Business and Financial Operations Occupations, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes130000.htm
Business and Financial Occupations, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
Business studies programs may among the most adaptable because, let's face it, every company and industry can benefit from hiring more business savvy workers. Even working professionals who already have degrees in other fields sometimes decide to go back to school to earn a business degree, hoping the extra training will make them management material. Here is a brief look at what one may expect from a career in business.
Business degrees can be flexible credentials, since virtually every industry needs competent business and management professionals to remain profitable. Careers in business can also carry many different titles and, in turn, duties. The following list of careers in business represent just a few of those profiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov):
- Human and labor relations specialists
- Management analysts
- Market research analyst
- Chief executive officer
- Training and development specialists
- Purchasing managers and agents
- Financial analysts
- Budget analysts
How you can expect to spend your workday depends on what type of career in business studies you chose to pursue. Labor relations specialists, for instance, review company safety and employment policies to ensure they comply with legal regulations; chief executive officers, on the other hand, manage entire companies or multinationals. There are certain skills that may be honed in business school that seem practically universal for all business-related careers. Among them:
- Leading teams
- Developing workers
- Finding ways to grow a business or make it more efficient
- Managing product and service development
- Coordinating leadership with other teams and firms
- Operate with a mind for business laws and ethics
You can learn more about specific careers in business elsewhere on this site, or by visiting the BLS online.
As with job duties, professional prospects and advancement potential can vary significantly from one job to the next. For example, the BLS projects that the following industries will rank among the fastest growing between 2012 and 2022 -- not just within the realm of business, but across all industries:
- Management, scientific and technical consulting services
- Employment services
- Funds, trusts and other financial vehicles
- Securities, commodity, contracts and other financial investment activities
The BLS projects that the following business-related careers will rank among the fastest growing nationwide between 2012 and 2022, with each field's projected growth rate from the BLS:
- Market research analysts. 31.6 percent
- Operations research analysts. 36 percent
- Construction managers. 23.5 percent
- Management analysts. 18.6 percent
- Education administrators. 17 percent
- Computer and information systems managers. 15.3 percent
Keep in mind that some employment and advancement potential may improve with education, so investing in a business studies degree may help some graduates climb the corporate ladder. Some employers may even require an advanced degree, like an MBA, right from the beginning.
How much one can earn in the business industry depends on where they live, their educational attainment and the scope of their professional experience. Job title matters, too. With this in mind, the BLS reports that the 2013 median annual wage for a broad range of careers in business was $63,800 nationally, while the bottom 10 percent earned up to $35,650, and the top 10 percent earned in excess of $113,650.
Financial investment firms, security and commodity brokerages, and companies employing public figures' agents tended to pay the most, as did employers in the District of Columbia, New York and Connecticut. Earnings can improve with education and experience, so investing in an MBA or other business studies degree may quite literally pay off for some students.