Should I Get a Business Degree? The Data You Need to Decide
You’re ambitious and passionate about building a better future for your family and you’re ready to take the next step to make that happen. But first, you have some important choices to make.
Your mind may be racing with thoughts like: Is going back to school worth it? Should I get a business degree? Are there better options out there for me?
You, like so many others, have an inkling that a business degree just may be the ticket to creating a better life for you and your family. But when it comes to a degree or career, there’s no one clear path for everyone.
That being said, business is the most popular degree choice in the US – and for good reason! A business degree can set you up for a successful future in an array of fields. The professional paths are seemingly endless.
Here, learn about the many fields a business degree can lead you towards and what careers you can expect!
Why a business degree?
One of the biggest benefits of a business degree is its versatility and application to the real world. Unlike a specialized degree, a business degree can help you launch your career in several different industries, which can be a huge asset when seeking a job after graduation.
“A general business degree has more utility (and appeal for hiring managers) than most liberal arts degrees,” says Micah Fraim, CPA.
Fraim may be onto something, because last year alone, more than 650,000 jobs posted in the US requested applicants with a business degree.1 So, this may be a more practical approach to setting yourself up for success. It may also be a necessity for entering some fields.
“There are certain paths where the degree is definitely worth it,” says Sean Higgins of Ilos Videos. For example, an education in business is essential for breaking into the fields of marketing, accounting or finance, according to him.
While a business degree can be very valuable in getting you into the field in which you want to work, don’t rely solely on the degree itself to get you there. Hard work, professional development and people skills are imperative.
“A business degree is not a golden ticket,” he adds. “At the end of the day the thing that determines your success isn't a piece of paper – it’s you!”
Careers across the board
Business is a broad field – there’s no denying that. But, there are some common job titles business degree holders can expect.
We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 650,000 positions for those educated in business.* Here are the top 10 most common job titles calling for a business degree:
- Business analyst
- Financial analyst
- Account manager
- Human resources (HR) manager
- Sales manager
- Marketing manager
- Sales representative
- Administrative assistant
As you can see, a business degree isn’t a one-way street. It unlocks the potential for a plethora of positions in a variety of fields, and with plenty of room for growth and career advancement. Marketing, HR, sales, accounting and finance fields are all saturated with former business majors.
What is the job outlook for a business degree?
No one wants to go back to school only to enter a dying industry. Growth and outlook are important not just for employment upon graduation and career stability, but also for advancement and opportunities down the line. Fortunately, common fields for business degree holders are projected to grow in the coming years.
A financial analyst can expect demand to grow faster than average at 16 percent through 2022, while a marketing manager and accountant will both experience 13 percent growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These top fields for business students are growing – and they’ll need people like you to fill that demand in the coming years, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll have
Is a business degree worth it or worthless?
It’s true that school takes time. It takes dedication. It’s expensive. But it’s all worth it in the end. In fact, a recent report revealed that a college education earns graduates $830,000 more over a lifetime than a high school graduate.
For business degree holders, the array of common positions you can pursue offers a robust range in earning potential. See what the most in-demand business degree jobs offer for a mean annual income:**
- Business analyst: $86,514
- Financial analyst: $69,115
- Accountant: $62,771
- Account manager: $75,845
- HR manager: $80,048
- Sales manager: $84,956
- Marketing manager: $91,672
- Sales representative: $70,817
- Administrative assistant: $51,281
- HR generalist: $57,851
Now you know…
Should I get a business degree?
There’s really only one right answer to this question: the one that makes sense to you!
If you’re motivated by career versatility in many vibrant fields, you probably already know your answer. A business degree can help you unlock a world of professional possibilities, while providing you the immense satisfaction of supporting your family and creating a better life for yourself.
If you’re still on the fence, or just want to learn more about business degrees, check out our article, 10 Business Major Salaries You Can Get Excited About, to learn more about a business major’s career options.
But if you’re ready to take the leap and join the business world, check out the Rasmussen College School of Business degree page to explore your options and start turning those dreams into reality.
*Source: BurningGlass.com (Analysis of 652,661 business degree job titles, Oct. 01, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015.)
** Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in November 2013. It has since been updated to include data relevant to 2015.