By Alina Dizik
As post-business degree salaries continue to rise, there are many career paths you can take after a few years of poring over accounting, economics and mathematics. In addition to traditional management roles in corporations, Leslie Stevenson, director at the career development center at the University of Richmond, says she’s noticed more hiring for careers that didn’t exist for students, including in business, 10 to 20 years ago.
Considering a business degree? Here are some possible career paths waiting for you upon graduation:
Joining a management consulting firm as an analyst can mean great experience and a good paycheck down the line. Essentially, you’ll be responsible for different strategies and operations initiatives at medium to large companies. “Consultants can specialize in a variety of areas and you typically find that a new consultant quickly builds deep knowledge in a given subject matter,” Stevenson says.
Advertising or Marketing Specialist
If you’re eager to combine your creativity with your business skills, joining a marketing department of a company may be an option. Both advertising and marketing allow you to get involved and grow the brand of your employer, which can influence the bottom line. “Employment of these positions is expected to increase faster than the average through 2010,” says Heather Huhman, founder of Come Recommended and a career coach for recent college grads.
Accountant or Auditor
With high turnover, accounting firms are constantly recruiting new business grads to help with delving into corporate financials while applying current accounting principles. “Given the economic environment and complex reporting regulations, professionals in this field are needed to provide accurate information now more than ever,” Stevenson says. To succeed, accountants need a high-level of quantitative skills and attention to detail.
Getting a business degree can help you pursue banking after school where you can start as an analyst. Learning the ropes at an investment bank means you’ll be responsible for helping to allocate capital for business ventures. “The finance industry is starting to rebound from a challenging period and there are opportunities for undergraduate business majors to work in this arena,” Stevenson says. “Roles in this area could include corporate finance, sales and trading or research.” Most large banks go through regular recruiting of business graduates during the fall.
Corporate Financial Analyst
Being on the side of the companies instead of the banks can help you develop the finance know-how for helping a company make investment decisions. Financial analysts take time to read the financial statements of the company and have the opportunity to work across departments to get to know a large organization.
While becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t require a business degree, business school entrepreneurship courses can help give a realistic picture of your day-to-day duties. It’s also a good training ground for perfecting a business plan.
Clean Technology Specialist
If you’re interested in renewable energy and environmentally friendly production strategies, there are plenty of newly created openings for those with a quantitative skill set. Many large companies are starting to invest in developing socially responsible business practices and are looking for graduates with a business background.
Managing healthcare delivery at medical offices or even entire hospital systems is another possible career. It’s a perfect fit if both health care and business are interests, because the number of openings continues to grow. Most administrators are involved in making sure that specific areas of the health-care organization (such as clinical areas or medical records) run smoothly. As you grow in your career, a master’s degree may become a requirement.
While a business degree is not essential, training in business can help you hit the ground running once in a sales role. Joining a sales department can help you develop communication and teamwork skills, while providing a fast-paced work environment that focuses on selling a product or service. Sales positions are generally available across all sectors and can help you delve into an area you’re interested in.
With so many different opportunities in the business world, there is always plenty to do and a bachelor’s degree in business is a versatile tool to launch your career. Many employers tout the teamwork and communication skills that are learned during business studies are valuable in many different careers. If you’re looking for a less-traditional career path, develop a strategy for how to apply your business skills that particular position.