Business is a broad and complex topic, but it is also essential for anyone who wants to be successful in the world today. There are many different ways to learn business, but some of the most effective methods include:
- Taking business classes. This is a great way to learn the fundamentals of business, such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management. You can take business classes at a college or university or through an online course provider.
- Reading business books and articles. There are countless books and articles written about business. Reading these resources can help you learn about different business concepts and strategies. Some of the best business books include “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and “Built to Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.
- Listening to business podcasts. There are many great business podcasts available. Listening to these podcasts can help you stay up-to-date on the latest business news and trends. Some of the best business podcasts include “The HBR IdeaCast,” “Masters of Scale,” and “The Tim Ferriss Show.”
No matter which method you choose, the most important thing is to be consistent with your learning. The more you learn about business, the better equipped you’ll be to succeed in the business world.
5 METHODS TO LEARN BUSINESS
1. Pursue a Degree
Pursuing advanced education is one of the most common pathways to enhancing your business knowledge. For most individuals, this means earning a bachelor’s degree in areas such as business, finance, or accounting. According to the United States Census, almost 40 percent of Americans 25 and older currently hold a four-year bachelor’s degree.
If you’re looking for more specialized business education, you might consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA). You can progress soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving, to highly specialized skills, including accounting, finance, strategy, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this degree is the solid professional network, access to job opportunities, and bigger potential paycheck.
Earning an MBA is a time and financial commitment. A full-time MBA typically takes one to two years to complete, while a part-time MBA could take up to four. With an average cost of $66,300, it’s essential to consider your budget and the degree’s ROI based on your desired job post-graduation.
Thousands of business professionals enroll in MBA programs annually to increase their business knowledge and learn how to make a difference in their industry or transition to a new one. Many also take advantage of employer education programs that pay for some or all of their MBA tuition.
2. Get Inspired
If a classroom doesn’t seem like the right setting, consider learning from current business leaders. Some of the most successful companies today face similar challenges and obstacles you’re likely to encounter, such as climate change. Staying up-to-date on business news can help you better understand how to combat these challenges and pioneer new ways to operate, communicate, and lead in today’s global economy.
Many aspiring business leaders turn to additional mediums, such as podcasts. According to the Podcast Consumer Report, nearly 75 percent (pdf) of podcast listeners tune in to learn something new. As a result, several industry leaders, college professors, and innovative thinkers are creating podcast content to educate today’s business professionals.
3. Gain Industry Experience
Not every business professional takes an academic approach to learning. Many find value in training and developing business skills through real-world experience. Several companies offer extensive training programs and onboarding for new employees that touch on industry-specific knowledge.
But, you might need to be proactive: According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, employers are more likely to train new or newly promoted employees rather than upskill current ones. As a result, 59 percent of employees focus on investing in their own upskilling. Professionals can search for various opportunities in the workplace, such as volunteering to work on cross-departmental projects to meet colleagues with a desired skill set or absorb knowledge from different business perspectives.
4. Collaborate with Others
Despite the abrupt shift to hybrid and remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies continue to focus on collaboration. The overwhelming number of collaborative tools in the workplace, like internal messaging platforms, email, and video conferencing, have contributed to what author Rob Cross calls “collaboration overload.”
Collaboration is essential to business success. In an interview with McKinsey Global Publishing, Cross argues that “more successful people tend to spend about 20 to 25 percent more time exploring possibilities with others, saying ‘How could we work together, from different functions, different capabilities, and different geographies?’” These collaborative relationships open up new facets of business knowledge and produce positive professional results.
5. Enroll in an Online Course or Certificate Program
If you’re looking for a more structured method of learning business, an online course or certificate program could be the best option. Online business courses are becoming increasingly common as institutions transition to remote and hybrid learning for those wanting more flexibility.
Online courses can be just as rigorous as in-person instruction. For example, Harvard Business School Online’s certificate programs are taught by renowned Harvard Business School faculty in a flexible format that allows individuals to learn at their own pace.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to learn business. The best method for you will depend on your individual learning style and goals. However, by following the tips in this introduction, you can make the process easier and more enjoyable.