Careers in Business
There are many types of careers in business that span multiple skill sets, personality types, and preferences. Though you may not know exactly what career you’d like to pursue, the chances are good that at least one career in business would appeal to you. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of just some of the many business career options in five areas: accounting, finance, human resources, management, and marketing.
Unless otherwise stated, all job information is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Accounting involves measuring, analyzing, and communicating financial information. Those in this field can work with individuals, governments, small business, or major companies. This field attracts individuals with a talent for working with numbers.
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records and make sure those records are accurate. Whether employed by an organization or an individual, these professionals ensure that taxes are accurate and filed and paid on time. Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree. In May of 2018, accountants and auditors earned a median salary of $70,500. By 2026, employment for these occupations is expected to grow 10%.
Budget analysts help organizations structure and maintain their finances. They prepare and analyze budget reports, monitor spending, and evaluate programs to determine if they are producing the desired results. A bachelor’s degree is expected to become a budget analyst. The median annual salary for this position was $76,220 in May 2018, and employment is projected to grow 7% in the next seven years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Tax Examiners and Collectors
Tax examiners usually handle tax returns filed by individuals who claim few deductions as well as those filed by small businesses. They are responsible for ensuring the taxes are accurate and filed properly. If a taxpayer owes more money on their taxes, these professionals adjust the total amount and then notify the taxpayer. Most tax examiners and collectors have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, though there are some without a degree. Tax examiners and collectors reported earning a median annual salary of $54,440, and their employment rate is projected to show little or no change by 2026.
Finance deals with the allocation of assets, typically through investments. These types of business jobs may appeal to organized risk-takers who have a knack for numbers.
Financial analysts give their expert opinions to businesses and individuals regarding investment decisions. They analyze the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments, and they generally focus on trends in the markets. In most cases, financial analysts must have a bachelor’s degree. Their median annual wage was $85,660 in May 2018, and their employment is projected to grow 11% by 2026.
Loan officers evaluate and approve or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. Part customer-service representative, part salesperson, loan officers often guide customers through a loan application process and upsell the products and services of their employer. Most loan officers have a bachelor’s degree, though some employers may not find it necessary. Mortgage loan officers must be licensed. The median annual wage for loan officers was $63,040 in May 2018, and their projected job growth is 11%.
Personal Financial Advisors
Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, mortgages, savings, taxes, retirement, and more. They may advise their clients on a wide range of financial topics and invest their money in beneficial ways. Some of these professionals specialize in areas such as estate planning or risk management. Personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor’s degree but having master’s degree and certification can help with career advancement. In May of 2018, these advisors earned a median wage of $88,890. By 2026, their employment rate is expected to grow 15%.
The human resources department is a critical part of an employee’s experience within any company or organization. Those in human resources oversee such vital tasks as benefits, payroll, hiring, onboarding, and more. People are often attracted to this type of work because they enjoy helping others excel within a company setting.
Human Resources Specialists
A human resources specialist can be involved in a variety of activities. They may recruit, screen, and conduct interviews with job candidates. They may also get involved with employee relations and compensation and benefits issues. Recruitment specialists may travel to attend job fairs and colleges to attract new candidates. The median salary in May of 2018 was $60,880. The projected job growth for human resources specialists is 7%.
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
These specialists may focus on compensation, benefits, or job analysis to ensure that an organization is staying competitive in recruiting employees. Compensation specialists research compensation policies to recommend changes. Benefits specialists are responsible for keeping benefit packages up to date. Job analysis specialists review job descriptions to identify classifications and salary parameters. In May of 2018, the median salary was $63,000. Employment growth is projected at 9%, which is slightly better than the average for all occupations.
Training and Development Managers
Training and development managers focus on ensuring that employees have the skills they need to do their jobs effectively and are provided opportunities to improve their skills. These professionals assess the training needs within a business, manage employee development initiatives, and oversee their execution. The median annual salary in 2018 was $111,340, and employment for this position is expected to grow 10%.
Management, though on the surface seems to be mostly about organizing and structuring, involves a great deal of budgeting, scheduling, and coaching tasks, as well. People who love to juggle multiple responsibilities and take charge are likely to thrive in these positions.
Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of the organization and oversee the work of financial specialists and other employees in the finance department. They also focus on developing strategies to meet long-term financial goals. Financial managers need a bachelor’s degree and typically five or more years of experience. In 2018, the median salary for this position was $127,990. Job growth is projected to be 19%, which is much faster than average.
Advertising and Marketing Managers
These managers are responsible for creating marketing and advertising programs that increase the revenue of the business. They do this by staying up to date with the market to identify requirements for new products and gauging customer satisfaction with existing products. Advertising and marketing managers also oversee the implementation of marketing programs that will improve brand recognition and increase the number of leads that can be turned over to sales. Besides a bachelor’s degree, related experience is usually required. The median salary for this position was $132,620 in 2018. The job outlook is good, with a projected employment growth rate of 10%.
Sales managers oversee the organization’s sales teams. They are responsible for managing the entire sales process. For example, the manager will hire employees, set sales goals, monitor progress, and help individuals on their team to continuously improve at their jobs. The median salary for this position was $124,220 in 2018. The employment rate for sales managers is expected to grow 7%, the same as the national average for all occupations.
Marketing is the process of reaching out to and building relationships with potential customers on behalf of a company or brand. People are drawn to marketing careers when they are good communicators, excellent team players, creative, and analytical.
Market Research Analysts
Businesses need to know what people or companies in their target markets want and the price they’d be willing to pay. Market research analysts gather data from target markets and competitors in order to define marketing campaigns. They ensure success by measuring the effectiveness of marketing programs and making recommendations for change as needed. They also assist in identifying new markets and evaluating sales plans. The median annual salary for market research analysts is reported to be $63,120. The projected job growth for this occupation is 23%, which is more than three times greater than other occupations.
Public Relations Specialists
A positive public image is critical for any organization. Public relations specialists are the people who shape the public perception of a business. They write and publish press releases and speeches, reply to media requests, and do whatever is necessary to inform the public about the organization they work for. The median annual salary was $60,000 in 2018, and the projected job growth is 9%.
Social Media Specialists
Social media specialists run the social media accounts for a company or brand, working to build and manage a brand’s reputation. While representing their employer on social platforms, these specialists communicate with customers and encourage them to create and share content, such as images, texts, or videos. A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a social media specialist. The BLS groups social media specialists with other types of public relations specialists, whose median annual salary was $60,000 in 2018. Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 9% by 2026.
The options for professions found in the business sphere are both varied and lucrative. To truly take advantage of these exciting opportunities, it helps to earn a degree in the field at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. When you do, you’ll develop the skills and proficiencies you need to become competitive in this job market and build the career you want.