What Kind of Entry-Level Jobs Can You Get With a Business Degree?
Since an effective undergraduate education in a business-related field will provide quantitative skills, reasoning skills, and a strong understanding of business operations, it’s applicable to a variety of entry-level positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists a number of business occupations with entry-level positions on their website. Here are a handful of positions an associate or bachelor’s degree in business may lead to:
Accountant – An accountant will examine financial records and ensure their accuracy, prepare the records and guarantee proper and timely payment of taxes, and assess an organization’s operations for efficiency. Accountants and auditors will require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a business administration degree with a concentration in accounting. If filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an accountant will also be required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A state’s Board of Accountancy will license CPAs after the successful completion of a national exam and other state-defined requirements. An accountant may advance to a management accountant, budget director, treasurer, or chief financial officer position.
Business consultant – A business consultant, or management analyst, will analyze data and information to improve performance, efficiency, and structure in a business. A business consultant may also develop records management programs. A business consult usually requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. Advancement to senior-level positions may depend on experience and result in complex projects or attracting new business. Experienced business consultants may also find advanced positions as senior managers.
Financial Analyst – A financial analyst will advise clients on investment decisions, including the performance of stocks and bonds, by evaluating current and historical data, economic and business trends, and financial statements. Recommendations are usually supplemented by written reports and future projections. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or a related field may be sufficient for a financial analyst position, according to the BLS.
Advertising and promotions manager – An advertising and promotions manager will initiate programs to generate interest in a product or service, and work with a staff to initiate market research and plan advertisement media. This position usually requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, with course work in consumer behavior, market research, and sales.
Budget analysts – A budget analyst will help an organization organize its finances by preparing budget reports, monitoring spending, and predicting future financial requirements. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or economics may lead to a position as a budget analysis, and may quickly advance to intermediate or senior budget analyst positions with experience.
Insurance agent – An insurance agent sells insurance policies to potential clients, suggests additional coverage or policy changes, and may help settle a policyholder’s claim. An associate degree in business, finance, economics, or a related field may be sufficient to find a position as an insurance agent, though the BLS reports that more than a third of insurance agents hold a bachelor’s degree.
Market research analyst – A market research analyst will examine market conditions to advise the sales strategy of a product or services. They study local, regional, or national markets and prepare reports to communicate competitor, consumer, and other market information to their clients or management. An undergraduate degree in statistics, math, marketing, or business administration may lead to a position as a market research analyst. Necessary course work for a market research analyst includes statistics, research methods, marketing, and communications.
Public relations manager – A public relations manager will write press releases and communicate with the media on behalf of their organization, evaluate advertisement and promotions for public relations compatibility, and provide communication between customers and a client or organization. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, advertising, or a related field may be required for a public relations specialist or management position.
Purchasing agent – A purchasing agent will evaluate suppliers and their products, and negotiate contracts for the purchase of products on behalf of their organization. A purchasing agent may determine suppliers based on price, quality, and efficiency, and examine their distribution centers. An associate degree in business administration or a related field may lead to a position as a purchasing agent, while a purchasing manager position will usually require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, or a related field. Purchasing agents may gain enough experience to advance to a purchasing manager position; a purchasing manager may gain enough experience to advance to a director of materials management position.
Sales manager – A sales manager will analyze sales data, predict the profitability of products and services, set goals for a sales team, and coordinate training programs. A sales manager’s responsibilities depend on the size of their organization. Sales managers usually have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business administration, finance, marketing, or economics, though some have master’s degrees, and experience as a sales representative may impact the opportunity for a sales manager position.