A Closer Look at Compensation for 6 In-Demand Business Careers

two business women talking with business related icons surrounding them

People launch their careers with a variety of different motivators in mind. You may be looking for a position you can feel passionate about each day, one that will allow you to climb the ladder, one with an attractive benefits package or one with a competitive salary—or all of the above.

Whatever your criteria, it can sometimes feel impossible to find a career path that fits. But the more you learn about the different job opportunities in the field you’ve set your sights on, you may begin to discover a number of different options you could get excited about. As someone for whom business acumen seems to come naturally, you’ll be happy to learn there are numerous options you could pursue with a business-related degree.

Seeing as there are so many career paths in the business field, you’ll find an expansive compensation range when researching business major salaries. But we’re here to help provide a clearer picture by examining the earning potential for some of the most common careers associated with business degrees. Read on to learn more about what you could expect from these common business careers.

6 In-demand business degree jobs and their salaries

To assist you as you conduct your career research, we used real-time job posting analysis software to examine more than 1.4 million business job postings.1 This data helped us identify six positions for business degree-holders that employers sought most frequently in the last year. Let’s dive in to what we’ve found.

1. Business analyst

As a business analyst, you’d have the opportunity to analyze a wide variety of business processes and systems in search of efficiencies and ways to increase profitability. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that business analysts (sometimes called management analysts) are often tasked with creating reports on a particular subject or initiative. To do this, they’ll need to gather and analyze data and conduct interviews with key stakeholders.2 The ultimate goal of their work is to improve business processes (or create new processes altogether) with an eye on operational feasibility and the organization’s bottom line. 

This relatively senior position typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree, with many seeking candidates with a master’s degree as well, according to the DOL.

  • Median annual salary (2018): $83,6102
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2016): 10-14% (faster than average)2

2. Financial analyst

If you pursued a career as a financial analyst, you’d spend your days providing guidance to businesses and individuals making important investment decisions. This is done by evaluating current and historical financial data, studying economic and business trends, meeting with company officials and assessing the strength of the management team.

This professional path could land you a job in a bank, a mutual fund, a pension fund, a security firm, an insurance company or in other business venues. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analyst positions typically require a bachelor’s degree.3

  • Median annual salary (2018): $85,6603
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 11% (faster than average)3

3. Marketing manager

If your business interests skew more toward the marketing and advertising side of business, you could thrive as a marketing manager. In this career path, you’d devote your professional life to generating interest in products or services by helping your organization learn more about its target audience and keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the market at large. Collaboration is a big aspect of this career path, as marketing managers will interact often with art directors, sales representatives, public relations teams and product development staff.

To land a job in this realm, the BLS reports you’ll need a bachelor’s degree along with several years of work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions or sales.3

  • Median annual salary (2018): $134,2903
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 10% (faster than average)3

4. Sales manager

Companies thrive when they have skilled sales representatives, but there needs to be someone at the helm to direct and support them. As a sales manager, you’d be responsible for overseeing your organization’s sales team. This includes setting goals, analyzing sales data and developing training programs for the company’s sales representatives. This role will often also include a responsibility for resolving customer complaints regarding sales and service.

If you hope to become a sales manager, the BLS reports you’ll need a bachelor’s degree along with some prior work experience as a sales representative.3

  • Median annual salary (2018): $124,2203
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 7% (as fast as average)3

5. Accountant

If you’re one of those business-minded people who is particularly good with numbers and organized processes, a career as an accountant could be a great fit for you. In this role, you’d spend your days assessing financial operations and working to ensure organizations are run efficiently. This includes determining whether financial records are accurate, ensuring taxes are paid properly and on time and maintaining financial records. Skilled accountants will also suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues and improve profits.

To work in this sector of business, the BLS reports you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.3 Taking the extra step to obtain certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, can give you a competitive edge in your job search.

  • Median annual salary (2018): $70,5003
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 10% (faster than average)3

6. Human resources manager

While many of these in-demand business careers will have you working directly with your company’s products or clients, working as a human resources manager would allow you to focus more on the people who contribute to your organization’s operations. In this role, you’d center your efforts more on the administrative functions of your workplace, including things like recruiting, hiring and training employees; planning and overseeing employee benefit programs; and handling staffing issues, such as mediating disputes or directing disciplinary procedures.

To land a position as a human resources manager, the BLS reports you’ll need a bachelor’s degree along with related work experience. Some positions do prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

  • Median annual salary (2018): $113,3003
  • Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 9% (as fast as average)3

Get started on your business career path

As you analyze the potential career opportunities and business major salary potential, it may be refreshing to learn you can find a variety of different in-demand options with impressive earning potential.

If learning about these exciting career paths has further convinced you to take the next step forward in your education, it may be time to learn more about your options. Head over to the Rasmussen College School of Business programs page to see the wide variety of degree opportunities that could help launch your career.

1Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 1,467,649 business administration & management job postings, July 01, 2018 – June 30, 2019)
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [accessed August, 2019] www.bls.gov/oes/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed August, 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2019.

About the author

Jess Scherman

Jess is a Content Specialist at Collegis Education. She researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen University to help empower students to achieve their career dreams through higher education.


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