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Explore different types of business degrees and salaries

This article was updated on May 7, 2024.

Michael Feder

Written by Michael Feder

Kathryn Uhles

Reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP, Dean, College of Business and IT

Three colored briefcases against light brown background.

Business degrees are versatile. Done well, these programs provide a solid foundation in business fundamentals that can help you throughout your career. They might also offer an opportunity for specialization. That’s why it’s essential to select the right online business degree for your plans.

Your business-related degree should match your career goals. This can be more challenging than you think because a lot of the initial coursework in different programs overlaps. It’s necessary to assess the entire curriculum and see if it will help prepare you for your desired career path.

While a business degree may prepare you to apply for jobs in the business world, graduating does not guarantee that you will get such a job right away or that you will command a high salary. It also does not ensure that you will have success starting your own business.

Choosing a specific business degree can, however, provide you with fundamental skills necessary to succeed and knowledge to specialize in your chosen area.

Determining whether an undergraduate or graduate degree is necessary for a job is also critical. Some jobs require employees to possess a master’s degree, which would require earning both a relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Types of business degrees

There are many possible career paths for those with a business degree. Whether you specialize in a particular field like accounting or human resources, or seek entry-level business degree jobs, there are options.

That’s especially true at a school with robust online business degree options like University of Phoenix. Offering different levels of business degrees — from bachelor’s and graduate degree programs to business certificates that can enhance your existing skill set — UOPX answers a variety of interests and possible career paths.

Potential business degree specializations include:

  • Accounting
  • Business management or administration
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Business analytics

A Bachelor of Science in Business with a marketing focus is a traditional four-year degree that teaches students marketing principles and strategies and how to apply them to both conventional and new media. These programs also develop public relations and promotional skills that give students the knowledge to assess campaign performance and research a target audience.

Entry-level jobs, such as a content strategist, marketing specialist, public relations associate or sales associate, often require a degree with a marketing focus. With experience, opportunities for further employment include marketing manager, public relations specialist, or advertising and promotions manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salaries for marketing professionals in the U.S. range between $96,380 to $150,930 per year, depending on the region, exact title and position duties, and the employer.


At University of Phoenix, accounting degrees are in two categories:

What’s the primary difference between the two? With the latter, you’ll earn an Associate of Arts on the path to your bachelor’s, which can be helpful as you start to seek out a business career.

Accounting degrees can prepare you for several types of accounting jobs, including accounting manager, auditor, cost accountant examiner, tax examiner and examining officer.

Each of those roles has its own focus. Accounting managers, for example, may oversee an organization’s accounting department to ensure accuracy of financial records and compliance with governmental regulations. Tax examiners, meanwhile, work for the government to ensure individuals and organizations pay correct amounts.

As of May 2023, the estimated range of accountants’ salaries was between $50,440 and $137,280 a year (with a median wage of $79,880), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Accountants’ earning potential can vary based on where they work and their specialization.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

Business management/Business administration 

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in business, University of Phoenix offers graduate degree programs that allow professionals to expand their business skills and prepare for a variety of business careers. These include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration and Doctor of Management.

UOPX prepares students to pursue the following careers with an MBA, Master of Management,  DBA or Doctor of Management:

  • Business manager
  • General manager
  • Operations manager or director
  • Administrative manager or director

Salaries for these roles can vary based on many factors, such as location, experience and level of education. As of May 2023, general and operations managers earned between $46,340 and $232,110 a year (with a median wage of $101,280), according to BLS.


Marketing is another fundamental role within an organization. If generating interest in a company’s products or services intrigues you, there are a handful of programs to consider at UOPX, including an undergraduate Marketing Certificate on its own or as part of a Bachelor of Science in Business.

The Bachelor of Science in Communication program includes similar content areas such as communication technology; social media communication; storytelling; mass communication and media; and journalism.

Marketing degrees and certificates can prepare you for the following opportunities:

  • Advertising manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Brand manager

Salaries for these roles, like many others, can vary. BLS notes that in May 2023, advertising managers earned between $63,580 and $239,200 a year (with a median wage of $131,870).

For marketing managers as of May 2023, salaries ranged from $79,600 to $239,200 a year (with a median wage of $157,620).

The Bachelor of Science in Communication at UOPX prepares graduates for roles such as an editor, copywriter, communication specialist or media relations specialist.

In May 2023, editors earned between $38,790 and $138,920 a year (with a median wage of $75,020), according to BLS. Media relations specialists and other public relations (PR) professionals earned between $38,570 and $126,220 a year, with a median wage of $66,750.

Human resources 

Human resources (HR) professionals help ensure companies comply with legal matters regarding their employees. Knowing how to properly navigate the often complex nature of state and federal labor laws is vital.

University of Phoenix helps prepare future HR professionals for their job duties with undergraduate and graduate Human Resource Management certificates. For those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree at the same time, it’s possible to wrap the former within a Bachelor of Science in Business.

HR degrees and certificates can prepare you for different roles in organizations, including as human resources managers and employee relations managers. Graduate certificates can help prepare you for roles as an HR director and training director.

As of May 2023, BLS reports that human resources managers earned between $81,060 and $239,200 a year, with a median wage of $136,350.


Finance is another key aspect of organizational operations. A master’s in finance accordingly focuses on such aspects as financial analysis and advanced topics in economics and investing.

Before you start master’s-level studies, you’ll need an undergraduate degree. Bachelor’s programs in math, accounting, finance, business or economics offer suitable preparation for a master’s degree in finance.

A master’s degree can help prepare you for work as a financial analyst, investment manager or financial advisor.

As of May 2023, BLS reports that financial analysts earned between $60,830 and $175,840 annually, with a median wage of $99,010. Also at that time, financial managers earned between $82,870 and $239,200 a year, with a median wage of $156,100.

Business analytics 

Business analytics professionals collect, integrate and analyze data to help businesses make smart decisions. One of the leading ways to grow that knowledge is to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Business Analytics Certificate or — in the case of current professionals who want to upskill — a Business Analytics Certificate on its own.

This type of certificate or degree can prepare you for careers such as:

  • Business systems analyst
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Systems analyst

Earning potential for each of the roles above varies based on factors like experience, location, education and more. As of May 2023, BLS reports that operations research analysts earned between $52,930 and $148,4920 a year, with a median wage of $83,640. As of May 2022, management analysts earned between $55,590 and $167,650 annually, with a median wage of $95,290.

Frequently asked questions 

What are the different business degree specializations?

University of Phoenix offers multiple business degree specializations, including finance, accounting, business analytics, management, marketing and human resources. In addition to bachelor’s degrees themselves, University of Phoenix students have access to several certificate-level specializations in many of the same subjects. For professionals who want to learn more skills in their field, including leadership, the University also offers graduate-level programs in business administration and management.

What salaries are associated with different business degrees?

Salaries for business degrees can vary based on role, location, specialization and more.

Note: A business degree from University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment or a specific salary. What it can do is help prepare you for several business careers.

Are business degrees worth it?

If developing skills in your desired career field is your goal, then yes, a business degree can be useful. In addition to the education you’ll receive, pursuing a business degree at University of Phoenix entitles you to access to our Career Services for Life® commitment, including resumé tips, networking opportunities and interview preparation that can help you enhance your career.

Pursuing a career in business at University of Phoenix  

University of Phoenix offers professionals a way to earn a business degree that can teach them essential skills for a business career. More importantly, the online programs allow you to learn at a pace that makes sense for you and your lifestyle.

As mentioned, University of Phoenix programs also allow you to take advantage of resources such as lifetime access to career services. These include networking opportunities with mentors and alumni and consultations with advisors who can guide you in keeping your resumé and cover letters up to date.

  • Bachelor of Science in Business: This program prepares students for management roles in a variety of organizations while also innovating for the future of business with coursework like inclusive leadership. Gain a solid foundation in core business concepts while customizing your bachelor’s business degree with a certificate in analytics, entrepreneurship or other areas.
  • Bachelor of Science in Management: Develop and apply career-relevant skills in a practical way with coursework in leadership; operations and logistics; project management; and strategic management — all of which can help you align resources, improve communication and make key decisions in various industries. 
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a Business Analytics Certificate: This program equips you with skills to help organizations use data for better decision-making and more.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a Marketing Certificate: In this program, learn about consumer behavior; product and brand management; marketing analytics; marketing strategy; and more.
  • Master of Business Administration: In this program you’ll learn skills including how to integrate decision-making skills to deliver organizational value in dynamic environments, create strategies for sustainable organizational success, integrate managerial skills to support strategic execution, and more.
  • Doctor of Business Administration: Develop a mindset of change and innovation that breaks the sea of sameness. Our Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) can help you gain strategic vision and skills to position yourself as a business leader.

To learn more about how certificates or bachelor’s and master’s degrees can help you reach the next step in your career, request information about our online business degree programs today.

Headshot of Michael Feder


A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

Headshot of Kathryn Uhles


Currently Dean of the College of Business and Information Technology, Kathryn Uhles has served University of Phoenix in a variety of roles since 2006. Prior to joining University of Phoenix, Kathryn taught fifth grade to underprivileged youth in Phoenix.


This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee. 
Read more about our editorial process.

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