Making a career change to business is a natural step to take for many people regardless of their current positions. It’s natural because there are several careers within business you can target that require skills that you likely have already have. Subfields like accounting, finance, human services, management, marketing, and sales each splinter into many careers within those areas.
Why is a career change to business so attractive? Pay and job outlook are strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial occupations have a median annual wage of $67,710, which is much higher than that of all occupations ($37,690). Employment of those occupations is projected to grow at a faster rate than the average of all other occupations (10% by 2026 compared with 7%). Several specific subfields and careers boast much higher employment figures.
Given the strong pay and job outlook for many business careers, you can give serious thought to targeting your dream job. Plus, as you’ll discover, it’s easier than you might think to get what you need to achieve your career goals. The following sections highlight some examples of careers that you can target, in addition to advice on making the career change to business.
Note that all employment data is from the BLS.
Career Change to Accounting
If you’re comfortable with math and like working with numbers and exercising your analytical skills, a career change to accounting may be a strong choice.
Accounting and auditing are lucrative professions that, broadly speaking, are tasked with ensuring that financial operations go smoothly. Those professionals work in all types of environments, from small businesses to large financial and government institutions, to ensure financial documents are accurate. Other tasks include overseeing the accuracy and compliance of financial records and statements, reviewing account books and accounting systems for efficiency, and preparing tax returns. Accountants and auditors also provide insight into ideas to enhance revenues, reduce costs, and improve profits.
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Making the career change to accounting isn’t limited to one or two careers. There are public accountants, management accountants, government accountants, internal and external auditors, and information technology auditors, to name a few roles. Other specialties exist, too, such as forensic accounting, which involves investigating financial crimes.
The median annual wage for accountants and auditors is $69,350, and employment is projected to increase 10% by 2026. A bachelor’s degree is required to enter the profession.
Career Change to Finance
Finance, like accounting, is another career that involves math, numbers, and the use of analytical skills. If that’s in your wheelhouse, you should also consider making a career change to finance.
There are several major career options within finance. Here are a few options that highlight roles you could target with a career change to finance:
Budget analysts prepare budget reports and monitor spending to help public and private institutions organize their finances. The median annual wage for budget analysts is $75,240, and employment is projected to increase 7% by 2026.
Financial analysts assess the performance of investments like stocks and bonds, to help guide business and individuals make investment decisions. The median annual wage for financial analysts is $84,300, and employment is projected to increase 11% by 2026.
Financial examiners often work in risk assessment or consumer compliance to assess the health of financial institutions or monitor lending activity, respectively. The median annual wage for financial examiners is $81,690, and employment is projected to increase 10% by 2026.
All of those careers require a bachelor’s degree.
Career Change to Human Resources
If you enjoy building relationships with other people, a career change to human resources might be for you. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with others, enabling you to make a real difference in the morale of an organization.
Human resources specialist is one specific career track you could pursue during a career change to human resources. Human resources specialists are tasked with recruiting, screening, interviewing, and placing workers. They can also handle tasks surrounding employee relations, training, and compensation and benefits. The BLS reported this career also includes various types of titles, including recruitment specialists and human resources generalists, who handle all aspects of human resources work.
The median annual wage for human resources specialists is $60,350, and employment is projected to increase 7% by 2026. A bachelor’s degree is required to enter the profession.
Career Change to Management
There’s no more lucrative opportunity than a career change to management. With a median annual wage of $102,590, management occupations form the highest wage of all the major occupational groups. Employment is projected to increase 8% by 2026.
If you have skills or an interest in planning, directing, and coordinating activities, a career change to management may be for you. There are several fields where managers enjoy strong pay and job outlook. For instance, advertising, promotion, and marketing managers earn a median annual wage of $129,380, and employment is projected to increase 10% by 2026. Human resources managers earn a median annual wage of $110,120, and employment is projected to increase 9% by 2026.
There are several other management careers, and another bonus is that a bachelor’s degree is the most commonly required level of education for entry-level positions. In fact, of the two dozen management occupations listed by the BLS, only two require more than a bachelor’s degree, and they’re in the field of education. No business-related management occupation typically requires more than a bachelor’s degree.
Career Change to Marketing
If you enjoy the strategic side of business, then a career change to marketing might be a good choice. You could apply your skills to be an analyst, writer, coordinator, or other fundamental role in one of several subfields of marketing. For instance, any of those functions would be expected within traditional marketing, brand marketing, e-commerce, content marketing, and more. There are dozens of major job titles that you could target with your career change to marketing.
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One specific title is market research analyst, which involves studying market conditions to forecast potential sales or products and services. This data-driven role comes with impressive salary and job outlook. Market research analysts earn a median annual wage of $63,320, and employment is projected to increase 23% by 2026. A bachelor’s degree is the most common education requirement.
Whether you want to work in social media, public relations, graphic design, copywriting, or search engine optimization (SEO), there’s something for everyone in marketing. It’s one of the most diverse options for a career change to business.
Career Change to Sales
Making the career change to sales is one of the most straightforward paths you can take within business. If you have the initiative and communication skills to excel in a sales environment, it’s one of the best options for a career change to business.
Advertising sales agents are tasked with locating potential clients, explaining what their firm offers, and selling advertising space. They commonly make sales presentations, maintain client accounts, and prepare reports to provide insight into sales statistics. Advertising sales agents earn a median annual wage of $49,680, and positions require at least a high school diploma, although some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
Exploring a Career Change from Science or Teaching to Business
Making the career change to business is often much more natural than some people might think. You might already have innate qualities and job-related skills that you’ve developed in other roles.
If you’re making a career change from science to business, for instance, those analytical skills can help you succeed in several roles. A career like market research analyst makes use of statistics and the ability to see relationships in data. The same can be said for other analyst roles, such as those in SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Of course, many managers need to have a strong ability to provide insights into statistics and other types of data.
Similar analogies can be made for a career change from teaching to business. In this case, though, interpersonal skills are highlighted. Having that background could be a great fit in a field like human resources where relationships are critical. Plus, training and development is a major subfield within human resources. Again, managerial positions could be a good fit, as well, as a career in teaching can help you develop a certain sense for overseeing projects, helping people with their weaknesses, and navigating different types of relationships all at once.
If you’re making the career change to business from a field like science or teaching, don’t let that dissuade you from your goals. Having those types of alternative backgrounds and viewpoints can be a breath of fresh air in many business environments. Couple that with a strong education, and you could become a compelling candidate to employers.