What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree?
Sep 24, 2021
What Can You Do With a Business Management Degree?
The words business and management are commonly associated with career success. There are so many great opportunities coming from these areas that the challenge is less about searching for something to do with a business management degree and more about narrowing down the choices. Whether you’re deciding what to study for your associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, you’re looking for a master’s degree in the right field, or just thinking about what interests you have that could turn into a career someday, you’ll want to know what job options go along with a business management program. So what can you do with a business management degree? Let’s find out.
What is a business management degree? Courses to expect
First things first—you need to find a good business school and get your degree before you can really dive into the career search. Business management programs vary from institution to institution, but there are some commonalities to look for.
The basics of business management start with a broad range of topics in finance, accounting, and marketing. Data is the key to making decisions and solving problems in business management, so you’ll be working with plenty of numbers. You’ll also spend a lot of time studying human interactions to build communication, managerial skills, and the ethics of making business decisions.
C.J. Trent-Gurbuz, writing for U.S. News and World Report, offered a summary of what kinds of courses you’ll be taking in this program. He said, “Subjects include economics, statistics, accounting, marketing, management and organization, business communication, and entrepreneurship. Students then focus on coursework more aligned with their interests, or they may choose a concentration.”
When it comes to potential advanced classes, Trent-Gurbuz provided a list that speaks to the complexity of business management and how it reaches into many other areas. Possible course subjects include:
- Operations management
- Management theory and practice
- Organizational behavior
- Entertainment entrepreneurship
- Investment in new ventures
Possible concentrations within a business management major are also varied, including:
- Information systems and technology
- International business
- Leadership and management
- Health and life sciences
- Real estate
Trent-Gurbuz also noted, “Some programs allow business administration majors to pursue dual degrees in areas such as international relations, computer science, neuroscience or philosophy.”
Business Management degree jobs to consider
Combining the benefits of a business degree and a management degree with training in diverse areas such as administration and organizational behavior as well as knowledge in specialized fields like healthcare administration, sports management, international business, and human resource management, a degree in business management makes a wealth of careers accessible.
Broadly speaking, it is a good time to be entering this industry. According to Ilana Kowarski in U.S. News and World Report, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment within management occupations will be 5% higher in 2029 than in 2019, which is faster than the 4% anticipated average job growth rate among all occupations during that time frame.”
Given that the number of openings in business management is large and continuing to grow, it’s important to know what about business management interests you and why it captures your attention. When you have the answer to those questions, you can then focus your studies and job search on the right areas. An unfocused, general search for jobs in business management could become overwhelming.
Mary White in LovetoKnow.com offers an overview of larger areas into which business management careers can be grouped. They include:
- B2B sales
- Nonprofit leadership
- Event planning
- Project management
- Property management
- Human resources
- Medical practice management
- Healthcare management
Kowarski got into more specific job titles within those larger areas. She said, “Experts say that a business management degree is a marketable credential for each of the following positions:
- Business analyst (or business manager)
- Compensation specialist
- Financial analyst
- Financial director (or financial manager)
- Human resources manager
- Investment banker
- Management consultant (or management analyst)
- Marketing analyst
- Marketing director (or marketing manager)
- Nonprofit manager
- Sales Manager
- Private equity analyst or associate
- Project manager
- Sales representative
- Talent acquisition specialist
- Venture capital analyst or associate
- Management analyst
- Market research analyst
- Vice president of finance
- Vice president of marketing.”
This is by no means a comprehensive list, as opposed to the most common landing spots for those with a degree in business management. There are, of course, also important professional steps to take on the way to some of these careers. That should for sure include internships during a bachelor of business management degree program (or MBA program), where business students gain valuable experience and develop management skills. You should also expect to spend time in entry-level jobs, such as an administrative assistant or office manager, gaining further experience for your resume and practicing leadership.
What can you do with a master's degree in business management?
As if there weren’t enough choices for a career after a bachelor’s degree in business management, going on to get your master’s degree only broadens the possibilities for your future in the industry.
Rhetta Standifer, associate professor of management at North Central College, said, “A master’s degree can help individuals in terms of possible promotion and higher salary opportunities over the course of their careers, depending on their goals and the industries they are in.”
Depending on the opening, a master’s degree can make you stand out from other applicants when going for a manager or director position. Employers will value the added expertise and focused instruction you will receive from a graduate degree program from a business school.
Standifer noted that employers often value these skills so much they will contribute to your efforts to get an advanced degree. She said, “Often, individuals will work for a bit before going back for their master’s. If that is the case, you should always check with your employer, because sometimes employers will help pay for the master’s degree if the employee consents to staying with the organization for a specified number of years.”
It may seem simple, but it’s important to know the distinction between a master’s degree in business management and a master of business administration degree or MBA. The MBA programs is popular and highly publicized by many schools. They can lead to similar, but not precisely the same opportunities as a degree program in business management. Be sure to check out our guide on business administration vs business management to find out more.
Where will a business management degree take you?
The most important thing you will gain from a business management program is a versatile set of skills that can be applied in numerous different areas. That means with a business management degree, you might find yourself in an industry adjacent to or maybe even outside of business altogether and still be well-suited to the positions they hold.
Kowarski said, “The breadth of skills cultivated via a business management degree tends to be highly beneficial in the long run, since it prepares someone to work within multiple divisions of a company and to collaborate with a variety of coworkers.
“Furthermore, in contrast to entrepreneurship programs that focus on how to start companies and expand start-ups, management programs tend to have a broader scope, business school faculty say. Management students typically learn how to lead organizations at various stages of their development, including both embryonic businesses and well-established corporations.”
Business management degree programs give students the chance to make an immediate impact. Employers really value people who can do the job effectively without a lot of additional training or hand holding, and business management graduates tend to embody that trait.
Later in her U.S. News piece, Kowarski said, “Jeff Hyman, the CEO of Recruit Rockstars–a Chicago-based executive recruiting company–says that an upside of obtaining a business management degree is that it provides the business savvy necessary to quickly perform well at a new job: ‘One of the key things that an employer is looking for is how long it takes for you to add value and contribute and, frankly, cover your cost.’”
Standifer also pointed out how business management teaches overarching skills that apply to any working environment and make students universally marketable.
She said, “It is, of course, important that our students learn as much as possible about their field of study – what makes a good manager? How does one become a good leader? But just as important for management students is the development of what I’ve referred to as the ‘soft’ skills – things like interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, working with others collaboratively, (and) understanding and building on one’s emotional intelligence skills.”
Therefore, if you’re wondering to yourself, “Is a business management degree worth it?”, the answer is that it can provide you with not only lots of direct paths to great careers, it can make you the kind of candidate who can succeed in almost any job with the freedom to create your own opportunities. Compensation can be very favorable for most business management graduates, as well, so be sure to read more in our business management degree salary guide.
Get off to a great start in Business Management
As mentioned above, the most important decision to make when pursuing a career in business management is the right school. Look for a program like the one at North Central College, which covers the subject from all the most important angles. North Central’s program examines the history and ongoing importance of business management from mythology to neuroscience, teaching you how to see from different perspectives and come up with creative solutions. They’ll prepare you for whatever area you want to work in, whether in nonprofit, for-profit, technical or governmental arenas. You’ll also have the chance to pick up useful experience throughout your studies from business-oriented student organizations and teams, internships, studying abroad, and using the latest business technology in the Bloomberg Finance Lab. Find out more about the business management degree program at North Central and get your career started today.
Jacob Imm is a communications specialist in the North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 11 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
What You Need to Know About Becoming a Business Administration/Management Major. 22 Sept. 2020. U.S. News & World Report.
What You Can Do With a Business Management Degree. 19 Oct. 2020. U.S. News & World Report.
9 Things You Can Do With a Business Management Degree. Mary Gormandy White. LovetoKnow.