You are not the first, nor will you be the last, person to consider pursuing a business degree. It’s easy to see why this is appealing. You can practically look in any direction and find a business selling a product or service. That’s a good sign for anyone looking for a degree with many options. Business degrees serve as launching pads for a dizzying array of opportunities.
When people talk about an online ‘business degree’, they usually mean a bachelor’s degree that provides foundational knowledge and business essentials online across all business functions, such as degrees in business administration, business management or management and leadership. It’s a colloquialism for the broad scope of these programs. Other business degrees specialize in a single field, ranging from accounting and finance to marketing and human resources.
Business degrees typically take three or four years at the undergraduate level and one or two years at the master’s level. Undergraduate business degrees usually begin with a focus on core business principles, with students later being able to choose specializations. Even greater specialization is possible at the master’s level and higher. Business degrees are typically assessed through coursework and examinations, with a strong emphasis on case studies. Students are expected to thoroughly analyze and apply the information provided to discuss and evaluate various business strategies and theories. In addition, some business schools offer accelerated programs, which allow students to graduate faster by taking on a more intensive workload.
It doesn’t take long to skim through job boards to notice that there is a nearly impossible-to-capture breadth of job titles looking for candidates with a business degree. Nonetheless, you can get a good sense of some of the most common business degree options. To assist with this, we examined over 1.8 million job postings from the previous year that sought candidates with a business degree and identified some of the most common job titles and what the roles entail.
Jobs you can get with a business degree
Here are a few jobs that are best suited to business degree graduates based on how well they match the hard and soft skills taught in the course. Some jobs are available to recent graduates just starting in their careers. In contrast, others are only available to those who have advanced up the career ladder.
As an accountant, your primary responsibility will be to analyze and review business accounts, including financial information such as outgoings and income, profit and loss and tax liabilities. As an accountant, you will work in a company’s accounting department, an accounting firm or your own practice. Therefore, you must have a strong aptitude for numbers, problem-solving and business knowledge. In addition, employers look for teamwork, good communication skills, and the ability to work methodically on your own while also getting along well with clients.
Management analysts examine a company’s relationships with foreign partners to solve problems and facilitate smoother workflows. The demand for knowledge of international laws, finance and tax codes will increase as businesses becomes more global. International business graduates will be prepared to face the world as management analysts or consultants after mastering foreign risk assessment, the impact of globalization and culturally sensitive communication.
Management consultants work with a wide range of industries and other managers. In essence, they are hired to assist a company’s management team in meeting organizational goals, resolving complex issues or improving efficiency within their departments. Management consultants help resolve business problems and can be experts in their own right, focusing on finance, organizational behavior, change management or diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). A management consultant’s average salary is $88,623. Those who have recently graduated and are just starting their careers can expect an average salary of more than $70,000. At the same time, experienced consultants can earn well over six figures.
Business graduates who become financial analysts earn an average salary of $83,660 across the country. You may wonder why these experts make more than accountants and auditors. The answer is that they go beyond financial document analysis. They advise businesses and individuals on how to spend money to get the best return. With massive salaries and management responsibilities, the opportunities for advancement in these roles are limitless.
Every business and structure you come across must be insured, but before that can happen an insurance underwriter must evaluate the business or building to determine the risks associated with issuing an insurance policy and whether the company should proceed. Then, underwriters may calculate the appropriate amount to ensure an entity for and the appropriate premium to charge. Underwriters may also need to communicate with insurance agents or prospective and current customers.
As a result, they’ll need analytical and decision-making skills, financial and business knowledge, and communication and interpersonal skills, making this an excellent job for business majors. Though the number of jobs in this field is decreasing due to automation, many of the current workers are older, and there is a need for recent graduates and other early-career candidates. To advance in your career, you’ll need to become certified as an underwriter, but you need a bachelor’s degree to get started. If you want to work for a large insurance company, look for positions with risk management or underwriter in the title.
Human resource specialists deal with the human side of the business. HR specialists may handle recruiting, interviewing, hiring, mediating or settling team member conflicts or misconduct, in addition to facilitating training, learning and development for staff, depending on where they work and the size of the HR team or department.
HR specialists must have strong communication and interpersonal skills, analytical and presentation abilities, and knowledge of business best practices and compliance requirements, making it a good choice for business majors who enjoy interacting with people. You may look for HR assistant positions as an entry-level candidate before advancing to a specialist role.
What it takes to obtain a degree
Earning a business degree requires an investment of time, energy, money and a few other factors. Let’s go over what you’ll need to do to get your business degree.
Time – The time it takes to complete your business degree can vary greatly. To obtain your bachelor’s degree in business administration, you must complete 124 credit hours. This is typically a four-year degree for a traditional student. Time to graduation for a working professional is heavily influenced by factors such as transfer credits and course load. Do your research and find a business degree program that will allow you to make the most of your previous education and experience to help you complete your degree faster.
Effort – Obtaining a degree requires more than just time. To be successful, you must prioritize your education, which means adjusting your professional and personal lives to make room for your education. You must create your own structure and schedule, especially if you are taking courses online.
Motivation – Motivation benefits aspiring businesspeople in two ways. For starters, it acts as a motivator for success. If you lack the motivation to get things done and make a difference, a business career is probably not for you. Secondly, motivation is what propels businesspeople through adversity. Almost no one’s business career has progressed from the bottom to the top without some hardship. Projects fail, businesses fail, products fail and ideas fail. Unmotivated people may allow these things to get the best of them, causing their careers to stagnate. On the other hand, a motivated businessperson learns from adversity and perseveres.
Open minded – Seeking help is a quality that is frequently overlooked, and many people would rather face their difficulties alone. When taking business courses, you must recognize when you require assistance and request it. When students have difficulty understanding concepts in class, they may choose to let these moments pass rather than asking for clarification. As a result, they will be disadvantaged if the information appears in their exams.
Benefits of a business degree
You can do important things with your business degree. Here are a few advantages of having a business degree:
Increase your competitive edge
The availability of jobs or the stability of a career can significantly impact a student’s decision to pursue a degree. Business degrees help students understand how businesses work, how to make a profit, and more. Colleges and universities provide various business degrees, with some producing top business leaders and executives. Of course, the degree is not a guarantee of employment, but your knowledge and skills can be applied to various industries. As a job candidate, this is your competitive advantage.
Earn more money
Business and finance occupations pay well, if not better, than many other occupations. So, it’s no secret that having a business degree and strong business skills can help you land a high-paying job.
Become an entrepreneur
Understanding business fundamentals can help you get started in entrepreneurship or enter the corporate world. Whatever career path you choose, a business degree will provide you with numerous courses that will help you improve your work-related skills and make you more appealing to employers. Accounting, marketing, finance and entrepreneurship are common specializations in business degrees, but they vary by institution.
Many college graduates regret their degree choice because it provides few job opportunities. On the other hand, a business degree is helpful in many professions. Managerial positions are popular among business degree graduates who want to be leaders. Employers seek out business graduates because they provide a variety of valuable skills that can be applied in any profession. Accounting and advertising are some of the jobs available, depending on your specialization.
Gaining essential management skills that will enable you to be a valuable asset to any organization is one of the most rewarding aspects of pursuing a business degree. Furthermore, you will gain skills to respond to challenges and current developments in business and society.
Another advantage of studying business management is networking with people who share your interests. As a student, you can meet recruiters, professors and other students who share many of your professional values and enthusiasm for the industry. This provides an opportunity to find a mentor and discuss job opportunities after graduation. For example, a student interested in starting a small business can seek advice from one of their professors and receive expert recommendations that they would not have had the opportunity to ask for if they were not in school. Furthermore, once you graduate and begin working as a business professional, you can contact your classmates for advice on a new venture.
Pursuing a business management degree provides graduates with skills that make them highly employable in the business world. Business management and leadership courses are critical for developing fundamental, specific and transferable skills that facilitate the transition into the workforce. A successful leader should be well-equipped with technical skills, critical thinking and the confidence to make decisions in complex business situations that they believe are correct. A degree in business management and leadership provides graduates with these skills as they pursue a leadership role after graduation.