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Getting a college degree can make a huge difference in your earning potential throughout your lifetime, but is a popular business degree worth the time and expense it takes to complete? Experts are beginning to say that a degree in business may not be the best use of your time and money, especially since so many graduates already have this degree. Here's a closer look at studying business in college.

Generic Degrees and Specializations

Like many fields of study today, the field of business has numerous specializations. The job market is already crawling with college graduates who have a degree in business, but it is not crawling with individuals who have amazing written and verbal communication skills. In their 2013-14 analysis of college degree salaries, PayScale ranks business administration at 60 which is tied with history degrees and below philosophy degrees, which was ranked 45.

Specializations in specific fields of business, however, rank much higher in career pay. Finance is among the top 30 wage-earning degrees while accounting comes in at 52, lower than finance but higher than business administration. An undergraduate degree in international business, the type of degree that focuses on foreign trade, is ranked at 34 among 129 different bachelor's degrees. If you really want a high-paying career in a business-related field, go for a degree in economics, which comes in a number 15.

This data indicates that those interested in a career in business would be better to specialize in a lucrative, related field rather than getting a generic degree in business. However, there are also other options for education that leads to a lucrative career in business.

Resource: 50 Best Value Small Colleges for a Business Administration Degree

Careers in Business

You don't have to have a degree in business to begin a career in business. Many successful business people have degrees in communications, psychology, statistics, information systems or technology, or philosophy. Some people have completed interdisciplinary degrees and achieved double majors in business and:

  • Graphic design
  • Communications
  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism
  • Philosophy
  • Information technology
  • Hospitality
  • Environmental science

By combining degrees in this way, you learn information that other business majors do not. You also acquire skills that will set you apart from the pack. Jobs in advertising always require interdisciplinary training and skills, so a degree in business would be only part of the equation for getting a great job at an ad agency. Jobs in finance, accounting or middle management also require specialized skills that you won't learn with a generic business degree.

Graduate Degrees in Business

Many people in a business career get an MBA after completing a bachelor's program in a different field of study. Like bachelor's degrees in business, MBAs have become extremely common among job seekers. Before choosing an MBA program, take the time to research specializations and find something that interests you and can help set you apart from the hordes of others also studying for their MBAs.

Education comes with its own set of benefits. However, if you are going to spend time and money on a degree program, you want to make sure your business degree is worth it. With knowledge of the current wage statistics, you can make an informed decision concerning your education and your future in the world of business.

Related: Best Value Schools - Popular Business Majors

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