Career Options for Business Management Degree Holders

So you’ve gone back to school and earned a shiny new degree in business management. Business degrees tend to make excellent choices for a master’s, offering a lot of versatility, and the Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) does carry with it a certain amount of prestige that employers find appealing. You can find out more about what can you do with a business management degree here, but what sort of doors might be open now? Let’s take a look at some of the best-paying or fastest-growing jobs you’d be suited for with a business management degree.

Management Analyst

Management analysts are independent consultants who come into a company to help it run more efficiently. While working at a company they’re contracted with, management analysts will look at financial records and accounting receipts in search of wasteful spending that can be cut. They may speak one-on-one with employees, particularly department leaders, to find out what they need and where they might be able to improve. Management analysts may even recommend major changes in everyday operations or to the structure of the organization as a whole. Success as a management analyst will greatly depend on skills like problem solving and an attention to detail, as even a waste of a few dollars a day can add up for a company, as well as effective communication, so as to get to the heart of issues quickly without causing offense. Additionally, due to the variety of companies that need consulting services, past experience in industries like IT or healthcare can be highly valuable when it comes to finding a job.

While it’s sometimes possible to get started as a management analyst with just a bachelor’s, a master’s is definitely preferred by many employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 14% growth in the employment of management analysts over the period from 2018-2028, the fastest growth on this list.  The median annual income for management analysts, as of 2018, was $83,610.

Training and Development Manager

Responsible for teaching necessary knowledge and skills to an organization’s employees, training and development managers play a crucial role in any moderately-sized company. They figure out what tools and equipment are needed for training, ensure that the training offers the know-how that the company requires. Training managers might also look for existing training programs offered by third-party vendors, such as those who produce equipment used in the company. They must ensure that all training materials, whether created in-house or brought from outside, are up-to-date and accurate, and to that end, may regularly test the efficiency and accuracy of training programs. Since how good they a training manager is at their job is likely to affect how well new hires perform their jobs, training managers need strong decision-making and critical thinking abilities. The ideal training and development manager would have some skill for instructing others and communicating effectively as well.

Training and development managers can get started with just a bachelor’s degree, provided they have enough experience, but as above, master’s degrees may be preferred, or even required at large companies. This is another position where experience in other fields can be quite useful, as it can make you a more desirable candidate to have work experience in the position you’re training. According to the BLS, training and development managers are expected to see 8% growth over the next ten years, with some of this growth attributed to new technologies and their potential impact on job training. Training and development managers had a median annual income of $111,340 in 2018, making it a position that’s quite well compensated relative to the national average.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers help companies to sell the products or services they offer. They work to establish the demand for such products or services, the markets they might be able to compete in, and the demographics that could be targeted. Marketing managers also help to determine a price point that maximizes a company’s profit and increase their share of a market, while still remaining attractive to the target demographics. Because of how central their work can be to a company’s success, marketing managers might work with many other departments, such as product development or sales, in addition to the marketing department. Marketing managers need an eye for trends, and an analytical mind can be very helpful in spotting them. Effectively communicating ideas and facilitating the process is key when working with different departments as well.

Marketing managers need at least a bachelor’s degree, but the requirements will vary with the size of a company. Data from the BLS shows that marketing managers can expect to see an 8% growth in the field during the ten year period from 2018 to 2028, and those with experience with modern online advertising will have the best luck job hunting. The median annual income for marketing managers was  $134,290 in 2018, with those in finance, insurance, and management among the best off.

Top Level Executive

Most people aren’t quite cut out to be a corporate executive; the hours can be long and the pressure can be immense, as the company’s future, and by extension that of its employees, are resting on your shoulders. And while there’s no clear-cut path to the top, having a management degree can go a surprisingly long way. With the exception of company founders, few CEOs (and even fewer executives of other stripes) are without a degree. Everything from budgets to supply chains to marketing efforts can be an executive’s responsibility, so executives must be able to make decisions quickly, and be comfortable delegating responsibilities to those working under them. The skills and knowledge picked up over the course of an MBA are specifically designed to create good managers—and a good manager who builds up experience is an excellent candidate for an executive position.

The data on executives from the BLS points to a 6% growth over the period from 2018-2028, slightly faster than the national average. Competition for top level executive positions can, of course, be intense as a result. The median annual income for chief executives was $189,600 in 2018, while the much wider category of top executives had a median income of $104,980. Income for executives can vary greatly, often in relation to the size of the company, and executives may also be eligible for things like profit sharing or ownership stake in the company, which would not typically be included in income.

These are just a few of the positions your new business management degree could help you secure. There are far more business management careers out there, so keep looking until you find something you like. Previous education and experience can have a big impact as well, so take stock of your knowledge and skills when searching. Who knows? You just might find out there’s a job out there that’s been waiting for someone with exactly your knowledge and education—now that you’ve got the degree to prove it.

Adam Hansen