What can you do with a business degree?

The economy is booming. And many recent grads are wondering what type of degree they should pursue to find the best career opportunities for them. Unless you’re pursuing a specific degree such as a law degree or medical license, you’ll want a degree that gives you the best opportunity for success.

If you’re deciding which type of degree to pursue, follow along. We’ll look at why a business degree is one of the most sought-after degrees. It can help open the doors to many unique and varied career opportunities.

What Can You Do with a Business Degree?

When asking what can you do with a business degree, you might be surprised by the answer. A business degree is used by people who work in business management, the medical field, accounting and finance, research, and even sales.

This multi-functional degree can help jumpstart your career in almost any field you choose. So people who start out asking what you can do with a business degree often end up pursuing one when they learn all that it has to offer.

Why Should You Get a Business Degree?

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According to the National Association of Colleges and Employer’s Job Outlook 2017, more than 72 percent of businesses intend to hire employees who have a business degree.

Another study published by Georgetown University shows that people who graduate from college earn about $1 million more in lifetime earnings than those who only graduate from high school. And the lifetime earnings of the lowest paying college degree and the highest? $3.4 million. And people who earn business degrees typically earn great salaries.

Yes, you can earn money with a business degree. But there are other reasons for earning one.

For example, if you want to level up in your career, a business degree may be the edge you need. Or you may want to transition careers, and a business degree can help you do that.

Are you still asking, “What can you do with a business degree?”

What Can You Do with a Business Degree? Here Are 8 Great Ideas

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If you’ve asked this question, you may decide that it’s the right degree for you. Naturally, you’ll want to learn all you can about this versatile degree.

Here are eight careers that a business degree can help you enter.

1. Start your Own Business

If you dream of being your own boss, a business degree can help you achieve that dream. When in college, you will run a few businesses during classroom simulations. It will help you to understand what it takes to be your own boss.

But know that if you do decide to start your own business, you will often work more hours and get paid less money than other business degree graduates who go on to work for corporations.

Still, most small business owners surveyed say they wouldn’t trade places with their corporate-bound friends.

2. Become a Business Consultant

If you like the idea of working for yourself, but you want to earn more money, think about using your degree to become a business consultant. According to the Bureau of Labor, employment opportunities for business consultants are expected to rise 14 percent from 2014 to 2024.

And business consultants made a median wage in 2015 of $81,320 annually.

But to truly succeed as a business consultant, you should think about getting a Master’s Degree and certification. You can obtain certification from places like Certified Management Consultant (CMC), and work for the government or top-tier corporations if that’s the career path you choose.

3. Get a Job as an Administrative Manager

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When you ask “What can you do with a business degree,” one answer you’re sure to hear is that you can become an administrator. An administrative manager oversees several departments in a corporation and ensures that they all run smoothly.

Hospitals also utilize administrative managers to ensure the hospital runs at peak performance, so patients receive the best care.

The median pay for an administrative manager, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $96,180 a year.

4. Work in Business Research

If you have a data-driven mind, working in business research may be the perfect way for you to use your degree. Most corporations use business research in one form or another. For example, a marketing research expert helps companies determine who their target audience is, and how to best reach them.

Another type of researcher helps companies test their new product ideas by forming focus groups, analyzing the outcome, and bringing the data back to the company.

A market research analyst earns a median salary of $63,230.

5. Start a Career in Marketing

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When working as a marketing manager, you will be responsible for coordinating advertising plans, negotiating contracts, monitoring and organizing your team, and analyzing and evaluating the marketing plans you put into place.

But if you want to build a marketing career, you need to ask more than what can you do with a business degree. That’s because to pursue a career in marketing and advertising, you will need to get a business degree with a focus on marketing and management.

Although the median salary for this position is $127,500, the top earners bring in more than $200,000 a year. The job outlook is expected to grow 9 percent by 2024.

6. Use your Business Degree for a Sales Position

Many people don’t think of a sales career because they think of cold calling and retail sales. But companies offer opportunities to people with a business degree that don’t involve knocking on doors. If you want a job as a sales associate, a business degree will get you in the door.

You can find an office-based job, or in larger corporations, a graduate training program or management training program with this type of degree.

The median salaries vary widely in this field. But working as a sales manager, you can expect to earn around $124,220 annually.

7. Work as a Financial Analyst

If you have a love for numbers, your business degree could land you a job as a financial analyst. These workers create graphs, charts, and spreadsheets to convey their findings to corporate managers.

They also forecast business expenses and economic conditions and determine pricing structures to ensure the highest possible profitability for a business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the financial analyst job outlook is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2026. The median salary of a financial analyst is $85,660.

8. Get an Account Manager Position

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When working as an account manager, you will act as your company’s personal representation to clients.

That means you will act as an intermediary with the sales and marketing team, create sales pitches and presentations, and communicate the client’s needs and wishes to team members in your company. You will also have the task of monitoring budgets and explaining them to the client.

According to Payscale, the average salary for an account manager is $52,673.

Should You Get an MBA?

After you’ve asked, What can you do with a business degree, the next logical question is, Should I get an MBA? After all, many people graduate with a business degree, but MBAs aren’t quite as popular.

One reason for that is the cost. It can run upwards of $100,000 a year for a full-time MBA program and take 2 years to get it.

Is the extra time and expense really worth it?

The answer is: it depends.

If your goal is to work for a Fortune 500 company or as an investment banker or high-paid management consultant, then yes, you should probably get an MBA. But if you’re content working for a mid-range firm, you probably don’t need one.

Here are some of the pros to consider when thinking about supplementing your business degree with an MBA:

  • Networking: You will make priceless connections when working toward your MBA that will benefit your career for years
  • Marketability: Employers will see your MBA as an asset, and often you’ll get the job because your competition didn’t have one
  • Earning capability: People with MBAs make more money than those with a bachelor’s degree
  • Specialize: You can earn an MBA in a specialty field, practically ensuring that you will find a job in that field

So, What Will You Do with Your Business Degree?

If you’re thinking about going to college and getting a business degree, isn’t it good to know that after you graduate, you will have a lot of careers to choose from?

You can work in sales, marketing, finance, administrative roles, research, or you can start your own business.

What about you? If you’ve already earned your degree, we would love to hear about what career path you’ve taken since earning your degree. If you are planning on getting a business degree, what do you plan to do with it? Sound off in the comments.

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