Types of Business Degrees: Full Guide
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- When it comes to business degrees, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The type of degree you choose should depend on your unique career goals.
- You don't have to major in business administration or earn an MBA to work in business. Many majors and subjects fall under the business umbrella.
- Undergraduate and graduate-level degrees are available in specialized business subjects, such as accounting and data analytics.
- A bachelor's degree in business may be sufficient for entry-level roles, but an MBA may be helpful for career advancement.
Whether you're a recent high school graduate looking to head to college or a working professional who wants to advance your career prospects, a business degree can lead to a high-paying job.
But knowing where to start in the broad field of business can be daunting. From digital marketing specialists to human resources managers and accountants, the career options in business can be overwhelming.
While earning a degree isn't a requirement to launch a business career, it can help you sharpen your skills and find which areas you excel in. Business degrees can also unlock better earning potential and boost your job security — both of which are increasingly seen as important by young professionals.
Here's an overview of various types of business degrees and potential job opportunities that come along with them:
Types of Bachelor's Degrees in Business
Featured Online Business Bachelor's Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
BS in Accounting
Accounting programs cover methods of recording and reporting financial performance, auditing, and other key aspects of managing money within organizations. An accounting degree can prepare students for careers as certified public accountants, financial managers, budget analysts, and certified financial planners.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for accountants and auditors will grow 6% between 2021 and 2031, about on pace with the national average. The median annual wage for all accountant and auditor occupations in 2022 was $78,000.
BS in Business Administration
A business administration degree focuses broadly on management and analytical skills and teaches students how to lead an organization. Rather than focusing on a specific industry or skillset, a bachelor's in business administration focuses on developing a range of leadership skills to help students succeed across industries. The major can also help prepare students to pursue the popular master of business administration (MBA) graduate degree to further hone their skills.
The BLS projects that management occupations will grow by about 8% over the next decade, slightly faster than the national average for all occupations. A business administration degree can prepare students for a host of different leadership roles, and the 2022 median wage for all management occupations was $107,360.
BS in Computer Information Systems
Tech-savvy workers are key as businesses look to keep up with rapidly advancing technology, and the computer and information technology field reflects that increasing demand. The BLS projects employment in that sector to grow by 15% over the next decade.
A computer information systems degree focuses on the business applications of computer systems, preparing students to integrate new technologies into their organizations. Students can become systems administrators and analysts after graduation. That can be a lucrative career: Computer systems analysts made a median annual wage of $102,240 in 2022, according to the BLS.
BS Data Analytics
Data is at the heart of everything that any organization does, and data-driven decision-making is a sought-after skill as businesses look to gather, organize, and analyze an ever-growing array of data to make important decisions. In a data analytics degree program, students learn how to both gather and analyze data, as well as how to make data-informed decisions.
Data analytics combines several rapidly growing industries into a single degree, namely computer and information technology and mathematics. The BLS projects that employment for mathematicians and statisticians will grow by a meteoric 31% in the next decade. A degree in data analytics can land students a wide range of analytics roles, including operations research analyst. These professionals earned a median annual wage of $85,720 in 2022.
BS in Economics
Critical thinking and analysis skills are key to the economics degree, which prepares students to see how their organization fits into larger economic trends. The interdisciplinary degree covers production and consumption on both the large and small scale and can prepare students for jobs as financial analysts and consultants.
Financial and investment analysts made a median wage of $95,080 in 2022, according to the BLS, which also projects that the field will grow by 9% over the next decade. Economists also made a lucrative return on investment, with a median salary of $113,940 in 2022.
BS in Entrepreneurship
Holding a degree in entrepreneurship isn't a requirement to start a business, but entrepreneurship degree programs can give students training in the fundamentals of running an organization and navigating the complex world of managing a company.
A degree in entrepreneurship can also prepare students to step into leadership roles via its career-heavy framework and focus on decision-making and management. The degree can prepare students to take on roles as management analysts or business consultants in addition to starting their own businesses. The BLS projects employment for management analysts will grow 11% over the next decade, a much faster pace than average. Those consultants made a median wage of $95,290 in 2022.
BS in Finance
Finance degrees focus on money management, economics, banking, and other key aspects of how money moves within an organization. A finance degree can open up opportunities for students as financial managers, analysts, advisors, and consultants.
Finance is a fast-growing field, according to the BLS, which projects that employment of financial analysts alone will grow by 9% over the next decade. Employment of financial managers is projected to grow at an even faster rate of 17%, per the BLS, and those financial leaders brought in a median wage of $139,790 in 2022.
BS in International or Global Business
Global and international business programs train students in international marketing, financial policies, and the nuances of running a business that spans multiple countries. In an increasingly globalized world, international business skills are key to a broad range of organizations, and a degree with an international focus can prepare students for those high-demand jobs.
The communications and leadership-focused degree can prepare students for jobs as operations managers, financial analysts, and consultants. The BLS projects overall employment for management occupations to grow by 8% over the next decade. Operations managers brought in a median salary of $98,100 in 2022.
BS in Healthcare Management
Healthcare management prepares students to step into leadership and operations roles in the rapidly growing healthcare sector. Healthcare management incorporates data and economics to prepare students to make informed decisions about businesses in the healthcare sector.
Medical and health services managers are in high demand: The BLS projects that the field will grow by 28% over the next decade. Those specialized managers brought in a median wage of $104,830 in 2022.
BS in Human Resources Management
A human resources management degree teaches students how to learn, manage, and train employees, in addition to covering the fundamentals of business. The degree also allows for specializations in areas like recruiting, compensation, and employee relations, enabling students to focus on a specific skill set.
Every business has some degree of human resource management needs, and jobs in the field are projected to grow over the next decade. The BLS projects employment of human resource specialists will grow by 8%, and employment of human resource managers will grow by 7%. Human resources managers earned a median wage of $130,000 in 2022, per the BLS, and human resources specialists made a median wage of $64,240.
BS in Marketing
Marketing degrees focus on analyzing trends and promoting a brand to sell products to consumers. Many programs specialize in digital marketing, with a heavy focus on digital advertising, cultivating social media, online branding, and other key aspects of online marketing.
The marketing field also allows for specialization in ever-changing fields like SEO, analytics, and social media management, and often paves the way for students to step into roles as brand managers, digital marketers, and marketing managers. The BLS projects employment of marketing managers will grow by 10% from 2021-2031, faster than the national average for all jobs during this time. Marketing managers brought in a median wage of $140,040 in 2022.
BS in Supply Chain Management
Supply chain woes during the COVID-19 pandemic cost companies billions and spotlighted a growing need for experts in supply chain management. Factory shutdowns, transport issues, and unpredictable weather create a complicated web of issues that supply chain experts like logisticians, transportation managers, and analysts navigate in order to keep companies afloat, and a degree in supply chain management can prepare students for that burgeoning field.
The BLS projects that jobs for logisticians will see grow by 28% over the next decade, much faster than the average rate of growth across all occupations. Logisticians work across industries in a highly competitive and fast-paced environment.
Types of Graduate Degrees in Business
Featured Online Business Master's Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The master of business administration (MBA) has long been the gold standard for career advancement in business education. Many degree programs offer a wide range of concentrations, including in high-demand areas like artificial intelligence and sustainability. These programs also often come in a range of flexible formats to allow working professionals to take advantage of the degree.
The MBA core curriculum usually covers the fundamentals of business across multiple disciplines, including finance, marketing, leadership and management, business ethics, and other topics to prepare students to step into managerial positions.
MBAs often come with a hefty price tag, but earning an MBA can boost salaries by as much as 50%. However, it can take time to see your return on investment.
Master's in Management (MIM)
A newer degree program that is typically geared toward younger professionals, a master's in management aims to prepare students broadly for managerial positions and features an intensive curriculum based on leadership and organizational management.
Master of management students can go on to become general managers, managerial positions in business, store managers, and operations managers, or pursue other common jobs. The project management-focused curriculum also sometimes includes concentrations similar to MBA programs, allowing students to focus on a specific area like human resources.
Master of Data Analytics
The BLS projects meteoric job growth as companies use an ever-growing trove of data to make key decisions, and earning a data-related master's degree can lead to a wide range of specialized, future-proof jobs.
Concentrations in the data science and data analytics graduate field include data acquisition and management, security, business applications, computation intelligence, and other areas that equip students to help businesses and other organizations with data management. Courses typically cover relevant topics like machine learning and language processing, preparing students to take advantage of another rapidly growing field: artificial intelligence.
Master of Accounting
Master's in accounting programs help prepare students to step into leadership roles in the accounting field, including as managers of financial information systems who help businesses ensure they are spending their money efficiently or forensic accountants who help audit and track the flow of money for legal proceedings. Corporations often engage with accounting graduate students before they finish their programs, leading to an easy pathway from graduate school to full-time employment.
As with other graduate programs, students can often choose a concentration to hone their skills in a specific area. Taxation, auditing, forensics, management, and international accounting are all common concentrations that can prepare students for a wide range of fields. General master's level courses tend to touch on all of those topics and also cover leadership-related issues like managerial economics, financial management, and business law.
Master of Finance
A master of finance degree can help students land financial leadership positions — and with the BLS projecting the need for financial managers to grow by 17% from 2021-2031, students will likely have good job prospects upon completing their program.
Courses in a master of finance degree program typically include risk management, financial accounting, communications, and financial management. The degree mixes business acumen with financial know-how to prepare students to take charge and lead an organization's financial efforts. The degree can open doors beyond financial management, including to jobs as financial examiners and analysts, financial advisors, and consultants.
Master of Human Resources
A master's degree in human resources can boost career prospects and salaries to help students attain managerial roles in the field like compensation and benefits manager, human resources manager, and training and development manager. All of these jobs earned a median salary of more than $100,000 per year in 2021, according to the BLS.
Students in human resource management graduate programs can focus on information systems, training and development, recruitment, compensation and benefits, or other specializations that can help them boost their skills and prepare them for a specific field. Courses often include organizational culture, leadership, and human resources strategy.
Master of Supply Chain Management
The boom in supply chain management jobs also includes logistical management and leadership roles, and a master's degree in supply chain management can help prepare students to step into those top-level jobs.
The majority of job seekers in the supply chain management field found employment within three months, according to the Association of Supply Chain Management, and an increased education meant better pay in that field. People with a master's degree in supply chain management earned $113,300 on average compared to $92,147 for those with a bachelor's degree.
Doctor of Business Administration
The postgraduate doctoral business administration (DBA) programs can open doors for graduates both as top-level executives and as educators. A DBA degree is usually geared toward students who have already completed a master's degree and worked in their field for years.
Foundational courses usually cover business strategy, organization theory, analysis, and other high-level courses to help students get a better grasp of not only how businesses function, but the fundamentals of organizations themselves. The time it takes to complete the terminal degree can vary but usually takes around three years.
Similar to an MBA program, students can concentrate in a wide variety of fields, including finance, human resources, accounting, management, and other industry-specific areas. A DBA can lead to both professorial positions at universities and top consulting and executive positions in the private sector.