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Associate in Business: General Business Degree Overview

In an associate degree program in general business, students study the basics of management, marketing, business communication, and finance; they then learn to apply these 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. Program specializations are available in marketing, human resources and international business. Through analysis of business models, students can explore ways of solving problems that arise in a corporate setting. Students also learn professional communication skills and conflict management approaches. Students may also be expected to complete an internship before receiving their degree to better prepare them for the job market.


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. A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required for enrollment. Typically, this degree program takes two years or 60 semester units to complete. 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

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many of the aforementioned positions should see solid growth over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Employment for customer service representatives is projected to grow by 10%, management analysts or consultants by 14%, and human resources specialists by 5% over this time period. The BLS also reports that as of May 2015, customer service representatives earned a median annual salary of $31,720, management analysts $81,320 and human resources specialists $58,350.

Continuing Education Information

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.

In an associate degree program in general business, students learn about the basics of topics such as business law, accounting, and statistics. Graduates are prepared for a wide variety of entry-level careers or to go on to further education.

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