For many students, a bachelor’s degree in business management is exactly what they need to propel their career forward and take it to the next level. A business management degree gives students an overview of all different areas of business, including accounting, operations, marketing, human resources, and more.
What kind of career can you pursue with a bachelor’s degree in business management? A career in this field offers opportunities to pursue management jobs that are versatile, lucrative, flexible, and in-demand in a wide variety of business settings.
Business management is a term that refers to the discipline of managing the operations of a business. While it’s difficult to briefly define the broad field of business management, this career generally entails coordinating and organizing general or specific business activities to help an organization thrive and be prepared for future challenges. It’s not uncommon for a business manager to have several direct reports who manage specific areas of the business, as a result, leadership and communication skills are critical.
Someone working in business management can oversee activities ranging from strategic and financial planning to production, resource management, and marketing. They can also work in specific fields or areas of a business. For instance, one business management professional might work in manufacturing while another may oversee all finances. Regardless of title or focus area, the goal of any business management professional is to help a business succeed while supporting the employees responsible for building and maintaining its organizational structure.
Business management is a versatile degree that can equip you with knowledge of business best practices to set you up for success in virtually any industry.
Some popular industries for business management include:
- Healthcare operations
- Private companies
With this degree program, the door is wide open for you. You can choose the industry and position you are passionate about, and utilize your knowledge of business practices to help advance your career and create growth for a company.
Employers highly value applicants with at least a bachelor's degree.
A business management degree offers various benefits, whether for a student interested in getting their start in the industry or a professional looking for career advancement. Earning a degree in this field is a step toward a range of opportunities, including:
- Potential for promotion in a shorter amount of time
- Becoming a better, more knowledgeable leader
- Salary increases
- A better understanding of strategy and operations
- An easier transition into new careers
- Increasing your and your team’s job performance
- Development of specialized skills that apply to most industries
While a bachelor's in business management is a versatile degree that can prepare you for many different career paths, there are some popular options that many graduates gravitate toward, including:
A degree in business management can help prepare you to be a sales representative or even a sales manager. Sales representatives work directly with clients to sell them services or products, and then often manage that relationship to help meet their needs. Millions of companies have sales representatives that focus on getting their products or services out there. Some sales representatives directly sell a product, like cars or furniture, while others sell software programs or consultation services, or even more abstract services like ad space on a website or sponsorship opportunities.
Sales representatives utilize their business management degrees to understand finance, marketing, and business strategy. This degree and what they learn in their courses helps them make connections and talk expertly about their product, how their business is performing, and more.
The average yearly salary for a sales representative in 2023 is about $61,333, but that number can vary greatly. The size of the company you work for, the product or service you are selling, and the commission you can make from sales all directly impact how much you can earn. Having a degree can also help you earn more money as a sales representative. It’s expected that projected employment of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives will increase 5% from 2020 to 2030. If you’re pursuing a business management degree, then a career in sales could be a great path for you to follow. Your coursework will give you experience in finance, accounting, and marketing, which can help you as a sales employee.
A business operations manager is responsible for all the ins and outs of how an organization runs. The operations manager examines systems and processes and helps evaluate any needed changes. They look for efficient solutions, create organization within a company, and oversee how everything works together. For example, in a manufacturing company, the operations manager will look at the schedule for workers, the process for creating products, and the system for storage and delivery to ensure that these processes run smoothly. They may help research, introduce a new scheduling system for workers, and organize the best way for all the work to get done efficiently.
The median yearly salary for an operations manager in 2023 is around $112,022 but can range from $78,000 to $129,000 or more. Your salary level will largely depend on the size of the organization you work for and the complexity of their system. Your title will also impact how much you can earn. There are business operation specialists up to the Chief Operating Officer, and the different titles in between all have varying salary levels. This field is expected to grow about 6% from 2018 to 2028, a bit faster than the national average for job growth. A business management degree can be a great tool to help you prepare for this exciting career path. This career path will give you extensive experience in accounting, finance, operations, and strategy, which will be important for your employment.
Banking offers many careers that can be a good fit for business management graduates. Investment banking, personal banking, wealth management, and even bank management are all great paths for those with a business management degree. Bankers can work for large investment firms or for personal banks that businesses and individuals use. Personal bankers work with clients on their investments, financial needs, mortgage and auto loans, and more. Conversely, commercial bankers help businesses set up accounts, get loans, manage their funds, and more. Investment bankers help large companies raise capital and follow regulations with their money. They look at the best ways to invest and help organizations do so in a financially sound way. All of these banking career paths are available if you have a degree in business management.
The kind of banking you choose to do will greatly impact your salary level. As of 2023, personal bankers or tellers make an average of $44,463 per year, according to the BLS. Commercial bankers earn an average salary of around $91,000 per year, and investment bankers earn more than $101,000 per year. Salary greatly depends on where you work, the kinds of clients you handle, whether you hold a master’s degree, and more. The BLS says that financial services jobs like banking are expected to grow by 4% by 2030, about as fast as the national average. Business management programs focus on accounting and finance, both of which will be crucial in helping you prepare for a banking career.
Financial advisors help individuals learn about their investment, insurance, and retirement options, often working for independent organizations. They help clients invest in mutual funds, CDs, stock market purchases, and more. They give regular reports and updates to clients about how their money and accounts are performing. They’re responsible for researching good investment opportunities, helping explain insurance and retirement options to clients, as well as a host of other duties.
The average salary for financial advisors in 2023 is around $75,161 per year, with professionals with 10 or more years' experience earning nearly $110,000 per year. Financial advisors often work on commission, so their salary level will depend on the number of clients they have. The profession is expected to grow by 7% by 2028, a bit faster than the national average. A business management career is ideal for financial advisors because it will help them learn about finances, as well as give them strategies for finding new clients and connecting with them. Accounting, economics, and finance courses in a business management bachelor's degree program can help you be prepared for this career.
Managers are tasked with maintaining organization and efficiency inside a company. Managers often hire and train new employees, plan schedules, give reports and presentations to executives to show how a company is performing, plan team meetings to increase morale and productivity, and create and maintain budgets for the organization. Managers may oversee a specific area or team or may have broad scope over a branch or region. Managers are needed for hierarchical structure in every industry, so any field you are interested in likely has opportunities for management.
Managers make an average annual salary of $109,760, according to the BLS, but this can vary. Your level of education, the number of people you manage, and the size of your organization will all impact your salary level. Managers are always needed in organizations, so the job outlook for this field is good. If you want to be a manager, it’s important to find a field you’re passionate about and gain some experience so you can work your way up.
An actuary uses mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the economic costs of risk and uncertainty. In this role, individuals help leaders make strategic decisions and consumers to prepare for their future. Actuaries work for and with businesses with a financial focus and are creative, curious, and adaptable. Their learning mindset helps them thrive in today’s digital age. Professionals in this field generally have a unique combination of technical skills and business acumen to help them succeed.
Actuaries earn an annual salary of $105,900, based on BLS estimates. Most actuaries begin their careers after completing their bachelor’s degree, and a strong background in statistics, financial theory, and mathematics is needed to succeed in the field. Employment of actuaries is expected to grow by 21% from 2021 to 2031, and about 2,400 openings for actuaries are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Sports managers perform a variety of organizational duties, whether it’s running a professional sports team, a collegiate club team, or anything in between. Sports managers serve as the glue that ties the athletes to the organization itself. The main responsibility of a sports manager is steering their organization to success. though their other important tasks include spearheading public relations among athletes, coaches, other athletic personnel, and the media. A sports manager also takes care of the accounting for team travel plans and balances an organization’s income against financial obligations.
The average annual salary for sports managers in the U.S. is $78,410, and professionals in this field can expect a job outlook that includes projected growth of 9% between 2020 and 2030, according to glassdoor.com. A business management bachelor’s degree program can be an ideal choice because it allows students to learn multiple areas of business, from finance to marketing, as well as get specific training in management and strategy. A business management degree program can help you obtain the skills and credentials needed to take the next step toward becoming a sports manager.
Restaurant managers wear many hats, but the core of their job is to ensure that a restaurant runs smoothly and efficiently. Professionals in this role work to provide customers with pleasant dining experiences that live up to brand standards. They are also in charge of effectively managing employees with the goal of safeguarding the profitability of the restaurant. The restaurant manager handles the hiring of staff, approves menus, interfaces with chefs, and oversees restaurant operations to create the best possible restaurant environment for patrons. The restaurant manager’s role is central to the continued success of the establishment, whether it’s a large chain or a small boutique eatery.
The average annual salary for restaurant managers is $48,611, and the job outlook for this profession is expected to grow by 10% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. Generally, restaurant managers require a high school diploma along with several years of work experience within the food service industry. However, some professionals looking to excel in this type of culinary career receive additional training at the college level to gain skills in management.
A business management degree is a great place to start on your career path, but you may also need to get a master’s degree in management or business administration to be more qualified to lead a team. In order to be an effective manager, completing coursework in marketing, human resources, strategy, and operations can be beneficial.
A business management degree is a perfect option for individuals hoping to work in diverse industries and fields and gives them the tools to succeed in their careers. Discover WGU’s most popular business degree, and a program designed to improve skills that enhance your résumé and add to your strengths.