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What Can You Do with a Business Management Degree? Understanding Your Options
By Callie Malvik on 03/05/2020
Sometimes taking care of your family means taking care of yourself. Your decision to earn a degree is as much for you as it is for them. This is why you want to choose a career that will not only support the people you love, but also allow you to enjoy going to work every day.
You’ve worked various jobs all your life, but you’re ready to launch a career. You’re committed to take the steps needed to establish yourself in the business field, where the options are vast. It’s no wonder you’re considering earning a degree in Business Management to help you achieve this goal.
But what can you do with a Business Management degree? Both an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in this concentration can provide students the versatile training needed to build a solid foundation that can be put to use in several different jobs. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect as a Business Management major.
What is a Business Management degree? Courses to expect
Before exploring the many Business Management degree jobs out there, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the educational elements that help equip students for such positions. The curriculum in a Business Management program covers the fundamental business acumen needed to succeed in this dynamic industry.
Regardless of the degree level, Business Management majors can expect to learn more about business principles, organizational effectiveness, data analytics, relationship management and more. Let’s take a closer look at the types of courses you can expect at the associate’s or bachelor’s degree level.
Common Business Management associate’s degree courses:
- Principles of Finance
- Business Analysis and Intelligence
- Human Resource Management
- Functional and Project Management
- Customer Service
Common Business Management bachelor’s degree courses:
- Accounting for Business Managers
- Business Law and Ethical Behavior
- Financial Decision Making and Risk Management
- Dynamic Team Development
- Organizational Behavior Analysis
Business Management jobs to consider
The courses listed above help equip Business Management majors with a versatile skillset that can be applied to a variety of positions in the field. There are plenty of viable options for both associate’s and bachelor’s degree holders. Let’s explore some common Business Management careers.
What can you do with an associate's degree in Business Management?
Earning an associate’s degree in Business Management has the potential to have a positive effect on your job prospects and earning potential. In 2021, Associate’s degree holders earned an average of $8,008 more annually than those with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 1
That’s great to know, but what opportunities are out there for associate’s degree holders? To help give you a better idea of what’s available, we analyzed more than 155,000 job postings from the last year that called for a Business Management Associate’s degree . 2 The data helped us identify five common jobs seeking professionals with this credential.
1. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks
Workers in these realms focus on monitoring and maintaining a company’s financial records. Duties typically include coding documents according to procedure, recording and summarizing numerical data on behalf of the company and reconciling any financial discrepancies found all while complying with federal, state and company policies.
2. Administrative assistant
Administrative assistants typically answer phone calls, schedule meetings, update database information, prepare invoices and manage incoming and outgoing mail. These employees must be organized and detail-oriented, as they are responsible for a variety of clerical tasks that keep businesses running smoothly.
3. Sales associate
These workers can be found in a wide range of industries—if there’s a product or service, businesses need someone to help sell it. They offer expertise on merchandise, answer customer questions and process transactions. Many of these positions have the potential to earn commission, which can give you a nice boost to your earning potential if you find the right situation and pay structure.
4. Customer service associate
It’s right there in the title—customer service associates are all about serving the customer. Whether it’s listening to a customer’s questions or concerns, placing orders, providing information about products and services or recording details of customer contact information, these business professionals make sure customers and clients are seen to. Patience and understanding go far in this position, because customer service associates are often listening to customer complaints and working to solve them.
5. Personal banker
A personal banker handles a client’s entire relationship with a retail bank. From loans and personal accounts to trust funds and investments, these bankers have a wide range of knowledge about the products and services a bank offers. They can provide great customer service by answering clients’ questions and helping them make the right decision for their finances. They are the central point of contact for clients.
What can you do with a bachelor's degree in Business Management?
The career opportunities are significantly higher for those with a bachelor’s degree. While a bachelor’s degree is traditionally a four-year investment, there are options available to earn your Bachelor’s at an accelerated pace . 3
Since job opportunity and salaries tend to be higher with a bachelor’s degree, this option is a great choice if you can invest the time in the education upfront. Our job analysis of the same time frame found more than 1.3 million job postings that called for a Business Management bachelor’s degree . 4 Learn more about the five most common jobs for professionals with this credential.
1. Marketing manager
Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization, and its competitors, offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products and oversee a team that develops strategies to maximize profits.
2. Sales manager
Sales managers are the professionals responsible for setting the strategy behind sales initiatives and goals. They resolve customer complaints, prepare budgets, monitor customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts and analyze sales statistics.
Most sales managers direct the distribution of goods and services by assigning sales territories, setting sales goals and establishing training programs for the organization’s sales representatives. This may also involve recruiting and hiring new sales staff and evaluating their performances.
3. Business analyst
Business analysts spend their work days gathering data concerning problems or procedures within a company. They then analyze the collected information to conclude possible solutions or alterations. New procedures are designed based on interviews conducted with employees, on-site observation and close study of company documents.
4. Financial analyst
Financial analysts conduct qualitative analyses concerning a company’s finances and investments. They compose charts, graphs and spreadsheets; forecasting business, industry and economic conditions through analysis of financial information. They also determine the prices at which a company should offer its product to the public market and prepare investment plans that capitalize on their financial analysis.
5. Account manager
Account managers act as organization’s personal representative to a client. They foster client relationships, work with sales and marketing teams to find new clients, prepare presentations and sales pitches and communicate client agendas to the rest of the company.
Depending on their employers, these professionals may work with individual customers or clients who represent entire businesses. Monitoring budgets and explaining cost factors to clients are also part of this role.
Where will a Business Management degree take you?
So what can you do with a Business Management degree? As you can see, there are plenty of answers to that question. It all depends on your personal interests and what degree level you can commit to. You can learn more about the educational path ahead by visiting our Business Management program page . Alternatively, you can request more information to hear more from a Rasmussen University Admissions Advisor who'll be able to help answer any questions you may have.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed November 2022]. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary. 2 Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 155,856 job postings preferring candidates with an Associate’s degree in Business Management Jan. 01, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019). 3 Time to complete is dependent on accepted transfer credits and courses completed each quarter. 4 Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 1,371,906 job postings preferring candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management Jan. 01, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019). EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2015. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.
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About the author
Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.
Posted in Business Management
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Patrick Flavin | 07.04.2022
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The skills you gain on a business management degree enable you to have a positive and effective impact on your employer's organisation
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Actuarial analyst
- Business adviser
- Business analyst
- Business development manager
- Chartered management accountant
- Corporate investment banker
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Forensic accountant
- Insurance underwriter
- Management consultant
- Project manager
- Risk manager
- Supply chain manager
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Construction manager
- Costs lawyer
- Environmental engineer
- External auditor
- Human resources officer
- Logistics and distribution manager
- Marketing executive
- Mortgage adviser
- Retail manager
- Sales executive
- Systems analyst
- Urban designer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
A business management degree prepares you for a career in business, which can apply to any sector or industry. Try to decide on the area you want to work in and aim to get relevant work experience.
You can gain experience at university through extracurricular activities, such as club membership or taking a role on a society that will develop your team-building, business or finance skills. You could also try to get a part-time job in an area related to your chosen career. Something that provides commercial skills or gives you knowledge in business functions and how organisations operate will be helpful.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships .
Industries as diverse as chemicals, utilities, fashion, health, grocery and construction all require functional managers with a clear understanding of systems, efficiency and operational issues. Opportunities exist in management and analysis roles with employers in the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Graduate training schemes offered by large employers frequently focus on commercial roles. Many give experience in several departments but others encourage specialisation from the outset.
Find information on employers in business, consulting and management , accountancy, recruitment and HR and other job sectors .
Skills for your CV
Studying for a business management degree allows you to develop a broad understanding of business organisations and provides you with subject-specific knowledge in areas such as markets, customers, finance, operations, communication, information technology and business policy and strategy. Business issues are often addressed at a European and international level.
You'll gain many transferable skills on your course, including:
- an understanding of organisational behaviour and structure
- analytical and critical thinking
- a creative approach to problem solving
- persuasive written and oral communication
- numeracy and the ability to research, interpret and use business and financial data
- self-reliance, initiative and the ability to manage time, projects and resources
- understanding of how economic and other external changes can impact and influence business.
Some graduates choose to undertake further study in subjects such as marketing, finance, human resources, computing and international business management, in order to develop their expertise in a particular area of business. Studying for an MBA is another option.
Those combining study with a job often work towards a professional qualification, and this is usually supported by employers. Professional qualifications popular with business studies graduates are provided by organisations such as the:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
- Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
If you'd like to pursue a career in law, you can take the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses .
What do business studies graduates do?
Eight of the top ten jobs held by business management graduates working in the UK are related to business, sales and HR, including sales, marketing and related associate professionals, finance professionals, business, research and administrative professionals, HR, training and other vocational associate guidance professionals, business associate professionals and admin.
Find out what other business management graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- Visit the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) for information about careers in consultancy.
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What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree?
Sep 24, 2021
The words business and management are commonly associated with career success. There are so many great opportunities coming from these areas that the challenge is less about searching for something to do with a business management degree and more about narrowing down the choices.
Whether you’re deciding what to study for your associate degree or bachelor’s degree, you’re looking for a master’s degree in the right field, or just thinking about what interests you have that could turn into a business career someday, you’ll look to answer, "W hat jobs can you get with a business degree?"
What is a business management degree? Courses to expect
The basics of business management start with a broad range of topics in finance, accounting, and marketing. Data is the key to making decisions and solving problems in business management, so you’ll be working with plenty of numbers. You’ll also spend a lot of time studying human interactions to build communication, managerial skills, and the ethics of making business decisions.
C.J. Trent-Gurbuz, writing for U.S. News and World Report , offered a summary of what kinds of courses you’ll be taking in this business program. He said, “Subjects include business economics , statistics, accounting, marketing, management and organization, business communication, and entrepreneurship. Students then focus on coursework more aligned with their interests, or they may choose a concentration.”
When it comes to potential advanced classes, Trent-Gurbuz provided a list that speaks to the complexity of business management and how it reaches into many other areas. Possible course subjects include:
- Operations management
- Management theory and practice
- Organizational behavior
- Entertainment entrepreneurship
- Investment in new ventures
Possible concentrations within a business management major are also varied, including:
- Information systems and technology
- International business
- Leadership and management
- Health and life sciences
- Real estate
Trent-Gurbuz also noted, “Some programs allow (a business major) to pursue dual degrees in areas such as international relations, computer science, neuroscience or philosophy.”
Business Management degree jobs to consider
Combining the benefits of a business degree and a management degree with training in diverse areas such as administration and organizational behavior as well as knowledge in specialized fields like healthcare administration, sports management, international business, and human resource management, a degree in business management makes a wealth of careers accessible.
Broadly speaking, it is a good time to be entering this industry. According to Ilana Kowarski in U.S. News and World Report , “The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment within management occupations will be 5% higher in 2029 than in 2019, which is faster than the 4% anticipated average job growth rate among all occupations during that time frame.”
Given that the number of openings in business management is large and continuing to grow, it’s important to know what about business management interests you and why it captures your attention. When you have the answer to those questions, you can then focus your studies and business administration job search on the right areas. An unfocused, general search for jobs in business management could become overwhelming.
Mary White in LovetoKnow.com offers an overview of larger areas into which business management careers can be grouped. They include:
- Nonprofit leadership
- Event planning
- Project management
- Property management
- Human resources
- Medical practice management
- Healthcare management
Kowarski got into more specific job titles within those larger areas. She said, “Experts say that a business management degree is a marketable credential for each of the following positions:
- Business analyst (or business manager)
- Compensation specialist
- Financial analyst
- Financial director (or financial manager)
- Human resources manager
- Investment banker
- Management consultant (or management analyst)
- Marketing analyst
- Marketing director (or marketing manager)
- Nonprofit manager
- Sales Manager
- Private equity analyst or associate
- Project manager
- Sales representative
- Talent acquisition specialist
- Venture capital analyst or associate
- Management analyst
- Market research analyst
- Vice president of finance
- Vice president of marketing.”
This is by no means a comprehensive list, as opposed to the most common landing spots for those with a degree in business management. There are, of course, also important professional steps to take on the way to some of these careers. That should for sure include internships during a bachelor of business management degree program (or MBA program), where business students gain valuable experience and develop management skills. You should also expect to spend time in entry-level jobs, such as an administrative assistant or office manager, gaining further experience for your resume and practicing leadership.
What can you do with a master's degree in business management?
As if there weren’t enough choices for a career after a bachelors degree in business management, going on to get your master’s degree only broadens the possibilities for your future in the industry.
Rhetta Standifer , associate professor of management at North Central College, said, “A master’s degree can help individuals in terms of possible promotion and higher salary opportunities over the course of their careers, depending on their goals and the industries they are in.”
Depending on the opening, a master’s degree can make you stand out from other applicants when going for a manager or director position. Employers will value the added expertise and focused instruction you will receive from a graduate degree program from a business school.
Standifer noted that employers often value these skills so much they will contribute to your efforts to get an advanced degree. She said, “Often, individuals will work for a bit before going back for their master’s. If that is the case, you should always check with your employer, because sometimes employers will help pay for the master’s degree if the employee consents to staying with the organization for a specified number of years.”
It may seem simple, but it’s important to know the distinction between a master’s degree in business management and a master of business administration degree or MBA.
The MBA program is popular and highly publicized by many schools. They can lead to similar, but not precisely the same opportunities as a degree program in business management. Be sure to check out our guide on business administration vs business management to find out more.
Why is a business management degree important?
The most important thing you will gain from a business management program is a versatile set of skills that can be applied in numerous different areas. That means with a business management degree, you might find yourself in an industry adjacent to or maybe even outside of business altogether and still be well-suited to the positions they hold.
Kowarski said, “The breadth of skills cultivated via a business management degree tends to be highly beneficial in the long run, since it prepares someone to work within multiple divisions of a company and to collaborate with a variety of coworkers.
“Furthermore, in contrast to entrepreneurship programs that focus on how to start companies and expand start-ups, management programs tend to have a broader scope, business school faculty say. Management students typically learn how to lead organizations at various stages of their development, including both embryonic businesses and well-established corporations.”
Business management degree programs give students the chance to make an immediate impact. Employers really value people who can do the job effectively without a lot of additional training or hand holding, and a business management graduate tends to embody that trait.
Later in her U.S. News piece, Kowarski said, “Jeff Hyman, the CEO of Recruit Rockstars–a Chicago-based executive recruiting company–says that an upside of obtaining a business management degree is that it provides the business savvy necessary to quickly perform well at a new job: ‘One of the key things that an employer is looking for is how long it takes for you to add value and contribute and, frankly, cover your cost.’”
Standifer also pointed out how business management teaches overarching skills that apply to any working environment and make students universally marketable.
She said, “It is, of course, important that our students learn as much as possible about their field of study – what makes a good manager? How does one become a good leader? But just as important for management students is the development of what I’ve referred to as the ‘soft’ skills – things like interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, working with others collaboratively, (and) understanding and building on one’s emotional intelligence skills.”
Therefore, if you’re wondering to yourself, “ Is a business management degree worth it ?”, the answer is that it can provide you with not only lots of direct paths to great careers, it can make you the kind of candidate who can succeed in almost any job with the freedom to create your own opportunities. Compensation can be very favorable for most business management graduates, as well, so be sure to read more in our business management degree salary guide.
Get off to a great start in Business Management
As mentioned above, the most important decision to make when pursuing a career in business management is the right school. Look for a program like the one at North Central College, which covers the subject from all the most important angles. North Central’s program examines the history and ongoing importance of business management from mythology to neuroscience, teaching you how to see from different perspectives and come up with creative solutions. They’ll prepare you for whatever area you want to work in, whether in nonprofit, for-profit, technical or governmental arenas. You’ll also have the chance to pick up useful experience throughout your studies from business-oriented student organizations and teams, internships, studying abroad, and using the latest business technology in the Bloomberg Finance Lab.
Find out more about the business management degree program at North Central and get your business career started today.
Jacob Imm is a communications specialist in the North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 11 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
What You Need to Know About Becoming a Business Administration/Management Major. 22 Sept. 2020. U.S. News & World Report.
What You Can Do With a Business Management Degree. 19 Oct. 2020. U.S. News & World Report.
9 Things You Can Do With a Business Management Degree. Mary Gormandy White. LovetoKnow.
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The 15 Best Business Management Degree Jobs in 2022
What makes a great career? Work-life balance? The salary? Perhaps it’s both. U.S. workers seem to think so, as a recent survey found that 56% of people who want to change careers do so for work-life balance, with 50% doing so to earn a higher salary. How do you prepare to begin or shift to a fulfilling, flexible career? A degree in business management is a great start.
The best part about the business world is the multitude of options within it. If you have an analytical mind and love working with people then a degree in business management is an ideal route. Whether you’re interested in working with technology, serving internal employees, or connecting with customers, there’s a degree in business management that can get you there. Learn more about the advantages of a degree in business management and which jobs it could prepare you for.
Business Management Degree Options
Before pursuing a degree in business management, first consider your goals. If you plan to work in IT, then a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in IT management may fit best. Alternatively, if HR is your passion, then a bachelor’s degree in human resource management is better. For a more general education in business, a B.S. in Business Administration—Business Management might fit the bill. Decide which area interests you, then find the specific business management degree that helps you get there.
Business Management Degree Requirements
To earn a business management degree, you’ll complete several courses that teach you how to run an organization. Business management degree programs often include training in accounting, finance, economics, human resources, and marketing. They also often have capstone courses that give you charge over a business scenario. You’ll be tasked with using your gained skills and knowledge to navigate difficulties and prove that you’re able to lead and provide solutions to complex problems.
Opportunities That Come With a Business Management Degree
It’s not easy to earn a degree in business management, but numerous opportunities come to those who put in the work. When you earn a degree in business management, you give yourself a lot of flexibility. For example, with a bachelor’s degree in marketing , you may be qualified for several different roles ranging from SEO manager to product marketing manager.
If you’re not sure which business degree is right for you , don’t fret. You’re not alone. While there are many degree programs to choose from, there are resources to help you decide. You can easily compare business management degree options considering aspects like your career goals, the skills you’d like to hone, and the industry you’re passionate about.
To discover more about what kind of work motivates you most, and to uncover your unique abilities and natural strengths, there are several resources you can use. Begin by talking to a trusted family member or friend about your goals. Then, consider something like the CliftonStrengths Assessment, for which you’ll quickly identify statements that sound most like you and receive a report on your key themes and strengths. If you’re a natural leader, for example, then a degree in management might be best. If you find that you’re highly analytical, then perhaps an IT-focused degree is more suitable.
Seek an Accredited Institution
If you’ve decided that a business management degree is right for you, begin considering schools and programs. Look for an accredited university with a proven track-record of providing value and return on investment . Accreditation is key as it adds reputability to your degree and gives you the confidence that the curriculum will get you ready for a successful career. Be sure you understand the potential business careers you can prepare for, and plan to earn a degree that best suits your interests.
Browse Career Opportunities Before Deciding on a Degree
If you don’t know which degree to pursue, start by choosing a job that sparks your curiosity. Below is a list of potential business management degree jobs. See the requirements, earning potential, and general duties for each. Once you find a job you like, explore the specific degrees we recommend for it or learn more by viewing the career guide.
Career Options for a Business Management Graduate:
Project Manager Career : For those who are highly organized and thrive under pressure.
Project managers work with multiple stakeholders within an organization to keep projects on track. They collaborate with people in many departments with varying personalities. Responsible for improving efficiency and ensuring timelines are being met, project managers must be organized and patient.
- Average annual salary: $81,000
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Management, MBA, M.S. in Management and Leadership
- Learn more: Project Manager Career Guide
Actuary Career : For those who love data and risk assessment.
An actuary measures and manages an organization’s risk. In addition to performing calculations and data collection, they analyze financials and markets to assess risk. They then communicate with key decision-makers and provide actionable insights for risk management.
- Average annual salary: $110,000
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Business Administration– Accounting
- Learn more: Actuary Career Guide
CEO Career : For those who want to run the show.
The chief executive officer is the one at the very top of an organization. They oversee all parts of the organization. Other C-level executives work closely with and report to the CEO. To become a CEO, you must have extensive experience and training in many aspects of business and a track record of proven success. Familiarity with accounting, marketing, operations, and sales is key.
- Average annual salary: $185,000
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration, M.S. in Management and Leadership, MBA
- Learn more: CEO Career Guide
Business Teacher Career : For those who love sharing their business knowledge.
While some love being in the thick of running a business, others enjoy the fulfillment of teaching. Business teachers are needed at all levels, with the demand for post-secondary teachers projected to grow considerably over the next decade. Whether you’re interested in teaching at the high school, junior college, or even university level, a business management degree can help you get there. Prepare with a bachelor’s and master’s degree and consider a doctoral degree if you’d like to teach at the highest level. You’ll also need to gain all the necessary teaching licensure and certification.
- Average annual salary: $80,790
- Learn more: Business Teacher Career Guide
C-Level Executive Career : For those with executive presence.
Becoming a senior leader in an organization is a lofty goal. The satisfaction that comes from working with other top executives to manage a company is hard to match. There are a variety of C-level positions with chief executives in areas ranging from marketing to IT. Some C-level roles include CEO, chief information officer (CIO), chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief marketing officer (CMO), chief technology officer (CTO), and chief information security officer (CISO). Understandably, salaries for C-suite executives can be quite favorable. If you aspire to become a C-level executive, education and work experience are paramount.
- Average annual salary: $197,840
- Learn more: C-Level Executive Career Guide
Sports Management Career : For those who love both sports and business.
College athletic directors, general managers of professional sports teams, and player agents. These are just a few of the careers within sports management. These jobs are very fast–paced, since the world of sports moves quickly. Whether it’s scheduling games, making financial decisions, or negotiating player salaries, there’s always plenty to keep sports managers busy. Business management degrees are great preparation for a career in sports management. The spectrum of salaries within sports management is wide, with lower-level sports management jobs paying around $56,000 . Meanwhile, player agents can make a minimum of $400,000 , while pro sports GMs make millions .
- Average annual salary: Varies
- Learn more: Sports Management Career Guide
Business Manager Career : For those who want to manage a business.
Business managers oversee the operations and employees in a business with a focus on efficiency and output. They generally serve in consulting roles. Business managers should hold at least a bachelor’s degree and consider pursuing a master’s degree. Lower-level business managers make around $63,000 while some can make high six-figure salaries.
- Average annual salary: $63,000+
- Learn more: Business Manager Career Guide
Restaurant Manager Career : For those who love food and people.
Managing a restaurant is no easy task. But for those who are passionate about bringing people together over delicious food, restaurant management can be a very rewarding career. Restaurant managers must be skilled in operations and customer service and have tremendous people skills. They interact with restaurant staff and customers as they aim to provide memorable dining experiences.
- Average annual salary: $47,366
- Learn more: Restaurant Manager Career Guide
Guest Relations Manager : For those who love making people smile.
Guest relations managers work in venues like hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and theme parks. Their primary goal is to ensure guests have a positive experience. They may interact with guests and support staff and step in to manage disputes and keep guests satisfied. These managers can make healthy six-figure salaries. The growth outlook for this career is favorable.
- Average annual salary: $100,975
- Learn more: Guest Relations Manager Career Guide
Sales Manager Career : For those who love people and sales.
If you’re charismatic, extroverted, and passionate, then a career as a sales manager may be a great fit. Sales managers guide sales teams, training and motivating them to increase sales. The best sales managers hone sales processes and lift the teams around them to new heights. They focus on customer satisfaction and aim to serve each individual’s unique needs. Salaries can vary depending on experience level, company, and industry.
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration—Marketing; B.S. in Business Administration, Business Management
- Average annual salary: $61,692
- Learn more: Sales Manager Career Guide
Operations Manager Career : For those who love to get into the nitty-gritty.
Operations managers work behind the scenes to ensure an organization is running efficiently. While these individuals may not receive public recognition, their role is critical. Operations managers may manage processes, personnel, inventory, financials, and reporting. A broad business background and robust skill set are essential for success in this role.
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration, MBA
- Average annual salary: $67,925
- Learn more: Operations Manager Career Guide
Hotel Manager Career : For those who love customer service.
Hotels serve hundreds of guests daily. With a steady flow of changing clientele and various situations that arise, a hotel manager must be skilled at operations management, incident response, and customer service. Average salaries for hotel managers start at the lower end, but many can earn six figures.
- Average annual salary: $56,670+
- Learn more: Hotel Manager Career Guide
Account Manager Career : For those who like client communication and fast-paced work.
Most organizations need account managers. An advertising agency may have an account manager who oversees campaigns for multiple clients. Elsewhere, an account manager for a professional sports team might oversee selling tickets to fans. In any case, to be a successful account manager, you must have exceptional customer service skills and deep business knowledge. Many account managers make more than $100,000 per year.
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing; B.S. in Business Administration, Business Management
- Average annual salary: $141,490
- Learn more: Account Manager Career Guide
Business Analyst Career : For those who like to crunch the numbers.
A business analyst works with an organization to examine processes, services, products, and systems in order to provide solutions for improvement. They not only work with data, but are also skilled communicators. Business analysts are essential to industries ranging from healthcare to IT to hospitality.
- Best degrees: B.S. in Business Administration, M.S. in Management and Leadership, MBA, B.S. Business Administration–IT Management
- Average annual salary: $56,510
- Learn more: Business Analyst Career Guide
Find Satisfaction in Business Management with WGU
Great flexibility, phenomenal growth potential, and healthy salaries—these are all characteristics of jobs in business management. A degree can help you get there.
Built by industry experts and backed by proven return on investment, WGU’s bachelor’s degrees in business management will provide you with a firm foundation for career success in whichever path you choose. Enjoy low-cost tuition, a competency-based education model, and personalized support every step of the way.
If you’re ready to start your path to a career in business management, then prepare to discover the flexibility and power of a WGU education.
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What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree?
Whether you’ve dreamed of starting your own company or want to help businesses grow as a financial advisor, market research analyst or marketing manager, a business degree can give you the foundation to see yourself succeed in the business world.
In today’s competitive economy, when many employees are entering the workforce with bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees, a business degree or international business degree can help you stand out and prepare you for many career opportunities.
Is Business a Good Major?
Is a Business Degree Worth It?
Business management salary is strong. In 2021, the median wage for management occupations was $102,450 and the field is expected to grow by 8% through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What Kind of Jobs Can You Get With a Business Management Degree?
Want to start your own career in business ? Learn more about what you can do with a business degree and how to gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in one of these in-demand jobs:
- Accountant - With a business degree in accounting , you can find work in a wide variety of industries, as an in-house accountant managing a single company’s finances, working for the government or even working as a private accountant with your own firm. Accountants examine financial statements, review accounting systems for efficiency, ensure companies are complying with laws and regulations and suggest ways to reduce costs and boost revenue.
Accountants made a median salary of $77,250 in 2021 and the field is expected to grow by 6% through 2031, according to BLS.
- Financial Analyst - As a financial analyst , you can help companies and organizations make smart business and investment decisions by evaluating financial data and studying economic trends. As the economy continues to grow and global business opportunities increase, financial analysts will be needed to evaluate investment possibilities when businesses are established or expanded.
Employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 9% through 2031, faster than the national average and financial analysts earned a median salary of $95,570 in 2021, according to BLS.
- Human Resources Manager – Human resource managers are an important connection between an organization’s management and its employees. As a human resource manager , you'll oversee employee recruitment, hiring and engagement, oversee employee benefits programs and mediate staff conflicts.
Changing employment laws and regulations, as well as the growing use of technology in employee benefits management, will boost demand for experienced human resource managers. In 2021, HR managers earned a median salary of $126,230 and the field is expected to grow by 7% through 2031, according to BLS.
- Market Research Analyst - Market research analysts work to determine a company’s position in the marketplace by researching competitors, product demand and pricing. As a market research analyst, you can forecast marketing and sales trends and collect data to measure the effectiveness of business strategies. As businesses increasingly use consumer behavior data to increase sales and cut costs, market research analysts will be in high demand.
Market research analysts made a median salary of $63,920 in 2021 and the field is expected to grow by 19% through 2031, according to BLS.
- Marketing Manager - As a marketing manager you can help build a company’s brand, boost sales and have a direct hand in helping the company grow. Marketing managers plan promotional campaigns, create advertisements and negotiate advertising contracts, and oversee the day-to-day management of social media, email marketing and website content. As new digital marketing opportunities become available and many businesses seek to expand into the global marketplace, marketing managers will continue to be in demand.
Marketing managers made a median salary of $133,380 in 2021 and the field is expected to grow by 10% through 2031, according to BLS.
- Sales Manager - As a sales manager for a retail or business-to-business organization, you’ll direct the distribution of goods and services, set sales goals and analyze statistics to manage inventory and identify new markets. Sales managers are also responsible for hiring and training new sales staff.
Effective sales teams are critical to a company’s bottom line, the field is expected to grow by 5% through 2031 and the median salary for the position was $127,490 in 2021, according to BLS.
What Can You Do With an International Business Management Degree?
In an international business degree program , you’ll explore international market analysis, global business development, international finance and ethical standards for international operations. International business jobs, such as those listed below, are in high demand and expected to grow as companies continue to expand into global markets.
- International Marketing Managers - International marketing managers help drive a business’ international growth and build a company's brand around the world. International marketing managers earn a median salary of $88,156 , according to Payscale data.
- International Operations Managers - International operations managers are responsible for coordinating facilities operations in multiple countries and work with other high-level executives to plan long-term strategies for sales and growth. International operations managers earn a median salary of $75,460 , according to Payscale.
- International Tax Managers - International tax managers are important members of a global business' financial team, ensuring that a business is in compliance with international tax law. Tax managers prepare and file tax forms and analyze tax regulations to maximize corporate profits. International tax managers earn a median salary of $117,222 , according to Payscale.
How to Get Started in a Business Career
In a business degree program, you’ll explore principles such as management, marketing and data analysis, and gain key skills like communication, problem-solving, collaboration and research. You’ll also explore international business topics and explore the ethical, cultural and regulatory factors that impact businesses expanding to global markets.
Selecting a specialization for your studies in an area of particular interest can help hone your skills even further. Choose from more than a dozen concentrations including a:
- Business degree in entrepreneurship
- Business degree in human resources
- Business degree in industrial-organizational psychology
- Business degree in management information systems
- Business degree in organizational leadership
With a business bachelor's degree or master's degree, you'll be well-prepared to enter the business world and find a rewarding career helping companies and organizations grow.
A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU business program that can best help you meet your goals.
Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn .
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Business Management Careers
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Business management majors study topics such as general business principles, financial analysis, data analytics, organizational effectiveness, and strategic planning. The field offers jobs in finance, banking, and business administration, including positions at the executive and C-suite levels. This guide provides information about the various business management careers available to graduates of relevant accredited programs.
Why Pursue a Career in Business Management?
Enterprises and public-sector organizations continue to need capable professionals with business management degrees. From the perspectives of opportunity and earning potential, these degrees rank among the most versatile and valuable educational credentials a person can hold.
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Those well-suited to careers in business management share several distinct characteristics. Sound analytical and decision-making skills are crucial, helping good business managers make confident decisions based on available information. Commitment, integrity, creativity, and an enduring willingness to work hard also bode well for those working toward business administration and business management careers.
Business Management Career Outlook
Graduates with a business management degree may qualify for many different careers and benefit from high levels of demand in virtually every industry. Business is a highly competitive field at the management and executive levels, but the sheer volume of opportunity offsets fierce competition for top jobs. Enterprises of all sizes and types need the expertise and leadership that strong, well-trained business managers provide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that many management-related career paths will enjoy outstanding rates of growth in the coming years. For example, the BLS projects a 14% increase in management analyst positions between 2018 and 2028, which far outpaces the average projected growth for all occupations in the U.S. The following table offers further specifics, breaking down popular business management career paths by median earnings across a professional's career cycle.
Skills Gained With a Business Management Degree
While business management curricula vary by school and education level, many programs cover similar skills and concepts. Typically, business management students learn to supervise employees, direct an organization's operations, evaluate performance, and reach organizational goals. While learners develop these skills in school, they can also hone their abilities after graduation through professional training programs and certifications. Below are some key business management skills.
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Through programs in business administration and management, future managers develop the leadership skills they need to run departments and oversee teams. They study common leadership strategies and develop a unique leadership style. Business management programs teach students to set organizational goals, motivate teams, and manage change within a company.
Business managers need sound decision-making skills in order to steer organizations in the right direction. Business students learn to analyze situations, factor in important data and information, and make strategic decisions. They also learn to consider the moral and ethical ramifications of decisions.
Business management professionals, especially those who specialize in training and development, need to foster collaboration in the workplace. Business administration programs often cover strategies for supervising personnel, motivating employees, and assembling effective teams. Additionally, programs teach students the basics of human resource management and development.
Professionals in many business management careers must analyze situations and craft solutions. Marketing managers may need to develop strategies based on consumer trends, while information technology professionals must analyze technology issues. Business management programs help learners develop the problem-solving abilities necessary to approach a variety of business scenarios.
Business management students learn to effectively convey ideas verbally and through visual presentations. Business administration programs often include courses on business writing and public speaking. Many business professionals meet individually with clients, participate in conference calls, and attend large meetings.
Business Management Career Paths
Since business management is such a broad field, many students pursue a concentration aligned with their career goals. Earning a career-specific concentration can help graduates impress employers and land specialized positions. Students may focus on an area such as project management, nonprofit management, or human resource management. Learners interested in working at an investment bank or insurance company can also pursue a concentration in financial management. The list below features some common career paths.
Students who specialize in finance may find work in corporations such as banks, lending institutions, and other financial services companies. A finance concentration generally includes classes on financial markets, investments, and corporate finance. Learners may also pursue career possibilities in venture capital and private equity.
Business management majors who focus on marketing learn to effectively promote products and services through product design, pricing, advertising campaigns, and social media strategies. Managers concentrating in marketing build market research skills related to consumer behavior and sales forecasting. Graduates with a marketing specialization often pursue careers in independent marketing companies and corporate marketing departments.
Careers in global business integrate many aspects of business -- including finance, marketing, communication, and leadership -- from an international perspective. Students learn to negotiate with foreign companies and suppliers, lead culturally diverse teams, and strategize for multinational companies. International business managers may also specialize in global monetary policies and emerging markets.
Business students planning to build a new business venture, work at a startup, or manage a small business often benefit from concentrating in entrepreneurship. Through entrepreneurship classes, aspiring business owners learn to draft business plans, obtain funding, and chart their own career paths by turning ideas into successful enterprises.
Popular Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
How to Start Your Career in Business Management
By definition, the field of business management positions professionals for leadership and executive roles. Thus, while some people manage to achieve success by earning a bachelor's degree and then working hard to advance their skills and gain experience, others increasingly opt to earn an advanced degree. With fierce competition in hiring, holding a credential like an MBA degree often functions as a differentiating factor in the eyes of employers.
Practicing professionals with bachelor's degrees often find their advancement potential maxes out at mid-level management positions. Thus, many elect to return to school to upgrade to an MBA or another advanced degree to qualify for better, more lucrative, and more challenging roles and opportunities.
Associate Degree in Business Management
Associate degrees in business management qualify graduates for entry-level administrative positions. Typically, associate degree-holders find positions as administrative assistants, executive assistants, food service managers, and office clerks. Graduates may also work as bookkeepers, office managers, and HR employees. Professionals usually need to gain experience and/or pursue additional education to advance to a mid-level position.
These degrees take approximately two years to complete and require about 60 credits. Associate in business management programs include general education classes in topics such as history, English, and social science. Learners also take business classes in areas including economics, accounting, and communication.
What Can You Do With an Associate in Business Management?
These assistants perform administrative and clerical tasks, including answering phones, organizing meetings, filing documents, and managing schedules. Executive assistants, who often need a college degree, support senior managers and typically hold more responsibility than other administrative assistants. While some companies hire high school graduates, many employers prefer hiring administrative assistants who hold a postsecondary degree.
Salary : $39,850
Aspiring office managers may only need a high school diploma, but some employers require these professionals to hold a degree in business or management. Office managers maintain records, manage office facilities, and coordinate operations between departments. They need excellent communication, managerial, and problem-solving abilities.
Salary : $48,400
Food Service Manager
While some food service manager positions require only a high school diploma and years of service industry experience, many positions require some level of college education. Food service managers oversee operations in establishments such as restaurants and hotels. They supervise employees, manage budgets, order supplies and ingredients, and ensure that the establishment complies with regulations.
Salary : $55,320
Sources: BLS and PayScale
Bachelor's Degree in Business Management
A bachelor's degree in business management offers significant advantages over an associate degree in the field. Bachelor's degree-holders may pursue a variety of entry-level jobs in business and finance, including roles as financial analysts, human resources specialists, and management consultants.
After a few years on the job, bachelor's degree-holders can advance into management positions, which include more responsibility and require professionals to supervise other employees. Bachelor's programs in business management help learners develop a broadly applicable skill set; however, some programs also allow students to specialize in a specific career area. The table below describes a few common bachelor's degree in business management careers.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Business Management?
Advertising, promotions, and marketing manager.
These management professionals work in advertising agencies, public relations firms, and corporate marketing departments. They coordinate campaigns that promote products. Their job responsibilities include conducting market research, developing strategies, and coordinating with other departments. These managers usually possess prior experience in advertising, marketing, and/or sales.
Salary : $135,900
Management consultants advise organizations on ways to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Most management analysts work for large consulting firms that serve many client companies. Consultants collect information, analyze financial documents, and propose solutions to managers. A bachelor's degree typically qualifies individuals for consulting jobs, although some employers may prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Salary : $85,260
Financial analysts need a bachelor's degree related to accounting, economics, finance, or business. These professionals help individuals and organizations decide how to invest assets. Their daily responsibilities often include analyzing market trends, examining financial statements, and meeting with corporate executives.
Salary : $85,660
Employers typically hire sales managers who hold a bachelor's degree and 1-5 years of sales experience. Sales managers supervise sales teams, train new salespeople, evaluate employees, and determine sales goals. They may work for companies that sell products to other businesses or for companies that sell directly to consumers.
Salary : $126,640
Accountants typically need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar field. These business professionals prepare and analyze financial documents for individuals, government agencies, and corporations. Management accountants, sometimes called cost accountants, help business managers oversee budgets, cut costs, choose investments, and understand the organization's overall financial situation.
Salary : $71,550
Master's Degree in Business Management
Earning a master's degree in business management can lead to high-level leadership positions in various fields. A graduate degree demonstrates expertise in management and leadership strategy and helps low-level and mid-level professionals assume more responsibility in their organizations.
Students considering a graduate degree should understand the differences between available business programs. Master's programs in organizational management teach students to manage change and corporate culture. Alternatively, learners can also pursue a master's in management or an MBA. Prospective master's students can review the business management careers list below to learn about job possibilities.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Business Management?
Training and development manager.
Some employers require training and development managers to hold a master's in business with a concentration in human resources management, training and development, or organizational development. These professionals design, plan, and oversee programs that help employees develop professional skills. They evaluate workers, supervise instructors, and assess training programs.
Salary : $113,350
Top executives can work at large and small organizations in almost any industry. They develop big-picture goals and strategies for their organization or department. Their daily duties include meeting with important clients, analyzing financial statements, and consulting with other senior managers. Executives often hold an MBA or a similar graduate degree.
Salary : $104,690
Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
Public relations managers work for PR firms and departments, where they maintain and improve an organization's reputation and image. Fundraising managers help secure donations by developing strategies, applying for grants, and meeting with donors. Managers in this field generally need a bachelor's or master's degree and at least five years of experience.
Salary : $116,180
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers oversee HR departments that recruit, interview, hire, and train new employees. They also confer with top executives to determine hiring strategies. Additionally, human resources managers may arrange professional training events. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree, and some high-level positions require a graduate education.
Salary : $116,720
Doctorate Degree in Business Management
A doctoral degree in business is the highest level of education in the field. While many doctoral students first earn a master's degree, some students can transition directly from a bachelor's program into a doctoral program. A doctorate in business management demonstrates advanced mastery of business management theory and/or practice.
There are a few main types of business doctoral degrees. A Ph.D. program in business focuses heavily on research and requires extensive independent study and a dissertation. Ph.D. students typically plan to work in academia or another research-intensive field, and graduates often become professors or secure government positions. Alternatively, students interested in the practical side of business can pursue a doctor of management or a doctor of business administration. The table below details a few business management careers and salaries for doctoral degree-holders.
What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Business Management?
Postsecondary business teacher.
Higher education institutions typically require professors to hold a doctorate. Professors with a doctoral degree in business management often teach business administration or management classes. These educators design lesson plans, deliver lectures, and attend conferences. They may also conduct research in their field.
Salary : $87,200
Economists can work for the federal government; state and local governments; and private, research-focused organizations. Many also work for finance and insurance companies. These professionals research economic problems, gather data, and analyze information. They examine current economic conditions to advise businesses, governments, and individuals. Economists typically need a master's or doctoral degree.
Salary : $105,020
Postsecondary Education Administrator
Some college professors take on more responsibilities by becoming postsecondary education administrators. Academic deans, provosts, and department chairs coordinate faculty research, manage budgets, and participate in hiring decisions. Business professors may run undergraduate business departments or graduate management schools.
Salary : $95,410
How to Advance Your Career in Business Management
Accumulating knowledge by gaining practical experience is probably the single best way to advance your career in business management. As the salary table in the preceding section notes, typical earnings rise dramatically in the later stages of a professional's working life.
However, there are several other steps you can take if you want to accelerate your growth potential. These include pursuing continuing education courses and obtaining optional certifications from respected professional organizations and business schools. Networking and building personal relationships can also help you get ahead and advance your career.
Certifications and/or Licensure
Of the many available careers for a business management major, few require formal licenses. Accounting paths represent one notable exception. Many types of accountants -- including certified public accountants and certified management accountants -- require licenses to practice their professions.
More commonly, business management specialists elect to pursue optional certifications from professional organizations and other institutions. The CBM (certified business manager) designation offers a useful example. Offered through institutions with specialized accreditation, this certification signals elite operational management skills. Many MBA programs also build the CBM and/or other professional certifications into their curricula, enabling learners to save time and money while diversifying their academic qualifications.
Established business management professionals can advance their careers through continuing education in multiple ways. Two common options include upgrading your degree and completing an undergraduate or graduate certificate program.
A degree upgrade most readily applies to those who hold bachelor's degrees but find themselves bumping up against the ceiling of their current career potential. In such cases, returning to school to get an MBA represents the clearest and most direct path to breaking the barriers to landing higher-paid and more prestigious positions with greater levels of responsibility.
Certificate programs, sometimes configured as "professional programs," represent another alternative. They take less time to complete than degrees, and they also tend to cost a lot less money. Thus, these options may appeal to those who want to learn new skills and boost their academic qualifications without leaving their current positions. Increasingly, business schools offer part-time and online MBA programs that deliver similar benefits, delivering valuable flexibility that makes it possible to earn a marketable and upgraded degree without putting your career on hold.
In addition to continuing education programs and optional certifications, emerging and established individuals can take advantage of professional organizations and other networking opportunities to advance themselves. Networking is crucial for career development in most business careers, and building your personal and professional networks is a good way to invest your time.
Students may qualify for discounted or even free membership to business-oriented professional organizations. Examples of organizations that specialize in management-related fields include the American Management Association and the Association of Business Process Management Professionals International .
How to Switch Your Career to Business Management
Switching your career to business management will likely necessitate a trip back to school unless you already possess a degree in business administration, management, finance, economics, or a similar area. Business is highly competitive by design, and professionals in management positions need authoritative credentials and specialized knowledge.
If you already hold a four-year bachelor's degree but did not major in business, you can accelerate your transition by seeking out an MBA program that does not require an existing business degree. Many reputable business schools open their MBA tracks to applicants of all academic backgrounds. Otherwise, you can start your transition by obtaining a bachelor's degree in business management or business administration.
Where Can You Work as a Business Management Professional?
Nearly all industries need talented and skilled managers who can direct operations, supervise employees, and develop business strategies. Business management graduates find work in small and large enterprises in fields including healthcare, real estate , publishing, and banking. Additionally, organizations in the nonprofit and government sectors employ managers who can properly allocate funds, manage finances, and motivate employees. Generally, business management professionals with advanced degrees enjoy greater career flexibility.
Management of Companies and Enterprises
This broad industry encompasses professionals who direct operations in a variety of businesses. The responsibilities of business managers depend on the type of company they work for.
Management consulting firms help client organizations improve efficiency and enhance management strategy. Managers in this field may meet with clients and lead teams of management analysts.
Financial services firms include banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and lending organizations. Business management graduates who work in finance may oversee a team, department, or entire company.
Nonprofit organizations focus on promoting a cause rather than making a profit. Managers oversee operations involving raising money, awarding grants, and increasing awareness about particular issues.
Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing
Managers in the advertising and marketing industries plan campaigns that promote services and products. Public relations managers oversee teams that protect an organization's image and reputation.
Interview With a Professional in Business Management
Nick Ducoff is the co-founder and CEO of Edmit , the SXSW EDU award-winning company helping families make smarter college financial decisions.
Nick has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, which described Edmit as "a website that predicts aid packages and provides advice on the value of different colleges." Previously, Nick was a vice president at Northeastern University , a founder/executive at two startups that were both acquired, and an attorney. He received his JD with honors from the University of Texas and his BBA from Emory University.
Why did you decide to pursue a degree and a career in business management? Was it something you were always interested in?
One of my grandparents was a businessman and another was a lawyer. I wasn't sure which I wanted to be, so I sought foundations in both. I applied to colleges with undergraduate business programs and planned to attend law school after graduating.
What did your career path look like after graduating? How did you end up where you are now?
I attended law school after college but found law school wasn't really for me. The dean of the law school (Bill Powers, who became president of the University of Texas at Austin) and my dad encouraged me to stick it out, which I'm glad I did.
I graduated with honors and then practiced law at a big firm, where I was able to marry my interests in business and law, working with startups and venture capital firms. I got the entrepreneurial bug and left a very lucrative and rewarding law firm to start my first company. That company was acquired, as was another startup I did after that.
I was recruited to lead new ventures at Northeastern University, where I started the first university coding bootcamp in data analytics. I saw how students struggled to understand how to evaluate the return on investment of their education, so after three and a half years as vice president at Northeastern, I started another company, which I'm now the CEO of, called Edmit . This company helps families make smarter college choices.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your work? And challenging?
I love making a positive impact on people's lives, so the past seven years in higher education have been very rewarding. One customer recently said, "You gave me a lot of hope and confidence for my current financial dilemma." We hear feedback like that every day, which is awesome. The work is also very challenging, but if it wasn't, it wouldn't be as much fun.
What advice would you give to students considering a career in business management?
According to the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, business majors are among the highest paying, leading to average annual wages of $37,000 or more at the entry level and an average of $65,000 or more annually over the course of a career. Obviously, money isn't the only reason to choose a major, but if career earnings are important to you, business, STEM, or health majors might be a good choice. A business major is also very versatile.
What would you say are some of the most important skills required to work in a business management position?
The concrete skills you'll get from a business degree, such as accounting or finance, might not be as important as the soft skills you'll pick up from your group projects, such as negotiation, time management, and teamwork, according to an article by Monster .
Any last thoughts for us?
When you're ready to start your first company or if you're looking for a job at a startup, look me up and I'd be happy to help!
Resources for Business Management Majors
The following professional and educational resources offer a wealth of information to aspiring and emerging business managers. They include professional organizations that host networking events, free open courseware to improve your knowledge base, and publications to help you stay up to date in the fast-paced business world.
Association for Financial Professionals : AFP advocates for and provides resources to professionals in treasury and finance. The association offers virtual career development seminars, a career center, and publications that help members stay up to date on the developments in the profession. Members can also network with nearly 7,000 corporate finance workers at an annual conference.
American Management Association : AMA is dedicated to helping business managers advance their careers. The association provides professional training in 25 areas, including leadership, analytics, project management, HR management, and information technology management. Through AMA, business management graduates can access newsletters, articles, webcasts, whitepapers, and skill assessments.
American Business Women's Association : Founded in 1949, this organization supports businesswomen through continuing education and networking opportunities. Members benefit from more than 5,000 annual networking meetings in cities throughout the country. The association also offers a job board and resources on topics such as resume writing.
Project Management Institute : In addition to certifications, PMI offers professional resources such as a job board. Members can also access online courses, a podcast, webinars, and three project management industry publications. The institute hosts a global conference and other events throughout the year.
Association for Talent Development : ATD hosts a job board where members can post openings and look for new positions. The organization also posts members-only articles that help talent development professionals build new skills and advance their careers. Business management students and graduates can attend one of ATD's many workshops and networking conferences.
Society for Human Resource Management : SHRM offers resources that help HR students and graduates plan and develop their careers. The association also operates a job board and delivers continuing education programs -- both online and in person. SHRM hosts a general conference and events focused on topics such as employment law and inclusion.
American Marketing Association : AMA provides marketing professionals with information about trends in the industry, job search strategies, resume-writing techniques, and networking tips. The organization also maintains job boards for marketing professionals and academics. Management graduates can advance their careers by earning the AMA's professional certified marketer certification.
Sales Management Association : This organization supports professionals in sales leadership, sales operations, and other sales-focused positions. Members receive access to a job board, a member directory, courses, and research reports. The organization also hosts a Sales Force Productivity Conference and a Sales Thought Leadership Conference.
American Advertising Federation : The AAF serves advertising professionals of all experience levels. The organization boasts a student membership option that helps college students look for internships and jobs and receive advice from advertising professionals. The AAF also operates a job bank where students can post resumes, look for positions, and sign up for job alerts.
Applied Macro- and International Economics - Massachusetts Institute of Technology : This course, hosted by one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, uses case studies to explore applied macroeconomics. As of July 2020, the course includes two modules; you can continue to enrich your knowledge by taking a second free course.
Leadership Development - Massachusetts Institute of Technology : Using a seminar format, this free online course helps learners develop and expand their leadership abilities and potential. Oriented around teamwork, the class prompts students to understand the principles of effective leadership. In their final project, learners develop and receive feedback on personal leadership development plans.
Introduction to Corporate Finance - Columbia University : This free, survey-style class is suitable for people interested in learning the basics of corporate finance. It may also appeal to self-motivated investors seeking to inform and improve their opportunity evaluation strategies.
Becoming an Effective Leader - The University of Queensland : In this class, students examine leadership theories and learn to identify various leadership styles. Participants also learn to become ethical leaders capable of inspiring others.
Journal of Management : Founded in 1975, this peer-reviewed academic journal hosts informative articles and the latest research studies looking into various aspects of management, business leadership, and entrepreneurship. It also covers emerging insights in the field of industrial and organizational psychology, which many successful business management professionals apply to their work.
Academy of Management Journal : Another peer-reviewed academic journal, this periodical has been a mainstay of the scholastic world since 1958. It holds a relatively high impact factor -- a metric used to trace the reach and visibility of scholarly publications. The journal also ranks among the 50 publications the Financial Times uses to compile its annual authoritative list of the best business schools.
Fortune : Headquartered in New York and tracing its history to 1929, Fortune ranks as one of the most iconic and high-profile business publications in the world. This magazine combines popular appeal with insightful information and deep dives into the inner machinations of the international business community. It places a strong focus on entrepreneurship and personal success.
Business Insider : Since its 2007 founding, Business Insider has quickly become one of the most authoritative sources of business news, information, and commentary on the internet. A digital publication, Business Insider publishes an American edition in English and multiple international editions in various languages. It also maintains affiliations with several sister sites, including Tech Insider and Markets Insider, which track developments in the technology industry and global financial markets.
Journal of International Management : Designed for a readership that includes business educators, scholars, and working professionals, this journal focuses on global issues affecting the business community. Examples of topic areas include cross-cultural business and management strategies, organizational behavior, and human resource concerns for companies that operate across borders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is business management a good major.
With a business management degree, you can pursue many well-paid, challenging careers. Companies in practically every industry constantly seek out qualified individuals with this educational background. In terms of earning potential and return on investment, business management is one of the best majors out there.
What is the average salary for a business management degree?
Given the breadth of available careers for a business management major, it is difficult to generalize typical salaries; this degree may qualify you for many different roles with varying pay rates. However, the BLS reports that the median annual wage for business and financial professionals is almost $70,000.
What you can do with a business management degree?
With a business management degree, you can follow job paths that lead into leadership and executive roles at companies of all sizes. As a less conventional alternative, you could also opt for self-employment and work as a business advisor, analyst, or consultant. Many people with business management degrees also pursue careers in human resources.
How do you start a career in business management?
Proven methods of launching a career in business management include earning a specialized degree, either specifically in the field of business management or in a closely related area, such as finance, business administration, or economics. Many programs include practica, field placements, and/or internships, allowing you to showcase your skills, build your network, and qualify for entry-level positions.
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What Can I Do with a Business Management Degree? Skills, Jobs, And Courses
Bachelor’s degrees in business management can prepare you for a successful career. Learn about the requirements for a business management major, career paths, jobs and more.
If you enjoy being in charge, a degree in business management can help you explore the knowledge and skills you need to be a leader in the workplace. Earning this degree can start an exciting and diverse career in almost any industry. Learn about the different types of business management degrees, career paths, and various certifications to enhance your resume.
What is business management?
Business management refers to the practice of managing the operations of a company. It involves coordinating and organizing general or specific business activities to help an organization succeed. To do this, business managers often apply strategic and financial planning for production and resource management to benefit the business.
What is a business management degree?
A business management degree is an associate, bachelor's, master's , or doctorate degree with coursework that covers business management principles. This degree program tends to focus on the knowledge and skills you need to oversee an organization's resources, like information systems and human resources management . A business administration degree program typically concentrates on business functions like marketing and finance. With a business management degree, you may seek a management position in business, including business analyst , human resources manager, or operations manager .
Types of Business Management Degrees
One of the advantages of studying business management is how it applies to various organizations and industries, including profit and non-profit ones. However, the type of degree you earn can affect the jobs you'll have within an organization. Here is a closer look at how the different types of business management degrees can affect your career prospects.
Associate degree in business management
An associate degree is a two-year degree program with coursework designed to help you understand how businesses work. You may take courses like Accounting Principles, Business Law, Management Principles, and Marketing. This can prepare you for entry-level positions as an assistant, customer service specialist, or sales consultant.
Read more: What Is an Associate Degree in Business?
Bachelor's in business management
A bachelor's degree is a four-year program that can open additional career opportunities. The coursework is similar to an associate degree program, with classes in accounting, finance, law, and marketing. However, you can explore these and other management topics in-depth and have more time to devote to the practical components of the major. After graduation, you may pursue work as an accountant , human resources manager, or sales manager.
Master's degree in business management
Master's degree programs typically take one or two years to complete after you earn a bachelor's degree. A Master's in Business Management is an alternative to a Master of Business Administration (MBA). This degree can be helpful if you have work experience in a specific industry and want to learn more about management theories and practices. Many master’s business management programs offer a general management curriculum, but some schools provide specializations.
Read more: Master’s in Management vs. MBA: Which Is Better?
Doctorate in business management
Doctorate programs in business management tend to be even more specialized than master's degree programs, and you'll notice they have names like PhD in Management or Doctor of Management. These degrees aren’t the same as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), although they share overlapping topics. In a doctoral program, you can enhance your research skills and apply business theories to real-world situations.
Certifications in Business Management
You may choose to earn a certificate in business management in place of or to support a degree. Certifications show that you’ve completed the required business management courses which may help you get closer to your dream job.
At some schools, the courses you take to earn a certificate are the same as those you might take to earn a degree. You can typically complete a certificate program in less time than a degree, and some schools accept students who haven't earned a college degree.
Business management degree coursework
The courses you take in a business management degree program are similar to what you would take in an MBA program. This include topics like accounting, business ethics, business law, leadership, and quantitative methods. Some of the courses you may take include the following:
Accounting for Business
Data Analysis and Business Analytics
Introduction to Business
Management and Organizational Behavior
Managing Change in a Changing Environment
Principles of Sustainability
Skills you can learn in a business management program
In addition to exploring business management, marketing, and accounting theories, you also have opportunities to develop skills in a business management program. You may use these technical and workplace skills in your career.
How long does it take to earn a Business Management degree?
A business degree typically takes two to six years to complete, depending on the type of degree and program you're pursuing. You can complete an associate degree at some schools in about two years. Bachelor's degree programs take about four years to complete if you’re a full-time student. A graduate degree, such as an MBA, could take two years or more.
Some business management degree programs include expedited options to complete the degree faster than on a traditional track. This can be a great option if you have time to devote to the coursework. However, if you have a full-time job while you go to school, you may need to attend school part-time, which extends the time it takes to complete the degree.
What can you do with a business management degree?
With a business management degree, you can work in various industries as an administrative assistant, sales consultant, human resources manager, and operations manager. The courses you take and the skills you develop can be transferred to many job opportunities, ranging from entry-level to managerial positions. They include those listed below:
Business Consultant: Examine procedures to identify areas for improvement and devise strategies to boost profits and performance.
Human resources : You’ll recruit, screen, hire, and train employees. These roles can also include ensuring the company complies with labor laws and processing payroll and benefits.
Marketing manager : Plan, execute, and evaluate marketing initiatives and advertising to raise brand awareness, create sales leads, and drive traffic to convert sales.
Operations manager : Supervise budgets, resources, people, systems, and more to ensure employees have the support they need to stay motivated and productive.
Project manager : Oversee projects from start to finish, including setting goals, organizing resources, monitoring progress, and evaluating processes.
Business management career outlook and salaries
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in management to grow by 9 percent between 2020 and 2030 [ 1 ]. Salaries for business management positions vary depending on your position, location, employer, and industry. Here are some business management roles and their annual average salary:
Administrative assistant: $68,014 [ US]
HR analyst: $81,596 [ US ]
Project manager: $92,671 [ US ]
Business manager: $82,212 [ US ]
*All salary data is sourced from Glassdoor as of July 2022
Ready to take the next step in your career?
The next step in your business management career depends on where you are in your career path. You can build leadership skills to use when running a business through specializations. On Coursera, consider the Business Foundations Specialization from The Wharton School or a Professional Certificate like Google Project Management if you want to focus on project management. Or pursue a bachelor's or master's degree like the University of London's Bachelor of Business Management .
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1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Occupational Outlook Handbook: Management Occupations , https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/home.htm." Accessed June 30, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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What You Can Do With a Business Management Degree
Business management degrees can lead to many types of jobs, including high-paying consulting roles.
What to Do With a Management Degree
Business management focuses on the art and science of running complex organizations and supervising others. (Getty Images)
Someone who is determined to cultivate their leadership skills and who dreams of becoming a business executive should consider obtaining a degree in business management. There are undergraduate and graduate business schools, and many offer majors, specializations or concentrations in management while others simply provide a general management education.
Is an MBA Worth It? How to Decide
Ilana Kowarski May 17, 2019
Business management focuses on the art and science of running complex organizations and supervising others. Excellent business managers are versatile individuals with a wide range of skills, including the creativity necessary to dream up outstanding business ideas and the intuition required to foresee and prevent potential disasters for their companies. They need to be precise thinkers and communicators, and they must be able to lay out clear plans for their subordinates.
These individuals should also be strategic to avoid setting unrealistic goals and meticulous to avoid missing key details and making catastrophic decisions. The most effective business managers tend to be highly charismatic people who have a knack for inspiring others and generating goodwill.
Howard Yu, the LEGO Professor of Management and Innovation at IMD Business School in Switzerland, says the mission of a management program is to show students how to make smart decisions and to give them a "holistic point of view" that enables them to appreciate the multifaceted nature of a business enterprise.
"You basically need to integrate all these disciplines to make wise choices as you lead a company," he says.
Patrick Mulvihill, the chair of the management department at the Point Park University Rowland School of Business in Pennsylvania, says business management degree-holders have "the agility to enter a wide range of industries."
"To highlight a few, graduates assume roles within the financial, marketing, supply chain, hospitality, tech, transportation, and energy fields," Mulvihill wrote in an email. "We also find that many even pursue entrepreneurial options and create their own business or work for start-ups."
A Wide Array of Job Options for Business Managers
Management faculty at business schools say that a management degree is applicable in every sector of the economy, since neither a for-profit company nor a nonprofit organization can survive long without competent management. They acknowledge that careers within technical business disciplines such as accounting and finance tend to offer better starting salaries to entry-level workers than general management careers do. However, they note that the breadth of skills cultivated via a business management degree tends to be highly beneficial in the long run, since it prepares someone to work within multiple divisions of a company and to collaborate with a variety of coworkers.
Furthermore, in contrast to entrepreneurship programs that focus on how to start companies and expand start-ups, management programs tend to have a broader scope, business school faculty say. Management students typically learn how to lead organizations at various stages of their development, including both embryonic businesses and well-established corporations. Hiring managers sometimes worry that somebody with an entrepreneurship degree is unlikely to stay as a long-term employee, but don't typically have this concern with someone who has a management credential, according to B-school faculty.
Individuals with economics degrees often have job prospects similar to those of people with management degrees, faculty say, noting that knowledge of how the economy works is useful in all industries. They advise prospective management students to consider taking courses in economics.
The versatility and portability of a management degree is a major selling point for the degree, according to recipients and recruiters.
"Learning general business acumen can open a lot of doors in a lot of different fields," Sam Olmsted, who majored in both management and finance at Tulane University in Louisiana, wrote in an email.
"I went into search engine optimization and content marketing, but other graduates might just as easily go into finance, accounting, sales, government, entrepreneurship, and project management," adds Olmsted, who works as director of search and content at Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency in New Orleans.
Experts say that a business management degree is a marketable credential for each of the following positions:
- Business analyst.
- Compensation specialist.
- Financial analyst.
- Financial director.
- Human resources manager.
- Investment banker.
- Management consultant.
- Marketing analyst.
- Marketing director.
- Nonprofit manager.
- Private equity analyst or associate.
- Project manager.
- Sales representative.
- Talent acquisition specialist.
- Venture capital analyst or associate.
- Vice president of finance.
- Vice president of marketing.
Harry Kaiser, associate dean for academic affairs at Cornell University 's Charles Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in New York, suggests that job options for business management degree recipients is so varied that the "sky is the limit." Kaiser notes that alumni of Cornell's undergraduate business program often wind up with prestigious jobs in New York City and sometimes work for renowned companies like Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment within management occupations will be 5% higher in 2029 than in 2019, which is faster than the 4% anticipated average job growth rate among all occupations during that time frame.
"Employment growth is expected to be driven by the formation of new organizations and expansion of existing ones, which should require more workers to manage these operations," the bureau states on its website. "The median annual wage for management occupations was $105,660 in May 2019, which was the highest wage of all the major occupational groups."
Bryce Bowman, who earned his MBA degree from the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, noted in an email that an advantage of a business management degree is that it doesn't buttonhole someone into a particular niche within the business world.
"Further, the collaborative nature of work today requires employees to work well with peers in other functional areas," wrote Bowman, founder of the People First Planning financial consulting firm in Minneapolis.
Bowman explained during a phone interview that business management programs tend to be "more general" than programs in particular business disciplines and that they often include a wide array of business courses, including classes in marketing and human resources .
Jeff Hyman, the CEO of Recruit Rockstars – a Chicago-based executive recruiting company – teaches a course on recruiting at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Illinois. Although he has undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, he acknowledges that it is possible to excel in a business leadership role without a business management degree.
However, Hyman says that an upside of obtaining a business management degree is that it provides the business savvy necessary to quickly perform well at a new job.
"One of the key things that an employer is looking for is how long it takes for you to add value and contribute and, frankly, cover your cost," he says.
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An associate degree in business opens the door to a variety of entry-level jobs, including bookkeeping clerk, administrative assistant, advertising sales agent and customer service supervisor, in a variety of fields, such as human resources...
Fact: College isn’t for everyone. Despite what society (and high school guidance counselors) tell you, it’s still possible to succeed without a degree. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a willingness to learn.
According to America’s Job Exchange, management trainee positions require trainees to work closely with managers and perform delegated managerial responsibilities with an objective of earning a promotion to manager.
What Can You Do with a Business Management Degree? Understanding Your Options · 1. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks · 2. Administrative
21 careers for a business management degree · 1. Client services manager · 2. Sales representative · 3. Project manager · 4. Office manager · 5.
Job options · Construction manager · Costs lawyer · Environmental engineer · External auditor · Human resources officer · Logistics and distribution manager
Business Management degree jobs to consider · Accountant · Banker · Business analyst (or business manager) · Compensation specialist · Executive
Some C-level roles include CEO, chief information officer (CIO), chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief marketing
What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree? · Accountant · Financial Analyst · Human Resources Manager · Market Research Analyst · Marketing
How to Start Your Career in Business Management · Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager. These management professionals work in advertising agencies
10 business degree jobs in demand · 1. Medical and health services manager · 2. Information security analyst · 3. Operations research analyst · 4.
With a business management degree, you can work in various industries as an administrative assistant, sales consultant, human resources manager
A Wide Array of Job Options for Business Managers · Accountant. · Banker. · Business analyst. · Compensation specialist. · Executive. · Financial
A business management degree is a recognized credential for many job positions. This includes being a non-profit manager, business analyst