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Training for a business degree can open up a variety of career options, prepare you to run your own small business, or provide you with the skills to manage a non-profit organization.

Getting a Well-Compensated Career in Business

Training for a business degree can open up a variety of career options, prepare you to run your own small business, or provide you with the skills to manage a non-profit organization. If you're interested in getting a bachelor's degree in business or a master's in business administration (MBA), then one of these careers might be perfect for you.

Accountant
Accountants study the way businesses track income and assets over time. They prepare, analyze, and investigate financial documents. There are three types of accountants:

  • Public. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), working independently or for an accounting firm, deal with financial matters for the general public, such as the preparation and filing of income tax returns. Some CPAs work as forensic accountants, investigating white collar crimes like embezzlement and money laundering.
  • Managerial. Managerial accountants document and evaluate financial information for businesses, assisting in budget development and managing costs and assets. Recent legislation requires businesses to maintain better control over their financial reporting.
  • Government. Government accountants work in bureaucracies, such as the Internal Revenue Service. These accountants ensure that financial transactions are made in compliance with laws and regulations.

Accountants should have a bachelor's degree or an MBA, and some states require an additional year of education for CPAs. CPAs must also take a two-day exam to become certified.

Average yearly salaries for mid-level accountants in eight metropolitan areas are relatively uniform, although highest in New York City: New York, NY: $57,300; Los Angeles, CA: $54,800; Miami, FL: $48,500; Chicago, IL: $52,200; Boston, MA: $54,200; Cleveland, OH: $49,100; Houston, TX: $50,300; and Seattle, WA: $53,400.

Financial Analyst
A financial analyst provides guidance to businesses and individuals in order to help them make decisions about investments. A financial analyst's job includes research and offering advice.

A financial analyst must stay informed about the financial world by studying economic trends and regulations. A financial analyst's job often requires travel, as well as frequent meetings and phone calls with clients. An analyst makes presentations to investors, recommends buying or selling, and completes the necessary paperwork.

A financial analyst should have a business degree in a field such as finance, statistics, or accounting. Many analysts work for large companies, and as financial services are deregulated, opportunities are growing at businesses like banks and insurance companies.

Average yearly mid-level financial analysts in eight metropolitan areas show that they are well-compensated, especially in the largest cities: New York, NY: $65,900; Los Angeles, CA: $62,900; Miami, FL: $55,800; Chicago, IL: $60,100; Boston, MA: $62,300; Cleveland, OH: $56,400; Houston, TX: $57,800; and Seattle, WA: $61,400.

Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts assist in the development of new products by studying trends and demonstrating consumer demand. They also help create marketing campaigns based on consumer buying habits and preferences.

Market research analysts are employed in a wide variety of fields, including healthcare, advertising, manufacturing, and financial services. In order to analyze consumer demand, market research analysts design and conduct surveys and focus groups. Analysts use their research to plan pricing, promotion, and distribution of new products. A market research analyst should have a business degree in a field such as marketing or economics.

Average yearly salaries for mid-level market research analysts in eight metropolitan areas run from the mid- to high-50s, with New Yorkers alone exceeding this mark: New York, NY: $62,600; Los Angeles, CA: $59,700; Miami, FL: $52,900; Chicago, IL: $57,100; Boston, MA: $59,100; Cleveland, OH: $53,600; Houston, TX: $54,900; and Seattle, WA: $58,300.

Commercial Loan Officer
Commercial banks offer a range of services to individuals, businesses, and the government. Commercial banks lend money as opposed to raising it, and 70% of banking jobs are in the commercial banking industry. Commercial loan officers work with businesses to help them secure loans to buy necessary equipment and supplies.

A commercial loan officer reviews loan applications, determines if a potential client will be able to pay back a loan, and may recommend approval. In order to build relationships and find new clients, a commercial loan officer may spend a great deal of time traveling and meeting with clients.

A commercial loan officer should have a business degree in finance or economics or an MBA, as well as experience in sales or banking. Many loan applications are now evaluated online, and loan officers may find their jobs affected by changes in the economy and interest rates. A career as a commercial loan officer may lead to careers in international finance or credit card banking.

Mid-level commercial loan officers' average yearly salaries depend on location, according to Salary.com. This overview of eight metropolitan areas reveals significant differences: New York, NY: $67,100; Los Angeles, CA: $64,100; Miami, FL: $56,800; Chicago, IL: $61,200; Boston, MA: $63,400; Cleveland, OH: $57,500; Houston, TX: $58,900; and Seattle, WA: $62,500.

Property Manager
Donald Trump began his success story in the real estate industry, and a career as a property manager is one way to get started in real estate. Property managers oversee both residential and commercial properties and work to increase the resale value or profitability of a property. A property manager is responsible for overall financial operations and property inspections.

Property managers coordinate rent, taxes, payroll, and insurance. They are also in charge of organizing maintenance and janitorial services, grounds keeping, and security. Property managers often work onsite, inspecting the property and enforcing leases. They're also responsible for making sure their properties are in compliance with government regulations and fair housing laws.

Property managers have business degrees in real estate, financing, and business administration. Experience with real estate sales and an MBA are both valuable in the field. Experienced property managers may go on to become property developers or commercial real estate agents.

Average yearly incomes for property managers show the greatest variety of any business position, as illustrated by these eight metropolitan area salaries: New York, NY: $94,200; Los Angeles, CA: $90,000; Miami, FL: $79,700; Chicago, IL: $86,000; Boston, MA: $89,000; Cleveland, OH: $80,600; Houston, TX: $82,600; and Seattle, WA: $87,700.

Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers work to find qualified employees for a business and match them to appropriate jobs. They manage the recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training of new employees, and they coordinate benefits for existing employees.

A human resources manager's duties may include consulting and arbitration. Because employee performance has a large effect on a company's financial success, human resources managers consult with executives and may recommend changes in company policies. Human resources managers must ensure optimal employee performance, which may involve boosting morale or mediating disagreements.

HR managers are also responsible for making sure the company is in compliance with government regulations on health and safety issues, wages, family leave, and fair hiring practices. They may come from a variety of backgrounds. Some managers hold business degrees, while others study social and behavioral sciences or law.

According to Salary.com, human resources managers are well compensated, as the salaries in these eight metropolitan areas show: New York, NY: $94,500; Los Angeles, CA: $90,200; Miami, FL: $80,000; Chicago, IL: $86,200; Boston, MA: $89,300; Cleveland, OH: $80,900; Houston, TX: $82,900; and Seattle, WA: $88,000.

If you're considering a degree, a business degree is a smart way to increase your job options. An MBA can help further your career goals by enhancing your business skills and preparing you for a job in the world of business.

Sources
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salary.com
U.S. Department of Labor

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