pay off. And as you study for a degree in business, you’ll learn all about how to make calculated, educated risks and how to work out which are the best decisions to make for your company.

Prepare yourself even further for the world of business ownership while you are at university by networking as much as you can with influential people. Remember that it’s not just professors and tutors who can be of help to you; many of your peers and fellow students might go on to be professionals who you can turn to in your time of need in the future.

If you want to start your own business after graduating from college, consider:

  • The type of business that you will run: Will you offer a product or a service? Are you targeting businesses or consumers? Will your company be based online or will you have a storefront?
  • Employees: Are you going to be able to take on all the work yourself, or will you need the help of others? Can you work with freelancers or outsource to other companies if taking on full-time employees is out of your budget?
  • Branding: You will need to come up with a strong, unique brand. Who are your target audience and what kind of brands do they relate to? What are your brand missions and unique selling proposition?
  • Finances: How will you finance your business venture? Will you apply for a small business loan or a bank loan, or do you want to find an angel investor? Have you considered crowdfunding to get your business off the ground? How will you pay yourself as the business owner?

With a degree qualification in business, there are plenty of routes that you can take towards your future career. Whether you decide to study further, look for a top graduate employer, or become your own boss is all down to your personal preference, goals, and ambitions.