What Are the Requirements for a Career in Business and Management?

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Business and management professionals work in diverse roles like management analyst, top executive, and sales manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management analysts and top executives earn median annual salaries of more than twice the national average for all occupations, while sales managers make about triple the national average.

The fields of business and management offer many career pathways and entry points, welcoming people from diverse educational backgrounds. Aspiring professionals can increase their chances of success with preparation. This guide covers how to prepare for business and management careers, including business and management degree requirements and business and management job requirements. The business and management website also offers information for aspiring professionals.

High School Courses of Study

It’s never too early to plan for business and management education requirements. High school students can take classes in areas like math and science to prepare for business and management careers. Additionally, computer courses give students skills and knowledge in essential business software, programs, and applications. Communication courses also help aspiring business professionals hone professional written and verbal communication skills.

In addition to coursework, high school students can prepare for their future careers by joining student groups or organizations, participating in community work, or receiving relevant work experience.


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College Courses of Study

While business professionals from all education levels can find success, a college degree is the standard educational requirement for most business occupations, per the BLS. At the associate level, business and management courses tend to focus on foundational knowledge and skills in areas such as decision-making, reasoning, and teamwork.

During a bachelor’s program, students can focus on particular fields within business, such as accounting, marketing, or finance. These programs typically include practical assignments to help students contextualize their training, like capstone projects and internships. Courses vary by program and school, but the following list highlights some common courses found in college business and management programs.

Business Law

Business law courses provide foundational knowledge regarding legal business issues. Learners may study the legal implications of employment, sales, and contracts, along with cyberlaw and liabilities. A basic understanding of business law prepares learners to study more advanced topics in the discipline.

Introduction to Marketing

This course examines how consumers determine value and how organizations can create and provide that value. Students may learn how to conduct market research and use various marketing channels. While marketing training is fundamental for the entire business field, it is particularly helpful for aspiring sales and marketing professionals.


Entrepreneurship courses examine how to create and manage a business. Learners study topics like branding, marketing strategies, and organizational analysis and sustainability. Students can apply content from the course to a variety of roles and responsibilities in the business field.

International Business

This course covers business operations in foreign countries and across borders. Students examine importing and exporting laws, logistics, financing, and global trade. As organizations become more globalized, international business training is increasingly relevant for aspiring business professionals.

Human Resources Management

This course teaches students how to approach human resources issues in an organization, like staffing, compensation, and benefits. Learners also study optimal training methods, organizational health and safety, and labor relations. Students gain leadership and teamwork skills that they can apply to a variety of business roles.

Graduate Degrees in Business and Management

Master of business administration (MBA) programs give students advanced knowledge and skills in areas like management, leadership, research, and analysis. Graduates can pursue leadership roles in business and management.

Requirements vary by school, but MBA applicants typically must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit GMAT or GRE scores, professional recommendations, and an admissions essay. Some programs also require business experience for admission. For more information on these programs, visit the MBA homepage.

Business professionals can also advance their careers with a Ph.D. or a doctor of business administration (DBA). A Ph.D. focuses more on research, preparing graduates for careers in academia, while a DBA emphasizes practice-oriented skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles in business.

While courses vary by program, the following list outlines common courses found in graduate business programs.

Managerial Finance

Many MBA programs feature managerial finance courses, which explore organizational finances and investments. Learners acquire skills in budgeting, capital management, and asset performance and evaluation. This training prepares students to contribute to the financial health of an organization.

Operations Management

Operations management courses teach students how to design, implement, and organize effective operations systems in an organization. The training involves various management philosophies and coordination tactics. Students learn how to understand and manage organizational operations in both service and manufacturing industries.

Organizational Behavior

In this course, learners study how individuals and groups can impact the systems and competencies of an organization. Students learn how to approach interpersonal issues with staff, suppliers, and consumers. They also explore how diversity in the workplace, personal challenges, and interpersonal relationships affect organizations.

Professional Certification

In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, business professionals can advance their careers through professional certifications. Business and management certifications demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills to potential employers, increasing candidates’ competitiveness in the job market.

Common business certifications include certified professional manager (CPM), project management professional (PMP), and certified business analysis professional (CBAP). Candidates for these certifications must meet certain business education and experience requirements. Students should research the certifications aligned with their intended career path.

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