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What are the Different Types of Business Courses?

By Vanessa Harvey
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The term "business courses" sometimes loosely refers to college and university degree programs composed of a number of required classes in business and other disciplines. It also directly refers to specific classes that an individual might take to complete a degree or for self-improvement. Specific business courses might include Introduction to Business, Business Ethics, Business Law and Business Statistics. Other business courses might be titled Quantitative Methods for Business Decision Making and Business Field Experience. Degree programs might include Business Administration, Marketing Management and Agricultural Business Management.

An Introduction to Business course is a survey course that provides students with an overview of the principle workings in business as they relate to economics, the environment and current social concerns. Business Ethics might be considered an introduction to decision making in the corporate world and for the entrepreneur. The course focuses on developing skills in critical thinking to make informed decisions that impact individual, organizations and perhaps the international market as well. Courses in business law generally are an overview of the local and national legal system in which the school that offers the course is located. Useful topics such as the importance of contracts and warranties are covered.

Business Statistics emphasizes the application and interpretation of statistics and probability relating to business problems. Although this is a business course, having solid mathematical skills helps a student to work through the calculations of probability. Quantitative Methods for Business Decision Making focuses on decision making, problem solving, allocation of resources, business relationships and classification theory.

Field experience business courses simply provide students with opportunities to gain work experience while they apply the techniques and skills they have learned in class. These business courses are almost always required or offered as electives when majoring in disciplines such as Business Management or Administration, Marketing Management and Agricultural Business Management. The exact names of classes vary because courses are named by the specific school offering them, but the topics covered tend to be the same regardless of institution.

There also are courses that sometimes are considered "business-like" because the knowledge and skills gained in the class are useful to business operations. For example, Business Keyboarding is a class that teaches students how to type. Computer skills courses might focus on word processing and working with electronic spreadsheets. All businesses must attend to their business correspondence needs as well as to the need to maintain financial records.

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Discussion Comments
By pastanaga — On Feb 07, 2013

@clintflint - Honestly, I wouldn't recommend anyone do a business course at the moment unless they had their heart set on it. There are so many business graduates out of jobs. Definitely look at the statistics before you pay for the course, especially if it's a long course.

Small business courses are different, because you already know you have a job out of them. But I've heard a lot of employers would prefer you to use the time building up work experience, rather than getting a degree.

By clintflint — On Feb 07, 2013

@browncoat - There are other reasons to take a business course, although I suppose you've nailed down the big ones. Making contacts is very important in the business world. Which means, I suppose, you should try to take the course in the same area that you're hoping to live.

A lot of courses offer internships and other work experience as well, which is, frankly, invaluable.

If you're after either of these you won't be able to do an online business course. Although, with that said, I have done online courses which led to making a couple of contacts, so it's not impossible.

By browncoat — On Feb 06, 2013

What you have to ask yourself is, am I taking this course for myself or for others? That might seem like a ridiculous question, but it's a valid one. Are you taking the course so that you can put the result on a resume and use it to get a job? Or are you taking the course because you genuinely need to know something (like, say, how to run a small business) and it's worth taking the course to get that knowledge?

It's something to consider. Some might say that you should be doing it for both. But, to be honest, I find people rarely are. And if you are after something for your resume, you need to figure out what will actually do it a favor, and if you're after skills you need to make sure you're getting what you pay for (as you might be just as well served with a good book).

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