Like a career in business, a business degree can be broad and generalized or it can be specialized. A Bachelor of Science in Business, for example, focuses on management skills that can be applied in various organizations. A finance degree, on the other hand, zeroes in on one of a business degree’s key components: fiscal knowledge.
All business degrees are not created equal. Here are some of the most common degrees that fall under the business umbrella.
- Business management: This degree captures the greatest hits of the field, including marketing, human resources, and organizational and infrastructure management.
- Marketing: This specialized degree teaches students how to implement marketing strategies to achieve certain goals. Subjects like market demand, product pricing, and managing products and brands are covered.
- Economics: Taking the big-picture approach, this degree track explores the ways production and supply and demand impact global markets. It also examines the effects market conditions have on fields like accounting, finance and management.
- Finance: Crunching numbers takes on a new level of importance with this degree, which teaches students how to leverage financial principles to assess and resolve business challenges.
- Human resources: Perfect for those who have a knack for working with people, this degree specialization covers topics like conflict management, how to establish performance standards and how to develop a personnel selection process.
- Accounting: In addition to understanding how to apply accounting principles in business, this specialized degree covers accounting laws and regulations, how to create financial reports and how to conduct audits.
Business majors are a lot like IT majors in at least one regard: Their skills are in demand across a variety of industries. With a strong foundation in skills like operations, finance, leadership, management and accounting, your business degree can serve you well in a number of jobs and fields, including:
|Accounting and finance
Retail and sales
Marketing and advertising
Of course, you shouldn’t get a business degree if your ideal media role is as a news anchor or journalist. But if you are interested in the behind-the-scenes roles of business management and operations, you can put your business degree to work in a diverse range of industries outside of traditional corporate roles. It’s the perfect answer, in other words, for people who have multiple interests in otherwise competing fields.
The other ideal field for business majors is entrepreneurship. If starting your own business is something you plan to do someday, a business degree is the smart first step. (And you may even consider an MBA too!)
There are plenty of statistics that support the value of earning a bachelor’s degree in business. According to BLS, "Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 8% between 2020 and 2030."
Add to that the fact that the median annual wage for business and financial operations occupations was $72,250 in May 2020, and the outlook for business majors gets even rosier.
(Median incomes are reported by the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics and are not specific to University of Phoenix graduates. Further, these national averages may include earners at all stages of their career and may not accurately reflect entry-level wages or variations by region. Your earning outcome may vary. University of Phoenix does not guarantee salary level.)
The better question may be: "Is business a good major for me?"
Just as business is not an easy major, careers in business tend to be demanding. What’s more, because business is one of the most popular degree fields, job competition may be fierce, depending on which career path you take.
But a business degree has much to recommend it as well. Entry-level positions in finance or management may require a business degree, according to Indeed.com, and the skills learned over the course of earning a business degree can be leveraged within many different roles — even if you ultimately decide to pursue a career outside the traditional corporate scope.
At the end of the day, a business degree can offer a host of transferrable skills you can leverage in a business career and beyond. How you decide to use them is up to you.
Finding a job in business is much like finding a job in any other sector. It’s helpful to have the right educational background, and you should definitely have some experience, whether that’s an internship or a volunteer role (both are mentioned above).
Beyond that, Indeed.com outlines a few steps to optimize your job search results. They include: