What Can You Do with a Business Management Degree? Understanding Your Options
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.
Considering a degree in Business Management is a great place to start! It is understandable, though, to have questions—the most obvious of them being: What can you do with a Business Management degree?
The answer isn’t as simple as you might think—there are so many options and potential career tracks available to Business Management majors. It might surprise you to learn that this degree isn’t only for professionals who desire to manage others. The education you’ll receive while earning a Business Management degree is versatile and can prepare you for a wide variety of roles. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to learn.
Business Management degree courses to expect
Feeling curious? If you look a little deeper into the curriculum for Business Management students, you can imagine some of the positions where that education would be critical. With Business Management, you have to option to pursue either an Associate's or Bachelor’s degree. Here is a sampling of the courses that both degree tracks have in common:
Principles of Financial Accounting
This course provides a review of accounting objectives and their relation to business, as well as a survey of the theory and application of managerial accounting principles. Since a solid grasp of accounting is useful in any role, the knowledge you gain in this class will be widely applicable.
Business Law and Ethics
This course reviews fundamental principles of law applicable to business transactions and provides an overview of ethical concerns that arise in the world of business. Students learn about public and private law, contract law and partnerships. While it may not be as exciting as other classes you’ll take, a firm understanding of law in business is an absolute must for Business Management students.
Principles of Marketing
This course integrates seven key marketing perspectives to give students a broad understanding of useful and industry-specific marketing tactics. Topics include consumer buying behavior, business-to-business marketing, market research techniques and much more.
Introduction to Human Resource Management
Human resources take on a ton of important work in organizations. This course explores the importance of establishing and administering company goals, policies and procedures. Topics covered include employee benefits, interview techniques, hiring, discipline and more.
Functional and Project Management
This course examines various management roles and how they interrelate within organizations by analyzing the daily tasks and responsibilities within each management role. The course compares how divisional managers lead teams, investigates cross functional team relations and discusses the importance of developing project management skills within various management disciplines.
An Associate’s degree in Business Management will cover these core courses as well as others to give you a wide-angle view of what businesses need to run and function well. As you can see, although there are certainly management-specific classes, professionals in this field have education covering a huge variety of roles.
A Bachelor’s degree in Business Management goes much deeper. Courses like International Business, Risk Management and Strategic Management prepare students to step into bigger shoes. This program also allows you to choose a special focus to prepare you for the area of business you are most interested in—Business Analysis or Entrepreneurship.
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 2017, Associate’s degree holders earned an average of $6,448 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 142,867 job postings from the last year that called for a Business Management Associate’s degree.2 The data helped us identify the jobs seeking professionals with this credential.
Jobs you could land with an Associate’s degree in Business Management
What kinds of positions are held by those who have an Associate’s degree in Business Management? Learn more about five common careers:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Relationship banker
A relationship banker handles a client’s entire relationship with a 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, and they often work with businesses to help manage more complicated accounts.
5. 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.
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 still options available to earn your Bachelor’s at an accelerated pace.4
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. We analyzed 948,536 job postings from the last year that called for a Business Management Bachelor’s degree to find the top-five most common jobs for professionals with these credentials.3
Jobs you could land with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management
What business management roles are Bachelor’s degree-holders filling? Here’s a closer look at five popular positions:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Is a Business Management degree for you?
Exploring your options before making a final decision is important. Take some time and do you due diligence when evaluating potential degree options—earning a degree is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
That being said, if you’re confident that a Business Management degree is the right path for you, head over to the Rasmussen College Business Management degree page for more information.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Current Population Survey, Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment, 2017, [information accessed October 16, 2018] https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for full-time workers age 25 and over. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.
2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 142,867 job postings preferring candidates with an Associate’s degree in Business Management Aug. 01, 2017 – Jul. 31, 2018)
3Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 948,536 job postings preferring candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management Aug. 01, 2017 – Jul. 31, 2018)
4Time to complete is dependent on accepted transfer credits and courses completed each quarter.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2015. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2018