Technology shapes the world around us, offering conveniences many did not know before. In fact, college educations can now be fully earned online, making higher education more accessible, flexible, and attainable for many throughout Nevada. Of the many notable degrees that can be earnedonline are business degrees, which can help those holding jobs in their desired fields but looking for advancements.
“Earning a business degree is one of the best ways to increase your earning potential and expand your career opportunities,” said Rashmi Prasad, Academic Vice President for College of Business at Western Governors University (WGU). “Business degrees add value by building on prior education and work experience and provide a portable skill-set that helps individuals adapt to changes in the labor market. Business degrees are among the most ‘hire-able’ according to major employer surveys, as they develop both technical skills and more general professional skills, like problem-solving, communication, effective teamwork. A business degree is the rightfit for many individuals in helping to manage their careers in the competitive and rapidly changing economy of today and tomorrow.”
Many companies, such as Wells Fargo, Apple, Bank of America, and Intel, have prioritized the education of their employees and will pay for them to go back to school to receive a higher education like an MBA. Because of programs such as this, it is clear why many business majors choose to return to school while still being employed. According to US News, business majors had the second highest proportion of students perusing online bachelors programs, beingonly one percent lower than health professions and related programs.
The real-world applications of a business major make it a clear decision for students looking at balancing their school and work. On average, most schools require between 120-130 credit hours to receive a bachelor’s in Business. That takes the typical college student four years to finish their degree if they pursue their education full-time. With online education being so manageable with people’s schedules, students can take on full- or part-time schooling while still maintaining their job and other responsibilities.
Leading the charge in an online platform, WGU offers business degrees within its College of Business. The WGU College of Business has more than 35,000 students in all 50 states, 1,500 of those students are enrolledin Nevada, and to date has awarded more than 30,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The nonprofit, online university pioneered competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in a classroom. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know so that they can spend more time on what they still need to learn. Designed to meet the needs of busy, working adults, students have 24/7 access to learning resources and receive dedicated one-on-one faculty support. This education model allows for students to be actively pursuing their education while still maintaining a job or career. More Nevadans are following suit to take the online route as well.
“The state of Nevada is a drastically changing market,” said WGU Nevada Chancellor Spencer Stewart. “A growing number of businesses relocating to our state are in need of an educated workforce that can hit the ground running. A business degree can enable a student to have the experience and skills to obtain these high-level jobs within these larger organizations, including technology companies. Employers are seeking these graduates and problem solvers. WGU Nevada provides the education as well as the competency-based model to help turn a student into an employee within a desired field.”
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) tracks the connections between college degrees and employers. In 2017, the NACE ranked “business” as the third most likely degree an employer would look for from a new hire. Additionally, according to a recent survey of small business owners published by American Express’s Open Forum, 61 percent of respondents said they believed having a college degree was important or necessary to succeed in business.
While hiring managers will recognize your valuable experience, many industries and companies require validation of that experience with a formal degree in order to make a job offer or award a promotion. The modern job market is competitive, and the need for a college degree has been more vital than ever before. With the rise of online education, a college degree is more attainable, leading to career advancements and promotions. These large career impacts prove the worth of an online degree in business and beyond.
Pictured above: Governor Brian Sandoval and WGU Nevada Chancellor Spencer Stewart