A Conversation About Careers in Business with Judy Samuels and Kate Demarest
Recruiter and Advisor
Carroll Community College
Assessment and Program Analyst and Professor of Accounting
Carroll Community College
Q: If students are interested in pursuing a business career, what programs should they look for at a college?
Historically, many people entered the business world with liberal arts degrees. However, employers today tend to look for students who have considerable experience applying liberal arts skills to business. As such, students interested in a business career should pursue a business degree. Students benefit most by identifying colleges that offer multiple concentrations within a business major. This offers flexibility when determining possible career options upon graduation.
Q: How do different colleges handle business majors?
Almost every college offers a degree in business or economics, but some colleges are a much better fit than others. In general, students should look for a school that offers a variety of business majors. Students should also consider if the college is accredited by the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB). This organization accredits about 25 percent of the business schools in the U.S. and is considered highly desirable. In this area, University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), Towson University, University of Baltimore (UB) and Loyola University Maryland have accredited programs.
Students may also want to identify if there are internship opportunities within the curriculum. Students should research programs prior to applying. College catalogs and websites can be valuable tools to assist students in determining the extent of an institution's business program.
Q: How does a student know if a college is the right fit?
Determining the "right fit," means that students should feel comfortable with the college they choose. Students should ask the following questions:
- Does the school offer the specific major the he/she wants to pursue?
- What is the average class size?
- What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
- What is the annual tuition?
- What is the proximity to home (does the he/she want to live on campus or commute)?
These are fundamental questions that a student should consider when looking for a college with the "right fit."
What information events do colleges offer?
Most colleges offer Open Houses, student tours and various types of admissions information sessions. Admissions representatives attend most local college fairs and, depending on the size of the college, may attend state, regional and national college fairs.
At Carroll, we hold Open Houses for the public to visit us, learn about programs and meet faculty, staff and students. We also offer Admissions and Financial Aid workshops and information sessions on academic programs. These sessions are conducted by course instructors who provide an in depth overview of a specific academic program, transfer opportunities and possible careers.
What degrees does Carroll offer for the business students?
Carroll offers the A.A. in Business and the A.A.S. in Accounting. Under the Business program, there are three concentrations - General Business, International Business and Management Information Systems. Carroll offers a variety of options to meet the needs of individual students.
All of these programs offer students seamless transfer opportunities to four-year institutions. Some programs offer students the ability to enter the workforce directly after obtaining their associate degree. Career changers already holding a bachelor's degree should consider the Accounting CPA Exam Qualification Certificate. This program includes all of the required coursework necessary to sit for the Maryland CPA examination.
Accounting and Business majors with a 3.2 GPA are eligible for membership in the Alpha Beta Gamma honor society.
What is the advantage for attending Carroll?
The college's close proximity to home allows students to easily incorporate education into their lives with less commuting time.
Carroll's tuition and fees are lower than other colleges because of the county and state support it receives. A year at Carroll is half the cost of a year at the University of Maryland campus and a fourth to a seventh of private college costs. This offers students relief from working additional hours to cover costs that might be necessary if they attended other institutions and the opportunity to save money for transferring later.
Carroll's small classes offer better opportunities for individualized learning. Typical classes range from 10 to 35 students in comparison to many university freshman lectures of 250 or more students.
In addition, the Admissions Office and Advising and Transfer Center offers assistance to students on a walk-in basis Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Furthermore, students are eligible for the Academic Center's free tutoring, which is offered weekly, for each of their classes.
Carroll also offers multiple events each semester to assist students with identifying majors, making career decisions and exploring transfer options.