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What Can You Do With A Business Degree?

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Whether you've dreamed of starting your own company or want to help businesses grow as a financial advisor, market research analyst or marketing manager, a business degree can give you the foundation to see yourself succeed in the business world.

In today's competitive economy, when many employees are entering the workforce with bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, a business degree or international business degree can help you stand out and prepare you for many career opportunities.

Is Business a Good Major?

A 2017 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that business degree holders were in high demand among employers surveyed, with 59.7% of employers saying they'd hire a job seeker with a business administration or management degree. Job growth is expected to be strong for many business fields, from business analysis to marketing, operations, management and accounting, as more and more businesses expand their work into the global market.

How Much Do Business Majors Make?

Salary potential for business degree holders is also strong: workers with a bachelor's degree in business earned a median salary of $67,000 in 2016, while workers with a master's degree in business earned a median salary of $89,000, according to a study from George Washington University.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Business Degree?

Want to start your own career in business? Learn more about what you can do with a business degree and how to gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in one of these in-demand jobs:

  • Financial Analyst - As a financial analyst, you can help companies and organizations make smart business and investment decisions by evaluating financial data and studying economic trends. As the economy continues to grow and global business opportunities increase, financial analysts will be needed to evaluate investment opportunities when businesses are established or expanded.  BLS data forecasts that employment of financial analysts will grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the national average. Financial analysts earned a median salary of $84,300 in 2017, as reported by BLS.
  • Market Research Analyst - Market research analysts work to determine a company's position in the marketplace by researching competitors, product demand and pricing. As a market research analyst you can forecast marketing and sales trends and collect data to measure the effectiveness of business strategies. As businesses increasingly use consumer behavior data to increase sales and cut costs, market research analysts will be in high demand. According to BLS data, market research analyst jobs are projected to grow 23% from 2016 to 2023, significantly faster than the national average. Salaries for market research analysts are also strong, BLS details, with a median salary of $63,230 in 2017. 
  • Sales Manager - As a sales manager for a retail or business-to-business organization, you'll direct the distribution of goods and services, set sales goals and analyze statistics to manage inventory and identify new markets. Sales managers are also responsible for hiring and training new sales staff. Effective sales teams are critical to a company's bottom line, and BLS data on sales managers predicts that their jobs will grow about 7% over the next several years - about as fast as the national average. BLS reports that sales managers earned a median salary of $121,060 in 2017. Many sales managers also earn money through commissions, with some earning as much as $77,000 annually, according to Payscale.
  • Marketing Manager - As a marketing manager you can help build a company's brand, boost sales and have a direct hand in helping the company grow. Marketing managers plan promotional campaigns, create advertisements and negotiate advertising contracts, and oversee the day-to-day management of social media, email marketing and website content. As new digital marketing opportunities become available and many businesses seek to expand into the global marketplace, marketing managers will continue to be in demand. BLS data predicts that marketing and promotions manager jobs are expected to grow about 10% by 2026.  Marketing managers earned a median salary of $106,130 in 2017, according to BLS data.
  • Human Resources and Compensation Manager - Human resource managers are an important connection between an organization's management and its employees. As a human resource manager you'll oversee employee recruitment, hiring and engagement, oversee employee benefits programs and mediate staff conflicts. Changing employment laws and regulations, as well as a growing use of technology in employee benefits management, will boost demand for experienced human resource managers. BLS data on human resource managers predicts that these jobs will grow about 9% by 2026, about as fast as the national average. Human resource managers earned a median salary of $110,120 in 2017, according to BLS.
  • Accountant - With a business degree in accounting, you can find work in a wide variety of industries, as an in-house account managing a single company's finances, working for the government or even working as a private accountant with your own firm. Accountants examine financial statements, review accounting systems for efficiency, ensure companies are complying with laws and regulations and suggest ways to reduce costs and boost revenue. BLS data predicts accountant jobs will grow about 10% by 2026, driven by globalization, a growing economy and a changing tax and regulatory environment. Accountants earned a median salary of $69,350 in 2017, according to BLS data.

What Can You Do with an International Business Degree?

As technology continues to advance and more business moves online, it is easier than ever for companies to expand their products and services to the global market. With a degree in international business, you'll be on track to join a fast-growing sector of the business world.

A 2017 survey by Wells Fargo bank found that 81% of U.S. companies expect their international business activity to grow. And according to a 2018 report from the World Bank, global economic growth will remain at 3.1% in 2018, helping to boost international business opportunities.

In an international business degree program, you'll explore international market analysis, global business development, international finance and ethical standards for international operations. International business jobs, such as those listed below, are in high demand and expected to grow as companies continue to expand into global markets.

  • International Operations Managers - International operations managers are responsible for coordinating facilities operations in multiple countries, and work with other high-level executives to plan long-term strategies for sales and growth. International operations managers earn a median salary of $68,449, according to Payscale.
  • International Marketing Managers -  International marketing managers help drive a business' international growth and build a company's brand around the world. International marketing managers earn a median salary of $71,008, Payscale data shows.
  • International Tax Managers - International tax managers are important members of a global business' financial team, ensuring that a business is in compliance with international tax law. Tax managers prepare and file tax forms and analyze tax regulations to maximize corporate profits. International tax managers earn a median salary of $111,773, in accordance with Payscale.

How to Get Started in a Business Career

If you want to get started in a rewarding career in business, enrolling in a business degree or international business degree program is an important first step. While there are many job opportunities available for workers with a bachelor's degree in business, completing a master's degree in business can help you earn top management positions.

In a business degree program, you'll explore principles such as management, marketing and data analysis, and gain key skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration and research skills. You'll also explore international business topics and explore the ethical, cultural and regulatory factors that impact businesses expanding to global markets. Selecting a specialization for your studies in an area of particular interest - such as finance, accounting or marketing - can help hone your skills even further.

With a business bachelor's degree or master's degree, you'll be well-prepared to enter the business world and find a rewarding career helping companies and organizations grow.

Heather Marr is a marketing and student recruitment specialist in higher education. Follow her on Twitter @Haf0577Marr or connect on LinkedIn

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