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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

November 12, 2019


10 in-demand business careers to consider.

Businessman and woman smiling

Business jobs are in high demand, and earning a degree in business can open the door for a wide variety of job opportunities. If you’re currently a student at WGU, or are considering getting a business degree, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of career path you want to take. Knowing where you want to end up can help you pick a degree program that will be the best fit for you. These 10 in-demand business careers could turn out to be your dream career, and a business degree is the first step. 

1. Accountant.

Job responsibilities: Accountants typically work in three fields; tax, industry, or audit. No matter which field they work in, accountants are responsible for finances of an organization or individuals. They help ensure finances are correct for taxes, do payroll for employees and vendors, run audits to ensure organizations are using proper finance processes, and more.

Further Reading: Why lifelong learning is the key to business success.

Educational Requirements: Basic bookkeeping positions don’t necessarily require a degree, but most accountant jobs will require candidates to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in accounting. Additionally those who want to pursue becoming a Certified Professional Accountant or CPA have a certain amount of educational hour requirements in order to sit for the exam. This often requires a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. Degrees in accounting will prepare you for the CPA exam, as well as giving you the basic knowledge and skills about finances, financial reporting, accounting practices, taxation, auditing, and financial statements that you need to know to succeed. 

Salary. According to the BLS in 2018 the average yearly salary for accountants was over $70,000, with more work experience and education yielding more money. This is roughly $15,000 more than the U.S. average yearly salary. 

Job growth. Accounting as a profession is expected to grow 6% in the next several years as demand grows. This is right on par with the average job growth expectancy in the U.S. This means there is great job security for those who want to enter the accounting profession, and they can expect plenty of job opportunities in the future as well. 

2. Business analyst.

Job responsibilities. Business analysts review, analyze and evaluate business systems and user needs for their employer. They are involved with defining scope and objectives for a project, as well as formulating strategies for systems. They are focused on seeing what needs to be improved, and what they can do to create change within an organization for improved efficiency and profit. They run scenarios and look at numbers to see how the company is performing as a whole, analyzing everything from vendors to clients. They offer advice and suggestions on how to create improvements and help create situations where the organization can grow.

Educational requirements. An MBA degree is the ideal degree for someone hoping to become a business or financial analyst. You’ll need the basic skills of handling finances and the business building blocks, as well as the management and leadership skills to help explain and navigate changes for an organization. An MBA can offer this crucial education. Your MBA will help you have examples of how successful businesses work, case studies that will give you the experience needed to translate lessons learned from other organizations to yours. Most business analysts will have to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or math to be considered for a job.

Salary. The average yearly salary for business analysts is $74,762, which is higher than the national average median salary. Business analysts can expect the more experience they have, the more they can make. Additionally, higher education can be a great way to increase your income potential.

Job growth and career outlook. Business analyst positions are expected to grow by 14% in the next several years, which is much faster than the national average for job growth. If you’re planning to go into business, a business analyst position could be a great option. Business analyst positions are usually 40-50 hour weeks with great benefits and good vacation time. Consider becoming a business analyst if you’re looking for a great path in the business world.

3. Actuary.

Job responsibilities. Actuaries use math, statistics, and financial theories to analyze the costs of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries often work for insurance companies to help determine the security of insuring certain people or businesses, and running algorithms and formulas to make the determinations about current and future clients. Actuaries are vital in helping companies stay safe and mitigate risks. 

Educational requirements. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is a popular choice for those who want to become actuaries. The understanding of business fundamentals and accounting best practices will help prepare you for a future of analyzations and determinations. Actuaries also have to pass licensure testing in order to be officially certified, so a background in math, statistics, and business is an ideal combination. Graduates in business find they have the skills employers are looking for.

Salary. The BLS shows that actuaries earn more than $100,000 per year, on average. This means that some entry-level actuaries will earn less, and more experienced actuaries can earn much more. This salary level is well above the national average, making a career as an actuary very appealing to many people. 

Job growth and career outlook. The job growth for actuaries is actually growing at 20%, much, much faster than the national average of 6%. This means there will be much higher demand for jobs, and likely that there will be plenty of opportunities for those who are qualified. If you are earning your business degree, consider a career as an actuary as a great option for your future.

4. Marketing manager.

Job Responsibilities. Marketing managers are responsible for the overall strategy and marketing efforts for a company. This can include traditional marketing, digital marketing, social media, SEO, SEM, and more. Marketing managers work with all different teams, manage budgets, work creatively to come up with new campaigns, and overall have a huge influence on a company’s performance.

Educational requirements. Most organizations want marketing managers who have at least received their bachelor’s degree in business or marketing. Your marketing degree will prepare you by going over strategy and marketing practices, as well as the other fundamentals of business that you need to know in order to work effective marketing strategy into your organization. 

Salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that marketing managers make $132,620 per year, which is more than double the national average salary in the United States. Marketing managers can expect to make more money the longer they are in the field, and the size of the organization can greatly factor in when it comes to income potential. Marketing managers who get a master’s degree can also expect to see pay raises.

Job growth and career outlook. The marketing management field is projected to grow 8% in the next few years, which is faster than the national average job growth. Marketing departments are continually in demand as technology flourishes, leaving room for updates in the industry, and creating a deep need for trained professionals.

Man holding pen over paper and calculator

5. Sales manager.

Job responsibilities. Sales managers are in charge of the sales team for an organization. They direct the rest of the team, work to find new clients, help care for clients, and focus on the overall sales strategy of the organization. Sales is often what finances an organization, so sales managers are key players in a company.

Educational requirements. Sales managers need to have a solid understanding of business and leadership to succeed. They can greatly benefit from a management and leadership degree that will help them cover the business fundamentals they need, as well as giving them the skills of leadership that will help them. A degree in management and leadership can give you the proper skill set so you can succeed as a sales manager.

Salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that sales managers make over $124,000 per year on average. This is more than double the national average for salaries in the United States. Most sales managers start in sales and work on commission, and many sales managers also earn a commission for their sales along with their salary. This can mean the income potential is much larger, because bigger sales can mean more money opportunities. 

Job growth and career outlook. Sales managers should expect more travel as part of their responsibilities compared to most careers. They may also be responsible for taking clients out to dinners and lunches, and spending weekends doing activities or work for clients. Sales management positions are expected to grow 5% in the next several years, about as fast as the national average. 

6. Financial analyst.

Job responsibilities. Analysts are responsible for helping businesses weigh investment decisions. They provide financial guidance for a company, help then look at budgets, and basically help with the major financial decisions of an organization. Organizations need finance analysts to help them carefully look at all their monetary decisions and options.

Educational requirements. Any business degree can help lead you to a job as a financial analyst, but a degree in something like a data analytics degree can really set you apart. The experience you can get with a data analytics degree can give you the math and data knowledge you need to be able to perform your job functions well. This degree can really set you apart from other candidates. 

Salary. The BLS shows that finance analysts have an average annual salary of $85,000 per year. This is much higher than the national average of $56,000 per year. Financial analysts have great income potential that only grows with their experience. Higher education can also be a direct ticket into earning more money in the business world.  

Job growth and career outlook. The BLS shows that financial analyst positions are growing as fast as the national average at 6%. This means over the next ten years that positions will continue to be available, and it’s a safe option for those who are looking for job security.

7. Business teacher.

Job responsibilities. Business teachers are responsible for teaching college and high school students about the basic elements of business. These educators help teach the next generation of students about the fundamentals they need to know about business. It’s vital to help students see what the business world has to offer and how they can be an integral part of it. 

Educational requirements. High school teachers in business need to have a business degree, as well as a teaching licensure. The way to get teaching licensure will vary by state. If you’re hoping to teach college courses, you don’t necessarily need a teaching licensure, but you will need higher education. This education is vital so that you thoroughly have the knowledge of the things you’re going to be teaching to students. 

Salary. According to the BLS, the median annual income for high-school teachers in May 2018 was $60,320. The lowest 10% earned less than $39,740, and the highest 10% earned more than $97,500. The salary for college professors varies based on if you’re a tenured professor or an adjunct, the location, the number of classes you teach, and more.  

Job growth and career outlook. The employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 8% in the next five years. This means that there will be plenty of opportunities for teachers to find positions. Similarly there is always a need for college professors who can inspire and motivate college students.

Pen and notebook

8. Healthcare administrator.

Job responsibilities. If you want to work in the fast-paced healthcare industry but aren’t looking for a patient-care role, a healthcare administrator position could be ideal. Healthcare administrators are involved with overall management of patients and their providers. They help coordinate schedules for patients and doctors, oversee the inventories and budgets of the hospital or clinic, and more. 

Educational requirements. A degree in healthcare management can help you understand the business side of healthcare, equipping you with the skills you need to succeed in your dream job. Knowledge in finance, accounting, strategy, and healthcare management are all needed to help you be a great healthcare administrator. 

Salary. Health managers make over $99,000 a year, on average. This is much higher than the national average of $56,000 per year. Healthcare administrators can expect to earn even more depending on where their job is located, and the longer they are in the industry the more they can earn.

Job growth and career outlook. Positions for healthcare administrators are expected to grow 18% by 2026, which is three times faster than the national average. There will be plenty of positions for those hoping to become healthcare administrators. It’s a secure, steady position that will continue to grow over time, especially as older populations need more healthcare and as technology continues to evolve. 

9. Business lawyer.

Job responsibilities. Corporate lawyers are responsible for helping businesses with legal matters. This can include mergers and acquisitions, incorporations, bankruptcies, contracts, and more. These lawyers work to ensure all the legal elements of a business are correct, and help give an organization guidance in all legal matters.

Educational requirements. Lawyers have to attend law school to be prepared to pass the bar exam. But before entering law school, students will have to have a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in business is ideal for those who want to become corporate attorneys. A business degree will prepare you by giving you the fundamentals of economics, statistics, management, and strategy. These courses will prepare you for law school, as well as give you the building blocks you need to build a business law career. 

Salary. The average pay for corporate attorneys in the U.S. is $120,000 per year. Location and the size of the law firm or organization where you work is a huge element of your income potential. It’s also important to note that the longer you work for a firm or organization, the more you can expect to earn.

Job growth and career outlook. Employment of lawyers is expected to grow 8% by 2026, which is faster than the national average. Lawyers do tend to work long hours, including weekends and holidays. It’s important to be prepared for busy times as a lawyer, as well as a very stable and secure profession.

10. Human resource manager.

Job responsibilities. Human resource managers are in charge of the administrative efforts of an organization. They often oversee the hiring and firing in an organization, the benefits, team building opportunities, etc. Human resource managers are critical for an organization when it comes to the day-to-day efforts. 

Educational requirements. Getting your online human resource management degree can be key to getting your foot in the door for a human resource job. Your degree will go over business basics, as well as the things that are specific to human resources, from training and development to business communication. When you earn a degree in human resources you’re setting yourself apart from the competition. 

Salary. Human resource managers have an average salary of $113,000 per year according to the BLS. Human resource managers sometimes have to begin as human resource specialists on an HR team, and then are promoted to becoming the HR manager. This may mean you start out making less money, and work your way up.

Job growth and career outlook. Employment for HR managers is expected to grow at 7% over the next few years, which is about on-par with national averages for career growth. This means that you can expect plenty of positions, but that the right experience and education will help you stand out from competition.

If you’re planning to get a degree in business, knowing what kind of career path you want to follow can help you make sure you’re choosing the right degree program. WGU offers all kinds of business programs that could be the ideal fit for your dream job.

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