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Thanks to an associate degree in business administration from Richland College, Thomas Schuler earned two promotions in less than a year. “There’s no way I would have moved up without my degree,” he said.

​Contact: Debra Dennis

For immediate release — Oct. 15, 2018

(DALLAS) — “The business of America is business.” — President Calvin Coolidge

Does this 20th-century adage still ring true? It is, if you ask Chip Izard, coordinator of the business administration program at Richland College. His confidence about the future is boosted by students who dream of becoming the next “big thing” and are willing to do the work.

The opportunities, Izard said, are limitless.

“There is a ‘business angle’ to almost every career,” said Izard, who coordinates Richland’s management and international business programs as well as business administration. “When students say they want to major in business, we give them a view into management — a very good base of information. We want them to have a good idea of what they’re going to face.”

He and fellow instructors welcomed new and returning business administration students for the fall semester. Among the careers DCCCD students at Richland and other colleges may consider in business administration include accounting, marketing, human resources, leadership and economics. Some courses are available online — a suitable option for students who work and have families to support.

Thomas Schuler completed some of his classwork online and credits those courses with helping him balance both family and work responsibilities while he attended Richland College.

He spent 13 years working as an entry-level assembler for a defense contractor, but the job had become stagnant, predictable and unfulfilling. “I knew I had to do something,” said Schuler, who attended several colleges before he buckled down to pursue his degree in business administration at Richland. “I realized, if I wanted to move up, that I had to go back to school.”

As a result, the married father of three children enrolled at Richland, hoping to rise above a lower-level position. He graduated in December and, in less than a year, earned two promotions. His company relies heavily on education when it considers workers’ upward mobility, he said.

“I became a warehouse manager after a short period of time. Now I’m an operations manager. Richland helped me tremendously. There’s no way I would have moved up without my degree,” said Schuler, who is heading to a four-year school to obtain his bachelor’s degree.

Business administration student Solomon Ware also is working toward his associate degree. A compounder for a local manufacturer, Ware envisions a career in business management. But to get there, he knows he, too, must complete his education at Richland.

“I’m 49. I’m looking for an associate degree that will help me move into business management. I’ve been a lead person. I’ve been working different companies doing the same thing, so I’m ready to take the next step — and that next step is management.”

Ware, who works full time and has a family, expects to graduate next year. “You need a degree to move up into management,” Ware said. “I believe that the opportunities are there. I’ve had interviews for supervisor jobs, but they want you to have that degree. I’m close. And, I’m going to get there.”

Few careers offer as much versatility as business administration. Specialties in the field include occupations that range from managers to sales persons to purchasing agents and analysists. Workers can be self-employed, seasonal or careerists who work in areas such as health services, finance, sales, human resources and more.

An Aptitude for Management

The requirements for success are about the same for each career path, Izard said.

Students who want to advance in the workplace must be willing to take risks. “Risk-taking is a must, but you also have to learn to be a good follower,” Izard said. “It also helps to know that you control nothing personally; instead, you have to rely on your team to accomplish the work.”

Izard added, “The best employees get promoted. If you understand the role of management, you can appreciate what they’re going through and learn how to support them.” Students have many options that vary from running a business to working as a specialist.

All seven colleges of DCCCD offer either an associate degree or certificates in business administration. Some students transfer to four-year colleges.

Among the district’s offerings are:

Employers Are Looking for Workers

With so many career choices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates wages in business administration typically range from $36,200 to $92,110 annually, depending on occupation, tasks, location, the employer and an individual’s experience. Job prospects also are broad-based and specific to occupation, experience and other factors.

“We try to teach theory and practicality,” Izard said. “All of our faculty are people who have worked in industry, so they can speak from experience. We want to give students book knowledge, but we also want them to be aware expectations in the business world."

DCCCD is preparing students to engage in and take part in a constantly-changing job market.

And employers are looking for workers with soft skills who can relate to others, Izard said. “There is no more ‘lone wolf.’ You must be able to communicate with others, regardless of your personal feelings. Employers are looking for someone who engages in critical thinking and who has strong written and communications skills. All of those things are still valued.”

Companies, Izard said, can offer training, but workers have to decide whether they can fit in with a particular culture. To help ease that process, students should try to find a mentor.

For more information, contact Chip Izard at 972-238-6217 or at

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Visit our Business Administration program profile webpage at to learn more.