What Is Business Management? And Is It Right for You?

Curious about business management? Discover what this job entails, and get tips on whether a business management career is right for you.
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  • Business management jobs are in demand across nearly all fields and industries.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills are important in business management.
  • The median salary for business managers exceeds $100,000 a year.
  • Most business management jobs require a bachelor's degree and work experience.

Hoping to eventually take on a leadership role within your organization? Then you might want to consider business management.

So what is business management? Business management makes up the high-level organization of a company within industries such as human resources, revenue operations, and marketing strategy.

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Unlike business administration, which is more specialized and dictates day-to-day operations, business management focuses on developing well-rounded leaders of companies and corporations.

Business managers earn a median annual salary of more than $102,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Plus, many managers work in corporate management, which can lead to an even higher median salary of more than $159,000.

Your Checklist for Deciding if Business Management Is Right for You

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    Do you possess leadership skills such as the ability to take multiple perspectives and problem-solve?
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    Can you collaborate with others and work as a team to meet an objective?
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    Are you intrigued by business and passionate about your industry or field of expertise?
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    Do you seek out the latest innovative management techniques and strategies to improve your skills?
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    Do you prefer to keep your career options open to a wide variety of industries and specializations?

What Is Business Management?

So what actually makes up the business management field? At the heart of business management is the people: the managers.

Business managers often need to have any combination of accounting, marketing, and human resources (HR) skills.

To enter the business management field, it's also helpful if you possess leadership and communication abilities. You will likely be required to oversee several projects at once, so knowing how to navigate that is a crucial time-management skill.

Looking to gain experience in a little bit of everything? Business management degrees are extremely versatile, with widespread application in nearly every professional field.

You can enter industries like corporate business, finance, and information technology. But opportunities also exist in fields like nonprofit management, education, and local government.

You may also decide to pursue occupations that require niche management skills. You can choose to focus on a particular area of expertise, such as sales or healthcare management.

Either way, there's a business management role out there that's right for you.

What Are the Expectations of a Business Manager?

While business management jobs vary by industry, employers will generally expect you to meet the same minimum requirements. These requirements include earning a degree and demonstrating specific job skills.

Education

Business management jobs typically require at least a bachelor's degree. Colleges commonly offer majors in business management or business administration. But students may also choose to major in an area of interest such as finance, accounting, or marketing.

Some jobs in business management require a master's degree such as an MBA. Graduate-level degrees may concentrate on an area such as strategic management or entrepreneurship.

Business management degree programs at all levels emphasize coursework in HR, finance, and accounting. And most business management degree programs culminate in a capstone project.

Skill Set

Do you have the required education but wonder what else is necessary?

Certain skills like leadership, communication, and teamwork can help you succeed in a business manager role.

While opportunities vary, most employers will prefer that you have prior work experience in business management or administration. Some jobs might hire you with a master's degree or MBA in lieu of extensive management experience.

Your specific field of employment — such as nonprofit management, operations management, or corporate finance — may require that you demonstrate additional skills.

Responsibilities

Your day-to-day responsibilities may vary slightly based on your position.

Some common job duties include managing an organization's financial and interdepartmental activities and overseeing operations.

You'll typically manage short- and long-term objectives simultaneously. You may be expected to perform duties including setting sales strategy, preparing budgets, maintaining relationships with partnering organizations, and interacting with clients and shareholders.

What Is the Career Outlook for Business Management?

$102,450
Median Annual Salary (May 2021)
(all management jobs)

8%
Projected Job Growth
(2021-2031)

As a business manager, there's the potential for a career with a high-paying salary in nearly every sector.

Industries including corporate management, elementary and secondary schools, and computer systems design employ the highest levels of business managers, according to the BLS.

Those with a bachelor's degree and leadership experience commonly pursue jobs as HR, financial, marketing, or information technology managers. Professionals in these jobs make median annual salaries ranging from $126,000-$160,000, as of May 2021, according to the BLS.

Business management includes entry-level to top executive jobs.

While most management jobs require only a bachelor's degree, you can typically advance your standing and increase your earning potential with professional experience.

Common Business Management Jobs:

  • Top Executive
  • Financial Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Is Business Management Right for You?

Wondering whether you fit the job description?

Reflecting on your skills, interests, and career goals can be more helpful than you think.

Ask yourself: Do you love problem-solving, networking, and learning new things? Are you a people person? If so, then you may want to consider becoming a business manager.

Business management requires you to excel in communication and listening skills. You should also show empathy and resilience as you work to climb up the ranks of the corporate world.

Business managers who work well under pressure typically find success in this career.

Frequent self-reflection and upskilling of your talents may take you far — and help you broaden your job prospects across any field or industry.

Pro Tip: Consider your goals and interests, and go from there! Everyone is different, and there's a business management job out there that's right for you.

BestColleges.com 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.

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