Which High School Electives Are Best for Business?

Which High School Electives Are Best for Business?

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Many identify their dreams of being an entrepreneur at a young age. Unfortunately, few realize that preparing to run a business can start in high school. This is why it is important to choose the right high school electives.

Most high school classes are beneficial for students looking to attend business school or open a business of their own. Classes that will directly impact one’s business abilities include Entrepreneurship, Economics, Microsoft Office, and Finance classes.

Interested in running your own business someday? Start learning the principles of a successful business by enrolling in specific high school courses. Keep reading to learn which high school classes are best for business.

Business Electives for High Schoolers

Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until college to start refining their business skills. Most have already established their skills at an early age and use college to solidify their knowledge. While you might not be aware, most high school classes teach entrepreneurial skills to some degree.

Additionally, several electives specifically focus on teaching these skills. Enroll early to refine your business skills before college.

Required Classes

Since most classes teach some aspect of business, ensure you give your best efforts in all classes. This will also teach you time management and dedication.

Pay particular attention to any required math or English classes. Math will be a frequently used skill in the world of business and English classes teach effective communication skills. If given the choice between a literature-based English class or a writing-focused course, choose the latter.

Put effort into any presentations given. A large portion of business is public speaking. Use high school presentations to help yourself feel more comfortable talking in front of your peers.

Electives Courses

Every school will offer different electives. If your school does not offer any of the following courses, look for another that teaches similar skills.

First and foremost, take an entrepreneurship class. This course essentially teaches the basics of business: What types of businesses are there? What kinds of problems do businesses encounter? Etc. Some high school entrepreneurship classes have the students create mock businesses. This activity would be especially beneficial for any students with a business idea already in mind.

Second, take as many Microsoft Office certification courses as possible. While there are thousands of different business software available nowadays, Microsoft Office Suite is still the most popular. Additionally, most other software is modeled after Microsoft. Having the technical skills to operate Microsoft Office will make you a desirable candidate for most jobs.

Want to save your high school electives for other business-based classes? Not a problem. You can receive a Microsoft Office Specialist certification directly from the company. Simply pass their Specialist Exams! Check out the exam program here.

In addition to Microsoft Office, students interested in business should take any computer science classes available at their school. These skills will undoubtedly come in handy when running their future business.

The next high school electives you should take are any finance-related classes. These might include Personal Finance, Accounting, and others. Successful business owners know how to properly manage money. If your school does not offer a personal finance course, take Khan Academy’s Personal Finance and Life Skills course. It is free and will give you the basic knowledge you need. Check out the course here.

While personal finances are important, it is also beneficial to take any classes focusing on market finances or economics.

When available, take a marketing or media studies course. Successful businesses also have successful marketing campaigns. Learning these skills early on will help in the future.

The final classes you should take are engineering, design, or social justice classes. While these courses are unique in focus, they teach students important elements of business.

AP or IB Courses

The list of AP and IB courses beneficial for high schoolers interested in business is quite long; however, this means that students have plenty of options to choose from!

Start by exploring business-specific classes offered. IB offers a Business Management Class. Unfortunately, AP does not offer any business-specific classes.

Next, enroll in courses that explore the principles of finance and economics. These include AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, or IB Economics. The AP Statistics course might also be of benefit, as well as any IB math class.

As mentioned earlier, computer science is a beneficial class for business inclined high schoolers. These students can improve their skills in an AP Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, or IB Computer Science course.

While there are no marketing classes offered by AP or IB, much of marketing is understanding how people think. Students can further their knowledge in this area by taking AP Psychology or IB Psychology.

Business inclined students might also enjoy taking AP Language and Composition, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics C: Mechanics, IB Design Technology, and either an AP or IB Spanish Language course.

Clubs and Societies

In addition to high school classes, there are plenty of clubs and societies high schoolers can join to expand their business knowledge.

In general, joining the leadership of any high school club will help students develop their leadership skills. Additionally, this will teach students about the process of making and achieving goals, especially if they join business-specific clubs.

Business-oriented clubs include the Business Professionals of America, DECA, Future Business Leaders of America, and many others. In fact, the FBLA has Middle School chapters to get students started even earlier than high school.

Participate in activities such as Speech and Debate or Student Council. These clubs provide excellent opportunities to develop and refine public speaking skills.

Additionally, high school students can work part-time to learn business-specific skills. They should also seek out internship or mentorship opportunities.

The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute caters specifically to young women desiring to develop leadership skills. Applicants must be in or from the NYC metropolitan area and between the ages of 13 and 21.

Not located in New York? Luckily there are internships available to students no matter their location. The Building-U High School Internship teaches students communication skills, media marketing, and administrative tasks. Even better, this online internship allows students all across the nation to participate.