“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
In Nigeria, "business studies" is a subject that is compulsory under the Basic education grade 7-9 curriculum. Business Studies for junior Secondary Schools is a subject used as a tool that focuses on value reorientation, poverty eradication, job creation, wealth generation and using education to empower the people. It encourages the acquisition of basic business studies skills in students to help them choose a career path if interested in commercial and social sciences.
The Nigerian curriculum in Grade 7- 9 Junior secondary school focuses on basics in business, arts and science subjects that are used to help guide the career paths for students. Based on the knowledge acquired in junior secondary school for 3 years, you can now decide to be a science, arts or commercial student when you move to the senior secondary school for another 3 years before proceeding to a tertiary institution to specialize in an area.
The study of business studies is broad and helps students decide whether or not they are interested in business-related career paths.
This article will focus on the career paths available to students with the basic knowledge of business studies. While some parents might be deciding or encouraging career paths for their children, the study of what business studies will help them determine whether or not they are actually interested or passionate about business-related courses.
What then is business studies? It is the study of how businesses work, especially the financial and management aspects of the business.
The business studies program will build a strong foundation for those who wish to move on to further study and training in specialized areas such as management, international business, marketing, accounting information and communication technology or entrepreneurship.
As you continue to read this article, you will gain insight into the business studies career out there.
''I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
Career Paths In The Finance Industry
There is no way you can study business without learning about money. The business and financial world are therefore connected. While studying business in junior secondary school, finance will definitely never go untouched. The completion of business studies will open the door to the finance industry.
Finance generally deals with matters regarding the management, creation, and study of money and investments.
Accounting is how business records, organizes and understands financial information. You can now see how business studies cut across many career paths. Business accounts tell you whether or not you’re making a profit, what your cash flow is, the value of your company’s assets and liabilities is, and which parts of your business are actually making money.
This course's syllabus covers everything from profit and loss to how money influences business activity. To know how well a business is doing, you have to at the balance sheet. This sheet will state the level of credits and debits. Is the company making a profit or a loss? This information can only be inputted and be answered by someone with knowledge of accounting.
In the course of understanding business studies as a junior secondary student in Nigeria, many students have taken an interest in accounts and have further gone ahead to have a degree in accounting.
Banking is simply the business activity of accepting and safeguarding money owned by other individuals and entities, and then lending out this money to conduct economic activities such as making a profit or simply covering operating expenses.
You have a very good chance to work in the banking industry with the knowledge of business studies that will be taught at the secondary level. The knowledge of loans, mortgages, accounts will be introduced under business studies. Of course, banking is vital in the financial world, and business studies education will open the door to the student to know whether or not they are interested in that sector. Commerce is a topic to which banking will be introduced to the junior secondary school student in Nigeria.
“An audit is an examination of accounting records undertaken with a view of establishing whether they correctly and completely reflect the transactions to which they purport to relate.” –Lawrence R. Dickey
“Audit is defined as an investigation of some statements of figures involving examination of certain evidence, to enable an auditor to make a report on the statement.” –Taylor and Perry
Auditing and accounting have a lot of similarities, however, auditing has a couple of aspects that make it more interesting and a bit complex. In Nigeria to be an auditor, you must have completed professional courses like ICAN and ACCA.
The study of business studies opens up career paths in auditing from the curriculum that introduces the students to accounting and bookkeeping. Auditors can be internal or external. Their job will essentially consist of looking over the company's accountants' shoulders, going over their work and making sure there is no fraud or waste.
A lot of people believe there is job security in government jobs though they do not pay as much the private sector jobs. You can work with government-related agencies like the Department of Defense, Department of Treasury, and Department of Agriculture, Nigerian Immigration services, INEC, Nigerian custom service and so on.
With the knowledge of any business-related subject as discussed above and also to be discussed below, you will be able to work in any government-related job in Nigeria. There are always openings every year for fresh graduates and experienced workers to work in government jobs. Hundreds of Nigeria in all states are employed yearly to work with the government at the local, state and federal level.
Job Opportunities In Human Resources
Junior secondary school business studies is an integrated approach to the study of business administration which human resource is an important aspect to it. Human resources is another career path with the knowledge of business studies.
Human Resources deals with the management of an organisation’s workforce. Organisational success depends upon developing appropriate methods of recruitment and selection; motivation; reward; training and development; grievance and discipline; performance management and career progression. This will be chipped in under the curriculum for business studies.
As a recruitment officer, you will be responsible for posting job adverts, screening potential job candidates, and scheduling and conducting interviews. The recruitment officer will have to liaise with other managers to determine staffing requirements. Interpersonal, communication and listening skill is very important for this position as you will be liaising within both external and internal people.
Emotional intelligence and management are key to forming the connections and relationships necessary for a successful recruiting campaign, as well as for making crucial hiring decisions that impact others' lives. Your emotions and intuition should always be in check to make good recruitment calls for the growth and success of the company.
Training And Development Coordinator
Without regular training, learning and development, staffs will become obsolete in knowledge which in turn will harm the success of the business. A training department is a crucial part of the human resources department. Training Coordinators have a key role in ensuring that personnel are competent and safe to work in line with company and industry procedures.
Some training is mandated by the government or bodies associated with the line of business and so it is the duty of the training coordinator to ensure all training is up to date and fulfils all requirements.
Employee and Labour Relations Specialist
Employee relations focuses on creating and delivering people practices that develop - and maintain - positive working relationships between an organisation and its people. A good understanding between employees and employers is important to reduce industrial disputes and so this is where a specialist comes in.
Employee relations specialists must possess a variety of competencies and strengths, including superior negotiation, communication, interpersonal and analytical skills. They also offer counselling services to employees and are majorly involved in the exit interview of a staff.
Planning and Consulting Career Paths
Before we conclude this final job group, let us dive into management jobs. Management jobs usually come after further studies in business like having a masters in management, MBA or years of experience in a particular field. Management roles in Nigeria include;
- Sales and Marketing Manager
- Logistics Manager
- Human Resouce Manager
- Retail Manager
- Accounts Manager
- Invoicing Manager
- Construction Manager
- Customer Service Manager
- Project Manager
- Finance Manager and so on
You can check Linkedin for vacancies in management positions and the requirements needed for the job to help give you an idea of what the future holds in a career path in management.
The list for career paths in business studies goes on and on which makes it one of the most versatile learning programmes you could undertake.
Business studies also open opportunities in planning and consulting which will be discussed below.
A business consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area such as security, management, accountancy, law, human resources, marketing, finance, or any of many other specialized fields. Business consultants are responsible for improving companies' operations by assessing weaknesses and recommending business solutions to initiate change and revive the success/growth of the organization.
There are various types of consulting jobs such as
- Strategy Consulting.
- Business Consulting.
- Financial Consulting.
- Information Technology Consulting.
- Management Consulting.
- Sales Consulting.
- Marketing Consulting.
- Brand Consulting and so on.
The job of a business strategist is to develop functional strategies that reach business goals and improve profitability for a company. Business strategists help determine targets for their organizations and also prepare strategic plans to ensure that those targets are met. Having a good strategy will help distinguish a business from others and so everything about risk, competition, profit/loss, SWOT analysis and external forces that have been taught over time in the study of business come into play for you as a strategist.
An investment consultant is a financial professional who provides investors with investment products, advice, and planning. Investment consultants do proper research and analysis on formulating investment strategies for clients, to help them fulfil their financial needs and goals.
While a lot of people wishes they have started investing at an early age, others wished they hadn't involved themselves in some bad investment decision. This Is where an investment consultant comes into analysis risks and advise you on the best possible investment for your financial goals in the long or short term.
With adequate knowledge in business studies, you can be on a career path to becoming an investment consultant. Markets are unpredictable and so everything you have been taught t on forecasting, analyzing risks and ways to minimize them must be properly utilized to make good judgement calls as your job would entail researching and recommending investment products for your clients.
If you are result-oriented, have good communications and analytical skills, the job opportunities listed in this article and more will be open to you with a good result in your Business Studies courses. This is the reason business studies is a compulsory subject at junior secondary school in Nigeria so as to guide students into making good career path decisions.
You can check out Superprof for some excellent teachers who give lessons on business studies.
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