Business careers can open a variety of doors for professionals looking to assert themselves in a field that makes the world function as it does.
Training for a career in business could be the best decision you ever make. Degrees in subjects like accounting, marketing, management and finance are among the most versatile options on the market, teaching skills that are relevant across multiple career fields and offering opportunities for aspiring professionals to get their foot in the door at different levels of education. These careers are also potentially among the most lucrative options to pursue. The average annual salaries for business and financial jobs are well above the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Because there are so many different types of business degrees, one of the biggest decisions future professionals have to make is choosing which major best aligns with their interests and goals. Luckily, there are many possible paths in the field. If you're ready to look at online colleges in business, great; if not, here are just a few options.
Popular degrees for business careers
This is one of the more common degrees earned in business school, but the careers to which its knowledge and skills translate take on a wide variety of titles. Here are just a few of the positions that may be available to graduates who earn Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees:
- Financial analyst
- Marketing manager
- Operations director
- Public relations specialist
- Organizational consultant
- Training and development specialist
- Event planner
- Business process lead
Because these degrees have such a wide range of applications in the enterprise world, many business administration schools divide their programs into specialized paths that focus on management, finance, human resources, technology, international business, nonprofit operations or other concentrations.
The ability to create accurate financial reports, provide in-house auditing services and assist in strategic number-crunching makes accounting one of the most valuable low-profile skill sets in the business world. Bookkeeping and financial analysis are necessary in private companies as well as nonprofit organizations, and professionals with degrees in accounting, bookkeeping and organizational finance are the industry's go-to personnel for such essential and sensitive tasks.
The accounting profession is also one of the largest in the business field, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a total of nearly 1.5 million accountants employed in 2012. Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, make up a large portion of that figure and typically have access to a wider range of employment prospects than accountants who stop short of earning the public credential. Master's degrees in accounting or MBAs with an accounting focus are also popular options for advancing an accounting career.
Marketing, or communicating the value of a product or service to the public, has been a part of business operations since the days of taking horse-drawn carts to market. Today's marketing profession encompasses both the actual and the virtual world, and it includes public-facing product activations, data gathering and analysis, digital information center maintenance and corporate identity management through social media.
Modern businesses understand the growing need for thorough and accurate marketing coverage, and candidates with formal degrees or extensive workplace experience in the discipline are becoming increasingly favored for the most desirable positions in the marketing field.
A wide world of business
Of course, business careers take many forms, and chances are good that you'll find a particular approach to business that's right for you. Take a tour around this hub, and learn more about the wide variety of occupations available to individuals with degrees in the world of business.
The average annual salaries for business and financial jobs are well above the national average.
1. Accountants and Auditors, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-6
2. May 2013 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
3. Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, 2014, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-overall/data