If you’re considering earning a business management degree, you might have some questions about the kind of careers you can pursue after graduation. Plus, understanding what roles a business degree prepares you for and what salaries you can expect can also help you determine if earning a bachelor’s degree will be worth your investment of time and money.
The good news? Earning a business management degree can open doors to many different career paths, says Peter Lucash, lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies.
“[A BS in Management] is fundamentally an exposure to the basic groundings of running an organization,” Lucash says. “As you move through your career, it becomes less about your functional skills and more about your soft skills, your ability to relate to people, and your critical thinking skills. But those foundational skills are critical.”
Below, we discuss the career outlook for those working in business management and highlight some of the most common jobs pursued by degree holders.
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Business Management Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the field of business management (spanning all industries and sectors of the economy) is expected to grow by approximately five percent between 2019 and 2029. This means that the United States economy is expected to add more than half a million management positions in the coming decade. This growth is faster than average across all occupations, indicating that the demand for individuals with managerial skills and experience is growing.
The BLS estimates that this increased demand will be driven largely by the emergence of new businesses and organizations and the expansion of existing businesses of all sizes.
In May of 2019, the median annual salary for managerial positions stood at $105,660—the highest average for all major occupational groups that the Bureau tracks. However, management salaries can vary significantly depending on industry, ranging from $48,210 (childcare) to $146,360 (information technology.)
Top Jobs for Graduates With a Business Management Degree
1. Management Analyst
A management analyst is a type of consultant who works with companies to improve their management processes. They leverage their expertise so their clients can become more efficient and effective, often while reducing costs. Management analysts typically review an organization’s existing systems and workflows, conduct organizational studies, and use their insights to develop new procedures to help clients reach their goals.
2. Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts are similar in many ways to management analysts. But whereas management analysts tend to be more focused on optimizing the management processes and challenges within an organization, operations research analysts apply their skills more broadly. These professionals may work in-house within an organization or may serve multiple clients. They use various analytical techniques to optimize an organization’s labor requirements, product and equipment distribution, costs, and workflows.
3. Budget Analyst
Budget analysts are primarily concerned with creating a budget for an organization and ensuring that it stays on target. Depending on the specific organization, planning may involve monthly, quarterly, annual, or even multi-year budgets, quickly becoming complicated and requiring a high level of analytical skill. Budget analysts also help employers understand the long-term implications of capital investment and how decisions made now might influence the budget for years to come.
4. Business Analyst
Individuals working as business analysts are responsible for improving the efficiency and impact of various business operations within an organization. Their work typically involves reviewing programs and technical processes and leveraging data to identify and communicate business trends that the organization can use to be more successful. As such, business analysts are heavily influential in guiding a business’s decision-making process, particularly as it related to strategic planning. Business analysts may also be involved in project management or change management initiatives.
5. Market and Survey Researcher
Market and survey researchers use their understanding of statistics to design and conduct surveys for various stakeholders, including private businesses, nonprofits, research firms, government agencies, polling organizations, and more. Once a survey is complete, market and survey researchers are also responsible for analyzing the results and providing actionable insights to stakeholders.
6. Cost Estimator
Businesses employ cost estimators to estimate the various expenses (labor, equipment, materials, time, etc.) associated with completing complex projects. Examples may include constructing a building, designing an order fulfillment facility, launching a product or service, and everything in between. They may also review various processes to determine ways to reduce costs when possible. Cost estimators play an essential role in helping organizations price their products and services, particularly in industries that rely on accurate bidding for projects.
7. Marketing Manager
Organizations large and small depend on marketing professionals to increase the public’s awareness of their product, services, and overarching brand. Marketing managers are the professionals responsible for conceptualizing, planning, and executing various marketing campaigns. They must also track their campaigns’ effectiveness to understand what is working, what isn’t, and how they might replicate insights gained in future endeavors.
8. Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers (HRM) perform a range of duties that revolve around the people of an organization. Their multifaceted roles can include work on recruitment and retention initiatives, training, conflict mediation and resolution, compensation and benefits management, and more. Depending on the organization’s size, human resource managers may manage a team or act as the entire department on their own, interacting with other department heads as necessary to ensure all organizational needs are met.
Take The First Step in Your Career By Earning Your Degree
The job titles described above have one thing in common: Each typically requires an applicant to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field to be considered. While a number of degrees could help candidates meet this requirement, earning a Bachelor of Science in Management specifically gives you a foundation of relevant skills you can leverage in business careers.
Additionally, it’s important to note that while a bachelor’s degree is typically the bare minimum requirement for being considered for the roles discussed above, earning an advanced degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in Accounting and Business Management (MS/MBA) can be an excellent way to further differentiating yourself from other job seekers and increasing your odds of landing more senior-level positions.
When choosing a program to enroll in, Lucash notes that there are specific criteria students should bear in mind.
First, he says that it is essential that faculty have experience working within their various industries. This experience ensures that they are industry-aligned and that the curriculum will match modern employers’ demands. Second, the program should offer experiential learning opportunities that allow you to gain real-world experience that employers are looking for. And finally, with the world economy more interconnected than it’s ever been before, it’s important to gain multicultural awareness and experience.
“For example, at Northeastern, we have a very diverse global student body,” Lucash says. “Students are exposed to a lot of people from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds. This gives them both an appreciation for and the ability to work with people from various backgrounds, which is what companies want.”
Are you interested in pursuing a career in management? Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Management offered by Northeastern University to see how advancing your education can help you reach your goals.