7 In-Demand Jobs You Can Get with a Business Degree
You aren’t the first—and certainly won’t be the last—person to consider earning a business degree. It’s easy to see the appeal. You can practically look in any direction and see a product or service sold by a business. That’s a great sign for anyone looking for a degree with broad appeal.
But business degrees aren’t just a default degree for directionless students; business degrees are launching pads for an incredible variety of opportunities. There’s a great variety of career opportunities out there for those with a business degree—in this article we’ll use job posting analysis software to highlight some of the job titles seeking applicants with a business degree. But before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at why a business degree may appeal to you.
Why should I major in business?
That’s a hard question to answer—everyone has their personal preferences and factors to weigh before deciding to pursue a degree. While we can’t make that judgement for you, we can provide helpful information to consider.
You definitely should know that business jobs are on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that business and financial occupation employment is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016-2026—that’s 773,800 new jobs!1 The BLS projects that a good amount of these new positions will be created for auditors and accountants due to growing economies, globalization and the complex regulatory environment they operate in. There also may be an increased demand for marketers who can analyze data and market research to help businesses understand their customers and buying habits.
Business and financial occupations also offer solid earning potential—the BLS reports the 2017 median annual wage for these occupations was $67,710.1 This is much higher than the 2017 national average for all occupations—$37,690.1
But it’s not just solid employment growth and earning potential in related fields that makes a business degree appealing. There’s also the versatility of the degree and the variety of jobs you could pursue with it.
What can I do with a business degree?
To help answer that, we analyzed over 1.2 million job postings from the past year seeking candidates with a business degree and identified some of the most common job titles.2 Read on to learn more about these roles.
1. Business analyst
What they do: Business analysts put their business expertise to work by observing the market and business trends to creating recommendations for the businesses they serve. This is a position that requires a mix of business sense, research skill, analytical thinking and excellent communication skill for presenting their findings. The work of a business analyst will vary greatly depending on the role and employer—for example, some may spend their time analyzing processes in order to improve efficiency, while others may focus their analysis on questions like where to expand to.
You would do well in this role if: you like to gather information and offer recommendations to solve problems or answer questions—big or small.
2. Account manager
What they do: At the heart of it, account managers focus on building and maintaining mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and clients. What this looks like can vary from employer to employer, but typically there’s a sales element to their work. They’ll spend their time communicating with clients, discovering their needs and (ideally) selling additional services to meet them. Account management roles are often a blend of sales and customer service work—they’re not just pushing for additional business, they also want to maintain a strong working relationship with existing clients.
You would do well in this role if: you like building relationships, listening and probing for sales opportunities or other areas of concern that need addressing. Communication will be key.
3. Financial analyst
What they do: Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. This includes researching market trends, analyzing financial statements and preparing reports for management teams. In short, their job is to make sure management teams have the information needed to make smart investment decisions.
You would do well in this role if: you enjoy diving deep into research, finding that “golden nugget” of data from varied sources and presenting your findings in a digestible way.
4. Marketing manager
What they do: Marketing managers analyze industry trends to determine the best marketing strategies and imaginative ideas for their brand while leading a broad internal team. This requires a mix of creativity, strategic thinking and research abilities to create plans for serving the right message to the right audience at the right time.
You would do well in this role if: you excel at putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and coming up with creative strategies for reaching them.
5. Project manager
What they do: If you’ve ever worked on a complex project with multiple parties, it’s easy to see the value of project managers. They’re the professionals tasked with ensuring a project runs smoothly, meeting deadlines and goals. They do this by communicating with project owners to determine needs, assigning roles and tasks to the team, tracking progress and facilitating the communication of issues or other changes. Essentially they do their best to make sure everyone involved in a project is informed and working toward a clear, shared goal.
You would do well in this role if: you aren’t afraid of holding people to account, can manage competing priorities, enjoy planning (and re-planning) and enjoy seeing a complex project come together over time.
6. Sales manager
What they do: As you might guess, sales managers oversee the work of a team of sales represenatives. This includes setting sales goals, preparing budgets, training sales staff and planning expansion efforts. Additionally, they may be asked to help junior sales representatives navigate customer questions or complaints, weighing in as needed for escalated issues.
You would do well in this role if: you’re a natural salesperson and strategic thinker who enjoys finding ways to push buttons and motivate a team to achieve goals.
7. Sales representative
What they do: Sales representatives are on the front lines of selling a business’s product or service. They spend their time reaching out to prospects at varying stages of interest in the hopes of starting a conversation about their needs. In these talks they’ll listen for prospects’ pain points and needs, and highlight ways their product or service can help.
You would do well in this role if: you’re an excellent communicator—both in listening and speaking—with the ability to persuade others. Additionally you’ll need a strong sense of determination and drive as you’re likely to be rejected repeatedly.
Which business major is right for me?
Though business is a broad field, you’re sure to find a position within that’s a great fit for you, whether you thrive on versatility or consistency, creativity or hard facts. If one or more of these jobs piqued your interest, take a peek at our guide to different types of business degrees to find which one will best help you achieve your goals.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed April, 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.
2Burning-glass.com (analysis of 1,278,591 job postings seeking candidates with a business degree, April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019).
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2019.