Before you choose a major, or graduate, ask yourself this: What can you do with a business degree?
While there are a lot of choices, many of them don't seem too business-related. After all, you went into business because you love business.
But once you have your business degree, you may be left wondering what to do next.
What Can You Do With A Business Degree?
If you're wondering what can you do with a business degree, you're in luck. You can do a lot! The trick to plotting your career after you graduate is figuring out how you want to specialize. A business degree itself offers entry into many different career paths.
Take Human Resources, for example. You can be a recruiter, an HR Officer, a human resources consultant, and even a labor analyst. Your business degree opens up those possibilities.
Also, with a business degree, you can continue your education. Get an MBA or go on to study a specialty at an Ivy League school. Many lawyers start off with undergraduate business degrees. The world is your oyster.
How Much Do Business Majors Earn?
But let's say that you're not interested in law or politics. Because you love business, you want to stay in the world of business. Great! However, you should know that not all business degrees make money.
Let's consider some career options. What can you do with a business degree? You can get into HR, finance, or you can be an analyst. Also, you can start your own consulting firm. Another avenue is to get into insurance. And don't forget about marketing and project management.
Here's the thing.
All of those careers have wild pay scales. At the low end, you're looking at Human Resources. They start at around $60,000 a year. On the other end of the scale, you have project managers and stockbrokers, who generally start around $100,000 a year and have no limit to how much they can earn.
Of course, all of that depends on location and the firm you work with. Project management in an active oil field is going to pay a lot more while sitting in a small office for a startup in Ohio will pay significantly less.
The Best Careers For Someone With A Business Degree
All that being said, you should get into the type of career that excites you. There's no point making $100K if you're miserable every day. Instead, focus on the type of work you would be happy to spend the next 40 years of your life on.
To help you, we looked at many different career paths a business degree can take you on. We also looked at their salaries. In addition, we checked out what kind of trajectory they can send you on.
For instance, you could be a business analyst, but there aren't many other places to go once you're there. On the other hand, a fast food restaurant manager may not sound exciting, but the sky's the limit, especially once you get promoted to the region and then to corporate.
Tell Other Businesses What They're Doing Wrong
Have you heard of a business consultant? Of course, you have. The world is full of them. Many are self-employed, but only a few of those are rich. However, if you start your career with a business consulting group, you could potentially be earning big bucks within a few short years.
As a business consultant, you'll get contracted to work with executive teams to streamline their operations. Most businesses get stale and start to lose market share or even investor confidence. That's when they call in your services.
You'll investigate the business operations, interview key employees and managers, and work with the executive team to roadmap a new path to success. You may be the person laying off employees, or you could be the one to come out with a new marketing strategy.
Another way business consultants work is to help small business owners either launch a business or save an existing one. Here you'll help with their budgets, business plans, investor pitches, and even the day to day training of their staff. It can be a lot of work, but highly satisfying.
Help Protect People
When we think about protecting people, we don't usually think of an insurance advisor. They're not as heroic as a firefighter or a cop. But think about it for a moment.
Your house just burned down. You're distraught and don't know where to go. You call your insurer, who then calmly sets you up with a hotel, sends you money for food, and helps you rebuild your home and your life.
You can thank your insurance advisor for that.
As an insurance advisor, you work closely with your clients, whether personal or commercial. You research and find the best insurance investments for them. Everyone has different needs and budgets, so it's your role to work within those. That's where your knowledge of insurance products comes in.
Also, your relationships with insurance companies are handy. You can find the best rates. Often you're working in investments, but when disaster strikes a family or a business, it's you who protected them.
Help People Make Money
Another great way you can help people and businesses is as an investment advisor. What can you do with a business degree? You can make investment recommendations or perform securities analysis for your clients.
What's great about investment advisors (also called Financial Advisors) is that you're given large accounts to invest at your discretion. Wealthy people and businesses will often leave it to their advisor to grow their wealth as they best see fit.
You'll need to get registered with the Securities Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). That requires training and sponsorship by an investment firm. But because you'll take a percentage of every investment, the sky is the limit as to how much you can make.
But what can you do with your business degree if you don't like talking to people?
Check it out.
Work With Numbers And IT
Next, you can be a business analyst. The business consultant concentrates on the overall operation of the business. Meanwhile, the business analyst is mostly interested in numbers. In the 21st Century, a business analyst wears multiple hats, with the most prominent related to IT.
You see, IT makes or breaks a business. A business analyst is contracted to examine current systems and structures. Also, they'll find ways that IT can improve processes. You help create efficiency and automation and save the business money. Of course, you'll also get to look at the books too.
What can you do with a business degree and a strong IT background? You can be a business analyst!
Lead Teams Of People To Execute Projects
If you love being the center of attention and you're wondering what can you do with a business degree, look no further than a project manager.
As a project manager, you'll be a big picture thinker. That means assembling a team and sharing your vision with them. Also, you'll delegate your subordinates to accomplish tasks, and you'll keep upper management and shareholders informed of progress. That means you had better be good at writing reports.
More importantly, however, are your people skills. A good project manager should be a great politician. You need to lead, and schmooze, and inspire. You also need to make hard decisions.
To become a project manager, you'll need to become certified in your niche industry. Whether it's construction or coding, you want to show you know your stuff. You'll also need some experience with your employer. Very few project managers get hired off the street. Instead, they get promoted from within.
Play The Market And Gamble
Want to know what can you do with a business degree? You can be a stockbroker.
Have you ever seen a stock store on the street? You know, the place where it says "Buy stocks!" Neither have we. That's because they don't exist. Instead, stocks get bought and sold through middlemen, called stockbrokers.
These people have the training, knowledge, and licenses to trade on the NYSE and NASDAQ. They know stocks inside and out.
As a stockbroker, you'll spend most of your day on a computer. Gone are the times when hundreds of brokers yelled and hollered and waved ticker tape around on the stock market floor. Today, you'll sit in an office, making trades electronically.
But there's more. You'll also advise your clients about stocks, when to buy when to sell, and what they can expect from their investments.
To start, you'll need to take your business degree and get a job with a brokerage or a bank. This is where you'll earn the knowledge you need to trade stocks. Then, you'll need to pass the Series 7 Exam.
To do this, you must be sponsored by a firm registered with FINRA (Federal Industry Regulatory Authority), which is why you need that job first. After that, you'll need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials Exam. That's followed by whatever state exams are required.
It's a long, hard road, but once there, you're set. Stockbrokers start off earning $100,000 a year or more. Many become millionaires.
Sell Expensive Things To Big Clients
Next, you can be a sales executive. That doesn't mean selling minivans to soccer moms. A sales executive makes the big deals between corporations. For instance, maybe your employer manufactures an engine part. You'll head to Japan to make a deal to supply Honda with that part. What can you do with a business degree if you love to travel?
If you like to work with people, travel a lot, and see sales as a fun game, then this might be the career for you. You'll need to seek out new markets, establish strong relationships, maintain current clients, and meet sales targets.
The best part of being a sales executive is the gold-star treatment your employer has for you. After all, you're the reason they're in business.
So expect business-class flights and nice hotels. Of course, if you don't meet your targets, you better be willing to switch careers. It's a cutthroat arena, and not everybody is cut out for it.
Hire People And Negotiate With Unions
Another exciting career for those with a business degree is in human resources manager. As an HR manager, you'll be responsible for overseeing your company's human resources staff. That means planning labor needs, overseeing recruitment, managing training programs, and interacting with employees.
Another considerable role you'll be responsible for is protecting the organization from lawsuits or fines resulting from employee complaints or injuries.
You'll need to ensure all relevant federal, state, and local labor laws are enforced. Also, you'll be responsible for administering discipline in a way that keeps the company free from blowback. You're a crucial figure in the organization.
If you want to know what can you do with a business degree to get into human resources, there are several answers. No laws are governing who can be an HR manager. But there are independent organizations that offer certification, such as the Society for Human Resource Management.
Buy Expensive Things
Finally, if you prefer to buy things rather than sell them, you might consider becoming a purchasing manager. You'll be responsible for ordering supplies and services for your organization. And while that sounds easy, there's actually a ton that goes with it.
You'll also need to be a supply chain expert. That means knowing how long it takes any given product to arrive and order it beforehand. You'll need to know about routes and flights and suppliers. You'll meet with a million sales executives and need to figure who to buy from.
The purchasing manager wears many hats, from warehouse inspector to shelf stocker to office administrator to supply chain manager. And if your company decides to expand, you'll have a whole new set of headaches to deal with.
Sound fun yet? Well, according to Start Profile and Procurious Magazine (a trade publication for purchasing managers), more purchasing managers are happy with their careers than unhappy. That's good news!
Some Things To Consider
What can you do with a business degree? As it turns out, quite a lot. That being said, you should consider some things. First, many career paths in business require additional education. This can range from an MBA to a simple certification.
But more importantly, you need to seriously consider what you want to do. If you're an introvert, you'll hate a career in sales. On the other hand, you might love being a purchasing manager.
So take time to analyze and weigh your choices. Then, when you know what you want to do with your business degree, go and get it done.
What do you want to do with your business degree? Tell us your plans in the comments!