Business Careers

Careers with a Business Degree

Earning a degree in business has many benefits, and it will be of great value in your job search… here’s why:

While pursuing your undergraduate business degree, you will develop career-specific skills (such as management skills) as well as a set of intangible traits, such as confidence. Many of skills and traits easily transfer from one industry and career path to another.

You'll be able to make the transition from student to employee with relative ease due to their nature of the coursework. The balanced curriculum of most business programs gives both a hands-on approach, and a general approach to solving problems, thus equipping you with crucial applicable to a wide variety of occupations.
 

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More on Why This Degree Can Help You

The primary purpose of a business degree is to acquire educational experiences, during the course of which you will undergo personal growth and development. Being prepared for a successful career in business is a natural result of this process.

By performing such hands-on tasks as creating trade plans and performing market research, you'll have the opportunity to 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.

 

What Careers Are Relevant?

Sorted by major, we have detailed occupational information on hundreds of careers applicable to a degree in the broad field of business. Some of these careers are directly relevant to a business education, 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. 
 


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Career Planning Timeline

Below we’ve outlined a specific timeline of actions that will help you effectively make the transition from an undergraduate student to a member of the workforce. Remember, the more proactive you are with your career planning now, the more career options you will have when you graduate.





    First Year

  • 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/services staff at your school
  • Learn about yourself, your interests, and skills by utilizing online and printed resources
  • 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

    Second Year

  • 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 professionals in a field of your interest to conduct an informal interview. They will give you great first hand information regarding what a career in your area of interest can be like.
  • Research any available job shadowing or volunteer opportunities
  • Plan early for summer work opportunities or internships

    Third Year

  • Pursue leadership opportunities in business-oriented and other professional student organizations
  • Update your resume to include all relevant work experience you've obtained during your second year and your summer
  • Prepare for internship interviews by attending interview workshops
  • Attend business-specific and general career fairs to research internships and future job opportunities
  • Research graduate degree programs and the schools that offer them
  • Attend graduate business career fairs to make contact with program representatives
  • Finalize summer experience/internship plans

    Fourth Year

  • Seek and attend employment skill-building workshops
  • Finalize your resume and cover letters to reflect all of the relevant 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 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

Employable Skills You Can Gain as a Student

An undergraduate or graduate education in this field can teach you many transferable skills that are useful in the working world, both inside and outside the sphere of business. These skills include:

Communication:

You'll be taught to read and present information in a variety of forms, such as reports, graphs, charts and diagrams. You're also taught to speak in a captivating and concise manner, so that those listening will pay close attention and can understand you easily. Learning to listen and ask questions can help teach you to understand and appreciate the points of view of others.

The use of numbers:

You'll have the chance to learn how to observe and record data using appropriate methods, tools and technology. Throughout your career, you can apply these skills to help you decide what information and data sets need to be measured and calculated.

Critical thinking and problem solving:

Learning to thoroughly assess situations and identify problems and discrepancies is a major benefit of an education in business. You'll be taught how to view problems from different perspectives and evaluate them on facts, not subjectivity. You'll also be taught to be thorough, disciplined and persistent, and as a result, you'll be able to act on opportunities for improvement once a solution to a problem has been verified.

Collaborating with others:

The ability to work within the dynamics of a group, and to ensure the objectives of that group are clear, is a major lesson you'll learn. As part of a group, you'll be in a good position to learn to to be respectful and open to the ideas, opinions and contributions of others. you'll also be 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, a good business degree program will teach you how to effectively manage and resolve these situations when they occur.

Project planning and execution:

You'll also have the opportunity to develop and hone your project planning and execution skills. Your coursework will give you the opportunity to learn how to plan, design and carry out a project from start to finish; a highly applicable skill for a career in almost any field. As a student, you must learn how to define objectives and outcomes, as well as work within budgetary and timeline restrictions. As a result, you'll learn to adapt to changing project requirements, and constantly monitor a project's progress.

How Much Do Graduates Make?

The salary you could earn depends primarily on what career you pursue. For example, if you go on to become a construction company executive manager, your earnings may be different from those you would have earned if you had chosen to become a marketing assistant. Other factors that determine how much you can earn include (not an inclusive list):

  • Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
  • The industry in which you find work
  • The type of job you have
  • The size and type of your employer
  • The region in which you work
  • Other work experience you may have accrued
  • Other skills you may have

 

Some Actual Earnings Figures

United States: In 2015 the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University conducted a study, which found that the median salary for graduates of Business programs is $65,000 per year. 

Salary Figures Canada: According to a survey published in 2016 by the Council of Ontario Universities, the average earnings of ‘Business & Commerce’ graduates of the 2013 graduating class (earnings from 2 years after graduation) was $53,568 per year. Unfortunately, no similar surveys were found for other Canadian provinces. Please note that not all of the graduates who responded to the survey were necessarily working in business-related careers. 

 

Business Careers
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