One excels at sales while another pursues new product development. A genius negotiator may fail at public relations. Contracts can fall through in the hands of an otherwise gifted marketing manager.
In a successful business venture, the entrepreneur finds experts to cover his or her weaker skills.
There is a business career for everyone from high school graduates to a PhD. Of course, the most popular graduate-level degree is the MBA.
For that reason, we separated the MBA into its own page. Within the business world, accounting is also a broad field with incredible demand, so we have a separate hub all about accounting.
Otherwise, feel free to check out our Best Online Business Schools ranking, and to keep reading so you can learn how to make business boom.
What Do Professionals in Business & Management Do?
Being in the business field could mean anything from routing calls to making sales. Some work in public relations while others choose market research. Purchasing managers share the elevator with distribution managers, and a director of human resources chats with the benefits administrator.
A manager keeps the day-to-day business operations running smoothly. They may write departmental procedures, conduct performance evaluations, and train new staff. Some make hiring—and firing—decisions. Managers set budgets, evaluate new technologies, and mentor their employees.
Maybe you have the entrepreneurial spirit and want to try your hand at building the next Facebook. Experience goes a long way, but if you combine that with an entrepreneurship degree, you’ll be well equipped to set off on your own.
However you choose to pursue either business or management, you want to make sure that you’re choosing a career that fits your unique skills. And that you find a school and program that will grow and support those needs in the best way possible.
How Much Money Can You Make If You Study Business & Management?
The only limit is one’s own ambition and willingness to work hard. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that management careers had a median income of $100,790 in 2016.
The fastest growing career may be the Market Research Analyst. BLS predicts a 19 percent growth in demand for these analysts by 2024. That equals 92,300 newly created job openings in the next seven years.
A solid entry-level position is the Customer Service Representative. An additional 252,900 positions will boost this field by 10 percent. Currently the greatest number of jobs per 1,000 residents in this field can be found in Arizona, Utah, or Florida.
The highest salaries for Customer Service Representatives can be found in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. And balancing out with cost-of-living, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kansas offer the best ratios of median salaries and living costs.
But there are a whole host of exciting jobs available in the business field, many of which are slated to see quite a bit of job growth in the coming decade.
Public Relations Management, Managers of Training and Development, Benefits and Compensation Managers, and Sales Managers are all expected to see more than 6% growth in their job markets in the coming years.
Work hard enough, and you could end up with a corner office and a big “C” in your job title. Doing this would also put another comma in your bank account.
Within the top hierarchy of a large corporation, the Chief Administrative Executive, for example, takes home a median of $332,681. He or she needs 15 or more years of experience along with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Other “C-suite” positions can expect similar levels of compensation.
Ultimately, the fate of the business rests on the shoulders of the Chief Executive Officer. The CEO is the head of the company. He or she takes full responsibility for profits and losses.
The CEO’s hours are long, the stress enormous, and his/her reputation rests on the success or failure of the company. Because of the gravity of the position, a CEO’s median pay without bonuses equals $760,669. The head of a corporation usually holds a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Consider these accounting careers and their mid-range salaries:
- Stockbroker: $41,040 to $131,180
- Business Analyst: $60,950 to $109,170
- Actuaries: $74,480 to $140,190
- Human Resources Officer: $44,620 to $78,460
- Market Research Analyst: $45,550 to $88,260
- Insurance Underwriter: $51,290 to $91,780
What Kinds of Business & Management Degrees Are Available?
If you are just starting your career and you don’t have a degree, an entry level Administrative Assistant only requires a high school diploma or business certificate. Administrative Assistants at Level I earn a median of $39,035. That would help pay for night college classes if desired.
Your business career can start with an Associate’s Degree. Associate’s programs last between 18-24 months, and have a curriculum that focuses on business specialty, such as customer service or retail sales work. These degree programs can lead to jobs as retail workers or even store managers. Store managers earn a median salary of around $39,040.
The next step up the ladder would be a Bachelor’s Degree. Choosing an undergraduate programming starts with choosing your major and concentrations.
Deciding which one to pursue is a question of what part of business and management you’re most interested in, as well as the options available at the schools you’re considering.
Some common business and management majors include:
- Accounting—check out our write-up about this field here
- Business Administration
- Human Resources
- Nonprofit Management
- Operations Management
- Project Management
- Public Relations
- Supply Chain Management
- International Business
Like most Bachelor’s programs, you’ll take a string of introductory courses focused on general knowledge, before then advancing on to upper-level courses concerning your major and concentration. Graduating with your bachelor’s enables you to pursue most entry-level jobs in the business world.
If you’re ready to take the next step and get your Master’s Degree, the first thing most people consider is a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). It’s so popular, in fact, that we’ve put together an entire page on it here.
However, there are Master’s degrees other than the MBA. These include a Master in Management, Marketing, International Business, or Finance.
A Master’s in Management will lead you to upper-level managerial roles, while a finance degree might lend to a career in investment or commercial banking. Financial examiners, for instance, earn a median salary of around $79,000.
At the doctoral level, you could get a PhD in Business Administration, or the closely related Doctorate in Business Administration. The former would lead to an academic career as a professor or researcher. The DBA, on the other hand, helps propel graduates to the highest senior executive levels in a corporation.
What Business & Management Specialties Are Available?
Within a business environment, there may be dozens or even hundreds of employment options not even mentioned yet. Here are just a few:
Business majors might choose to pursue a career as an Economist. Economists conduct research, collect and analyze data, and develop forecasts regarding economic indicators. Economists can choose to focus on the microeconomics of a particular sector, or the macroeconomics of the broader economy. Economists earn a median salary of just over $100,000.
Another possible specialization could be Global Sales Manager. These managers oversee sales efforts by corporations looking to conduct business in the international marketplace. Managers may supervise a team of salespeople or recruit new clients. Sales managers earn a median salary of around $118,000.
But it’s not all about the numbers. Those with strong written skills might consider a career as a Technical Writer.
These writers prepare instructional guides and journal articles that communicate complex, technical information to a wider audience. On average, technical writers earn an average of just under $70,000.
Other specialties include: video editor, business intelligence, entertainment manager, sports manager, organizational leadership, social media manager, business consultant, community liaison, import/export manager, corporate real estate broker, and business attorney.
We barely touched on the realm of international business. International corporations and government agencies want highly skilled business professionals to represent them overseas. Choose a Bachelor’s in International Business and master a foreign language.
Prepare for an exciting life experience as an international finance manager, cultural adviser, export sales representative, international trade specialist, or international economist. The growing global nature of business may take you on amazing adventures. The future awaits.
What are the best Business and Management degrees?
Because Accounting is such a diverse and in-demand field, College Choice has put together an entire page devoted exclusively to Accounting. Check it out here.
The MBA is the most common graduate-level degree in America. Because of this, we have an entire page devoted exclusively to the different MBA options available.
Creative, curious, savvy and determined– if these adjectives describe you, then a degree in Marketing may be perfect for you!
A career in marketing offers an abundance of flexibility and opportunities; from healthcare and nonprofit organizations to big businesses and smaller start-ups, marketers are needed anywhere and everywhere in today’s society.
With today’s growth in digital platforms, there are even more opportunities for marketers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is upwards of $125,000 per year! And the pay only increases if you hold a more advanced degree.
Worried about the job market? Market research analysts actually have a much higher projected job growth rate of 41% from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS.
If you’re ready to pursue a degree in this field that offers flexibility, College Choice has published a list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing, including Colorado State University, Saint Leo University, and New York University.
Management Information Systems
In today’s modern world, technology and computer networks are the centers around which many businesses revolve.
Not just media and tech industries, but hospitals, governments, schools, cities, and more rely on management information systems. Even supermarkets can use computer databases to keep track of which products are selling best!
M.I.S. managers work closely with other members of management to structure and secure both internal and external networks within an organization.
With the growth of technology, M.I.S. graduates need not worry about a lack of jobs; from business analysts and web developers, to database administrators and business intelligence analysts, there are plenty of opportunities.
Salaries currently start in the $50,000 range, while experienced managers can expect to make up to six figures. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) expects the field to grow by at least 15 percent in the next decade, with some industries expected to grow by more than 25 percent.
College Choice has ranked the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Management Information Systems, as well as the Best Master’s Degrees in Management Information Systems.
Money talks—and a career in finance requires a unique set of skills and a natural curiosity. You should have a strong mathematical aptitude as you’ll be making financial suggestions to those within your organization based on their resources and goals.
From financial analysts and managers, to loan officers and personal financial advisors, there are plenty of paths to take with a Finance Degree.
According to Payscale.com, those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance can earn, on average, upwards of $70,000 depending on the job title. Finance managers can even make over $100,000 a year! Salaries will only increase if you obtain an advanced degree in the field.
College Choice has published a list of the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance. Looking for a top degree in Finance that’s also affordable? We’ve got you covered with not only the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance, but also the Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Finance. If you’re simply looking for flexibility without compromising the curriculum, check out our ranking of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Finance Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Finance Degrees.
Interested in the economy? Do you dream of working as a business analyst, economist, financial analyst, statistician, etc.?
A master’s degree in economics can lead to roles that include analyzing economic trends data to forecast future trends, and the impact they’ll have on both businesses and consumers.
While you’re busy analyzing the economic trends around you, you’ll be making a fine flow of cash for yourself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, economists made an average of $101,050 per year in 2016.
Worried about the job market? Lucky for you, the BLS reports the employment of economists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. However, job prospects are best for those with advanced degrees in the field.
Forbes even reports a master’s in economics as one of the degrees with the highest salary potential.
If you’re keen on pursuing an Economics degree then don’t miss out on the College Choice rankings for the Best Bachelor’s in Economics Degrees as well as the Best Master’s Degrees in Economics. We also have ranked the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Economics. If affordability is your top priority, don’t miss our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Economics Degrees.
Human resource managers are important and necessary parts of any organization. From hospitals and law firms, to universities, restaurant chains and financial offices, someone needs to take charge of hiring new employees.
However, HR managers do a lot more than hiring; they’re also responsible for managing benefits, establishing, implementing, and enforcing policies and communicating executive decisions to employees.
While this may sound like your cup of tea, is the pay worth it? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HR managers runs upwards of $100,000! Not only that, but the industry is projected to grow by approximately 9 percent between now and 2024.
If it’s your dream to obtain a degree in the popular field of HR, take a look at College Choice’s ranking of the Best Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees. Do you want a degree in HR but you don’t have the time to commute to a campus?
Check out our ranking of the Best Online HR Bachelor’s Degrees. If you’re looking to cut costs without compromising the quality of your chosen HR program, don’t miss the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in HR ranking.
Perhaps you wish to look at advanced degree programs in HR? Lucky for you, College Choice has ranked the Best Master’s Degrees in HR for you! We’ve also ranked the Best Online Master’s in HR, as well as the Most Affordable Online Master’s in HR.
The core of project management is the need to balance the time, money, and scope of any given project. A career in project management is best suited for those who can juggle a bunch of things at once.
Big projects involve tons of moving parts; from deadlines and stakeholders, to dealing with consultants, subcontractors, budgets and marketing teams, there’s always a piece of the puzzle to manage.
If you’re both flexible and creative, while also maintaining a cool presence under pressure, project management may be the perfect career for you.
According to a survey commissioned by the Project Management Institute, full-time project managers in the United States reported median annual earnings of over $90,000, including salary and bonuses.
It’s a quickly growing field of expertise and more experienced project management professionals can earn a six-figure salary.
If project management interests you, College Choice has published a ranking of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Project Management. If you’re looking for a flexible advanced degree, we’ve also ranked the Best Online Master’s Degree in Project Management.
Are you good at building and maintaining relationships? Do you think you have what it takes to spin a “PR disaster” into something good? From wardrobe malfunctions, IT failures, and ill-timed ads, nearly every industry and business needs good PR professionals to put out the fires.
Even celebrities have their own PR folks to serve as a liaison between themselves and the public. Reputations are on the line and PR specialists can either help or hinder them.
According to the Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median pay for Public Relations Specialists is over $58,000 per year. Jobs are also projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Looking to earn the big bucks? PR professionals in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., can earn an average of $95,750.
Both versatile and challenging, you can find your perfect PR career after graduating from one of these highly ranked programs.
Have you always been the one with the big ideas? Do you dream of working for yourself and being your own boss? It’s the American dream and, now, entrepreneurship programs are popping up around the country.
Entrepreneurship requires critical thinking, effective communication and understanding of global, economic, legal, and social considerations in complex business situations.
No matter what your vision is, entrepreneurs have the ability to enact change and build a better tomorrow. Not to mention, according to the BLS, entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. economy.
The number of jobs created by establishments less than 1 year old was 3 million in 2015. While it’s not always easy to start your own venture, it can be very rewarding. Entrepreneurs may fail once; they may fail several times– but they don’t give up.
Looking to hone your entrepreneurial skills? Determined to show the world what you’re made of? College Choice has ranked the Best Online Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship Degrees. If an advanced degree is a better fit, we’ve also ranked the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Entrepreneurship.
Do you love to plan events and provide folks with a great experience? Do you dream of opening a restaurant or hotel? Perhaps you’d like to climb to upper management for an existing hospitality company. If customer service is your middle name, hospitality management may just be your game! From startups and boutiques, to large corporations both local and global, a degree in Hospitality Management will help you to fulfill your biggest dreams.
According to Payscale, a Hospitality Manager can earn upwards of $40,000 per year. However, as with most other careers, the more experience and advanced education you have, the better your chances will be of scoring a more lucrative job offer. Of course, the city you’re working in has a big impact as well– not surprisingly, Las Vegas is home to a large number of hospitality professionals. And the job satisfaction isn’t bad either! In fact, hospitality managers report they are “extremely satisfied” with their careers.
Feeling rather hospitable? College Choice has ranked the 10 Most Affordable Online Hospitality Management Degrees. We’ve also ranked the overall 50 Best Hospitality Management Degrees. Programs include those at Cornell, Oregon State University, and the University of Alabama.
From the American Red Cross and Goodwill, to Amnesty International and the World Wide Fund for Nature, non-profits are a huge part of our society. Non-profit workers strive to help those in need; from people and pets, to our planet as a whole, there’s no shortage of work to be done.
A career in non-profit management can be very fulfilling and rewarding, as you’ll focus on causes and ideas rather than pure profit.
The nonprofit workforce is the third largest in the US, representing 10 percent of total employment (11.4 million jobs), according to the BLS.
Nonprofit organizations serve both small-scale and global communities, from neighborhoods to greater society. Being a leader in the nonprofit sector not only requires a high concentration of organizational skills, but financial strategy and efficient management skills as well.
The great thing about a career in non-profit management is that you can work for a cause that you’re truly inspired by. Take a look at our rankings of the Best Master’s Degrees in Nonprofit Management. If you’re looking to profit from a career in non-profit management, look no further. College Choice has ranked the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Non-profit Management.
Baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball…the list of sports goes on and you’re interested in most, if not all, of them. While it’s an extremely competitive field to get into, sports management programs provide sports lovers with a path to make an impact and make a living in the field.
If you’ve dreamed of working as a team manager, athletic director, sports agent, or recruiter, then a degree in sports management may be the best route for you.
While directors of marketing in professional sports can make over $100,000, an entry level position could begin at just $25,000.
Athletic trainers can expect to earn about $50,000. Of course, your salary can grow depending on who you’re working for, how long you’ve been with a certain team, and your overall experience.
While these jobs can be tough to secure based on merit and reputation, the sports industry is only continuing to grow; in fact, according to Forbes, the sports market in North America is expected to reach $73.5 billion by 2019.
College Choice has published a ranking of the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Sports Management, for both Best Sports Management Degrees and Best Online Sports Management Degrees. If you’re interested in a master’s-level degree, check out the ranking of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Sports Management Degrees.
Supply Chain & Logistics
Have you ever considered the system which moves a product from a supplier to the consumer? Are you a dedicated problem-solver who loves working with and managing teams?
Now, more than ever, with the growth of online sales and retailers, supply chain managers and logisticians are in high demand. Logisticians both analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain, managing the entire life cycle of a product.
Logisticians work in nearly every industry and the job can be quite stressful as logistical work is very fast-paced. Though, the pay may be worth it—according to the BLS, logisticians make over 74k annually.
Forbes even reported it as one of the six high-paying jobs of the future; these folks will continue to help companies streamline production and cut costs.If you’re interested in learning how to use complex software to track systems and products, check out College Choice’s rankings of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, as well as the Best Online Master’s in Logistics & Supply Chain Management Degrees.
If saving money is a priority for you, check out our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Logistics & Supply Chain Management Degrees.