10 Career Ideas for Business Majors
Business majors have countless career options to choose from – here are 10 ideas.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, business-related majors are the most popular field of study. Unlike more specialized majors like accounting, a business major generally encompasses a wide range of business topics such as management, marketing, finance, economics, and corporate social responsibility. Wondering how to apply all this knowledge to one occupation? Here are 10 options to explore that draw upon the various competencies unique to a general business major.
1. Management consultant
Management consultants typically work for consulting companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, or Boston Consulting Group. Clients hire management consultants to assist in optimizing their business processes, technology, finances, leadership, and human capital, to ensure continued success of the company. Since business majors have gained exposure to so many aspects of business through their coursework, they are well-positioned for roles in management consulting. No day is ever the same for a management consultant, although working with a client generally follows this formula: understand the client’s business through interviews, observations, and financial analysis; determine a plan for improvement; recommend solutions to senior leadership; and assisting in implementation.
2. Financial advisor
Since business majors learn about subjects like accounting, investment, and finance, working as a financial advisor is a great way to share that knowledge with others. While management consultants are employed by large companies, financial advisors usually work on a one-on-one basis with individuals to help them reach their financial goals through a mix of investments, savings, and insurance options. Financial advisors can assist clients in major financial decisions like getting a mortgage, saving for retirement, and making a plan for children’s college funds. In order to provide the best advice, financial advisors must understand the stock market, stay up-to-date on any legislation affecting investment or market conditions, and enjoy working with people.
3. Leadership development program
If you are eager to become a leader at a specific company, a leadership or management development program could be your ideal path. While entry-level employees will often advance through the ranks over time, individuals participating in a leadership development program have been chosen by a company at the outset to undergo rigorous professional development and rotations in addition to full-time work, with the goal of developing them as future managers. Business majors are excellent candidates for leadership development programs since the rotational experience will be similar to their coursework, in which they learn about many different topics.
4. Investment banker
If you eat, sleep, and breathe NASDAQ or the Dow Jones -- or if you devour The Wall Street Journal along with your morning coffee -- consider working as an investment banker. Investment bankers work at firms such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and Citi in order to assist companies or government agencies in raising capital by issuing stocks and bonds for investors to buy. Investment banks might also work with mergers and acquisitions, launch initial public offerings (IPO), and serve as financial advisors for their clients based on market conditions. This career path is not easy, since it requires long hours and high stress, but the financial payoff is high. The industry is known for its generous salaries and bonuses.
5. Supply chain analyst
What is a product’s journey from production through delivery to the consumer? A supply chain analyst can answer that! Supply chain analysts ensure that a company’s goods are produced, properly labeled, and transported to the intended recipient on time and on budget. This career involves optimizing workflows, taking inventory of various items, and tracking supply and demand of products to ensure that the company’s resources are being used most efficiently. Some of the skills required for this job are quantitative analysis, data modeling, and database management.
In most states, you would need a degree in accounting as well as a license to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). However, there are still accounting jobs available for graduates with a general business major. Accountants work with individuals, companies, organizations, and the government to prepare financial documents and ensure everyone pays their taxes correctly and on time. Staff accountants who work in-house for a company generally don’t require a CPA, and neither do sole practitioners assisting individual clients with personal taxes..
7. Business operations manager
Business operations managers, or operations managers, have a variety of job responsibilities related to maximizing a company’s profit. They are usually involved in managing the company budget, developing internal policies, and comparing annual expenses against annual spend to determine any changes that need to be made. A business operations manager must be skilled in leadership and communication, as well as business analytics and finance. This is also a lucrative position. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the mean annual wage as $123,880.
8. Retail buyer
A retail buyer works on behalf of a company in order to select and purchase merchandise that will be sold in retail stores. This highly quantitative job requires business research and forecasting, such as analyzing previous sales data and researching current market trends in order to determine demand for different products. During peak seasons like the holidays, retail buyers often work more than 40 hours in a week. Business majors who enjoy working with numbers and in industries like retail and consumer goods might consider working as a retail buyer.
9. Development / fundraising coordinator
Development and fundraising personnel usually work for nonprofits, schools, government agencies, political campaigns, and social impact ventures in order to generate donation revenue that will be used in running the business. Working in this field might entail running events, managing contact lists, or marketing to prospective donors. Similar jobs include working in Planned Giving, Corporate Giving, or Alumni Relations at a university. There is no one academic background for fundraising and development, but a business major’s experience in quantitative analysis, management, and marketing make them well-suited for this job.
10. Loan officer
Loan officers work on behalf of banks and other financial institutions in order to evaluate applications for business, real estate, or credit loans. They also meet with individual clients who want to get approved for a loan. Key skills for this career include financial analysis and oral communication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for loan officers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
As you can see, business majors are in an excellent position with so many diverse careers to choose from. To learn more about different opportunities, go on informational interviews, undertake internships, and explore companies that might be of interest to you. The earlier in your education that you start thinking about potential paths, the better off you will be to nab that first gig after graduation.