Earning your bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business administration can prepare you for a breadth of job opportunities in the field of business and finance. There are entry-level job roles for new graduates who have limited professional experience as well as mid-career and senior-level positions available to those with a background in business administration. This broad degree path, and the narrower sets of skills you learn in the area of concentration you choose, can equip you for an array of different job functions in the field of business, including analyst and management positions.
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Job Functions in the Business World
Each business school sets its own curriculum that includes different courses. However, students can expect all Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree programs to include core studies in each business subject. Every student in one of these programs will take foundational studies in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and management, because many business jobs from entry-level to senior-level involve one or more of these subjects of study. A business administration background could prepare you for a career as an accountant, a financial analyst, an advertising or marketing professional or a human resources specialist or generalist.
Which type of career you pursue will depend on your strengths and interests. Creative types may make excellent advertising agency professionals. If you think of yourself as a “people person,” the work of a human resources specialist may appeal to your interests in meeting new people and building relationships. Those who prefer to work with numbers might be more comfortable in a role such as accountant, financial examiner or financial advisor.
One benefit of a broad business administration program is that through your core courses, you can figure out which aspect of business you like. Most programs allow students to choose a specialization to develop further skills in an area of interest.
Analyst Jobs in Business and Finance
Success in business is all about strategy and measurable results, so it makes sense that so many jobs in business are analytical in nature. The typical level of education needed for each of these occupations is a bachelor’s degree, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Analysts that hold different job titles work in different job functions. For example, a market research analyst assesses the economic markets in which a company operates to understand the demand for a product or service, influencing the pricing structure and the target audience of marketing campaigns. Market research analysts make a median wage of $63,230, the BLS reported. Management analysts, on the other hand, are consultants who recommend changes to improve companies’ operations and productivity while reducing wasted time and money. Management analysts earn considerably more than market research analysts, with a median wage of $82,450, according to the BLS. In the business world, there are jobs that revolve around analyzing budgets, compensation and benefits programs and financial investment options.
Financial analyst is the most lucrative analyst role in business and finance, with an overall median annual salary of $84,300 and a six-figure median wage for the 24 percent of the occupation working in the industry of securities, commodity contracts, and investments.
Business Management Roles
There are times when we all wish we could be the boss, but if your visions of business leadership are more than a fleeting daydream, you will need considerable work experience and credentials to advance to managerial roles. A bachelor’s degree in business administration is an excellent place for ambitious business majors to start their career climb. Though not necessarily required, many managers in the business and finance industry will eventually go back to school to earn a graduate certificate or degree that will improve their opportunities for advancement. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is consistently popular.
Business management roles are coveted for many reasons. These positions afford business professionals a certain amount of prestige. Six-figure and near-six-figure median wages are common among business management careers. Advertising and marketing managers earn a median wage of $129,380, according to the BLS. Financial managers enjoy a $125,080 median salary. Next most lucrative are sales manager positions, for which the median wage is $121,060, and compensation and benefits manager roles, which see a median salary of $119,120. Human resources managers make a median wage of $110,120 per year.
If you rise all the way to the top, you could earn an exceptionally high salary. Chief executives such as chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and chief operating officers (COOs) earn a median salary of $183,270, the BLS reported.