As the most popular bachelor’s degree, business provides a wide degree of career opportunities. Many students choose to major in business because it’s practical but not too specific. Business students study marketing, information systems, human resources, accounting, finance, and management. This breadth of knowledge attracts employers in a variety of industries. If you’re a business major or recent graduate, check out these well-paying job options.
Human Resources Specialist
An HR specialist’s role depends on the size and structure of the company. In most companies, HR specialists work with managers to recruit and hire new employees. They must note the skills necessary for a given role and identify candidates matching those requirements. Then, they will screen candidates and forward information to hiring managers. They also conduct background checks, psychological or skills exams, and drug tests. Human resources departments also mediate employee disputes and orient new employees. Finally, HR specialists may manage employee benefits such as retirement and health insurance. In order to be competitive, human resource professionals must maintain a thorough knowledge of employment law. Understanding of organizational behavior and psychology is also helpful. HR specialists earned a median annual wage of $52,690 in 2010.*
Personal Financial Advisor
Personal financial advisors meet with clients to discuss financial goals and investment options. They also monitor accounts and recommend changes as needed. Financial advisors must be willing to promote their products and services to potential clients, so networking and sales skills are a must. A concentration in finance will make entry-level candidates more competitive. Personal financial advisors earned a median annual wage of $64,750 in 2010. The profession is projected to grow much faster than average, at a rate of 32% through 2020.
Logisticians oversee business supply chains, ensuring that products and supplies move efficiently through the cycle. Entry-level candidates should have knowledge of procurement, inventory management and supply chain management (SCM). Applicants with SCM software experience will be most competitive. Logisticians earned median annual pay of $70,800 in 2010, and the field is expected to grow faster than average through 2020.
Financial analysts recommend investments by analyzing economic conditions, business trends and financial data. They may work for banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, credit unions, corporations or the government. Entry-level candidates with internship experience, extensive finance coursework and excellent academic performance will have the best chance of landing a job in this highly competitive field. Financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $74,350 in 2010.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts determine how to best market products and services by analyzing consumer data and sales trends. They may conduct interviews, polls or focus groups to gather information about current and potential customers. Business majors hoping to break into the field should concentrate or minor in marketing if possible, and work to obtain internship experience involving market research. Market research analysts earned a median annual wage of $60,570 in 2010 and a growth rate of 41% is expected through 2020.
In today’s job market, a business degree may not be enough to land a good entry-level job. Graduates with internship experience and coursework relevant to the specific jobs desired will face much better opportunities.
*Salary and growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.