Business Careers: Career Paths Options For Business Graduates
Will having a Business degree help me in my career? Of course it will!
As a graduate of a business program, you will have plenty of options regarding both business careers, and careers outside of business. From a career as an accounting technician to a career as the C.E.O. of a large organization, there are hundreds of careers a graduate with a business degree can pursue.
While pursuing your undergraduate business degree, you will develop career-specific skills, as well as a set of intangible traits, such as confidence. These skills and traits easily transfer from one industry and career path to another. Skills such as collaborating with others and project planning are highly marketable and always in demand with employers. These skills and traits will help you identify career fields that you are well-suited for, give you the confidence to go after them, and the ability to succeed in them.
Sorted by major area of study within the field of business, we have detailed occupational information on hundreds of careers applicable to an undergraduate or graduate business degree. Some of these careers are directly related to business, while others are not; in either case you will be able to pursue these careers because of the transferable skills you have gained as a result of your education.
Business Careers Sorted by Major
Why Is a Business Degree Useful? Will it Help You Get a Job?
Having a degree in business has many benefit, and it will help you get a job… here’s why:
The primary purpose of a business degree is to acquire educational experiences, during the course of which business students will undergo personal growth and development. Being prepared for a successful career in business is a natural result of this process.
Business graduates are enabled to make the transition from student to employee with relative ease due to their nature of their coursework. The balanced curriculum of most business programs gives both a hands-on approach, and a general approach to solving problems, thus equipping graduates with the necessary skills for their careers in business, or their careers outside of business.
By performing such hands-on tasks as creating trade plans and performing market research, business students gain skills and knowledge, such as how to establish and run a business. Some undergraduate business curriculum coursework is designed to be broad, and that's because many interesting problems that business people encounter require high levels of critical, general thinking.
Due to the balanced nature of the coursework, students who do well in an undergraduate business program can access many kinds of business careers, and careers outside of business, and be recruited by many different types of employers.
Planning Timeline for Business Careers
Below we’ve outlined a specific timeline of actions that will help you effectively make the transition from an undergraduate business education to your chosen business career. Remember, the more proactive you are with your career planning now, the more career options you will have when you graduate.
• Create a resume, and if it seems short don't be concerned, as most first year business students won't have lengthy resumes at this point
• Introduce yourself to the Career Resource/Service staff at your school
• Learn about yourself, your interests, and skills by utilizing online and printed resources (ask you Career Resource/Services staff)
• Choose your business major by identifying those that relate to your interests and abilities
• Identify and pursue summer work and volunteer experiences that align with your major
• Ensure to maintain a strong GPA, as many employers will exclude students and recent graduates with low GPA's from internships and job opportunities
• Purchase a suit or an outfit that you can wear for interviews throughout the duration of your university career
• Update your resume with any business career related experience you've obtained
• Join an on-campus business organization; this will help you network and develop interpersonal and communication skills
• Take several online career assessments
• Attend business-specific and general career exploration workshops, job fairs and other career related events
• Identify and contact business professionals in a field of your interest to conduct an informal interview. They will give you great first hand information regarding business careers in your area of interest.
• Research any available job shadowing or volunteer opportunities
• Plan early for business summer work opportunities or internships
• Pursue leadership opportunities in business-oriented and other professional student organizations
• Update your resume to include all business-related work experience you've obtained during your second year and your summer
• Prepare for business internship interviews by attending interview workshops
• Attend business-specific and general career fairs to research internships and future job opportunities
• Research graduate business programs and the schools that offer them
• Attend graduate business career fairs to make contact with program representatives
• Finalize business summer experience/internship plans
• Seek and attend employment skill-building workshops
• Finalize your resume and cover letters to reflect all of the business work experience you have gained, as well as your education
• Sign up for mock interviews with your Career Resources/Services staff
• Attend business-specific and general career fairs in the geographic location you plan to live (if possible)
• Apply to graduate business programs if you plan on attending
• Research potential employers and job possibilities
• Pursue any networking contacts through friends, family, clubs, professors, etc.
• If you have had successful co-op or internship experiences, you may already have one or more full-time job offers from employers with whom you have already worked
Business Careers: What are Employable Skills of Business Graduates?
An undergraduate or graduate education in business teaches students many transferable skills that are useful in business careers, as well as careers outside of business. These employable skills include:
Communication: Undergraduate and graduate business students are taught to read and present information in a variety of forms, such as reports, graphs, charts and diagrams. They are taught to speak in a captivating and concise manner, so that those listening will pay close attention and can understand them easily. Learning to listen and ask questions teaches undergraduate business students to understand and appreciate the points of view of others.
The use of numbers: Undergraduate business programs teach students how to observe and record data using appropriate methods, tools and technology. Throughout their career in business, graduates can apply these skills to help them decide what information and data sets need to be measured and calculated.
Critical thinking and problem solving: Business students learn to thoroughly assess situations and identify problems and discrepancies. The business student is taught how to view problems from different perspectives and evaluate them on facts, not subjectivity. Business students are taught to be thorough, and as a result, they will act on opportunities for improvement once a solution to a problem has been verified.
Collaborating with others: Undergraduate and graduate business programs teach students to understand and work within the dynamics of a group, and to ensure the objectives of that group are clear. As part of a group, business students are taught to be respectful and open to the ideas, opinions and contributions of others. Business students are taught to lead and support the group, as during the course of a project the group may suffer from a lack of motivation, discipline or other ailments. Conflict within the group may be a foregone conclusion in some cases, or may occur haphazardly in others. In either case, undergraduate and graduate business programs prepare their graduates to effectively manage and resolve these situations when they occur.
Project planning and execution: A business education provides students with the opportunity to develop and hone their project planning and execution skills. Business coursework gives students the opportunity to learn how to plan, design and carry out a project from start to finish; a highly applicable skill for business careers. They must learn how to define objectives and outcomes, as well as work within budgetary and timeline restrictions. Business students learn to adapt to changing project requirements, and constantly monitor a project's progress.
Who Creates Jobs for Business Graduates?
Business graduates who possess a good balance of intangible skills (such as good communication skills and critical thinking) and tangible skills (such as the ability to prepare a business plan or advertising proposal) have great chance of being employed with the organization of their choice, whether or not it relates directly to a career in business.
What kind of organizations hire business graduates?
As all organizations require management in order to operate, there is always room for a business graduate. Below is a non-comprehensive list of these types of employers may include:
• Self-employment (business ownership or consulting)
• Non-profit organizations
• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government agencies
• Colleges and universities
• Manufacturers and distributors (including retailers)
• Advertising and marketing agencies
• Banks and financial institutions
• Real estate development and sales organizations
• Transportation and logistics companies
• Hotels and resorts
• Virtually any other kind of organization
Business Graduate Salary: How Much Do Business Graduates Make?
The Salary level of business graduates can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors, including:
• The industry in which they work
• The size and type of their employer
• Their level of responsibility
• The region in which they work
Business Graduate Salary United States: In the United States, bachelor of commerce graduates earn an average of $55,844 USD in their first year out of school, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1)
Business Graduate Salary Canada: Unfortunately there is only salary information for business graduates for the province of Ontario. In Ontario, bachelor of commerce graduates typically earn an average of $52,276 CAD in their first year in the work force, according to MacLeans' Magazine online. (2)
(1) Itkin, Dina. “Career beginnings for business majors” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Winter 2008-2009.
(2) Dehaas, Josh. “The most (and least) lucrative degrees in Ontario” MacLean’s On Campus, Web. November 10, 2011.
Job Search Advice for Careers in Business
You’re about to graduate with a business degree and you’re eager to make your mark. How do you find that perfect job? How do you put your degree to work for you to start a career in business? Below we’ve outlined some common tactics that you can implement into your job search strategy. By implementing some or all of these tactics in your job search, it won’t be long before you have multiple job offers.
Internship and co-op opportunities: During your third and fourth years of school, you should be actively searching for these opportunities. Speak to your professors and your school’s career resource office to find these opportunities.
Career/Job fairs: Career fairs are a great way to interact with the recruiters of many organizations in a face-to-face setting. Remember, it’s important to ‘interview’ these employers by asking them why you should choose them, after all these organizations are just as eager to acquire strong talent as you are eager to find a great job.
Your school’s career services/resources office: Use these services early and often. Remember, they can't search for you and ask you if you want help with the process of finding a meaningful career in business upon graduation; you need to take the initiative and approach them.
Networking: Your personal and professional network should be the first to know about your job search. Talk to everyone about your ambitions to find a job or a career in business: your friends, family members, teammates, members of your church, classmates, professors, and anyone else in your sphere of influence.
Contact employers directly: Have you been conducting research on which employers would be great to begin your career in business with? If so, you should visit the “careers” section of their websites to search for current opportunities. If they don’t have any listed, it may be worth your while to contact them directly and inquire about any unadvertised or upcoming opportunities.
Business Jobs: Jobs for Business Students and Graduates
Are you a business student looking for a job to help you pay for school? Are you a business graduate looking for an entry-level job?
Your odds of finding a suitable position will greatly increase if you focus on the "Skills" section of the job postings you are interested in. This will also broaden your scope of potential jobs, as not every job that is suitable for a business graduate will advertise that they are seeking business graduates.
As a business student or graduate, you will have acquired employable skills that are applicable towards many different jobs. These skills include:
• The use of numbers
• Critical thinking and problem solving
• Collaboration with others
• Project planning and execution
Search our job board for opportunities related to the skills you've obtained as a business student
Browse through our Business Scholarships section to find scholarships you can apply for. We have hundreds of Canadian, American and international scholarships available to students pursuing almost every business major, as well as many that are open to all students in general.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for these business scholarships, as millions of dollars worth of scholarships in Canada and the United States go unused every year as a result of there being too few applicants!
Business Careers Success Tip: Attend Career Fairs
Attend a career fair in your area to obtain information about internships, summer positions and full time positions upon graduation! Career fairs are a great way to learn various details of business careers, and where to begin yours.