The Best Careers in Business

by TBS Staff
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"Business professional" is one of the most flexible categories of employment, offering diverse work opportunities and environments. With training and experience, graduates can pursue business careers in many fields, including accounting, marketing, and management. Most business professionals are tasked with analyzing and improving organizational operations and performance.

The job outlook for business professionals is quite strong. As the economy diversifies and market globalization continues to change how people do business, the demand for business professionals has expanded. According to BLS employment data, business and financial occupations are projected to grow faster than the average occupation between 2019-2029.

While most of these professions require at least a bachelor's degree in business, earning an MBA can lead to more financially rewarding careers. BLS employment data indicates that business management occupations earn the highest median annual wages of all occupational groups at over $105,000. The median annual wage for business and financial occupations is nearly $70,000 — much higher than the average for all occupations.

Best Business Careers

We ranked the best careers in business by salary and projected job growth rates using BLS data.

true Marketing Managers $135,900
Median BLS Salary (2020) $135,900
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 6%

Marketing managers oversee marketing staff and plan marketing campaigns for organizations based on demand. They use market research data to determine pricing, forecast market trends, and identify areas for market growth.

A marketing manager needs a bachelor's degree in advertising, business, marketing, or a related field. They also typically need relevant professional experience and strong communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills.

true Financial Managers $129,890
Median BLS Salary (2020) $129,890
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 15%

Financial managers coordinate efforts to ensure organizations' financial success. They oversee short- and long-term financial plans, direct investments, and write forecasting reports related to financial goals. Financial managers may also look for ways to reduce costs and maximize profits.

A financial manager typically needs relevant professional experience and a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. They also need strong communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills.

true Sales Managers $126,640
Median BLS Salary (2020) $126,640
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 4%

Sales managers prepare budgets, oversee expenses, and establish quotas for sales representatives. As intermediaries between sales staff and organizational executives, sales managers coordinate with clients, distributors, dealers, and other personnel throughout the supply chain. Sales managers may specialize in business-to-business sales or business-to-consumer sales, depending on the industry.

Sales managers typically need experience as sales representatives. They hold bachelor's degrees in business, finance, economics, or related disciplines.

true Human Resources Managers $116,720
Median BLS Salary (2020) $116,720
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 6%

Human resources managers supervise recruitment, hiring, and dismissal of employees within organizations and companies. They oversee benefits programs, training, compensation, and workforce development efforts. Human resources managers must stay current with laws and regulations related to employment, manage conflicts and disputes that arise within organizations, and work with executives to assess worker productivity.

These professionals need strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. A human resources manager needs a bachelor's degree in labor relations, human resources, business administration, or a related discipline.

true Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $116,180
Median BLS Salary (2020) $116,180
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 9%

Tasked with creating and maintaining the public image of businesses and organizations, public relations managers contact consumers, audiences, and clients through various media, like press releases. Fundraising managers coordinate revenue-generating campaigns, apply for grants, and work with potential donors to meet organizational fundraising goals.

Public relations and fundraising managers need strong verbal and written communication skills, along with excellent time management and decision-making skills. These professionals often hold public relations bachelor's degrees.

true Training and Development Managers $113,350
Median BLS Salary (2020) $113,350
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 7%

These managers develop, implement, and assess training programs, budgets, and personnel. They also introduce new concepts, ideas, and technologies to organizational staff, managers, and executives.

Training and development managers typically hold bachelor's degrees in human resources, organizational development, or business administration. Related work experience also helps training and development managers succeed.

true Personal Financial Advisors $87,850
Median BLS Salary (2020) $87,850
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 4%

Personal financial advisors advise clients on financial matters, such as investments, taxes, and retirement funds. They help clients identify financial goals and may purchase stocks, bonds, and insurance on a client's behalf. These advisors may also specialize in an aspect of finance, such as private banking or wealth management.

Personal financial advisors typically need bachelor's degrees in finance, economics, accounting, or related fields. They also must possess strong analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills.

true Management Analysts $85,260
Median BLS Salary (2020) $85,260
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 11%

Also known as management consultants, management analysts offer recommendations to improve organizational efficacy and efficiency. They may work internally within an organization or serve as independent contractors. Management consultants gather quantitative and qualitative information about problems and challenges, providing solutions and plans for reducing costs, optimizing employee output, and increasing revenue.

Management analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field. They need strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.

true Operations Research Analysts $84,810
Median BLS Salary (2020) $84,810
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 25%

Operations research analysts assess quantitative and qualitative data to advise managers, executives, and other organizational leaders on the most effective and efficient wys to improve business outcomes. They assess costs, resources, and pricing for companies and organizations across industries.

These analysts need strong skills in statistics, predictive modeling, and simulations. An operations research analyst typically holds a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, analytics, or a related field.

true Operations Research Analysts $84,810
Median BLS Salary (2020) $84,810
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 5%

Financial analysts collect past and current financial data to forecast investment trends. They advise individuals and businesses, offering insight into the performance of stocks, bonds, and comparable investments. Some financial analysts focus on the buy-side, forming strategies for making investments, while sell-side financial analysts advise clients on selling investments.

A financial analyst typically holds a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Professional certification helps these professionals advance their careers.

Financial Examiners $81,090
Median BLS Salary (2020) $81,090
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 7%

Financial examiners work within financial organizations to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. They examine financial statements, balance sheets, and comparable documentation to assess an institution's safety and stability. Financial examiners also assess risks related to loans to ensure the fair treatment of borrowers and the viability of lending activities.

A bachelor's degree in accounting serves financial examiners well. Entry-level financial examiners typically receive extensive on-the-job training, while their senior-level counterparts often hold master's degrees and certified public accountant licensure.

Budget Analysts $76,540
Median BLS Salary (2020) $76,540
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 3%

Budget analysts help organizations and individuals maintain their finances. They assess budget capabilities and limits, reviewing requests for projects and funding throughout the fiscal year. They also ensure that financial activities meet legal and regulatory standards, monitor spending and revenue, and forecast financial needs.

A budget analyst typically holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, finance, accounting, or a related field. They need strong technical and analytical skills.

Agents and Business Managers $73,740
Median BLS Salary (2020) $73,740
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 12%

Agents work closely with professional athletes, performers, and artists, representing the interests of their clients. They negotiate and oversee contracts, often taking on additional business and promotional matters as needed.

Business managers provide similar functions for companies and organizations, coordinating operations and tasks on behalf of the business. They manage budgets and delegate duties to fellow employees.

Like most business administration jobs, agents and business managers often hold bachelor's degrees in business administration, public relations, or related fields. They typically have excellent communication skills and a comprehensive understanding of business practices within their industry.

Credit Analysts $73,650
Median BLS Salary (2020) $73,650
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 2%

Credit analysts determine the viability of an individual's or organization's credit. They assess past purchases and financial holdings to determine loan worthiness. When working for financial institutions, credit analysts also establish parameters to approve credit requests. Within a corporation or business, credit analysts may also suggest steps to improve credit scores and ratings.

Credit analysts are detail-oriented, effective decision-makers and strong quantitative analysts. They typically hold bachelor's degrees in mathematics, business, economics, or accounting.

Business Operations Specialists $73,570
Median BLS Salary (2020) $73,570
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 1%

Business operations specialists assess business functions to ensure customer needs are met. They identify areas for improvement, optimize customer service, and streamline operations to improve efficiency and ensure future success.

Business operations specialists need strong analytical and communication skills. They typically have bachelor's degrees in business or related fields.

Is a Business Career Right for You?

Business students enjoy many career benefits, such as high earnings and professional development opportunities, but the field may not suit everyone. To ensure that they pursue the right career and professional pathway, learners should think about their goals, strengths, and weaknesses and weigh the advantages and disadvantages listed below.

  • Advantages

  • The business field offers a strong career path with great opportunities for both entry-level and experienced professionals. With a bachelor's degree, a candidate can access some of the largest workforces in every state, along with considerably higher wages than the state average in most cases.

    Business roles also offer opportunities for career growth and change. With such broad and widely applicable training, business graduates can leverage their skills in many different industries and positions. They can also build experience to update and expand their training and take on more advanced roles.

    To get the most out of their careers, business professionals must be able to thrive in problem-solving situations. They need critical thinking and interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, and social perceptiveness. While the field can be rewrading, it also often demands commitment and dedication.

  • Challenges

  • Business professionals face plenty of challenges in their day-to-day work. They often need to manage customers, clients, and coworkers. Depending on the position, they may work long hours at a desk or travel between locations frequently. During busy periods, workers may need to put in additional hours to complete their tasks.

    In such a vast and competitive field, successful business careers often demand regularly updated and upgraded skills. Business professionals also need to stay sharp, detail-oriented, and meticulous.

    Most higher-paying business major jobs are in metropolitan city centers, and candidates may need to live in the city or within commuting distance. While many careers and employers offer clear advancement opportunities, they may require additional education, like earning a master's degree.

Popular Questions About Business Jobs

What Are the Highest Paying Business Jobs? true

The highest-paying business degree jobs typically come at the management level. According to BLS data, management occupations earned a median annual wage of $105,660 in 2019. Among those occupations, information systems managers received the highest median annual wage, with $146,360.

Are Business Jobs in Demand?

Yes. The projected job growth between 2019-2029 for both business and financial occupations and business management occupations was 5% — slightly higher than for all occupations. BLS projections indicate that some business careers, like financial management, will grow much faster than the national average.

What Business Jobs Are Fun?

The enjoyment a person gets out of a business job depends on their unique interests. Statisticians who enjoy problem-solving and working with numbers will thrive in this field, and marketing professionals often enjoy the freedom to express themselves creatively. Consultants and analysts typically enjoy a dynamic work environment as well.

Is a Business Degree Worth It?

Business degrees are the most popular choice in education, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. Students choose these degrees for many reasons, including job flexibility, upward mobility, and lucrative salaries. Most employers hire applicants with bachelor's degrees in the field, making the pursuit of higher education essential for these careers.

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