Alternative Career Paths to Consider

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  • Getting a good business degree is a gateway to many enjoyable and lucrative careers. The great thing about these types of degree is that you don’t just have to stick to one industry sector.

    For many people a business degree means either going into business for yourself or joining an established company and working up through the ranks. Alternatively you could get to a stage where your knowledge and experience either leads you to start up your own business or look for attractive alternatives to the field you are in.

    Using your skills

    You’ve done the work so you need to think about what you have learned. You don’t have to join a business to use your skills, but whatever you do you will bring to bear analytical prowess and problem solving, as well as communication skills, an ability to understand figures and an aptitude for report writing.

    This means you have transferable skills, ones that with some additional training in specialized fields will open the door to some very interesting options.  For example, if numbers are your thing then accountancy or some form of banking could be a good career move. You could work for a global company and have opportunities to travel the world, as well as bring in an excellent salary.

    If you’re good with people then a career in marketing or advertising may be attractive, with opportunities to advance rapidly if you bring in the business. Good people skills are also a way into teaching as you have to deal with both children and adults, sometimes not the easiest of tasks! Good teachers have excellent opportunities to progress up the career ladder and you would need all your business skills to become a headteacher running a large school or college.

    From business to entertainment?

    Strange as it may appear, having a business or economics qualification doesn’t disqualify you from doing something really different. Take, for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cate Blanchett. Both studied in the business field for a time, Blanchett at Melbourne University, Australia, and Schwarzenegger at Wisconsin University, US. Both became actors and Schwarzenegger memorably became Governor of California.

    The British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband read economics at Oxford University, switching from being a TV journalist to politics. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t disregard any options when considering an alternative career. Actors, musicians, sportsmen and women all need to understand the business decisions they take or are helped to take, so your sound business knowledge can be a real advantage here.

    Working in telecommunications

    This industry continues to expand on a global basis, so if you’re looking for an exciting and fast-moving sector in which to apply your skills then it’s well worth considering. You don’t have to be a technical genius to enter the industry – though you should at least have a good understanding of how telecoms works  – but the industry need accountants, HR managers, marketers and, above all, people committed to the business.

    As an example you could look to join a company run by the Afghan-born and US educated Ehsan Bayat. He’s been involved in the development of telecommunications companies in the Middle East, especially in Afghanistan, for many years. The Middle East has a booming communications sector and you could get the opportunity to travel the world as well as be very well rewarded in terms of your salary. To get an idea of the kind of places this career can take you, Ehsan Bayat’s profile is a good place to start.

    Look to the future

    Careers in business are what you make them. You don’t have to stick to one path. Look for and take opportunities where you find them and don’t think you can’t go after alternatives – of course you can.

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