If you’d like to see the view from the top of the corporate ladder, a business management degree can help you get there. Business professionals in managerial roles in marketing, finance, sales and human resources often have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business management, as do many top executives. By learning the principles of effective leadership strategies and developing the soft skills that will help you build relationships and inspire your employees, students of business management programs prepare for successful careers in all kinds of senior-level career roles.

Advertising and Marketing Manager Jobs

One of the most lucrative management occupations in the field of business is advertising, promotions and marketing managers. The median annual salary for this supervisory role is $129,380, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Marketing managers oversee the creation of campaigns used to increase sales of a company’s goods or services. They manage the promotional programs themselves as well as the teams of workers who create the promotional campaign and materials. Some marketing is intended to increase sales to other business organizations, while other advertising focuses on selling directly to consumers.

For most advertising and marketing managers, the path into this advanced career includes years of work experience in a position such as public relations specialist, marketing specialist, sales representative or purchasing agent.

Sales Manager Positions

Sales may go hand-in-hand with advertising and marketing, in that they share the common goal of persuading consumers to buy an organization’s products or services. However, the skills and job duties of marketing and sales personnel differ. Sales managers supervise teams of sales representatives and evaluate their sales performance against the individual and team goals they have set. They are also responsible for training new sales representatives and may even have to develop the training materials and programs used to develop new talent.

The BLS reports a median annual wage of $121,060 for sales managers, but industry of employment has a significant impact on earning potential. The finance and insurance industry employs just nine percent of sales managers but offers a median wage of $152,590. Similarly, the professional, scientific and technical service industry employs 10 percent of the occupation but awards salaries of $143,210. For the retail trade industry, which accounts for 18 percent of the sales manager workforce, the median annual wage is considerably lower at $89,380. Often, these total wages include some combination of salary pay, commissions and bonuses.

Unlike many other business management roles, which prefer candidates to have a minimum of five years of work experience, the experience requirement for most sales’ manager jobs is in the category of one to five years, the BLS reported.

Financial Manager Roles

Financial managers go by many names. Controller, finance officer, treasurer, cash manager, credit manager, risk manager and insurance manager are all types of jobs that fit into the category of the financial manager occupation, according to the BLS. Each of these roles involves creating and analyzing financial reports and strategizing to make rewarding investments and reach their company’s financial goals. The differences are in the position’s area of focus. For example, while a controller handles the statements that convey financial health and position of the company, insurance managers determine the types and amounts of insurance needed to protect against risks to the organization. The BLS reports a median wage of $125,080 for financial managers along with a much faster than average 19 percent rate of job growth.

While financial managers are high-level positions in themselves, the most senior role you can hold in the field of finance is chief financial officer (CFO), which is a step above a financial manager role.

Human Resources Manager Jobs

Overseeing an organization’s human resources – the hiring, training, benefits administration and retention of its employees – can be a lucrative job. Human resources managers make a median wage of $110,120, or almost $50,000 per year more than the median salary for human resources specialists. HR managers tend to work more directly with company management and oversee the human resources specialists who do much of the work of finding and recruiting talent.

While a master’s degree in HR can be valuable, not every human resources manager has one. Many companies will promote experienced HR specialists who have only a bachelor’s degree. Attaining a professional HR certification can improve advancement opportunities.

Other management roles that are akin to HR manager include compensation or benefits manager, for which the median wage is $119,120, and training and development managers, who earn a median salary of $108,250.

What Kind of Job Can You Get With a Degree in Business Management?

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Top Executive Positions

Top executive roles are the most senior-level positions you could hold in an organization. The BLS recognizes two types of top executives in business: general and operations managers and chief executives. The pay distinction between these two types of roles in sizable. General and operations managers earn a median salary of $100,410, according to the BLS, while for chief executives like CEOs and CFOs, the median wage jumps up to $183,270. Jobs for top executives, especially chief executive roles, are highly competitive. You will need to accumulate plenty of work experience and managerial experience to climb your way up to these roles. While graduate school is not necessarily a requirement, many top executives have a Master of Science in Management or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Nearly one-quarter of all chief executives are self-employed, the BLS reported.

 Additional Resources

What Is the Difference Between a Business Administration Degree and a Business Management Degree?

How Do I Prepare for a Management Degree While in High School?

Do I Need a Graduate Degree to Become a Manager?

How Advanced Does My Degree in Management Need to Be to Get a Good Job?