What Can You Do With a Business Degree?

Ask people with business careers, “What can I do with a business degree?” and their responses often cover a broad range of possibilities. Business degree jobs are available in a variety of workplace settings and across organizations in private, nonprofit, and government sectors. 

Careers in business may lead to management or leadership roles in specialty areas such as finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, and business analytics. 

What jobs can you get with a business degree? The versatile skills that come with a business degree may open doors to myriad roles for graduates, including financial advisor, loan officer, auditor, or human resources specialist. It all boils down to personal interests.

Is a Business Degree Worth It?

Many employers are projected to continue seeking job candidates with business skills. About 476,200 jobs are expected to be added in business and financial operations occupations from 2019 to 2029, which at 5 percent growth is faster than the average for all occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Why go to business school? While a bachelor’s degree may provide a foundation for a career in business, pursuing an advanced degree may lead to more job prospects and better pay. 

Graduates with master’s degrees in business may find that they can earn a substantially higher salary than those with bachelor’s degrees (PDF, 960 KB), according to the College Board. In a master’s program, you’ll be exposed to real-world business practices, meet others in the field, and expand your network, potentially opening doors to more career opportunities. 

Is business school worth it? The most popular undergraduate degree is the bachelor’s degree in business, according to 2018–19 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. With so many undergraduates choosing this major, you may decide that the investment in graduate studies toward a master’s degree from a business school could make you stand out and enhance your credentials. 

Business Skills 

With a variety of specialty areas, business programs may teach you critical lessons that can be helpful throughout your professional journey. For example, business skills related to customer service may be an asset in a number of career and personal settings. 

No matter what degree in business you decide to pursue, you may pick up desired business skills that could include analysis, mathematics, attention to detail, organization, communication, computer, decision-making, problem-solving, and time management.

Types of Business Degrees

With different concentrations available for people to study, business degree types can include accounting, finance, marketing, management, analytics, and human resources. Different types of business degrees are available at various higher educational levels. 

Undergraduate students may pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration (BSBA) degree, choosing an area of concentration. Bachelor programs may include specific areas of concentration in the name of the degree such as Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Business Management.

At the graduate level, professionals may earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or other equivalent degree in a specific discipline such as human resources, management, or business analytics.

Pepperdine Graziadio Business School offers online master’s degrees in business. Those who prefer to attend in-person classes can learn more about business degree programs offered across five California campuses.

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is recognized as a research doctoral degree by the National Science Foundation and is typically required to be a postsecondary business teacher. 

Top Business Degrees in Demand 

Graduates with business degrees are popular among employers. Projections for MBA hiring continue to be strong, according to a 2019 report by the Graduate Management Admission Council.  

Business occupations that may require master’s degrees include economists, management analysts, human resources managers, and market research analysts, according to the BLS. Other occupations that the BLS notes an MBA may be useful for promotions and higher salaries are financial managers; commercial property managers; and securities, commodities, or financial services sales agents.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Business Degree?

Because business comprises organizations across private, nonprofit, and government sectors, graduates may pursue different types of business careers. 

Business industries include banking, real estate, retail, technology, food, transportation, and manufacturing. Organizations in those industries have departments in which people with business degrees can put their expertise to use to contribute to company-wide growth. Such departments include human resources, facilities, product development, sales, finance, engineering, distribution, information technology, and customer service.

Some examples of jobs you can get with a business degree are: 

What Jobs Can You Get With a Business Administration Degree?

Professionals with MBAs are typically prepared for many of the business careers mentioned above.

Pepperdine Graziadio Business School offers online master’s degrees in business. Individuals who prefer to attend in-person classes can learn more about business degree programs offered across five California campuses.

Pepperdine’s online MBA core courses prepare graduates for the real world. For example, in the Accounting Information and Control Systems course, students learn to create financial statements using spreadsheets and gauge a firm’s liquidity and profitability. The Behavior in Organizations course introduces students to various approaches to self-awareness, motivation, productivity, and stress management.

Where Can I Work With a Business Degree?

As previously mentioned, graduates with business degrees may find career opportunities in many different work environments. 

They may find employment in large entities such as sports stadiums, hospitals, social justice organizations, universities, bank headquarters, national real estate companies, brokerage firms, airlines, insurance companies, software companies, food warehouses, trucking companies, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, technology companies, and television networks.

Business degree graduates might have jobs with smaller organizations including local television stations, bank branches, boutique shops, food and beverage distributors, restaurants, pharmacies, regional airports, hotels, and financial consulting firms.

Jobs don’t have to be in offices or even indoors. Business professionals might find themselves spending a lot of time outside offices if they work at amusement parks, zoos, construction projects, charter yacht companies, or shipping facilities.

Highest-Paying Business Jobs

Business jobs that pay well are typically held by graduates with at least a master’s degree, which follows what the BLS indicates is the general trend in all careers. Median weekly earnings in 2018 for those with doctoral and professional degrees were more than triple those with less than a high school diploma, the BLS reported. 

Business Degree Salary

What business degree makes the most money? That may depend on your level of higher education. Have you earned an MBA or doctoral degree in business? Or is your highest level of education a bachelor’s degree? The different degree levels may explain broad pay ranges for job classifications.

The median starting salary for MBA job seekers was $85,000 while the median starting salary for undergraduate job seekers was $52,500, according to a 2019-20 survey by AACSB International, a professional organization that accredits business and accounting programs worldwide.

A host of other factors such as location, number of years in the workforce, and field of concentration also may determine salary range. Certain specialties may be in greater demand.

Business Careers List and Salaries

This table highlights some business careers and their median annual salaries in 2020, according to the BLS: