If you are planning on a career in business management, you can look forward to an engaging, lucrative career. Whether you are still in high school or you are looking for a career change, there are steps you can take to prepare to rise through the management ranks in the business world.

High School

Communication, math and computer courses are all important if you hope to eventually pursue a career in business. You may also want to join some school organizations and see if you can get some work experience in an office, even if it is not in the field you hope to work in eventually. This can give you an introduction to office culture.

Bachelor’s Degree

At minimum, you will most likely need a bachelor’s degree to pursue a business management career. You may be more marketable if you choose a particular area of specialization, such as accounting, international business or marketing, instead of simply trying to take a wide array of general courses. Your advisor, your school’s career center and your professors may be able to offer more advice specific to your situation. You can take out private student loans in addition to federal loans to help you pay for your education. While this does mean going into debt, lifetime earnings for people with a college degree are much higher than for those without one.

MBA

In some areas, an MBA will be necessary to advance to the highest management levels. However, there are a few things to consider if you are thinking about getting an MBA. First, most reputable programs will only take students who have a few years of work experience. Second, many people say that the most valuable element of their MBA was the connections they made. This means you should look for a program that is at least in part conducted in person even if some aspects are online. Finally, an MBA can be a great experience and great for your career, but be sure it is right for your field and ambitions before you start since it is also a big commitment. Keep in mind that you can take out private student loans to pay for this as well.

Professional Certification

Depending on the field you are pursuing, there may be certain types of certification available. These could range from various types of managerial certifications to those that are required to call yourself by a certain professional title, such as a certified public accountant. Some of these certifications can be necessary or valuable and others are less so. Be sure to thoroughly research your options and the benefits before spending time and money on professional certifications.

Personal Enrichment

You need to stay on top of what’s happening in your field, and this can mean going to conferences and seminars and taking place in continuing education. A lot of business books come out each year. You should try to get a sense for some of the top management titles and read them. Much of business success is about effectively connecting with and communicating with people, and becoming a well-rounded person who can talk to others about their interests will serve you well in your career.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to editor.webposts@gmail.com.