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Associate in Business: General Business Degree Overview

In an associate degree program in general business, students acquire a foundation in the basics of management, marketing, business communication and finance. Students learn about the application of skills in industries such as retail sales, small business and accounting.

Essential Information

General business degrees give students a broad range of knowledge about a variety of business functions. Through analysis of business models, students can explore ways of solving problems that arise in a corporate setting. Students also learn about professional communication skills and approaches.

  • Program Levels in General Business: Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees
  • General Business Program Fields: Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Accounting and Economics are some of the major fields in business
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Program Specializations: Marketing, Human Resources or International Business are some common specializations
  • Program Length: Usually two years for completion of 60 semester units
  • Other Requirements: Internship may be required

Associate Degree in General Business

For an associate degree in general business, most schools require students to take general education coursework, including courses in English, history, math, natural science, psychology and sociology, in addition to business courses. Coursework within a business program can include:

  • Business law
  • Accounting
  • Statistics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Human resources

Popular Career Options

Upon completion of a general business degree program, graduates are generally qualified for entry-level employment in departments such as accounting, human resources, finance or marketing and advertising. Possible job titles could include:

  • Customer service supervisor
  • Human resources clerk
  • Accounting assistant
  • Small business consultant
  • Assistant manager
  • Entrepreneur

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many of these positions should see solid growth over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). Employment for customer service representatives is projected to grow by 13%, management analysts or consultants by 19% and human resources specialists by 8% over this time period. The BLS also reports that as of May 2014, customer service representatives earned a median annual salary of $31,200, management analysts $80,880 and human resources specialists $57,420.

Continuing Education

Graduates interested in higher-level employment opportunities can pursue a bachelor's degree in business. Common business programs at the bachelor's degree-level include business management or business administration. Some business programs offer specializations in marketing, human resources or international business.

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