Business Careers and Degrees
From finance and real estate to human resources and entrepreneurship, there are hundreds of business careers to choose from!
Let’s explore this broad field – which careers are most in demand, the earning potential, what degrees are the easiest to get, and more – so that you can decide how to plan for your future in business.
What are business careers?
As we mentioned, business is an exceptionally broad field, with hundreds of career possibilities. Because of this, most colleges allow business majors to select a minor or area of concentration. This will help you develop specific skills and stand out from the crowd of applicants in a competitive job market.
For example, business majors may choose a minor or concentration in:
- Business Consulting
- Business Information Systems
- Business Management
- General Business Administration
- Healthcare Management
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resources
- Information Systems Management
- International Business
- Internet Marketing / e-Marketing
- Operations Management
- Organizational Leadership
- Project Management
- Public Administration
- Public Relations
- Real Estate
- Supply Chain Management
Those are just some examples; specific offerings will vary by school.
As this list suggests, there are many paths to take with a degree in business. You could work in the public, private or non-profit sector, and in nearly any industry. There are far more business careers than we could ever list.
What business careers make the most money?
Business careers can earn you a high status and a high salary, especially after years of experience!
Here are twenty of the most popular business jobs, which business major will help you land the job, and what you can expect in terms of mid-career pay.
|Job Title||Suggested Business Major / Minor / Concentration||Mid-Career Salary|
|Vice President (VP), Finance||Accounting||$152,000|
|Chief Financial Officer (CFO)||Accounting||$140,000|
|Financial / Securities / Investments Analyst||Finance||$80,800|
|Certified Public Accountant (CPA)||Accounting||$77,300|
|Supply Chain Analyst||Supply Chain Management||$67,100|
|Procurement Agent||Supply Chain Management||$63,900|
*data from Payscale.com
When looking at the table above, it is important to have a clear understanding of the average salaries shown. We have provided information on the mid-career salaries within the business world, meaning that this shows the average pay of a professional that has spent 10 years in the field.
Most graduates from a business program will start in an entry-level position, and through time and hard work, they will be able to work up the corporate ladder. There are many factors that go into determining salary, and you may make more or less dependent upon your skill set, experience and location.
What business careers are in demand?
The business world is booming, thanks to the constant evolution of technology and changing economies. This growth is good news for business majors, as new jobs are constantly being developed while businesses look for well-rounded, educated employees.
On the National Association of Colleges and Employer’s (NACE) Job Outlook 2018 survey, eight of the top ten most in-demand bachelor’s degrees fell in the business category, showing a shift away from technology.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is projected that careers within the business and financial sector will grow 7% between 2018 and 2028. This rate of expansion is faster than most other occupations, and it is expected that more than 591,800 new jobs will be created during this timeframe.
In particular, the areas of accounting, finance and marketing are likely to show impressive growth. The BLS notes that “globalization, a growing economy and a complex tax and regulatory environment” will lead to an increased demand for individuals with accounting expertise. The desire to understand consumer demand and develop new marketing strategies will cause an increased demand for market research analysts.
NACE’s survey backs this up, listing finance, accounting, business administration/management, and marketing as top choices.
What are the best business degrees?
Most colleges and universities have more than one business degree to choose from. In fact, some have as many as 20! Oftentimes schools will offer degrees in business administration and business management, with dozens of concentrations available under each of those umbrellas. So how do you choose?
Ultimately, the best business degree is the one that suits your own goals, interests and abilities. Here are some things you should consider:
- What day-to-day duties are a good fit for you?
- What businesses or companies could you see yourself working for?
- Would you like to travel / work internationally?
- Do you prefer working with people or crunching numbers on your own?
- Are you a leader or more of a team player?
- Are you more interested in collecting data or making predictions based on the data?
- What type of growth opportunities are you looking for? Do you hope for promotions that will allow you to climb the corporate ladder, or will you be satisfied with lateral moves that provide some variety but not much of a status change?
These are just a few questions to help get you thinking about which business major might be a good fit.
Before settling on a business degree, check the BLS to see what the salary range and growth projection are so you have an idea of what to expect. As noted above, data from the BLS and NACE suggest that finance, accounting, business administration/management and marketing are good choices.
Is business a good career choice?
Yes! Business is an excellent career choice, and here are just some of the many reasons:
- Job security – Business majors have skills that are useful and desirable in any occupation.
- Versatility – Business majors can work in any industry – from the largest theme parks to the local meat packing plant, from a large retail chain to a small non-profit clinic. They can also work in any part of the world.
- Flexibility – Because business skills are useful in any field, someone with a business degree can transition into a new field more easily than someone with a degree in nursing or chemistry, for example.
- Advancement opportunities – Business careers offer more opportunity for career advancement, meaning you can improve your paycheck and your prestige.
You really can’t go wrong with a degree in business!
What is the easiest business degree?
It depends on the student! Generally speaking, the easiest business degrees are the broadest, most generalized degrees, and those that are not too heavy in math or creativity.
While all business degrees generally cover the same fundamentals and core curriculum, and require the same number of credit hours, a more specialized degree program may be harder. For example, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance is much broader, and therefore may be easier, than the more specialized Bachelor of Science in Finance. The BS in Finance will require more demanding courses focused on the practical and technical aspects of finance.
Many students also report that college-level math courses are extremely difficult, so if you struggle in this area you should avoid a focus in finance or accounting.
If creativity is a challenge for you, marketing and advertising should be off the table.
But keep in mind, the more difficult majors often lead to the highest paying, most in-demand careers. Those few years of challenging coursework are likely to pay off!
What business degree is best for the future?
Based on data from the BLS and NACE, business careers in the following areas are likely to be in high demand and earn top salaries, setting graduates up for a successful future:
- Business Administration/Management
Look for a program that meets your needs in terms of your goals and interests. With hundreds of quality business degree programs available online, the sky is the limit! You can fit an excellent education around your existing work and family commitments.