Business Degree Jobs: Top Careers by Pay & Growth

Business has been the most popular major for undergraduate students for more than 30 years due in part to the versatility of the degree and high average salaries for business graduates. Many students choose to specialize in areas such as accounting, finance, management, marketing, human resources, international business, or operations management. Business degree programs focus on teaching skills necessary to excel in organizational leadership roles. Students will learn how to make strategic decisions, manage people, projects, and teams, and develop effective communication and problem-solving skills for the business world.

To help business students and graduates plan for future careers, we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to report on the highest earning, fastest-growing, and most popular occupations for business degree graduates. Learn more about our methodology here.

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Highest Earning Jobs for Graduates with a Business Degree

All of the highest-paid jobs for business majors earn six-figure salaries on average and require at least a bachelor's degree to enter the field. Chief executives and legislators are the top earners for business degrees, with an average salary of $188,421 per year. Sales is also a highly paid field for business majors. Sales representatives earn $100,682 to $107,977 per year, on average, while sales managers earn $135,617 per year. Financial managers are one of the highest earning and fastest growing positions for business majors. Financial managers earn $127,891 per year, on average, and the need for these professionals is projected to grow by 15.5% from 2019-2029, which is much higher than the national average of 3.7% for all occupations.

Chart of the highest earning jobs for business majors. The top three jobs by salary are chief executives and legislators, securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, and sales managers.

Fastest Growing Jobs for Graduates with a Business Degree

The occupations included in this section have the highest projected 10-year growth rates for business degrees, and are all projected to grow faster than the national average of 3.7% for all jobs. The fastest growing positions are market research analysts and marketing specialists, at 17.7%, and financial managers, at 15.5%. Financial managers are also one of the highest paid and most popular positions for business majors, earning $127,891 per year, on average. The demand for management analysts is also projected to grow significantly, increasing by 10.7% over the next decade. Each of the fastest-growing jobs for business majors featured on this list require a bachelor's degree to enter the field.

Chart of the fastest growing jobs for business majors. The top three jobs by projected growth between 2019 and 2029 are market research analysts and marketing specialists, financial managers, and management analysts.

Business Degree Career Tracks

A business degree can open a range of career opportunities for graduates. Finance is a highly popular field for business majors, who often work in managerial, advisory, or analytical roles within a company. Many business majors also pursue roles in marketing and sales, either as members of a team or in leadership positions. Some students may also choose to concentrate their business degree in a more specialized field such as human resources, operations, or information technology.

Field Jobs for Business Majors
Finance Financial managers, financial advisors, financial and investment analysts, accountants and auditors, personal financial advisors
Marketing and Sales Sales representatives, sales managers, market research analysts, marketing specialists, marketing managers
Human Resources Human resources specialists, human resources managers
Management General managers, operations managers, management analysts, construction managers, first-line supervisors,
Information Technology (IT) Computer systems analysts

Top Skills For Business Graduates

Critical thinking and analysis

From financial analytics to marketing and sales, the ability to think critically and analyze data, information, and situations are applicable in all aspects of a business. These skills are highly important, especially in management positions.

Decision-making

Understanding the impact big and small-scale changes will have on an organization is a key component of leadership roles. Business majors learn how to assess a situation and make strategic decisions about how to move forward to achieve organizational goals.

Communication

Interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills are some of the most valuable strengths a student will gain from their business degree. Professionals across sectors need to be able to communicate effectively whether they're managing teams, collaborating with coworkers, writing reports, or working one-on-one with clients.

Strategic problem-solving

Business degree programs emphasize critical thinking and analysis skills to solve complex issues, allowing students to effectively identify and solve problems at the individual, team, and organizational level.

Popular jobs for business majors span several different business niches and include positions as managers, sales representatives, financial managers, and real estate brokers and sales agents. The most popular job for business majors is a career in management. Managers earn an average of $113,562 per year, although the job growth rate is expected to decline 2.1% from 2019-2029, which may make the field more competitive. Many business majors also go on to become sales representatives in wholesale and manufacturing, with average salaries of $100,682 per year. The need for sales representatives in this industry is projected to grow by 1.5% from 2019-2029. Financial managers are one of the most popular, highest paid, and fastest growing roles for business majors, earning an average salary of $127,891 per year. Each of the positions listed here often requires at least a bachelor's degree to enter the field.


Most Lucrative Entry-Level Business Degree Jobs

From operations to marketing to human resources, there are many aspects of business that require the kind of critical thinking skills and business acumen you'll develop through a college degree. Here are three of the most lucrative entry-level career options available to those who've earned a bachelor's degree in business.

1

Entry-Level Operations Manager

Entry-Level Salary: $77,915 Projected Job Growth: 5-7% Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's

Operations managers can be found in all types of work environments—wherever goods or services are produced. They are responsible for balancing cost with quality, ensuring that the goods and services are produced as efficiently and effectively as possible. Leading, supervising, hiring, and training the people who produce the goods and services is a key component of the job. Operations managers also formulate strategies, devise processes, set budgets, and monitor goals that support efficient production.


2

Entry-Level Business Analyst

Entry-Level Salary: $65,851 Projected Job Growth: 11% Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's

Business analysts often work as consultants for various types of organizations, although some may work as in-house analysts for large corporations. A business analyst's job is to help an organization become more competitive in the marketplace by researching and analyzing its systems and processes, clarifying any problems or issues, and proposing solutions. The analyst may or may not be involved in implementing the solution. Many business analysts specialize in a certain aspect of the business—such as computer systems—or a particular type of organization.


3

Entry-Level Marketing Manager

Entry-Level Salary: $61,883 Projected Job Growth: 6% Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's

Marketing managers are responsible for building public awareness of and creating demand for their organization's services or products. In the largest organizations, a marketing manager might work with only a single product or product line. Marketing managers must determine how to effectively reach the target audience, how to create demand through advertising and other types of promotional campaigns, how to strategically price the product or service, and how to address customer complaints. A marketing manager's knowledge of consumers can also be used to help develop new products and services.


Frequently Asked Questions About Jobs for Business Graduates

Is it worth getting a business degree?

A business degree is one of the best options for students looking to maximize their investment in education. Business is the most popular major for undergraduate students due in large part to higher average starting salaries and mid-career salaries than other majors and the versatility of the degree. The skills gained from a business degree are applicable in a wide range of positions across industries, making business an appealing choice for students with a variety of different career goals. When weighing the pros and cons of getting a business degree, students should consider what their professional goals are and how much time and money they are able to commit. Some specific career goals could be better met with a certificate, career-focused training, or another degree program targeted to the role they are seeking.

How much do business majors make?

Business degrees are popular because they often lead to higher average salaries for graduates compared to other majors. Business and finance positions have a median annual salary of $69,820, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries will vary depending on the field and occupation a business major pursues. Financial managers are among the most popular and highest-paid positions for business majors, earning $127,891 per year, on average. Also notable are sales managers, with annual reported earnings of $135,617. The average starting salary for someone with a bachelor's degree in business is $52,040, and many people go on to graduate school to earn their MBA, which often provides a significant salary boost for alumni. Among the most lucrative entry-level positions for business majors is operations manager, with an entry-level salary of $77,915.

Professional Associations

The American Business Women's Association - The ABWA has worked to support and connect women in business for over 70 years through leadership, education, and national recognition. The organization hosts thousands of meetings each year to provide networking and professional development opportunities for women across the country.

American Management Association - The AMA is an international non-profit association offering educational services and management tools to companies and individuals. Alongside corporate training opportunities, the organization offers seminars and other resources to help employees make a positive impact at their organization.

Association for Financial Professionals - The AFP provides original research, learning opportunities, tools, and other resources for finance professionals and their companies. The group also offers an annual networking conference and other opportunities for those working in finance to connect.

Entrepreneurs' Organization - The EO works to support business owners and entrepreneurs to help them maximize their potential and grow their businesses. Members gain access to forums, global and local events, executive education, and networking opportunities.