Picking a degree that is going to take you where you want in life can be enormous pressure.
Do you choose a course that will lead you to a stable and well-paying job like law or medicine? Or do you pursue your passion for philosophy or art? What if you’re not particularly artistic or good with words or numbers? What if none of these fall within your interest?
Knowing this is a choice that will shape their future sends many students into a frenzy of deciding what exactly they want to do with their lives even before they’ve had a chance to live it. And the added pressure from their parents only intensifies the stress.
“My parents were very pushy to choose a subject like medicine or engineering when I was applying for UK university,” Yu Choon, a Chinese business graduate from Nottingham University, told Study International.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was older, so I was wary of taking a very narrow degree that would lead to one career.”
As a result, Choon decided to study Business Management because she thought it would open up many doors for her.
There is the common misconception that when you go to college the field you chose is basically what you will do forever. Nothing is set in stone. You could have a business degree but not work in that particular setting. Do what makes you happy, but a degree opens many doors.
— chrly. (@tippytotoro) January 23, 2018
“I thought a business degree would give me real-world skills that I could apply to almost any industry, so it was a case of ‘what will give me options’ rather than ‘what will make my parents happy.”
Choosing to study a business degree can catapult you into a world of boundless opportunities upon graduation.
You will learn transferable knowledge about different market structures, managing techniques and business theory, making you valuable to employees in many sectors.
And if you’re going to study abroad for the first time, a degree in business can be your career passport to the world.
You are probably unsure if you are going to want to stay in your university’s country beyond graduation, whether you will want to return home, or possibly go somewhere completely different.
But you will have the luxury of choice because every country has businesses and every nation needs business experts. By having a qualification in the field, you already have a specialisation in a global industry.
Alex Rowntree, a business management graduate from Exeter University, followed a similar path to Choon when deciding his degree.
“I actually chose to do a business degree because I couldn’t really decide on anything specific that I wanted to do.
“All this university stuff all seemed far too boring and grown up for me, so I just went for something that sounded easy and wouldn’t really tie me down in any particular direction in life,” he told Study International.
After finishing his undergraduate and masters in Business Management, he decided that, despite his qualifications, being a manager in a company wasn’t for him.
But instead of panicking, he realised he had transferable skills in related industries.
“After finishing university, I got a job as a corporate responsibility analyst in a small consulting firm. My job involved assessing and providing advice to companies on how they can improve their performance in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and climate change.
“This was a super interesting job, and I could never have expected to end up doing this sort of work as a direct result of my business studies.”
From this experience, Rowntree realised that enjoying what you do is the most important question you should ask yourself when choosing a degree or career path.
“It has become a philosophy of mine that above all else, you should always seek work that you enjoy and so my current focus is making the party game Animal Ailments. This feels like a culmination of things I’ve learned and things I’m interested in and find fun, bringing together design, creativity, technology, business management and marketing, all in one!
“I would recommend students to do a business degree, especially if you don’t have a very particular or focused ambition in life at the time of choosing your degree or even if you are thinking of doing a masters.
“A wide range of employers look upon it favourably, as, at the end of the day, all employers are businesses of some kind.”