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A business degree is a valuable asset to help you create opportunities to join a new career or advance it, particularly in leadership roles. And like any project, taking the time to plan your career goals will help you work backwards and tailor your studies to reach them. Carefully consider the trajectory you would like for your career and then use this to lay out a road map of coursework to help get you there.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business is renowned for its focus on leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. You will benefit from a worldwide alumni network and a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare you for a successful future. And with concentrations available in accounting, finance, information systems, management, and marketing, you can tailor your studies to prepare you to meet your future career goals.

Each program teaches students to develop their business and communication skills as well as introducing or building on the more specialized skills that the concentration demands. Choosing a particular area of specialization helps focus the student’s courses of study and orient them towards their desired career path.

Hopefully you’ve taken some time to reflect on who you are personally, professionally, and academically. If not, then now would be a good time to make an honest assessment of your career. What are your strengths weaknesses, experience, and future goals? Where do your particular skills lie and what do you most enjoy?

• Be bold. Don’t hesitate to explore new opportunities. Be proactive and aggressive in seeking out potential advisors, mentors, and other resources that are made available to you.

• Embrace change. Nothing is forever. Take advantage of internships to test out a new role or industry. If it’s not a good fit, you can change course without having invested too much of your time.

• Follow your passion. Let your interests guide you and the rest will fall into place. While job prospects and earnings potential are certainly factors to consider, having a passion for what you do is the most important consideration.

As you endeavor to advance your career with a business degree, carefully consider where, exactly, you would like to see it grow. And as you evaluate schools and programs to find the right fit for you, look beyond the core courses and to the range of specializations that are offered. They can prove critical to the direction of your career and what opportunities they best prepare you to pursue.