Careers with a Business Degree

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Is a Business Degree Useful? Will it Help You Get a Job?

Earning a degree in business has many benefits, and it will help you get a job… 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.


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.



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 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.




Career Guides for Professions Related to a Business Degree

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 Administration


Human Resources

International Business



Organizational Leadership



What Jobs Are Open to Business Graduates?

So, will having a business degree help you find a good job? The short answer is...yes! Just take a look at our "Job Board for Business Students & Graduates" below to see some of the potential opportunities. Sorted by major, it lists job openings that are relevant to a business degree.







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.


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/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


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 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


Third Year:


• 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


Fourth Year:


• 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.







Business Graduate Salary: How Much Do Business Graduates Make?             

The salary you could earn as a business graduate 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


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, not for the rest of Canada. 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.


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