Entry-Level Business Career Options

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Check out 3 business careers you could potentially prepare for in two years or less.

By Chris Kyle

Are you contemplating pursuing a career in business but not sure where or when to start?

The good news is that jump-starting your business career could potentially be a simpler process than you may think. There are plenty of entry-level opportunities in the business world that don't require a four-year degree, let alone a stint in graduate school.

Check out these three entry-level career opportunities in business that you could prepare for in two years or less.

1. ACCOUNTING

You could potentially prepare for a career in accounting by completing in an accounting associate's degree program. Designed to help you build a strong foundation of accounting and financial principles, accounting degree programs often also delve into the latest trends and software advances that have revolutionized the profession. This type of program could take potentially about two years to complete, depending on your program and course load.

Why Accounting? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a typical accountant with one to three years experience has an average annual salary between $36,000 and $60,000.*

Plus, the industry is growing. In today's global economy, accountants are more important than ever. More and more companies are actively seeking qualified and well-prepared accounting candidates to handle their finances.

2. DATA ENTRY

Data entry programs generally require as little as six to nine months of preparation - though time to completion will vary by school and your course load. These programs could provide you with a stepping stone to help you get your foot in the door in many industries.

To use one specific example, the health care industry is currently launching a big push to share medical records online. At President Obama's urging, federal dollars are creating new and exciting data entry opportunities today.  If a career in health care appeals to you, consider enrolling in a health care billing and coding program.

Why Data Entry? Starting salaries average at about $24,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.*

3. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SUPPORT

Office administration professionals are the glue that holds many businesses together. The preparation for this career could be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months, depending on your program, your course load, and other factors.

You could potentially learn the basic office skills and computer software programs you'll likely need to know with a program in administrative office support. Courses often cover a wide-range of office skills, like researching reports, creating spreadsheets, ordering supplies, performing inventory checks, answering phone calls, and scheduling tasks.

Another option is a medical office/administrative program.

Whether you prefer a more comprehensive associate's degree in administrative office support, or a more streamlined office administration certificate program, you could be prepped to pursue opportunities in a wide-range of industries.

Why Administrative Office Support? Every company needs admin support. Some medical- and health-related fields are even seeing growth despite the slow economy. Your average salary won't be high to start - but you could learn the company's business inside and out. The rest is up to you.

Unless otherwise noted, all average salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Chris Kyle is a contributor to EducationStart.org, a one-stop resource for information about colleges and higher education.

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