How to Build a Top Business Career from the Bottom Up

Similar to building a house, a successful career starts with a solid foundation. And while starting your career from the bottom up doesn’t sound very appealing, the fact is, that’s typically how it’s done.

For instance, did you know that George Bodenheimer, executive chairman of ESPN, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Denison University and began his career in the ESPN mailroom! Or how about Jack Welch, who joined GE as a junior engineer shortly after earning his Bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst and went on to become the CEO.

Because you might also be starting from the ground up like Bodenheimer or Welch, it’s critical to understand what you need to develop a successful career.

It’s often said that education and employment opportunities go hand in hand. Understanding the relationship between these components will undoubtedly earn you a career that will be personally fulfilling and impress your friends and family. 

Job Opportunities by Level of Education

While you might already understand that an education leads to more job opportunities, many people don’t realize how important it is to spend just a bit more time in school. In fact, individuals with a Bachelor’s degree had more than 20 times more job opportunities than someone with an Associate’s degree!*

Overall, almost 73 percent of more than a million business-related jobs required a Bachelor’s degree – and that’s just in the past 12 months.*

So completing your Bachelor’s degree is obviously a great way to lay a solid foundation that will maximize your career opportunities in the future.

The next step: Start looking for places to gain work experience.

Entry Level Jobs for Gaining Experience

If earning a degree is considered the prep work in finding a career, then entry-level experience is the path to building your skills and proving yourself to potential employers. 

Based on a 12-month analysis of online job postings, more than 20,000 business-related positions required less than a year of experience.* The analysis essentially identified the most in-demand jobs for individuals with little more than a Bachelor’s degree.

Entry Level Business Operations Job Openings

Put simply, opportunities for entry-level business professionals are out there. The chart above should provide you with some new ideas about how to begin building your career within a range of different industries and positions.

Even if your first job isn’t exactly what you dreamed of doing, that’s OK, just keep learning and gaining experience because it won’t be long until you have a position worth boasting about. Remember those 20,000 entry-level job postings mentioned earlier, the opportunities increase  tenfold to 220,000, for individuals with 1-4 years of experience.*  

So are you getting excited about your business career outlook?  

After you complete your education and gain some experience, the solid foundation you’re searching for will begin to take shape. So stay focused, work hard and don’t settle for mediocrity. One day you could have a top business career and a success story that inspires others to do the same.


* Source: (Analysis of the Distribution of Business Operations Jobs with less than 1 year of experience vs. 1-4 years of experience, 3/26/12 – 3/25/14,

* Source: (Analysis of Educational Requirements for Business Operations Jobs, 3/26/12 – 3/25/14,

* Source: (Analysis of the Distribution of Business Operations Jobs with less than 1 year of experience, 3/26/12 – 3/25/14,

* Source: (Analysis of the Distribution of Business Operations Jobs with 1-4 years of experience, 3/26/12 – 3/25/14,

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Grant works for Collegis education and writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. He aims to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students.

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