Business Minded Teens: What to do first?

Teen at desk using calculator and taking notes

Think of any potential career choice: what does nearly every single career have in common? A shared necessity for core skills like communication, leadership (people skills), accounting, organization. In other words, business skills

Learning business skills is crucial, no matter what your interests, as it encompasses the entire economy. Regardless of whether you see a future focusing on a business or not, participating in business-oriented extracurriculars, such as online business classes for high school students, is beneficial. Business courses teach vital skills that are always in demand in the workplace. Called “transferable skills,” these assets can be put to use in both everyday life, in a future in business, or even if you decide to take a completely different career path. The skills gained from taking business classes will likely include: 

  • An understanding of how organizations operate 
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) 
  • Analytical and critical thinking 
  • Problem solving/decision making/logical thinking 
  • Presentation and report writing skills 
  • How to interpret and use financial data 
  • Self-motivation, initiative, and effective time management 
  • Project management 

If you do have your sights set on a future in business, you’re in luck. It’s an incredibly broad and growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate for business and financial operations occupations from 2019 to 2029 is 5%, faster than the average for all occupations. Budding business-minded teens have a plethora of opportunities to not only learn the ropes of business, but to gain valuable — and highly marketable — skills.

What to do in high school if you’re interested in business

There are plenty of options for motivated teens to start building their business acumen during high school. Business-related extracurricular activities are available at most high schools, and include:

  • Business Professionals of America (BPA): Educates business students and helps aspiring business majors make the right career choices. 
  • DECA: This national organization teaches many new skills, including leadership, management, and financial skills. 
  • Entrepreneurship Club: Among the most popular high school business clubs, entrepreneurship clubs provide coaching about entrepreneurship, as well as other similar topics.
  • National Beta Club: A nationally recognized honor society organized for students between 4th and 12th grade teaching a variety of marketable skills.
  • Future Investors Club of America: Often consists of a group of amateur investors who come together to learn and invest as a group.
  • Debate Club: Debate club is a group of students who gather together to debate the pros and cons of various issues. 
  • Speech Club: Speech club is an excellent way for those seeking to build business skills the opportunity to sharpen vital skills in public speaking. 

Looking beyond opportunities within your high school, many notable universities offer summer immersion programs and online courses for high school students in business.

Georgetown University Summer Academy: Georgetown University gives students a chance to learn the ins and outs of starting a business, including prototype testing, market research and business operations. While at the two-week camp, you will practice your public speaking, communication, networking, and leadership skills.

Launch X: Launch X is a program that helps young entrepreneurs conceptualize and get their own startups in motion. The program operates from MIT, Northwestern, and the University of Michigan. 

For those teens who seek pre-college business courses, many universities offer online learning options that allow you to study anywhere, anytime at your own pace. A couple of examples include: 

Regardless of whether you’re a high school student interested in a degree in business, or just looking to sharpen well-regarded business skills, there are a variety of top-notch universities with options to suit your needs. Good luck!

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