Requirements for a Career in Business
Many business careers pay high salaries and are in demand. Learn more about the career requirements for roles in the business and management sector.
- Many business careers are in demand and pay above-average salaries.
- A bachelor's degree meets the requirements for most careers in business.
- A strong resume plus experience can help applicants land business jobs.
Business is one of the most popular majors among college students. And it's easy to see why. Many business positions are in demand and pay above-average salaries.
With options like finance, marketing, and human resources, you might be left wondering "What business career is right for me?" Our guide walks you through common business careers, popular business degrees, and other requirements for a business career.
www.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.
Ready to start your journey?
What Are Some Common Business Careers?
The business sector includes in-demand fields like marketing, finance, accounting, and human resources. Business majors work as analysts, consultants, managers, and executives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports high salaries for these professionals. Business and financial occupations paid a median annual wage of $76,570 in May 2021. That represents a significantly higher wage than the median for all occupations of $45,760.
Business offers many opportunities for career advancement. With experience or a graduate degree, business professionals can move into higher-paying roles like marketing manager and financial managersr. According to the BLS, these workers earned median salaries of over $130,000 per year in May 2021.
The organization projects positions for business professionals will increase by 715,100 from 2021-2031. The careers with strong job growth projections include management analyst and market research analyst.
What are the average salaries for business majors? Business career salaries vary depending on job title, degree, and experience. Location also affects earning potential. However, many popular business careers report median salaries of $75,000 or higher, as the following table of common business job titles shows.
|Job Title||Median Pay (2021)||Projected Job Growth (2021-2031)|
|Accountants and Auditors||$77,250||6%|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,290||8%|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,920||19%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Which Degree Should You Get to Work in the Business Industry?
Business schools offer degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Which degree will you need? A bachelor's in business is the most common educational requirement. Some roles benefit from a graduate-level degree.
Your earning potential and career options depend on your degree and specialization within your business program. This section introduces the most popular degrees for business careers, including common career paths with each degree.
Internships and Portfolios
Completing an internship during your business degree can help you land a job after graduation. An internship gives you hands-on business training. It also expands your professional network. And an internship demonstrates your business skills and soft skills to hiring managers.
Many schools offer internship programs that connect students with opportunities. You can also seek internships in your chosen field by looking on job and internship boards. Early-career professionals should list specific duties and responsibilities during their internship on their resumes.
In some fields, you might also need a portfolio. Generally, fields like advertising, marketing, and promotions may ask for a portfolio. Careers in public relations or business writing may also request sample materials. Showcase your work by choosing presentations, products, and even class assignments demonstrating your strengths. You can include your portfolio on your professional website and include a link on your resume.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Career in Business
What's the highest paid career in business?
The business sector includes many high-paying careers. For entry-level roles, business occupations like personal financial advisor, management analyst, and financial analyst report the highest business career salaries.
According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of over $80,000 in May 2021. With experience or a master's degree, business professionals take on higher-paying management roles. The best-paying management roles include tech manager, marketing manager, financial manager, and human resources manager. These titles paid median annual salaries of over $125,000 in 2021. Several factors influence salaries, including job title, degree, experience, and location.
What's the difference between a Master's and MBA?
A master's and an MBA are both graduate degrees. When comparing an MBA vs. a master's, the two options may look similar. Grad students can earn a master's in marketing or an MBA with a concentration in marketing. However, the programs differ in their emphasis.
Business master's programs provide focused training in a particular area of business. MBA programs include broader management courses with the option to specialize. The length of an MBA vs. master's is roughly the same, with many business schools offering accelerated one-year or traditional two-year programs. Grad students can also earn an MBA or a master's in business online.
Is going into business a good career?
The business sector is a solid career path for college graduates. Most business occupations require a bachelor's degree. They also report above-average salaries. Business professionals earned a median wage of over $75,000 per year in May 2021, according to BLS data.
Business offers multiple paths to career advancement and a higher earning potential. For example, professionals can pursue a graduate degree to strengthen their leadership and management skills. With experience, business professionals can also apply for managerial positions. In May 2021, management professionals reported a median salary of over $102,000 annually.
Most Affordable Online Business Administration Programs
Most Useful College Courses for Aspiring Business Owners
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.
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.