Careers in Business Management
AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Are you ready to find your fit?
Business Management Careers List and Salaries
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 600,000 new jobs in business management by 2024, opening up opportunities for those with a passion for investments, real estate, marketing and human resources. Because the field of business is so broad, it’s worth exploring the different career paths and specializations available, what types of careers are emerging, and the skills or certifications necessary for various positions.
Top Skills for a Career in Business Management
It’s possible to build a career in management in virtually any industry, from real estate to retail, but it’s a process that requires nurturing a comprehensive skill set. Professionals who have a firm grasp on the necessary skills, and the ability to use them effectively in the workplace, may have an easier time climbing the corporate ladder and reaching positions that require more responsibility and pay higher salaries. Successful professionals share some of the following skills:
- Because working in the business world involves the management of large amounts of information and documents, as well as jugging multiple tasks, business professionals must develop an organizational system to keep things straight, as well as know how to set priorities and manage their time.
- When a missed email can mean the loss of a client, and sloppy record-keeping can wreak havoc on the books, an eye for detail may mean the difference between a business’s success or failure.
- Business professionals are inundated with information of all kinds. It’s vital to be able to sort through information, understand its implications, and then apply it effectively.
- Problem Solving
- Being able to find creative and effective solutions to problems is essential, especially at the managerial level. Successful professionals know how to examine variables and understand the consequences of various courses of action, and then make the best decisions for the organization.
AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Featured Online Programs
Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.
Career Paths in Business Management
Whether they have a head for numbers or a flair for marketing, students pursuing business degrees have numerous options in choosing a specialization that will best fit their strengths and preferences. The following are examples of concentrations in business and the specific careers they can lead to.
This concentration arms students with the skills and knowledge to work in government or the private sector as teachers, consultants and leaders in business. Coursework includes financial management, business systems, business analysis and decision making.
For those with an interest in one of the largest industries in the world, this concentration focuses on the skills and knowledge applicable to residential and commercial real estate, including mortgage lending, legal practices and financial markets. Coursework covers topics such as business communications, real estate investment, and real estate law.
This specialty combines economic analysis with the practical aspects of business to prepare students to adapt to rapidly changing environments involving products, markets and technology. Coursework includes consumer behavior, international marketing and marketing communications.
Human Resource Management
This specialization teaches students how to design and implement programs for the effective management of an organization’s employees. Key areas of study include staffing, training and development, performance management, leadership, and compensation and benefits.
Students learn the necessary skills to assess liabilities and risks a company faces when it offers an insurance product or pension plan. Course topics include statistics, actuary mathematics, and loss models.
Outlook & Salary Potential in Business Management
The expected job outlook for business graduates is on pace with the economy as a whole. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent growth in business jobs from 2014 to 2024, translating to some 632,000 new positions. In addition, a survey by Michigan State University’s College Employment Research Institutes projects that very large companies—those with more than 10,000 employees—will experience an enormous 82 percent growth in jobs. The fastest growing industries in the United States include real estate management, financial services, manufacturing and nonprofits.
Increased demand for business professionals goes hand in hand with competitive pay rates. Salaries vary depending on education, experience, and geographical location, but overall the outlook is good. For example, business operations managers earn an average salary of $60,518 a year, according to Payscale.com, while experienced professionals in business development earn a median salary of $84,000.
Here is the outlook for several popular careers in the business world, with the 2014 median salary and the projected growth from 2014-2024, according to the BLS:
|Careers||Salary||Employment in 2014||Jobs by 2024|
|Actuary||$96,700||24,600||4,400 (+18 percent)|
|Market Research Analyst||$61,290||495,500||92,300 (+19 percent)|
|Benefits Manager||$108,070||16,900||1,100 (+6 percent)|
|Human Resources Manager||$102,780||122,500||10,800 (+9 percent)|
|Human Resources Manager||$115,320||555,900||37,700 (+7 percent)|
Business Salary by State
As of May 2014, the median annual wage for business and financial occupations was $64,790, but as with any profession, location influences the numbers. The ten states with the highest salaries are as follows:
1. New York, Salary: $139,350
2. New Jersey, Salary: $138,750
3. Kentucky, Salary: $134,110
4. Delaware, Salary: $133,340
5. Connecticut, Salary: $128,210
6. California, Salary: $125,500
7. District of Columbia, Salary: $91,780
8. Virginia, Salary: $125,460
9. Massachusetts, Salary: $123,950
10. Maryland, Salary: $121,370
Business Certifications & Licenses
Licensure or certification in a specialty area is usually not required in the business world—although actuaries are an exception—but the additional training and education necessary to receive certification can help individuals show increased skills and competency, and may help them advance in their careers.
Top 5 Certifications or Licenses for a Career in Business
1. Associate or Fellowship Certification (Actuaries) The Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) are professional societies that sponsor associate and fellow certification programs. SOA: Certifies actuaries who handle life insurance, investments, health insurance, and retirement benefits. CAS: Certifies actuaries who work in property and casualty areas such as automobile, homeowner, and workers’ compensation insurance. Of the two societies, only SOA offers five separate certification tracks for fellowship certification: finance/enterprise risk management, group and health benefits, investments, life and annuities, and retirement benefits. The only professionals who must become licensed are pension actuaries. Licensing begins with the passing of two SOA exams, followed by application to enroll in the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, managed by the U.S Department of Labor and U.S. Department of the Treasury. 2. Professional Researcher Certification (Market Research) Members of the Marketing Research Association (MRA) may pursue this certification after obtaining three years of work experience in opinion and marketing research, and passing an exam. Twenty hours of continuing education courses are required every two years to renew certification. 3. SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP (Human Resources) Although most employers in the field of human resources do not require certification, it does show knowledge and professional competence across all areas of human resources. Several human resources organizations sponsor certification opportunities; for example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers both the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). 4. Certification of Employee Benefit Specialist (Compensation and Benefits Managers) To recognize expertise and credibility in the compensation and benefits field, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans offers four designations: Group Benefits Associate (GBA), Retirement Plan Associate (RPA), Compensation Management Specialist (CMS), and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), which encompasses all three areas. The CEBS program covers all aspects of benefits and compensation, with a strong focus on strategy and planning. 5. Chartered Financial Analyst (Financial managers) The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification is not a legal requirement, but does demonstrate a level of competence in the area of financial management. Offered by the CFA Institute, this designation requires a bachelor’s degree, four years of work experience, and the passing of three exams.
Emerging Careers in Business
The field of opportunities for business graduates is constantly changing, with the path to success no longer limited to traditional careers in business and finance. Advances in technology, for example, have spurred job creation at development and social media companies that are looking for specialty business skill sets—especially as hacking, terrorism, and cyberattack threats have brought privacy and security issues to the forefront. Business ethics is another growing area as companies adjust to changing societal standards and seek to protect themselves against lawsuits. Finally, as colleges and universities graduate business students with an increased sense of social responsibility, nonprofits are tapping into their ideal blend of solid business skills informed by a social conscience. The following positions are examples of some of the emerging careers in business:
Business Career & Job Resources
Whether you’re looking for your first full-time job, an internship or are making a move in your career, find out more about job searching before you start your hunt. There are many career-specific resources available to jobseekers today, from online job boards to resume builders.
- Industries at a Glance: Professional and Business Services
BLS shares its outlook on job growth and median wage for business careers in this handy resource. There are a number of illuminating statistics that will help you decide whether or not a career in business is right for you.
- Career Areas to Explore
This website provides a breakdown of the different subsets of a business degree or job and illustrates the many opportunities available in the field.
- Jobs You Didn’t Think Your MBA Could Land You
Business careers aren’t always behind-the-desk and crunching numbers. This article sheds some light on different things you can do with a business degree.
This is the king of job search engines. Simply type in “business” or whatever job title you are looking for (manager, sales associate, etc.), and you can find it easily and apply by saving your resume in your Monster account. This is a great way for potential employers to find you as well.
- Best Jobs for Business Majors by Salary Potential
This tool may help business majors decide on a career path after graduation.
- 14 Best Paying Jobs for College Business Majors
This list gives college business majors an idea of what to expect in the job market. It may even help current business students better target their focus area before graduation.
- Best Business Jobs
This four-page resource has a list of all of the best business jobs to help you choose a career path once you’ve become a business major.
- Best Careers Decisions
U.S. News has a host of career advice, resources and tips available to job-seekers in any field. Whether you need help with interview skills, prepping a resume or figuring out how much you should ask for, this guide has what you need.
- Business Careers Archives
If you prefer videos over written articles, this is a great source to illustrate the differences in any number of business careers.
Do this for you
Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.