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Today’s job market: business and finance

At a glance

  • Business and financial occupations encompass a wide array of roles, including those in accounting, financial analysis and human resources.  
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for business and financial occupations to grow 8% between 2020 and 2030.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many business professions, but the ability to work from home has allowed them to continue to grow in employment.
  • University of Phoenix offers degrees in business and finance, such as accounting, business administration and business management as well as certificate offerings that cover more specialized occupations.

For individuals interested in the business and financial world, the current moment presents just as many opportunities as challenges. Supply chain disruptions, the move to remote work and economic uncertainty have disrupted business processes globally. At the same time, people who can help companies survive and thrive in this uncertainty can be very attractive to companies trying to weather the storm. Businesses rely on professionals in the roles featured in this article to perform the functions necessary for success in competitive industries.

From entry-level jobs business majors might consider to the fastest-growing business jobs out there, the business careers featured here represent a multitude of opportunities to enhance one’s career.

Outlook for business and finance professions

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in business and financial operations is projected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030. That said, numerous trends may impact that projection for careers in business and finance, from the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic to rising economic instability.

The University of Phoenix Career Institute™ was founded to research such problems and help identify potential solutions. For the past two years, the Career Institute has released a Career Optimism Index™, a national survey of American adults who currently work or who wish to be working that digs deeper in employees’ career perceptions. This survey attempts to assess the employment landscape amid unique, contemporary challenges.

Perhaps the most significant challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic, which profoundly affected the way in which businesses and financial organizations operate around the world. In the context of supply-chain disruption, lockdowns and economic turbulence, the outlook for business and financial careers becomes a more complicated story.

According to the 2022 Career Optimism Index™, 40% of American workers surveyed say the pandemic has negatively impacted their careers, with 56% of those surveyed living paycheck to paycheck. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, “jobs with the highest physical proximity” experienced the greater share of this disruption.

The good news for people pursuing careers in business and finance is that many of the industry’s job functions can be done remotely, a revelation that numerous companies have taken advantage of.  From virtual conferences to work-from-home policies, new tactics have allowed businesses to adapt to chaotic circumstances.

Data from the McKinsey Global Institute bears this out, with the institute noting there is “four to five times more remote work than before the pandemic.”

Trends in business and finance careers

According to a BLS report summarizing the employment situation as of February 2022, the financial sector grew by 16,000 jobs during the month. This growth was particularly emphasized in real estate and finance/insurance. Employment in financial activities is 41,000 jobs over its level in February 2020, according to the report.

Employment in professional/business services, meanwhile, rose by about 95,000 jobs in February 2022, according to the report.

Want to know more about COVID-19’s impact on the overall job outlook? We cover that topic on our blog!

Employment projections for 12 business and financial careers

In the following, we go through employment projections for some growing business and financial occupations, according to BLS. These jobs vary in pay range, education requirements and general responsibilities, so make sure to review them carefully to find the best fit for your career! Please note that University of Phoenix degree programs may not directly align to these job outcomes.

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.

Overview: The process of getting a product to a customer can involve a supply chain that spans several time zones and even several continents. Overseeing this journey from manufacturer to consumer, logisticians make that process possible. They are responsible for making sure the right materials get to the right place for manufacture by maintaining relationships with suppliers and clients. They are tasked with making sure goods are transported on schedule and ultimately reach their final destination, whether that be retail stores or a customer’s front door. They review the entire supply chain and suggest how to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Education requirements: Though some businesses hire logisticians who have achieved an associate degree in business, most look for applicants with at least a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, a Bachelor of Science in Business or a degree in a related field.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the median salary range for logisticians is between $44,190 and $122,580. 

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of logisticians is projected to grow 30% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview: The market for a good or service is not always predictable. Having the best information, however, can help businesses find new profit opportunities and break away from the competition. Market research analysts conduct research about consumer behavior and market trends to provide this crucial information to businesses. The research may be performed in a number of ways, including surveys and internal and/or public data. Analysts are generally tasked with collecting and analyzing market data, and translating that data into actionable insights for business management. They may be tasked with competitor analysis, tracking product demand and developing consumer profiles.

Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field, like business or communication with a Marketing Certificate, is a common prerequisite for work as a market research analyst.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the median salary range for market research analysts is between $35,380 and $127,410.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview: Standing at the intersection of regulatory law and business, financial examiners are responsible for making sure lending institutions operate within legal compliance. This involves analysis of internal documents such as balance sheets, income and expenditure accounts, and loan documents. As risk assessors, examiners evaluate the safety of the loans distributed by a bank and ensure that the institution can handle potential losses. When financial examiners work as consumer compliance monitors, they make sure these lending institutions do not lend money in a predatory or illegal manner.   

Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree in business with a specific focus on accounting is a common prerequisite for work as a financial examiner.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the median annual salary range is between $43,890 and $159,120.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview: Everything from weddings to large-scale conventions requires meeting and event planners to make sure all runs smoothly. They meet with clients ahead of the event to discuss necessities, including space, technology, food and lodging. During the event, they make sure guests have what they need. This includes registering incoming guests, sharing travel information, communicating with caterers and running tech support for audiovisual equipment.

Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree in business or communication is a common prerequisite for work as a meeting and event planner, as well as experience in event planning.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the median annual salary range for meeting and event planners is between $29,240 and $88,360.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is projected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview: Many companies, particularly in the nonprofit space, depend on donations to fuel their operations. That’s where fundraisers come in. By organizing events and campaigns, fundraisers craft a strong message to entice donors to commit funds to an organization. This is work that can span online fundraising campaigns to in-person events, requiring both financial knowledge and personability.

Education requirements: This role generally requires a bachelor’s degree in communication, business or a related field, such as a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Salary range: The salary range for fundraisers was between $34,320 and $103,320 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: Largely driven by the needs of nonprofits, employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030. Skills in online fundraising and social media are increasingly in demand.

Overview: When business organizations want to improve internal efficiency, management analysts provide expert insight about how to do that. They will do internal research in the form of data and personal interviews to see where there are problems in need of attention. From this information, they suggest how to improve processes and procedures to lower costs and increase productivity.  

Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in business is a common prerequisite for work as a management analyst, as well as related work experience.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the annual median salary range for management analysts is between $50,990 and $156,840.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of management analysts is projected to grow 14% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview: Employees don’t always come into a company with all the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Training and development specialists address this need by overseeing the training and development of employees. This can be done through training manuals, courses, online programs and other instructional activities. The work of training and development specialists is important as it ensures employees have the necessary skills to collaborate toward business goals.

Education requirements: People seeking employment as training and development specialists should pursue a bachelor’s degree, particularly in human resources, as well as relevant work experience.

Salary range: The salary range for training and development specialists was between $33,900 and $107,060 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: The overall employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030, according to BLS, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Why do we see this kind of growth? New technologies and media have become central to the way many businesses operate. Along with other trends, the need for employees to become skilled in these technologies fuels much of the growth in this business career.

Overview: Businesses have a dual interest in both attracting and keeping talented employees, while remaining financially healthy. Compensation specialists help businesses provide the compensation and benefits that attract talent in a financially responsible manner. This involves analyzing the job market, creating reports that outline the compensation and benefit plans for employees, and making recommendations to HR on what compensation employees should receive. In addition, they may be responsible for ensuring that an organization compensates their employees in a legal manner.

Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in business is a common prerequisite for work as a compensation specialist.

Salary range: According to May 2021 data from BLS, the annual median salary range is between $41,490 and $111,930.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 10% from 2020 to 2030.

Overview: Human resources (HR) specialists manage the process of recruiting and placing new employees, as well as managing the relationships between employees. Their work is crucial for a healthy and productive work environment. 

Education requirements: Employment as an HR specialist will likely require a Bachelor of Science in Business degree with a Human Resources Certificate, or another degree in business, communication or a related field.

Salary range: The salary range for human resources specialists was between $37,710 and $109,350 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: According to BLS, trends indicate that many businesses are outsourcing human resources to external contractors. Nonetheless, employment of human resources specialists is projected to grow 10% from 2020 to 2030.

Overview: When businesses need to manage their financial records, they turn to accountants. Accountants can help provide financial solutions to clients by preparing and examining financial records. They also work to make sure that company financial records are accurate, which is critical for fulfilling a company’s tax obligations. 

Education requirements: Typically, accountants require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certain roles, such as that of a Certified Public Accountant, require additional education and specific certification(s).

Salary range: The salary range for accountants and auditors was between $45,220 and $128,680 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: Due to the demand of a growing economy and the complexities of financial regulation, employment of accountants is projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030.

Overview: Success in business can often come down to making the right decisions at the right times. Doing this requires as much good information as can be collected, and financial analysts are the ones who perform this crucial work. By examining investment portfolios, market trends, financial statements and more, financial analysts report the information businesses need to make informed decisions.

Education requirements: Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in a common field, such as business. Employers often also recommend industry certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) certification.

Salary range: The salary range for financial analysts was between $48,760 and $159,560 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: According to BLS, employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 6% from 2020 to 2030.

Overview: The time, finances, material and labor required to make a product or service can quickly outpace the resources at a company’s disposal. Cost estimators address this issue by researching every facet of the production process to provide businesses with an accurate sense of the cost of doing business. They use a range of technical and financial knowledge to estimate the cost of a project and make suggestions on how resources can be spent wisely.

Education requirements: Although it’s possible to become a cost estimator without a degree but with significant industry experience, a bachelor's degree in business finance, or a related field like project management, is typical.

Salary range: The salary range for cost estimators was between $40,380 and $114,360 in May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: Employment of cost estimators is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030, according to BLS.

This list of business professions is certainly not exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a job in the business field. Whatever your path is, equipping yourself with knowledge and skills can propel you further in your field.

University of Phoenix students pursue a wide range of degrees aligned with real-world careers. Find your fit here!