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10 Most Useful College Degrees In 2013

10 Most Useful College Degrees In 2013

Here are ten college degrees that will either get you a very safe job, a very highly paid job, or a job wherever you please. Those are the three selling points of a useful degree. The ability to pick a company, work for it and build a career is a very handy talent to have, as is finding a job where your department will be the last one to be shut down. Furthermore, the qualifications that get you a highly paid job may set you up very nicely in the future, so that you don’t have to pinch pennies into your old age.

1. An accounting degree

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    Accountants are people who senior managers and business leaders trust because they have to. Most business leaders and managers do not have the time to go through all of their accounts themselves, so must trust the work and expertise of a person with an accounting degree. That is why many accountants are paid highly, and why managers and business owners are often very aggressive in their retention of them.

    2. A marketing degree

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      This is something that will put you one step ahead of most modern business executives. Many people enter a large corporate business with some form of business education, but if you have a degree in marketing then you get to work in the most interesting department in the whole company. As the senior executives worry about the falling stock price, you are getting paid for the jingles you wrote whilst in the bath!

      3. A business administration degree

      20090212business.jpg

        This is not the most glamorous degree and it will not get you a job working with the famous or the beautiful, but it will get you a very safe job in many, many companies. You can basically pick the company you want to work for, and choose the field that you feel suits you the best. The business administration staff are the unsung and forgotten heroes that make up the backbone of any business.

        4. An information science degree

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          This is a degree that is going to make you the shining star of whichever business concern you join. The ability to build a website, or build and maintain a computer system is a skill that is in high demand.

          5. A computer engineering degree

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            Almost any qualification that has something to do with computers is a good thing in this day and age. But, a computer engineering degree is going to place you above your competitors because most middle to larger companies need to have at least one computer engineer on staff. They do things such as building or maintaining networks, computer systems and computer software. Many companies are also looking for computer engineers to help design new software, so your degree will be in high demand.

            6. An education degree

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              This is usually made up of a degree in one subject, and then a further qualification so that you can be a teacher. The job is not the most glamorous in the country, but it is certainly a job that is in high demand. British sociologists have also proven that people with education qualifications are also more likely to be placed in a higher management position within ten years of getting their qualification.

              7. A criminal justice degree

              business handshake

                This may not buy you a very good position in the business world, but it will certainly get you a very high-paying job in the legal world. There are even big companies that set up their own legal department, where a criminal justice degree is going to buy you a lucrative—and very safe—job. This is a degree that allows you to both find a high-paying job and gain the respect of your peers.

                8. A computer science degree

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                  Computer science education is highly oriented towards the world of business, so you can easily meet the labor market’s requirements with this type of degree. In this profession, you will adjust old software to modified requirements and develop new software that will improve the work of the company that has hired you. This is a challenging job description that will inspire you to do the best you can in order to contribute to the success of your company’s projects. Needless to say, computer science graduates are always needed in the job market, and many business owners are willing to pay good money for their work. As you increase your professional experience, you will be able to advance your career and start co-ordinating these types of projects.

                  9. A journalism degree

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                    This is probably not going to land you a job in very many big business corporations, but it is certainly going to get you a lot of work from both large and small information dissemination companies (and there are more than you think). A journalism degree is useful because it has a funny knack of allowing you to get both contract and freelance work whenever you want it. Many journalists work beyond their retirement age simply because they can.

                    10. A finance degree

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                      Ironically, since the global economic downturn, a finance degree has become more valuable. Even though people (rightly) blame the financial institutions for the global financial crisis, a finance degree is now more valuable because people are more careful with their money and their lending. Companies are making sure they employ educated professionals in their finance department because they cannot afford to play fast and loose with their (or other people’s) money any more. So, this is a very valuable degree—for the near future at least.

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                      Published on December 13, 2018

                      How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                      How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                      If you’ve ever thought about starting and running your own business, you’re not alone. Being your own boss, having flexibility with your schedule and keeping more of the financial rewards that come with business ownership are all good reasons to own your own company.

                      But as you might expect, it’s not all vacations and fat bank accounts. According to the SBA, 2/3 of businesses survive at least 2 years and approximately 50% survive 5 years.[1] So why is the failure rate so high? At least for the businesses that fail early on, lack of, or poor planning can be a major factor.

                      So how to start a company?

                      Starting a business from scratch doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, but it does take planning and work. Here are the first and most important 9 steps to take when your are starting a company from scratch.

                      1. Do an Honest Evaluation of Yourself

                      Do you work better in a structured or unstructured environment? Does a daily routine reduce your anxiety? What kinds of things are you good at? Does public speaking or making presentations make you nervous? Are you good at accounting and numbers? Can you handle the rejections you’re bound to get when selling or cold calling?

                      These are all important questions to ask yourself, in fact it’s a good idea to get other peoples opinion about their perception of you in each of these situations.

                      Whatever the answers you come up with for your evaluation, remember that’s all it is, an evaluation of where you are now. Think of it as a way to identify both your areas of strength and weaknesses.

                      You maybe good at public speaking which can help when raising money, but bad at accounting which just means that you’ll need to find some kind of help with that area of the business.

                      2. Evaluate Your Idea

                      If your business idea involves a new product or service (or even an enhancement to an existing product or service), it needs to be evaluated. This is technically called market research.

                      There are firms that specialize in doing market research for new products, but if you are on a tight budget, you can do this yourself.

                      First, if you can build a prototype for people to use, touch and look at that’s the best option. If a prototype is not possible or it’s a service business, then offer a highly descriptive presentation of the business plan complete with it’s unique benefits and how it’s different from the competition.

                      Then listen! Remember that this is not about others liking your product, this is not your baby that they are talking about. You want honest market research that gives you the best chance for a successful business. Take notes, when someone tells you that they didn’t like a feature or some aspect of your idea tell them ‘Thank you”.

                      After several rounds of market research with different groups of people, you should see patterns emerging about things that they both liked and didn’t like. Use this information to tweak your product or service and do another round of market research.

                      Keep in mind that you’ll never come up with a universally loved product, your job is to produce a product or service that appeals to the broadest range of your target market.

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                      3. Make a Business Plan

                      I know, I know this isn’t the “fun” part of starting your own business, but it is an very important step in creating a successful business!

                      Basically, you can think of a business plan as an outline or blueprint of your business. A good business plan should have the following elements:

                      • Executive Summary – This should lay out the businesses product or service and the problem that it solves for the consumer.
                      • Market Evaluation – This should talk about the market you are serving. Is it an expanding market, and how does your product better fulfill the consumers in that market.
                      • Market Strategies – How are you going to penetrate the market and sell your product.
                      • Operational Plan – How will the company run from day to day? Who are the key employees and what are their specific rolls. Do your key players have specific goals set for them in advance?

                      A final word on making a business plan: while lying is never acceptable especially when you are using the business plan to raise money, it is acceptable to “put your best foot forward”.

                      Playing up the positives while minimizing the negatives is almost expected in a business plan.

                      Besides, banks as well as professional investors will both do a more in-depth analysis before investing any money into your idea.

                      4. Decide on a Business Structure

                      You have many options here, and discussing them with your accountant or financial adviser is really the only way to know what’s right for you. But just to give you a quick rundown of the types of business entities and their pros and cons we will briefly go through them:

                      Sole Proprietorship

                      This is a common way for small businesses to get started.

                      The pros being:

                      Relatively low costs to set up (usually a business license and sales tax license).Owners normally do not have to set up a special bank account, they are allowed to use their personal one. Any income earned can be offset by other losses (check with your state!). You as the sole proprietor have complete control over all decision making. 

                      Finally, sole proprietorship’s are relative easy to dissolve.

                      The cons of using a sole proprietorship include:

                      You as the sole proprietor can be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the company. Some benefits, such as health insurance premiums, are not directly deductible from business income.

                      If you need to raise money, you are not allowed to sell an equity stake in the company. In that same vein, hiring key people maybe more difficult because you cannot offer them an equity stake in the company.

                      Partnership

                      A partnership is formed when two or more people decide to start a business. Although there is no legal requirement for any documentation to form a partnership, it is my advice that you never enter into a partnership without having a partnership agreement. (Remember, spending $1500 now can save you $150,000 in legal fees later!).

                      The pros of a partnership include:

                      Being relatively easy and inexpensive to start. Hiring key employees can be easier as you are allowed to give equity ownership to as many partners as you want.

                      For tax purposes, partnerships are relative simple as any income is treated as “pass through” meaning that each partner pays tax on their individual portion of the partnerships income (As of this writing, always check with your tax adviser).

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                      As far as the cons go:

                      It can be difficult for some general partnerships to raise capitol. Because it is a partnership, the actions of one of the partners can obligate the entire organisation. All profits must be shared according to the partnership agreement regardless of the amount of work done by any single partner.

                      Some employee benefits may not be able to be deducted on income tax returns.

                      Limited Liability Company (LLC)

                      This is a very popular business entity for small to medium sized businesses. The reason for this is the cost of set up is not prohibitive and there is a separation between the owners and the company.

                      The pros of an LLC include:

                      Limited liability for the partners, unlike sole proprietorship’s and partnerships where the owners are held responsible for all of the companies debts and liabilities, an LLC provides some protection against certain debts and liabilities that are solely the companies.

                      Simple taxation, just like the sole proprietorship and partnerships, income is considered “pass through” and is only taxed once on an individual level.

                      There is no limit on the number of shareholders in an LLC. An LLC requires fewer fillings and administrative requirements than a corporation.

                      Corporation

                      A corporation is much more complex and expensive to set up. And a corporation is legally considered an independent entity that is separate from its owners.

                      The pros of a corporation include:

                      Complete separation between the owners and the company. Because the corporation is considered its own legal entity, owners can not be held personally responsible for any debts or liabilities of the company.

                      A corporation can raise capital much easier just by selling more shares in the company.

                      Cons of corporations include:

                      Much higher administrative costs than any other business entity. Corporations generally have a higher tax rate. Dividends are not tax deductible for corporations. Income paid in dividends is taxed twice, once by the corporation and again by the shareholder.

                      Again, this is just a short summary of the pros and cons, always check with your tax adviser about what will work best in your situation.

                      5. Address Finances

                      Again, not one of the “Sexier” parts of starting your business from scratch, but very important nonetheless.

                      So, you’ve done your business plan and an estimate of your start up funding should be included. It should include the amount of funding you’ll need to get you through your first full year of operations.

                      Now, how do you get that money?

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                      Self Funding

                      If possible, self funding is the easiest. You won’t have to go to banks and investors with hat in hand, or give up ownership or control of your company. But as we know, this is not a reality for most people. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available.

                      Friends and Family

                      They can be a good source of funding your business if they can see and understand your vision.

                      Remember that business plan? Pass them out to everyone you know. Then follow up, be prepared to tell them the total amount of money you expect to raise, the minimum investment you are looking for and what you will give in return for the investment.

                      For example, you give a friend your business plan and follow up with him/her a few days later. You can explain that you have secured funding for $80,000 of the $100,000 you need. You are selling a 2% share in the company for every $2,000 investment. How many shares would he like?

                      And when he/she tells you no, thank him/her and ask if he/she can think of anyone off the top of his head who might be interested? Tell him/her you really appreciate his/her time and if he/she does come across someone who might be interested to let you know.

                      Banks

                      These guys are happy to lend you money when you don’t need it, but all of the sudden they get stingy when you actually need a loan! This is where preparation comes in.

                      It’s a good idea to go over your business plan with an expert and maybe even have it rewritten by an expert before you approach either a bank or professional investor. Both will want to go over your business plan with a fine tooth comb, verifying all the numbers and data you provide.

                      You should also brush up on everything in the plan so that you can answer any questions they have with authority.

                      Crowdfunding

                      Finally, there is crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Crowdfunding helps to build interest, community spirit, and a customer base. It’s also an efficient way to raise funds. You can take a look at these tips to find out more:

                      6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

                      6. Register with the Government

                      As stated earlier, different types of business entities have different filling and administrative requirements. At the very least, you’ll probably need a business license as well as a state sales tax license.

                      Unless you are forming a corporation, there are many good resources on the web that will do everything for you at a minimal cost.

                      7. Assemble Your Team

                      Remember when we evaluated your strengths and weaknesses? Here is where we fill in the gaps!

                      Do you hate sales and cold calling? Great! There are people who love selling and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

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                      Bored to death with accounting? There are a ton of small accounting firms out there that will take care of that for you.

                      What about marketing? You can hire someone in-house or out-source that too.

                      Your job is to keep on top of all the different aspects of the business to make sure they are all running smoothly and getting the results you need. If not, it’s your job to figure out the problem and implement a solution.

                      Check out this guide and learn how to delegate effectively:

                      How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                      8. Buy Insurance

                      No matter what kind of business you start, you need insurance! Yes, I know, no one likes to buy insurance, but it can literally be the difference between having a minor inconvenience and declaring bankruptcy.

                      We live in a very litigious time, even a minor slip and fall at your place of business could bankrupt you without insurance. If you need help finding a good agent, check with your local trade organizations or fellow business owners.

                      9. Start Branding Yourself

                      Has anyone ever ask you for a Kleenex or a QTip? We all know what they are because of branding, Kleenex is just a brand of tissue and QTip is just a brand of cotton swab. It doesn’t have to be as widely known as Kleenex or QTip, but you can make your brand a common name within your niche.

                      I once owned a manufacturing company that developed a product that was so popular that my competitors started co-opting my brand name for their products.

                      If you aren’t sure how to kickstart branding yourself, check out these ways:

                      5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

                      The Bottom Line

                      Starting a business from scratch can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.

                      But do you know what’s even more rewarding? Having a business that succeeds, is profitable and provides a good source of income for you, your employees and their family’s.

                      More Resources About Entrepreneurship

                      Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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