There is a misconception that a business degree is only relevant for people who wish to start their own business or even an empire. In reality, this is simply not true.
Studying for a business degree is a fantastic way to learn and hone a range of transferable skills which will make a graduate very employable across all industries. An undergraduate business studies degree is one of the most popular types of business degree as it covers a range of key topics such as finance, management, marketing, and accounting.
Whether you have recently graduated with a business degree or graduated some time ago, you may be wondering what you can do with your qualification to put your education to work.
What Can You Do with Your Business Degree?
Many people pursue a business degree with aspirations of a well-paid, high-powered and fast-paced career. This could be within a corporate setting, in financial services or in a more creative sector such as the media. The big attraction of a business degree, however, is that it opens up professional opportunities across almost all industries. Managers, financial advisors, leaders, and decision-makers are essential in any business. Of course, if working for someone else in a corporate environment doesn’t appeal, you may choose to start your own enterprise. If you graduated years ago and have already gained experience in the professional world then you may be considering taking a leap into a new sector or taking on a more senior role.
Whatever stage of your career you have reached, it’s often advisable to improve your employment prospects and maximizing the return on your investment through postgraduate study. Graduates with a Master’s in addition to a Bachelor’s degree can access higher starting salaries, and those with professional experience can specialize their knowledge and skills in a specific sector. It’s possible to study for an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) via an online program with Suffolk University which enables professionals to continue to work alongside their studies.
Common Career Paths for Business Graduates
Business skills are vital in a wide variety of sectors to ensure success. Planning strategy, financial management, marketing, and leading others are key in any organization from small to large. Here are some of the most common career paths for graduates with either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in business administration.
Accounting and Finance
Accountancy and financial management are often covered in business degrees but graduates who wish to specialize in this area usually need to pursue further education and training in finance. Business graduates can sometimes secure a graduate position which enables them to study while gaining professional experience. Some larger employers will even cover the cost of the course. Managing finances and accounts for a company includes reviewing past performance, analyzing the current situation, limiting risk and making appropriate projections and recommendations on tax and expenditure.
Being a manager is a demanding task which requires a wide range of skills and personal qualities to perform effectively. The reward for the increased pressure and responsibility is a higher salary and plenty of opportunity for progression. To become a manager in any sector, you will usually require several years of experience in addition to relevant formal qualifications.
Business professionals with experience can also work as business consultants which involve advising companies based on your own analytical skills and expertise. This could be to advise companies on how to improve their efficiency or maximize the potential of a project. This career is varied and often challenging as it provides a continuous supply of new clients and challenges in as many sectors as you feel comfortable working in.
Of course, there is always the option to start your own enterprise from the ground up, but this decision is not one to be taken lightly. You will need a product or service offering which is unique in some way, start-up capital, a strong business strategy and plenty of resilience and personal sacrifice. Learn more about starting a business here.
Sales and Retail
The world of sales and retail offers numerous opportunities for business professionals from store-based roles to head office positions. Depending on the size of the organization you work for there may also be opportunities for national or international travel which makes knowledge of global markets an advantage.
Many companies also run graduate programs which give graduates the opportunity to train in management while working for a specific company. This equips you with key skills in a real-world environment which you can take with you at every stage of your career.
Other Careers for Business Graduates
While the above are the most obvious routes for business graduates, there is almost no limit to the opportunities the qualification can open. Every company needs business expertise and the ability to analyze and think critically. Your choice of the industry may be led by your personal interests and this is no bad thing. If you are passionate about the product, service or company, you are more likely to be successful in your career.
Business and creativity are not often placed in the same category, but the truth is that they more closely related than many people know. There are plenty of roles within the creative industries such as media which require people with both creativity and business acumen, e.g. magazine publishing, TV, film, radio, online, events and much more. Your role will not be directly linked to creativity but you will need an understanding of the industry to perform your role effectively. You may be working in human resources, operations, sales, PR, finance and accounting, marketing and advertising.
Marketing and Advertising
A business graduate can be a real asset to marketing and advertising teams, especially if they have creative capabilities. Business graduates can provide analysis and report-writing, research, strategy development, managing client relationships, analyzing markets and evaluating campaign results.
Business graduates are usually left with excellent communication and interpersonal skills as well as their business knowledge. This makes them ideally suited to a career in human resources. The role requires an understanding of business operations and management as well as knowledge of employment laws.