Young businessman analyzing business books at officeSaying that today’s job market is ultra competitive is an understatement. The economy isn’t in the best shape, job security is a sought after (and rarely found) commodity, and the competition is truly fierce in every sense of the word. It’s no longer enough to have a solid employment history and a good work ethic behind you. Today’s employers are looking for that extra edge, so it’s important that you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

One of the surest and best ways to do this in the business world is by obtaining a business degree. According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, at more than 300,000 earned from 2009-10, bachelor’s degrees in business are the most common degree in America (business administration is the most popular).

A friend of mine just finished a 5-year MBA program from a university. While many of his peers are graduating alongside him with undergraduate degrees, he’s “ahead of the game” with a master’s under his belt at just 23. What does this mean? He already has the necessary credentials (professional degree) and skills set to obtain a “higher-level” starting position that many now have to go back to school for. While others are sitting in class attempting to earn a masters degree, he’ll be working in his career field, and at an advanced level than where he would possibly be with just a bachelor’s degree.

My friend is just one example of the benefits of obtaining a degree in business, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. Let’s take a closer look at what else choosing to get your business degree can do for your future employment:

1. Increase Job Opportunities

Although it’s certainly not impossible to get a decent business job without a degree in your corner, it’s important to understand that having one makes you eligible for more and better opportunities. In fact, the best employers at the best companies out there today are probably going to consider a business degree a must; so, keep this in mind when deciding whether or not returning to school is for you.

2. Higher Salaries, Advanced Skills

With a business degree in your corner, you’re not only increasing your chances of gaining future employment, you’re actually going to be able to earn more for the work that you do, something anyone can get excited about. Plus, you’ll acquire a whole new wealth of skills during the process of getting your degree that will not only impress potential employers in all the right ways, but will make it easier and more enjoyable for you to do a given job as well. Everyone likes to be good at what he or she does. A business degree has the potential to put you at the top of your game, which is a place every successful worker wants to be.

3. Easy Access

The days where you had to make college a full-time job are over. Today’s options make it simpler than ever when it comes to going back to school and earning the degree you need in order to be successful. There are more financial aid options available for people who need a boost in this arena. Schedules are more flexible today than they were even five years ago. Many schools even allow you to take most (if not all) of your classes online. I’ve come across a myriad of people “going back to school” virtuallythey’ve never gone into a classroom and have never met their professors, but they’re as much of a student as those who have. In other words, more schools are looking for ways to fit into your life; so, it’s well worth your while to look into your available options.

A good education is something that never outlives its usefulness or stops opening doors, so if you’re looking to really get serious about your business career, it just may be time to take that leap.

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