6 Potential Career Paths for Business Majors

Business is a common popular undergraduate major. A lot of different majors and interest areas fall under the umbrella of business, allowing for a diverse group of students to study it. Business doesn’t only mean contracts and negotiations—it means working together with others toward a common goal. Here are some jobs that business majors can end up with.

Man and woman shaking hands during Penn State Fall Career Days Fair.

Flickr user Penn State

Here’s a look at exactly what a business major involves, what you would study in this field, and what types of jobs it qualifies you for.

What Is A Business Major? 

The common misconception is that business majors focus mainly on contracts, negotiations, and finance in their jobs. This is far from true. Business is in fact a truly varied field, offering students a wide range of specialties as well as degree options to choose from. 

You can earn a business degree at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level. A 2-year associate’s degree will qualify you for entry-level positions such as a bookkeeper or financial clerk. You will need to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree just to get in the door of most other entry-level jobs such as budget analyst or operations research analyst. This still limits your promotion avenues though. 

A master’s degree in business opens up the scope tremendously, qualifying you for higher-paying supervisory roles such as marketing manager, human resources, and financial manager. A doctorate in business will open the doors to even more opportunities including teaching. 

A degree in business prepares graduates for a variety of industries from healthcare and information technology to financial services, marketing, and supply chain management.

What You’ll Learn In A Business Program 

A business curriculum includes fundamental courses in economics, finance, accounting, management, project management, international business, and marketing among others. You can choose to generalize or tailor your coursework to focus on specific business specialties. 

As part of the introductory business curriculum, expect to take courses such as financial accounts, micro and macro-economics, marketing principles, math for business, communication, and social sciences. 

Advanced business courses include classes in money and banking, operations management, government and industry, international trading, statistical methods in business, public finance, and supply chain management. 

Computer literacy courses may be a mandatory part of the curriculum in some business specialties. 

An associate’s degree program typically covers foundational coursework, introducing students to core business areas such as accounting, financing, marketing, and human resources.  

A bachelor’s degree program includes a more comprehensive curriculum that covers a larger variety of courses such as business management, administration, and entrepreneurship. It also goes in-depth into each course.  

A master’s degree program covers advanced business practices and techniques with students specializing in finance, project management, and international business. 

A Look At Potential Career Paths for Business Majors

These are just some of the many jobs you can choose from as a business major. 

1. Accountant

Accountants maintain financial records for a business. They help the company stay organized and compliant with paying taxes, ordering items, and more. Do you love following the rules and staying organized? Accounting might be your calling!

2. Human Resource Specialist

These individuals work with employees and potential candidates face-to-face. They recruit new employees, run background checks, interview candidates, and help in the overall hiring process. They act as a sort of middleman between the company and employees.

3. Marketing Professionals

Marketing professionals specialize in devising strategies for successfully marketing the company’s products while ensuring that the company meets its target profits. They identify the ideal target audience, determine the best place to sell the product, and figure out how to price it. Finally, they brainstorm marketing campaigns to advertise and promote the product. A marketing professional can make the difference between the failure and success of a product launch.

4. Sales Representative

Sales reps sell products, either by directly working for the business or an independent sales agency. They know everything about the product they are selling, show it to potential customers, meet with them in person in some situations, and answer all questions regarding the product. This job is great for someone who loves talking to people.

5. Operations Research Analyst

Are you more of a numbers person? Operations Research Analysts look at all areas of a business using computer software and statistical analyses to help the business achieve a certain goal. If you like the more technical work behind figuring out the answer to an important question, this may be the job for you.

6. Event Planner

Have you ever been to a wedding and thought that you would love to plan one for someone? Event planners organize every detail, large and small, of events from the very beginning to the end. They go over contracts, contact caterers, suppliers, clients, and more to organize weddings, conferences, meetings, and more.

Is A Business Major Right For You? 

A degree in one of the several available business majors can offer a wide selection of jobs and career opportunities. If you have leadership, professional communication, and organizational skills and can make decisions without bias, a business major may be a good fit for you. 

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