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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

How to Get into Business: Tips for Starting a Business Career

July 20, 2017

Group of business professionalsBut First, Why Get into Business?

There are many good reasons why you should direct your career efforts toward the business world. A business career gets high points for occupation versatility in areas of Business Operations and Administration, Finance, Management, Human Resources and Sales/Marketing. And the money can be good. The average wages for many business-related positions are higher than those for workers across all industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Business occupations cover a wide range of positions that can also prepare you for entry into other fields, including medical and technology positions. In other words, a solid business background opens more doors and is a smart safety net for future job security.

Determine the Business Career Path You’d Like to Take

There are hundreds of business positions and specialties available, depending on several factors specific to you and your city’s business and industry environment. Most business positions fall under four categories. Below are some popular career choices and responsibilities under those broad groups.

Business Administration
Business administration is a wide and dynamic field that incorporates many different job titles with varied responsibilities. Administration refers to the organization of people and other resources to reach a specific goal or objective. Many people begin their business careers in some administration capacity since it is one of the easiest areas to start in and offers plenty of entry-level opportunities.

Business Management 
Although there are parallels and similarities between business administration and business management, there are also notable differences that may influence your decision to pursue one field or the other. Management tends to focus on the more “authoritative” aspects of running a business — leadership, team building, discipline, etc. Management roles also tend to have more of a focus on human resources and personnel operations.

Business Accounting
Accounting is how businesses keep track of their operations from a financial standpoint. In addition to tracking losses and profits, accountants provide a wealth of information to business owners to help them make better decisions for the good of the company or organization. Bookkeeping, which involves recording and retrieving financial transactions, is a good place of entry into business accounting.

Sales and Marketing
Marketing and sales are different enough careers on their own, but there are also similarities between them that make it appropriate to group the two together. Marketing is concerned with bringing in prospects or leads, and sales focuses on closing leads and converting prospects into customers. In other words, marketing is everything that’s done to reach and persuade prospects and sales is everything involved in getting a sale or signed contract.

Improve Your Resume

Are you confident that you are an attractive candidate to a potential employer in your field of interest? If you feel a little light in your qualifications, you might want to consider bolstering your profile with attractive add-ons.  Consider these resume punch-up options.

Education: Whether going for that next certification or picking up an industry-related class or two, knowledge specific to your area of job-interest is a boon to candidate desirability.

  • Certificate of Completion: If time and money are tight, consider opting for a Certificate of Completion. Online and accelerated Business Administration programs can give you focused education and training that fit your schedule.
  • Associate’s of Bachelor’s Degree: Higher education is always an asset in your career, and Business majors are the most sought-after graduates. Consider studying accounting, finance and business administration or management.
  • Certifications: Certification is a popular avenue for those who want to train for a specific job or advance in a specific position. Earning job-applicable certifications can position you as proficient in that area. Popular certifications include Microsoft Office Specialist Excel, Bookkeeping, Retail Management, and Customer Service and Sales. These certifications emphasize technical and communication abilities.

Work Experience/Training

No one needs to show a blank space on this important asset line. If your official work experience is scant or does not pertain to your career-of-interest, start to allocate time toward that vacancy. There are many experience-boosting ways to boost your work experience and applicable training, including:

  • Volunteer: Find a company, service or agency in your field and contribute time to their efforts. Absorb all you can, and distinguish yourself by helping to move their goals forward.
  • Internship: Many businesses are happy to offer hands-on experience to someone trying to break into their industry. Interns often get a good cross-section of roles and responsibilities within the business operations of their host-company.
  • Memberships: Join clubs or chapters of national organizations. Many businesses are affiliated with organizations that support, promote and represent their industry. Take a leadership role. Your local Chamber of Commerce may offer Professional Development programs.
  • Entrepreneurship: Start a small business. Whether it is dog-walking, housecleaning, gardening, personal shopper services or child care, setting up a business will give you a good framework for business development, marketable skills and work experience vital to the job market.

Explore any opportunity in your quest to become a business professional. You may have to start with an entry-level or part-time position. Take it. It is the perfect opening for you to make a positive impression and show your value to an organization.

San Joaquin Valley College offers a Business Administration career training program that can bring your career goals into focus in as few as 8 months. You can earn a Certificate of Completion and the confidence you need to launch your business career. Request information or call toll-free 866-544-7898 to learn more.

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