The growing value of business education for women

In today’s rapidly changing economy, there’s no better path to achieve career goals than higher education. In the world of business, this may be even truer. Gone are the days when simply having a marketable idea and entrepreneurial talent was enough, in post-recession America, in-depth training in the highly complex world of contemporary business is crucial to success. Whether in marketing, industry, service or sales, the tightly interlocking networks of information and commercial activity are driving the next phases of economic progress. For new entrants to the job market or for those entering into a second career, this means that serious education in the realities of modern business is a prerequisite for career success.

For women entering onto the path toward business careers, this kind of education can be a major component in overcoming the disparities that still exist between men and women in these fields. A recent article in pages of Business 2 Community highlights a number of the challenges facing working women in today’s business climate. While the article discusses a number of fascinating trends related to women in business maintaining work-life balance and overcoming lingering discrimination, two important facts stand out for any discussion of the value of a business degree for career advancement. First, the article states that in the 2010-2011 academic year, almost half of all graduates from bachelor’s and master’s programs were women, and some 106,800 women took the GMAT the same year, a significantly higher figure than the number from a decade prior. Apparently, more women than ever are pursuing business educations and seeking work in the world of business.

Second, it appears that significantly fewer female graduates of business programs from what the quoted study called “elite” institutions were currently employed in business, compared to women who had studied at so-called “less selective” institutions. Whatever factors may be causing this disparity, it would appear that for women interested in business education and careers in business, the most selective institutions are not the only route to success. From the author’s presentation of the data, it appears that many woman may be finding serious success in the business world with affordable educations from online or part-time institutions and programs that fit into their ongoing working life. If these numbers are correct, then women (and men as well) interested in business careers should consider all of their educational options, including online business classes and other non-traditional instruction.

If business education is a must for success in today’s competitive, fast-paced, information-heavy world of commerce, then would-be entrepreneurs and business professionals, male and female, should seek degrees from whatever programs and institutions best suit their own personal and professional objectives. With a business degree in a specialization that suits his or her career objectives (whether management, administration, human resources or others), the doors will open for many different career possibilities. Women in particular should note the recent positive upswing in numbers in women enrolled in business programs and taking the GMAT as they consider the possibility of a career in the exciting but highly competitive business world of 2013.

By Rosii White


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