Alternative Pathways to a Career in Business

"What should I do if I find myself not accepted into the School of Business?"

A Career Plan Reimagined

There is not one single path that will lead you to success; rather there are multiple paths leading to success in the world of work. One of which is completing a business degree, others can range from a degree in economics or psychology, and with a belief in your aspirations opportunities will emerge, yielding outstanding results.  Entering the workplace of 2020 will require you to possess a skill-set that goes well beyond that provided by the classroom alone.  The world of work will look very different than it does today; employers will need you to think critically, be creative and overcome obstacles.  According to Harvard Business Review qualities such as, intelligence, values and leadership abilities are what determine one’s ability to be considered a person of potential in the workplace—none of which are related to a student’s academic major.

The National Association of College Employers conducted a survey (Nace Employer Survey) that told us that employers were able to translate a liberal arts education to the following skill-sets: leadership skills, analytical skills, and problem solving skills.  Mimicking this, Bill Coplin’s book “Ten Things Employers Want You to Learn In College” rarely mentions a student’s academic major impacting the possibility of successful employment.  Rather, Coplin spends more time discussing how a successful student utilizes experiences, communicates effectively, and establishes a solid work ethic.  Your college experience is, in fact, your personal experience so why not customize it in order to meet your needs and goals?  Your career plan is now reimagined and your new goal is to find ways to “acquire and develop” the skill-sets necessary in order to enter into the world of work and those skills-sets are not unique to the School of Business.

Knowing that your chosen major does not define your career, we encourage you to seek out mentorship from our most recent successful alumni and discuss how you can take advantage of the opportunities here at UConn in order to make your goals a reality.  UConn alumni from all majors can be found here under the “connections” tab on LinkedIn.  In fact, if you take the time to review this section of LinkedIn you will find that a large percentage of our alumni have career paths that have more to do with their skill-set rather than they're original major here at UConn.  Gaining clarity around next steps can easily transform disappointment to inspiration.  Perhaps scheduling an appointment with Kelly Kennedy, Associate Director of Student Development and Outreach with the School of Business Office of Undergraduate Advising, or the Center for Career Development will start you on your new and exciting journey.

The message is clear, if you are feeling as if you hit a roadblock on your path to success, then take action and use this as an opportunity for you to make a paradigm shift in your thinking about your career path.  A successful professional always keeps an open mind and utilizes their resources in order to bring their career goals within reach.

Your Resources at UConn:


Your #1 resource is your current Academic Advisor.  They know you well and can help you to explore your options.  Visit Advising at UConn find more information about your Advising Office, or view your Advisor in StudentAdmin.


The Major Experience (TME) is an all-inclusive program that unites the best major exploration resources and allows you the opportunity to learn about potential majors, careers, and (most importantly) yourself. Connect with TME mentors who are current students in majors that interest you and work well with your strengths.


The Center for Career Development is here to help you with every step of your career development process.  They can assist with everything from choosing a major to finding a job.  Get started by visiting their website or their office in Wilbur Cross.

Alternatives to Business Majors:

Areas of Business Alternative Majors Supplemental Business Programs/Minors
General / Business Administration Communication, Economics, English, Foreign Languages, History, Individualized Major, Journalism, Philosophy, Psychological Sciences, Sociology Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Business Fundamentals
Accounting Economics, Mathematics, Statistics Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Accounting, Accounting Certificate (to complete prerequisites for MS in Accounting graduate program)
Finance / Financial Management Economics, Mathematics, Mathematics/Actuarial Science, Mathematics/Actuarial Science/Finance, Statistics Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Real Estate, Minor in Accounting
Health Care Management Allied Health, Human Development Family Studies, Nutritional Science, Sociology Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies
Marketing / Digital Marketing & Analytics Communication, Digital Media and Design, Foreign Languages, Journalism, Psychology - Industrial/Organizational focus, Sociology Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Digital Marketing & Analytics, Minor in Professional Sales Leadership
Management Communication, Journalism, Psychology - Industrial/Organizational focus, Applied and Resource Economics, Sociology, Sport Management, Education Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Entreprenuership
Management Information Systems / Business Data Analytics Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, Digital Media and Design Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Analytics
Real Estate & Urban Economics Economics, Geography, Applied and Resource Economics, Urban and Community Studies - Urban and Regional Planning Emphasis Business Fundamentals Summer Program, Minor in Real Estate

Discuss availability of majors at your campus with your Advisor.

Explore Your Options:

The Business Fundamentals Summer Program is designed to help you enter the world of business. During the intensive seven-week program you will receive training in career development and take classes in a variety of business subjects, earning a total of 10 credits. Of those 10 credits, 9 count towards the Minor in Business Fundamentals.

Consider creating an Individualized Major to incorporate a variety of your career and academic interests.

Add on a Minor in Business to supplement your chosen major.

There is a wide variety of majors offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that will allow you to reach the same career goals you have set.


Browse other resources to help you learn about your options:


Dynamic website helping students answer the question "What can I do with a major in..."

Explore O*NET and search careers and occupations by interests, knowledge, skills, and more.

Explore interesting articles (like this one on a career in finance) and read up on current industry trends.