Earning a business management degree builds valuable skills in management, finance, and marketing, preparing graduates for multiple positions in the business sector. Candidates with business degrees also benefit from a growing and lucrative job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that management analyst positions will grow 14% by 2026; it also finds that sales managers earn a median salary of over $120,000. With so many opportunities available, earning a business management degree helps graduates take their career to the next level.
Business management students use their training in operations management, human resources, financial analysis, and business strategy to advance their careers. This article walks through how to choose the best business degree for your interests and career goals, how to locate the top business degree schools, and how to use the tools business students need to succeed in the job market after graduation.
Should I Get a Bachelor's in Business Management?
A business management degree helps graduates gain positions in sales, marketing, finance, and human relations. These growing fields provide opportunities for career advancement and offer above-average salaries. Prospective business students benefit from the ability to complete their business degrees in person or online. An on-campus bachelor's may appeal to students moving directly from high school into college, while an online program benefits working professionals, learners planning a career change, and students with family obligations. With either option, professionals with a business management degree expand their career opportunities.
While earning a business degree, students build valuable skills that transfer to the job market. These include management training, analytical skills, and business strategy knowledge. Business programs often provide concentrations for students who want to expand their abilities in a subfield such as finance or accounting. While completing the business curriculum, students benefit from networking opportunities through professional organizations and student groups, and many business programs also help students secure internships and provide job placement assistance.
After graduation, a business management degree prepares graduates for a variety of positions. In many sectors, candidates without a bachelor's degree cannot compete for the most desirable jobs, so earning a business degree helps applicants stand out and demonstrate their value. Professionals considering a certification to increase earning potential also benefit from holding business degrees. For example, the Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that project managers who earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification earn 20% more than non-certified project managers.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Business Management?
As a versatile degree, a bachelor's in business management prepares graduates for a variety of career paths. Business graduates work in accounting, sales, finance, and marketing, holding positions as managers and analysts. In many of these fields, a bachelor's degree in business management qualifies candidates for entry-level positions. After gaining work experience or earning an advanced degree, professionals can increase their career opportunities and salary potential. Workers in this field often earn high salaries, with sales managers and marketing managers earning a median salary of over $100,000 a year.
Accountants prepare financial records, including personal and business tax records. They review financial records to ensure their accuracy and oversee financial operations for businesses. A bachelor's degree in business with a concentration in accounting prepares candidates for many entry-level accountant jobs. At the higher levels, professionals with a master's can become CPAs.
Median Annual Salary: $69,350
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Sales Manager
Sales managers oversee, train, and organize a team of sales representatives for their company. They design training programs and analyze data to set sales goals, and many sales managers travel to represent their company or meet clients. A bachelor's degree plus work experience qualifies professionals to work as sales managers.
Median Annual Salary: $121,060
Projected Growth Rate: 7%
- Management Analyst
Management analysts research an organization's structure and create plans to improve its efficiency. Also called management consultants, these professionals advise managers on how to reduce costs, increase revenues, and increase profitability. A bachelor's degree in business prepares professionals for entry-level positions in this field.
Median Annual Salary: $82,450
Projected Growth Rate: 14%
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers design and direct marketing plans for their company, including developing pricing strategies, overseeing product trends, and performing competitor research. The position may require several years of work experience in marketing, and some companies may require an MBA.
Median Annual Salary: $129,380
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts work for both businesses and individuals, analyzing their investment decisions. They provide advice on investing in stocks and bonds and measure the historical performance of investments while projecting future growth. Business majors with a concentration in finance qualify for entry-level positions.
Median Annual Salary: $84,300
Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Best States for Business Majors
A business education does not end once a college diploma is in hand. In fact, in many ways, the real business education begins when students leave the classroom and head out into the world. First-rate business schools exist in virtually every state, but not all states possess the necessary structures in place to support the professional growth of business majors. States with an overall stable economy and progressive business environment offer business graduates the most opportunities for professional advancement.
Business remains one of the most popular majors in colleges and universities across the country. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, of the 1,895,000 bachelor's degrees awarded for the 2014-2015 school year, 364,000 -- roughly 20% -- were business degrees. As the U.S. economy recovers from the most recent economic downturn that resulted in double-digit unemployment levels in several states, the nation is 'back in business,' so to speak, and business majors have healthy job prospects once they graduate.
Read on for more information about the best states for business majors.
The following three lists helped rank the states in this guide: U.S. News and World Report Economy Rankings, Forbes Best States for Business, and U.S. News & World Report Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings. This guide begins with the states ranked as having the best economic conditions overall since a stable, inclusive, and growth-oriented economy promotes business development and creates a business climate conducive to success. If a state appears in the first two lists and also possess at least one undergraduate business school highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, it made the cut.
Among the states included in the Forbes list of the best states in America for doing business, Colorado ranks eighth overall, but it tops the list when it comes to labor supply. In addition, close to 40% of the state's labor force attained some level of college education, which makes the state an attractive option for multiple kinds of businesses. This provides business graduates with plenty of opportunities to apply the principles and theories learned in the classroom in real-world business situations.
Colorado’s booming tourism industry -- worth $19.7 billion in 2016 alone -- also benefits business students majoring in hotel and tourism. Colorado also boasts a growing technology sector, in addition to its more traditional industries like agriculture and livestock. U.S. News & World Report includes two Colorado universities in its roster of the top undergraduate business schools in the country -- the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The largest recent job increases in Utah's economy come from three main sectors -- professional and business services, healthcare, and construction. Tourism also continues to grow, especially with the construction of the one of the country's largest ski resorts, Park City Mountain Resort. Additionally, Utah’s unemployment rate remains at 3.1%, which is below the national average of 4.1%. With energy costs at 16% below the national average, many Utah companies pay lower energy bills than their counterparts in other states.
With low unemployment rates and an expanding economy, business degree holders face a growing job market, whether looking to start their own business or work for one of the many businesses relocating or putting down stakes in the Beehive State. U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best undergraduate business schools in the country includes Brigham Young University, Utah's most notable institution of higher learning, and University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business.
The Evergreen State birthed several innovative and enduring companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, and Starbucks. Between the years 2014 and 2016, venture capitalists poured more than $4.6 billion into state coffers to fund a variety of Washington start ups. In addition, Washington's energy costs fall 27% below the national average, the lowest in the nation, and its coastal location contributes to the dominant role it plays in the export industry.
Forbes ranks Washington as the 11th most business friendly state. Taken altogether, these factors secure Washington's hold as the third best economy in the country today, making it an ideal location for business degree holders to begin their career in the field. U.S. News & World Report includes the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in its list of top undergraduate business programs.
California's $2.6 trillion economy represents 14% of the total economy of the United States. In the past three years, the Golden State received more than $110 billion in venture capital, the highest among all states. In addition to sustaining a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, California hosts the central hub of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. Real estate and the computer and electronic products manufacturing industries further boost the state's economy.
Forbes ranks California as having the second-best economic climate in the country and the third highest growth prospects. Business graduates can revel in plenty of career options for diverse professional fields. Seven California colleges made it to the U.S. News & World Report list of best undergraduate business schools, including University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business and the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.
Florida's economy continues to trend toward the positive, with the housing crisis that crushed its economy between 2006 and 2011 a distant memory. Forbes ranks the Sunshine State as the seventh best state in the country for doing business and gives it the top slot for job growth prospects. Business majors can find plenty of career opportunities in Florida, especially in the hotel and tourism industry, which contributes nearly 10% to the state's gross domestic product.
Florida's agriculture sector also continues to thrive with two-thirds of the country's supply of oranges coming from the state's citrus groves. Additional boons to the state include a workforce of 10 million people, a 3.8% unemployment rate, and no personal income tax. The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida made it on to the U.S. News & World Report list of schools with noteworthy undergraduate business programs.
Business majors, especially those with a concentration in international business, can find several excellent opportunities to apply their business acumen in Oregon, a trade-dependent state whose exports exceed $18 billion annually. Domestic trade with other states remains robust as well, giving business degree holders plenty of prospects for professional growth.
In addition to robust agriculture, fishing, and timber industries, the Beaver State's technology sector is booming. Oregon also ranks as one of the top five states in the country for job growth. U.S. News & World Report includes the undergraduate business program at University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business in its list.
Everything's bigger in Texas, including its economy, which totals $1.6 trillion annually. The Lone Star State ranks eighth in the U.S. News & World Report on state economies and second for the Forbes list of the most business friendly states. Texas also hosts some of the largest companies in the country, including AT&T, Dell, and Exxon.
The combination of low taxes and light business regulations attracts profitable businesses to the state. As a result, business graduates face several options as they begin their professional journey and can look forward to a long-term career in Texas due to the state's strong economy and business friendly statutes. According to U.S. News & World Report, six Texas universities offer some of the best undergraduate business programs in the country, including the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas Austin.
With dozens of colleges and universities all over the state, it is little wonder that 42.7% of Massachusetts residents hold a bachelor's degree. Thanks in part to the state's highly educated labor force, Massachusetts attracts an enormous amount of venture capital money, ranking third in the country behind California and New York.
The state's economy benefits from revenues generated by the education and health services fields, in addition to an expanding manufacturing industry, most notably in the technology sector. This diverse economic base provides business majors with sufficient career options as they begin their professional life. According to U.S. News & World Report, the Sloan School of Management at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers the second top undergraduate business program in the country.
Delaware's economy still relies heavily on the chemical manufacturing industry. DuPont, one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the world, began operation in the First State in 1802. Drawn to the state because of its low taxes and favorable tax laws for corporations, several pharmaceutical companies station their headquarters in Delaware.
The agricultural sector of Delaware contributes as much as $8 billion a year to the state's economy and the state also holds the third highest concentration of IT jobs in the country. Supporting a relatively wide economic base for a small state, Delaware offers business majors a variety of industries where they can begin their career. U.S. News & World Report includes University of Delaware Lerner Business & Economics in its list of universities with an excellent undergraduate business program.
The Volunteer State works hard to create a business friendly environment by keeping the cost of doing business low, 4.5% below the national average. As a result, new business filings of non-agricultural, for-profit companies continue to increase and Tennessee's unemployment rate remains below the national level. Tourism, manufacturing, mining, and construction drive the state's economy forward.
Business degree holders beginning their professional life in the state benefit from a variety of opportunities to grow their career in a state with the fifth best economic climate in the country, as reported by Forbes. According to U.S. News & World Report, the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville offers an exceptional undergraduate business program.
Georgia's pro-business tax climate continues to attract companies to the state, and it is not unusual to see startups setting up offices near long-time Georgia corporations like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS. Moreover, the cost of doing business in the Peach State is 1.8% below the national average, a factor that only bolsters the state's reputation as a business friendly state.
A growing film industry generated $9.5 billion in 2017, making Georgia the third most popular filming location in the United States. Whether students want to start a business career in a small startup company, work for an established international conglomerate, or jump into the business end of the entertainment industry, Georgia warrants exploration for business majors. According to U.S. News & World Report, Emory University's Goizueta Business School offers students a top-notch undergraduate business program.
In the last five years, South Carolina experienced a surge of migration, making its net migration rate the fifth highest in the country for that time period. The state provides a variety of incentives attractive to U.S. companies and foreign investment, including the cost of doing business in the Palmetto State at 2.6% below the national average. South Carolina welcomed not only new residents in recent years, but a steady influx of tourists as well.
Tourism has grown into a $19.1 billion industry with well known tourist attractions like Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach now considered top East Coast vacation destinations. Business majors can expect to enter a professional arena that offers jobs in international business, tourism, and manufacturing. The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina offers an undergraduate business program that made it onto U.S. News & World Report's list.
Arizona's overall economic outlook for the next five years remains positive as the state builds on the gains it made since coming out of the recession. The Grand Canyon State attracts large international companies like Amazon, Infosys, and Deloitte by offering a corporate tax rate of 4.9% -- one of the lowest in the country. Additionally, Arizona does not impose franchise, business inventory, or estate taxes.
Arizona also ranks sixth among states that generated the highest number of new businesses for the years 2015-2017. This bodes well for business majors who plan to begin their entrepreneurial career in the state. U.S. News & World Report includes two Arizona universities in its roster of institutions offering top-tier undergraduate business programs -- the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Iowa remains primarily an agricultural state, but recently diversified its economic base to include a range of industries such as biotechnology, financial services, food processing, and manufacturing. Iowa offers companies an educated labor force, with the fourth highest high school graduation rate in the country at 91.8%. Two-thirds of Iowa’s high school graduates continue on to secondary education. Doing business in the Hawkeye State costs almost 11% below the national average.
The state works hard to cultivate a business environment that places it in the top 10% of states with business friendly regulations. All these factors work in favor of business graduates looking for a way to pursue professional growth and career advancement without having to live in a big city. Iowa offers two schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report: Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa and Ivy College of Business at the Iowa State University.
North Carolina's economy once relied heavily on three products: furniture, tobacco, and cotton. These days, however, the state draws revenues from diverse industries including banking, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and technology. Buoyed by a firmly placed, top-caliber higher education system, much of North Carolina's labor force consists of white-collar workers attracted to the professional opportunities at North Carolina's Research Triangle Park.
More than 200 companies maintain an active presence at this facility, each one is an excellent place to begin a career in business. In addition to a well-educated workforce, labor costs in the Tar Heel State stands as the fifth lowest in the country and 10% below the national average. U.S. News & World Report includes the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina in its list of colleges offering the top undergraduate business programs in the country. Wake Forest University, a private institution, also made the list.
The quality of life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes attracts not only people to the state, but corporations as well. Healthcare accounts for the largest percentage of employment, followed by manufacturing and retail trade. Target, 3M, and General Mills all call Minnesota home. Roughly 35% of Minnesota's population attained some level of college education. In addition, the state is second only to its neighbor, North Dakota, in terms of labor force participation.
The quality of life and its educated, hardworking laborers place Minnesota in the 13th spot in the Forbes list of best states for business; which means business graduates can not only find plenty of career options, but also can enjoy a healthy life-work balance. The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota offers an undergraduate business program that made it to U.S. News & World Report list.
Businesses in the Cornhusker State shoulder 8% lower business costs than their counterparts. Nebraska also has a business friendly regulatory environment, making it the fourth best state in the U.S. for business. With a little over 30% of Nebraska's labor force holding a bachelor's degree and a 2.8% unemployment rate, Nebraska ranks sixth overall in the quality of life category, as reported by Forbes. Omaha, Nebraska is home to Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet's iconic company; InfoUSA, a sales and marketing solutions company; and TD Ameritrade, an online brokerage firm.
Three main products -- corn, beef, and ethanol -- contribute billions of dollars each year to Nebraska's economy. A business friendly environment, a low unemployment rate, and a diverse economy means business graduates face several excellent opportunities as they begin careers in Nebraska. The College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a well-rounded undergraduate business program, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Michigan's economic past is closely linked to the birth of the country's car industry. Henry Ford established Ford Motors in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1903, a company that would dominate America's car manufacturing industry -- and the state's economy -- for years to come. A more diversified Michigan economy includes trade, professional and business services, healthcare, and education sectors that outrank manufacturing in terms of contribution to state coffers.
The Wolverine State continues to recover from the most recent recession and at 4.5%, its unemployment rate is just slightly higher than the national average. To entice businesses to move to the state, Michigan repealed its business tax. Business graduates can find a reinvigorated and business friendly climate in Michigan where state incentives and tax breaks serve to improve not only the economy, but also career prospects. According to U.S. News & World Report, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business offers an undergraduate business program that ranks among the best in the country.
Although labor and business costs are high, Maryland attracts investments and companies by offering an educated workforce. At close to 39%, the state's college attainment rate is the third highest in the country. Maryland ranks high among the states for entrepreneurial business growth. The state has a $57.4 billion military industry. With more than 60 federal agencies, Maryland possesses the fourth largest percentage of federal workers in part thanks to its prime location with easy accessibility to District of Columbia.
Business degree holders have options to set up their own business after graduation, work on the business end the federal government, or for Fortune 500 companies, like Lockheed Martin and Marriott International. The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland offers an undergraduate business program included on the U.S. News & World Report list.
The cost of doing business in the Hoosier State is 8% lower than the national average. Additionally, Forbes ranks Indiana's regulatory environment as the best in the country and gives it the 10th spot on its list of the best states for business. The state continues to lower its business income tax each year bringing it down from 8.5% in 2012 to the current rate of 5.75% in 2018.
These factors indicate that Indiana is serious about attracting new businesses to the state and encouraging its business residents to expand their operations. Business graduates who begin their careers working for Indiana companies benefit from the economic and business incentives from the state. Two universities -- Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame -- made it to U.S. News & World Report as offering exceptional undergraduate programs in business.
Virginia's business numbers remain high. Forbes ranks the state as the third and second best in the country in terms of labor supply and regulatory environment, respectively. These two factors play an important role in business development. A diverse business base further buoys Virginia's economy. In addition to federal jobs, with the U.S. government as the state's leading employer, employment opportunities abound in the technology, agriculture, and military and defense industries.
Virginia's 2.9% unemployment rate is the ninth lowest in the country. Business majors benefit from a wide range of career options in a state that also provides plenty of recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities. Virginia has five schools that made it the U.S. News & World Report list of best undergraduate business programs, including University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
Ohio's current top 14 ranking in the Forbes Best States for Business list can be accredited to its revitalized manufacturing and financial services sectors. The revenues generated by these two industries make up the majority of Ohio's $626 billion GNP. Moreover, the cost of doing business in the Buckeye State falls 4.4% below the national average, a fact that likely contributed to the decision of several established corporations to headquarter their businesses in the state. These companies include Kroger, Macy's, and manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble.
Business majors can find supportive regulations in place for their own careers in a state experiencing a major economic upturn. U.S. News & World Report includes two Ohio universities with undergraduate business programs worth exploring -- the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University.
Missouri cultivates a business friendly regulatory environment and maintains the cost of doing business at 4.1% below the national average. Its 3.8% unemployment rate sits just below the national average of 4.1%, but the Show Me State's labor participation rate of 65.8% is higher than the 62.8% national average. Labor participation rate refers to an economy's active labor force. Missouri's high rate means its workers invest themselves in contributing to the economy.
In addition, roughly 29% of Missouri's population hold a bachelor's degree, providing industries not only with an educated and motivated workforce. Missouri's economy continues its upward climb led by the healthcare, professional services, and construction industries. U.S. News & World Report includes University of Missouri's Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business in its list of the best undergraduate business programs in the country.
Pennsylvania contributes roughly $719 billion to the U.S. economy in a year, just behind California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. The state's traditional industrial and agricultural industries continue to fuel its economic advancement, while the snack, specialty foods, and confectionery sales total over $5.1 billion annually. Pennsylvania businesses also pay 5.4% lower business costs than the national average and benefit from a highly educated labor force; almost 30% of Pennsylvania's population possess some level of secondary education.
Enterprising business majors have many chances to participate in the continuing economic growth of Pennsylvania in terms of employment or setting up their own businesses in a business friendly environment. Six Pennsylvania institutions made it on to U.S. News & World Report of colleges and universities offering quality undergraduate business programs. This includes The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Six major industries fuel New York's $1.5 trillion economy: financial services, healthcare, professional and technical services, retail, manufacturing, and educational services. Although the state does not rank high in any of the typical markers for a business friendly state, it nevertheless continues to attract top corporations. About 11% of the 1,000 largest companies in the country have a New York State address.
These companies are drawn to the state, less by tax breaks and business friendly regulations, and more so hold interest in the deep talent pool of educated workers. Around 35% of the New York labor force possess some college education. Business majors with a concentration in accounting, banking, or finance can find a wide variety of career options in New York. New York has eight schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report with stellar undergraduate business programs. New York University's Stern School of Business tops this list.
How to Choose a Bachelor's in Business Management Program
Choosing the right bachelor's in business management program shapes a student's entire professional career. With so many available business degree programs, prospective students may feel overwhelmed by the process. By researching key factors, such as the program length, the cost, and the location, students can choose the best business degree program for their career goals and interests.
Many students start their search for a business program by considering costs and location. In-state, public schools charge the lowest tuition, followed by out-of-state public schools and private schools. However, prospective students must consider tuition discounts for online students and scholarship opportunities when choosing a program. Some students may not want to relocate to earn a degree. In these cases, students benefit from the flexibility and affordability of an online business degree. Most programs let students complete internships locally, meaning students can earn a top business degree from the best programs in the country without relocating.
Prospective students need to research the degree requirements, curriculum, and specializations when considering business programs. Some schools list degree requirements that add to the length of the program, while other schools provide accelerated options. Students with transfer credits can check a program's curriculum to see whether their credits meet graduation requirements. Transfer students can also contact an admissions advisor for a transcript review.
During the research process, students need to learn about a program's available specializations. Many business majors specialize in an area such as accounting, finance, or marketing, and programs that do not offer a particular concentration may not serve as a good fit. Finally, prospective students always need to check a program's accreditation status.
Programmatic Accreditation for Bachelor's in Business Management Programs
Unlike regional or national accreditation, which reviews an entire college or university, programmatic accrediting agencies specialize in one field, such as business, education, or social work. In business education, programmatic accrediting agencies evaluate business schools to ensure that they meet the highest educational standards. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. First, accredited programs grant credits that transfer to other schools. Second, some MBA programs only accept undergraduate degrees from accredited institutions, so students considering a graduate degree need an accredited bachelor's degree in business. Finally, accredited programs meet the requirements for certifications, which benefit professionals in the job market.
In business, three accrediting agencies confer programmatic accreditation: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Prospective students should only consider attending programs accredited by one of these three agencies.
Bachelor's in Business Management Program Admissions
Earning a bachelor's in business management starts with the admissions process. In most cases, students must gain admission to the college or university that grants the degree. Prospective students must meet any prerequisites, such as GPA minimums, and put together their admissions materials, including test scores. Compared with on-campus programs, online programs may require additional materials such as more letters of recommendation or a statement of purpose.
By researching the admissions process for each prospective school, students can narrow their choices. For example, students may eliminate either programs where they do not meet the prerequisites or schools with strict transfer credit policies. Prospective students may also consider application fees when deciding whether to apply to particular programs. Some online schools waive the application fee, and students can also apply for a fee waiver.
- Minimum GPA: Some programs set a minimum GPA for full admissions, which may go as high as a 3.0. However, many offer provisional admissions to students who do not meet the minimum GPA. Schools may also consider candidates with lower GPAs who earn high test scores.
- Application: Most colleges and universities provide an online application for prospective students that asks about the applicant's educational background and experience. Students can use CommonApp to apply to over 700 different colleges with one application.
- Transcripts: Students need to submit high school transcripts and any college transcripts when applying for admission. Many schools waive the high school transcript requirement for transfer students. Schools may use these transcripts to award transfer credits.
- Letters of Recommendation: Many colleges require two or three letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant's academic and personal qualifications. Students should give their recommendation writers about a month's notice.
- Test Scores:Most schools require either SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admissions. Potential business students can research the average test scores for admitted students at their target schools. Schools may waive the test score requirement for transfer students.
- Application Fee: College application fees may reach as high as $90 for a single school. However, applicants can apply for a fee waiver if they meet income eligibility guidelines. Some colleges charge no application fee.
What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Business Management Program?
Before enrolling in a business management program, prospective students need to research the program's length, curriculum, and available concentrations. Students earning a bachelor's in business management can strengthen their career prospects by concentrating in a field such as finance, marketing, or accounting. Earning a certification can also help business management graduates in the job market.
|Management||A management concentration in a business management major emphasizes labor relations, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. Students take several specialized management courses beyond the general business courses required for the degree, with a focus on management theory and techniques. Graduates may later earn an MBA.||Sales representative; management analyst; sales manager|
|Finance||Business management majors who concentrate in finance complete additional courses in investment strategy, advanced financial management, and portfolio management. These courses provide a foundational background in finance and the principles of financial management.||Financial analyst; financial manager|
|Accounting||Business students considering a career in accounting benefit from this concentration; they complete courses in financial reporting, cost accounting, and auditing. Students may also study federal income taxation, with an emphasis both on personal and business taxes.||Accounting manager; operations manager|
|Marketing||A concentration in marketing prepares business management majors for careers in advertising, sales, and marketing. Students take courses in marketing research, sales management techniques, and consumer behavior. These courses prepare graduates for careers in marketing or for a graduate degree in marketing or an MBA with a marketing focus.||Marketing manager; marketing analyst; sales manager|
|Information Systems||Business management students can concentrate in information systems and learn how to manage, develop, and use information systems to streamline an organization's processes. This concentration focuses on technology and bridges fields such as operations, management, and project management.||Information systems analyst; information systems manager|
Courses in a Bachelor's in Business Management Program
Each business management program designs its own curriculum and concentrations. However, many offer courses from the sample curriculum listed below. These classes provide foundational knowledge in business management and prepare graduates for careers in business.
- Introduction to Business Management
Introductory courses provide foundational knowledge in business, the economy, and management. Students examine organizations, management strategies, and managerial decision making. They analyze the formulation and implementation of business strategies and learn about case studies in the field. Regardless of their concentration, most business management majors take this course.
- Business Communications
Introductory courses may also include business communications, which emphasize effective communications in a business setting. This course covers written and oral communications, with an emphasis on team projects.
- Operations Management
Classes in operations management introduce students to an overview of business environments, structural problems in operations, operations management, and operations solutions. Students gain an understanding of the design and delivery of goods and services, including systematic planning and processes in various industries.
- Business Strategy
Business strategy typically serves as an upper-level course that allows business management majors to apply their knowledge of business to strategic decision making. The course may cover both domestic and international business, analyzing competitive strategies and examining the decision-making process. The class may incorporate case studies, simulations, and group projects.
Many business management programs include a course in entrepreneurship, which often counts as an elective. The class applies fundamental business knowledge to the design and implementation of new business ventures. Students gain theoretical understandings of entrepreneurship and may work in teams to design a business development plan for a start-up company.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in Business Management?
Typically, a bachelor's degree in business management requires 120 credits and takes four years of full-time study. However, some programs may take more than four years based on their course requirements and schedule. Internships, for example, may add time to the degree, and schools may only offer certain courses once.
Students may finish a bachelor's degree in less time by transferring credits or enrolling in a bachelor's program with an associate degree in business management. Transfer students may complete a bachelor's degree in as little as one year, depending on the school's transfer credit policies. Some programs also offer accelerated options that allow students to complete credit requirements faster. Prospective students can also earn a degree part time while working, which extends the length of time to degree.
How Much Is a Bachelor's in Business Management?
The cost of a bachelor's degree in business management varies depending on the institution. In general, in-state, public schools charge the lowest tuition, averaging $9,970 a year according to College Board. Out-of-state public institution tuition averages over $25,000 a year, by comparison -- with private schools typically charging the highest tuition rates. Some institutions offer tuition discounts for online students, which can help business management majors save money.
Students can bring down the cost of a bachelor's degree either by applying for scholarships and grants or by limiting extra costs such as commuting and parking. When comparing programs, prospective students should also consider any additional fees or technology costs that may add to the pricetag. Financial aid packages can help students afford the cost of a business management degree.
Completing credits at a community college before transferring into a bachelor's program also saves money. Community colleges typically charge lower tuition rates than four-year colleges. For example, in-state, two-year colleges charged an average tuition rate of $3,570 according to College Board. However, students considering this route should make sure that their credits transfer to a bachelor's program before enrolling.
Certifications and Licenses a Bachelor's in Business Management Prepares For
- Certified Public Accountant
Business management graduates who specialize in accounting may plan to become a CPA. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (APICS), which offers the certification, reports that CPAs earn 10% more than non-certified accounting professionals. The certification requires a master's degree plus additional graduate-level coursework, and applicants must pass a four-part CPA exam.
- APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional
Business management students specializing in operations management or supply chain management may benefit from the CSCP designation. Certification holders must pass an exam and meet continuing education guidelines. A bachelor's degree meets the educational and experience requirements.
- Project Management Professional
Project managers may choose to complete the PMP certification, and a bachelor's in business administration meets the educational requirements. Candidates must pass an examination and pay between $400-$550 in fees. However, PMI, which offers the certification, reports that certified PMPs earn 20% more than non-certified project managers.
- Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional
Business management students who concentrate in human resources benefit from the SHRM-CP certification. A bachelor's in business management plus one year working in HR meets the educational and experience requirements, and candidates must also pass a four-hour exam. Students currently earning a bachelor's degree can also take the exam if their degree meets the eligibility standards.
Resources for Business Management Students
PMI offers certifications in project management and related fields, which help business management graduates stand out in the job market. PMI offers provides events, training, and resources for project managers.
A data collection site dedicated to entrepreneurship, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor creates reports and provides information on entrepreneurship.
Zonta International offers a scholarship for women earning a degree in business who hold membership at their local chapter. The organization has awarded over $1.2 million in scholarships.
Business management students benefit from networking opportunities. While joining professional organizations helps students build a network, maintaining a current LinkedIn page while in school helps graduates find jobs.
Run by the federal government, the SBA gives loans and other financial support to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The organization also offers counseling and support to small business owners.
Professional Organizations in Business Management
Professional organizations help students build their networks before they graduate and start looking for jobs. These organizations provide opportunities to connect with business management professionals, offer professional development resources, and hold annual conferences. Many also offer career services, job boards, and scholarship opportunities geared toward students. By joining professional organizations, students gain an advantage when they enter the job market.
The AMA provides professional development resources for business students and managers. The association offers webcasts, seminars, and research for members, and also hosts conferences for networking opportunities.
A professional organization geared for students, FBLA-PBL calls itself the largest student business organization in the world. With over 500 chapters for college students, the organization helps students build a professional network during a business management program.
Business management students concentrating in entrepreneurship or planning venture initiatives benefit from the EO. The organization provides professional development resources for its global network of members.
In concert with the International Council for Small Business, the USASBE focuses on entrepreneurship at the small-business level. The association provides educational resources, research, and networking opportunities.
The AFA promotes economics through a scholarly journal, an annual meeting, and events. For business management students concentrating in finance, the association provides a careers board with job postings.