Know your business for variety of career options
How you position yourself is becoming more and more important in today’s work world, and studying business administration can help add to your value regardless of your field.
“With business administration, you have a choice,” said Professor Barbara Van Syckle, accounting, business and computer information systems department. “You can take it and go directly into what people typically think of as business, for-profit, manufacturing or service. Or, you can take it and package it with anything else, a degree in any number of fields.”
Studying the field of business can be valuable no matter what your ultimate career choice. The business curriculum focuses on effective written and oral communication skills, developing leadership potential, building awareness of career opportunities and choices, utilizing technology to assist in decision-making, building customer relationships, and the impact of global business in our lives. Students learn about how to plan, organize, direct and control a business or organization’s activities.
“Tell me a job that exists that doesn’t involve money, people and some kind of structure,” Van Syckle said. “Some form of business, whether it’s a contemporary business class or management class, or a leadership class or customer service class, when packaged with another degree in something you are passionate about such as photography or history, is going to take you places you wouldn’t have been able to get without it.”
While many students understandably worry about their major, Van Syckle suggests another path, identifying what one’s passions are and finding what one can be great at. Then, find a couple of industries that relate and find a major that way. She suggests that to prepare for future jobs, students focus on multiple literacies, not necessarily multiple degrees. Leadership ability is important, understanding how one affects or influences the quality of others’ experiences.
“Think less about the impression you leave and think more about the impact that you made. Self-improvement is essential, and the next step is to help others improve,” Van Syckle said. “All of these show your leadership abilities, and you don’t need a title that implies leader to make it happen.”
To be successful in business, students should pursue wisdom in all forms: philosophy; anthropology; history; learn to write and speak well; the arts; geography and foreign language are essential as international business continues to grow and the globe “shrinks.”
Traditional jobs in business will vary according to industry, with possibilities including accounting, finance, management, marketing or computer technology. No matter what industry one’s in, one will either be a revenue generator or a cost cutter. One can be a generalist or a specialist, depending on one’s vision. “If what you want to do is learn one skill or path or perspective then yes, narrow your interests down,” Van Syckle said. “If you are someone who likes a lot of variety, someone who enjoys working with others, then the generalist focus will be beneficial to you.”
At JC, an example of a specialist degree in the business are would be accounting, which is very tightly focused, while the business administration degree will be more of a generalist perspective as it is broadly focused. JC offers a traditional business administration program that transfers well to four-year universities. The associate degrees in business administration and accounting are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs.
The College offers an associate degree in business administration, a certificate in business administration, associate degree and certificate in sales, associate degree, certificate and skill set in entrepreneurship, certificate in management, certificate in marketing, financial services concentration. JC’s Lenawee campus, JC @ LISD TECH, offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree in business program with Siena Heights University.
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