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President Calvin Coolidge famous declaration "the business of America is business" made it clear that the U.S. is the business capital of the world, and this largely remains true today. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States is almost double China's, which is number two and it is nearly 30% larger than number three Japan. The enormous U.S. economy is managed for the most part by individuals with a business degree of some type.

No matter how great the demand for business majors, the business employment market is always competitive and students need to claim every advantage they can in order to stay above the crowd. This guide provides a sampling of some of the resources available to business students to help improve their competitive edge.

Open Access Journals (OAJ)

Professional journals differ from periodicals like magazines and trade publications in that they are of an academic nature and their content has passed a peer review. The peer review process ensures that the research, analysis and data presented meet the highest standards.

Full-time academics, students and working professionals all benefit from having access to these sources of business scholarship. The journals listed in this section are all open access and available online.

  • International Journal of Business Science & Applied Management – The goal of this peer reviewed journal is to improve the distribution of knowledge throughout the business and management communities. The journal focuses on topics like general management, international business, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation. The journal only publishes original and thought provoking papers that contribute to the field.
  • The Open Business Journal – OBJ aims to disseminate research articles, reviews and letters. Additionally, the journal will publish guest edited issues that cover a single topic regarding advances in business studies. They primarily cover management, marketing and sales, business communication, global business and entrepreneurship, accounting, and business ethics.
  • Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management – This journal looks at both entrepreneurship with regards to small businesses and larger enterprises backed by venture capitalists. Also covered in peer reviewed articles is organization management, which involves coordinating an enterprise's resources through the process of leading, planning, organizing and controlling.
  • Journal of Business & Financial Affairs – Where business is an economic system in which goods and services are exchanged, every business requires some form of investment and adequate customers in order to generate a profit. This journal explores the three primary modes of finance; public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.
  • International Journal of Business Studies – The purpose of this journal is to publish papers of interest that contribute to the theoretical basis of business and management studies. This journal's expansive range of editorial policies makes it highly accessible to the wider academic business community.
  • International Journal of Business and Management – Published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education, this international peer reviewed journal explores topics such as corporate governance, HR management, strategic management, entrepreneurship, technology, and decision analysis. The IJBM features full length articles on both theoretical and practical aspects of management and business.
  • Journal of Economic Structures – This international journal publishes both theoretical and empirical articles that use an assortment of analytical instruments and statistical techniques to explore the structural interdependencies between different forms of economic activity. Topics include tech innovations, lifestyle changes, trade and commerce, ecology and business development.
  • Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship – A peer reviewed open access journal that provides an outlet for current academic research and practical findings that investigate why some regions thrive and others do no not. Articles tend to cover innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets like China, India and Latin America.
  • International Journal of Financial Studies – Concentrating on peer reviewed articles regarding financial market, instruments, and policy and management research. The journal regularly publishes research papers and communications of various lengths with the goal of encouraging detail-heavy theoretical and experimental research.

Open Courseware (OCW)

A great advantage of the digital age is the advent of Open Courseware or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Open Courseware describes online courses offered by universities around the world that are recordings of traditional lecture all seminars. They may also be live streamed presentations, podcasts or multi-media offerings that deliver undergraduate and graduate level programs.

MOOCs give individuals who might not otherwise have access a chance to take a highly specialized program, often from a prominent thinker in a particular academic community. The courses highlighted in this section are a sampling of business-related course now available online, all of which are free of charge to participants.

  • Introduction to Communication Science – Professor Rutger de Graaf of the University of Amsterdam teaches this 7 week course that introduces participants to the importance of communication. The lectures cover the fundamental theories, models and concepts from the fields of interpersonal, intrapersonal and mass communication. The course begins by establishing the fundamentals of the communications field and then progresses through increasingly complex modes of thinking. The lectures are presented in English and include English subtitles as an aid to comprehension.
  • Globalization of Business Enterprise – The University of Navarra's IESE Business School offers this 8 week course that requires 3-7 hours per week of work. The series is presented by Pankaj Ghemawat in English along with English subtitles. Professor Ghemawat developed and refined this course during his tenure with the AACSB task force on the globalization of business.
  • Financial Markets – Nobel Prize in Economics winner Bob Shiller instructs this Yale University course that provides an overview of the ideas, methods and institutions that enable society to manage risks and promote enterprise. Professor Shiller discusses the financial institutions that are the pillars of society, their impact and workings. The course runs for 8 weeks and demands between 6-12 hours of work per week.
  • Introduction to Operations Management – The world renowned Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania hosts this course on analyzing and improving business processes in both services and manufacturing. The class learns how to increase productivity and how to deliver more options to customers, as well as how to improve overall response times and quality.
  • Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies – This course looks at how entrepreneurs can successfully grow companies outside of already well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystems, like the Silicon Valley is today. Visiting Professor Michael Goldberg of Case Western University acknowledges that most markets bear no resemblance to Silicon Valley and never will and so provides instruction on how to succeed in a wider world.
  • Organizational Analysis – Stanford University's introductory course presents different theories of organizational behavior and applies them to actual cases of organizational change. Throughout this 10 week course students will be asked to consider a variety of struggling organizations, including school systems beset with pay cuts and diminishing student performance, government administrators coping with international crises, and technology firms setting out to create a workplace that keeps their staff happy and productive.
  • Asset Pricing – This graduate level course from the University of Chicago considers the intuition that comes from a deep understanding of how asset pricing theory works, how to use it and how to link it to empirical facts. The total length of the course is 9 weeks and requires a substantial commitment of 10-15 hours of work each week.
  • Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations – David Owens, professor of Practice of Management and Innovation at Vanderbilt University, instructs participants on the need to improve your ability to manage creativity and to lead innovation strategy in businesses, schools, hospitals, governments and other complex organizations. The course discusses how to identify and diagnose innovation failures before they occur.

Affordable E-books

Exploring texts beyond those assigned in your curriculum is a great way to expand you knowledge base and give yourself a competitive leg-up in the marketplace. The e-books listed in this section have all received the highest ratings by Amazon readers and are all under $10 making them all the more valuable additions to your library of ideas.

  • Running Lean – Successful entrepreneur Ash Maurya shares his vision for creating a strategy for achieving a "product/market fit" for your venture. Using his own experiences building products from high-tech to no-tech as a road map, he walks readers through the process from lean startup to customer development and bootstrapping.
  • Klout Matters – Klout is the measure of influence a person or business has and the stronger the klout the more influence and stronger influence translates to more business. Authors Gina Carr and Terry Block teach you how to engage with customers and build klout.
  • The Suitcase Entrepreneur – Natalie Sisson is a global adventurer and digital nomad who has been living out of her suitcase for three years while running a 6-figure online business from her laptop. In this e-book she says everyone has the right to build a business and live the lifestyle they want and then relates how you can do it too.
  • New Sales Simplified – When it comes to business success, loyal customers alone won't help you grow. For your enterprise to succeed you need a continual flow of new customers. This fast read shows you how to prospect, develop and close deals.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie's timeless classic is a must have and must read for anyone who wants to succeed in the business world. Still a bestseller more than sixty years after it was first published, this book shows you the fundamentals of handling people, ways to make people like you, how to convince people to see things your way and how to change people without resentment.
  • The First Time Manager – Every successful manager started out as a rookie but rookie mistakes can dash a budding career from the onset. The solution is a rookie's handbook to beating the odds and succeeding as a first-time manager. This book covers topics like hiring and firing, leadership and motivation.
  • The Rules of Management – More than 1 million people from around the world have read Richard Templar's Rules of Management and learned how easy they are to live and succeed by. This title teaches you how to let your employees think they know more than you, even if they don't and how to distinguish when they actually do.
  • The Apple Principle – Chris Estes introduces readers to the A.P.P.L.E. principle: Attitude, Prepare, Perform, Learn, Evaluate and how these five components can lead to boundless success personally and professionally.
  • Big Profits from a Small List – Learn how to maximize your profits from any mailing list. This is a small book that offers big rewards. It contains an unambiguous message that can change your life by teaching you the art of persuasion. Persuasion is not a gift but a skill that can be learned and honed.

Online Magazines and Industry News Websites

The publications in this section are a sampling of some of the best in specialty business-centric publications and business news sites. These are commercial publications and often require a subscription. Most offer some if not all of their content online in fully digital formats.

  • Entrepreneur Magazine – This magazine is by, for and about entrepreneurship, small business, and opportunities. Published monthly and with a strong digital presence, Entrepreneur is first on most lists of influential publications for anyone interested in starting or growing a new or small business.
  • Inc – Since 1979, Inc Magazine has provided business people who are interested in growing successful young businesses a resource second to none. Dedicated to startups and small enterprises, the magazine combines a consumer friendly easy to read style with hard hitting business expertise.
  • YFS Magazine – Young, Fabulous and Self-Employed is a digital periodical for startups featuring small business news and an entrepreneurial culture. YFS brings together innovators, startup enthusiasts and successful entrepreneurs for an easy to digest glossy digital experience.
  • Financial Times – Easily recognized by its pastel pink paper, the Financial Times is a London based international financial daily. The paper publishes most of its content in digital form on its site. Relied upon around the world for accuracy and integrity, they are a go to source for news, commentary, data and analysis of the global business community.
  • Kiplinger – Formerly known as the Kiplinger Letter, this staid publication offers a weekly look at business and economics. Focused on providing reliable forecasting for individuals in management positions, Kiplinger is a trusted source for finance and business forecasting. The Kiplinger site combines content from the Kiplinger letter and Kiplinger Personal Finance.
  • World Finance – Headquartered in the U.K. and published six times a year, they provide in depth news, data and analysis from around the world. Topics that are covered regularly are capital markets, risk management, trading, technology and corporate governance. They also provide news from regional markets such as Asia and Latin America.
  • The Economist – One of the most respected business, finance and economics publications in the world. While the economist also covers politics, science and culture issues, its bread and butter is business. Available in both print and online editions, this magazine provides in depth and balanced reporting on global business issues.
  • Advertising Age – Long considered the gold standard for news and views about advertising and marketing, this storied publication is published weekly. Available in print and digital formats, Ad Age delivers marketing reconnaissance rarely found elsewhere.
  • Adweek – The opposite bookend to Ad Age is their rival Ad Week. They are a leading source of marketing news for media and advertising professionals. While the publication is written for marketing pros, it is widely read by the greater business community seeking to get a handle on what is going on in the world of advertising and marketing.

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are great ways to develop your pool of contacts and to nurture industry-specific insights. Professional organizations are also likely to provide opportunities to pursue certifications, continue professional education opportunities and to explore other intellectual assets that may enhance your professional prospects.

  • American Marketing Association – The goal of the AMA is to serve as a forum for organizations and individuals throughout the marketing field, teaching and developing their marketing and marketing knowledge. The association was founded in 1937 and has since grown to more than 30,000 members.
  • American Business Women's Association – The ABWA brings together women in business in order to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally. Membership is open to working women and women business owners from around the world.
  • Business Marketing Association – Started in 1922, the BMA has for nearly a century acted as a source of expertise in business to business marketing. The association has a broad membership rather than an industry specific view. They offer skill building programs, certifications, surveys and papers to assist members in professional development.
  • Council of Asian American Business Associations – This organization exists to foster communication and cooperation between Asian American businesses while supporting organizations that create and expand market opportunities. This is an association of associations.
  • National Small Business Association – The NSBA provides small businesses and their owners with access to resources that might not otherwise be available to them. The association also serves as an advocate for small business interests.
  • National Association of Entrepreneurs – A national association whose focus is to provide resource, training and community for entrepreneurs.

Licensure Requirements

Many times a career in business means starting a new business and each state has different licensing requirements. Below are links to each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia's new business portals or homepage where links to state resources, licensing and filing requirements can be found.

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Florida
Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington Washington DC
West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

This guide is just a sampling of the types of resources available to business students. Among the skills you will need to succeed in the business world is the ability to research and identify tools needed to accomplish your goals. Consider inexpensive software such as AudioNote by Luminant Software, which enables you to record lectures and insert typed notes within the lecture so they are linked to specific times in the recording.