What Can I Do With a Degree in Business?

America's most popular major is popular for a reason

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Whether you are graduating soon with a degree in business or are considering going to school for one, it's safe to say you will have a lot of job options. But you'll also have a lot of competition: Business is by far the most popular bachelor's degree in the United States. They are so popular is because they can be applied to a wide variety of industries and the skills you acquire on your way to earning a business degree make you a versatile, valuable employee.

No matter what career you're after, a degree in business will not go to waste. You should have no trouble making a case for why your degree makes you a good fit for any position, but here are some of the more traditional jobs held by people who major in business.

9 Careers for Business Majors

1. Consulting

Working for a consulting company can be a great place to start if you know you're interested in business but aren't sure what sector you're most interested in. Consulting firms bring an outside perspective to businesses trying to solve a problem related to finance, management, efficiency, communication, marketing, or something else. This job pays well and lets you travel often, so you will get to check out many different industries along the way and perhaps even find a position that you want to pursue going forward.

2. Accounting

Working at an accounting firm will help you understand the behind-the-scenes details of a business. Accountants learn how to make a company run more efficiently and profitably by analyzing financial accounts and company spending while developing skills that make them more astute business people all around. You might decide that you enjoy accounting and stay in this career track or use the number-crunching knowledge that you gain to the benefit of another company you can see yourself working for. Take an accounting certification test to get started.

3. Financial Advising

You just might belong in financial advising if you have a knack for planning and giving advice. This career allows you to help people visualize and achieve their financial and life goals, whether big picture or right now. Financial advisors listen to the desires that clients have for their money and make a blueprint with them that leads to success. They help their clients make decisions about investing, retirement, taxes, budgeting, debt management, and more—your niche really depends on your interests.

4. Investment Management

Investment management also involves helping people meet their goals, but does this exclusively through investing. Clients put their trust—and usually huge sums of money—into their manager's hands to grow their wealth. It is the investment manager's job to monitor the portfolio while buying and selling on the client's behalf. You have to be quick on your feet to become an investment manager, as it requires interpreting the economic impact of current events and understanding all of the nuances of the stock market, but this might be the career for you if you like fast-paced and challenging atmospheres with great pay-offs.

5. Non-Profit Management

Many careers you can get with a business degree are highly profitable, but there are also some that will allow you to work for the greater good. Working for a non-profit can satisfy your desire to help others and make change while working within your areas of expertise. Non-profits need smart managers who can make the most of their limited resources, making this job a little different than the high-profile careers so far and a good fit for anyone that wants to work toward something that is meaningful to them.

6. Sales

Business degrees help you develop a firm grasp of numbers and excellent communication skills, and a role in sales allows you to apply both skillsets daily. Almost every company needs people in their sales department, so you are free to choose something that interests you. You will probably have the option of either working directly with customers on the floor or reasoning about how a company makes sales on a higher level. Either way, be ambitious and prepared for work that's very goal-oriented if you choose a job in sales.

7. Marketing and Advertising

No business can run successfully if it is out of touch with its buyers, and the goal of marketing is to give the customers what they want. Marketing allows a company to promote a product, company, or idea to their target audience by determining what the people are looking for and how best to deliver it to them. This industry requires business finesse as much as it does creativity, so this is the ideal role for determined individuals that are comfortable thinking outside of the box.

8. Entrepreneurship

If you have a business degree, you know the basics of business—why not start your own? It is far from easy to build a business from the ground up, but possible for anyone that has a good idea and ample motivation. Consider rounding up others that you have worked or gone to school with to help you make a plan and have at it. The world is constantly growing and there can never be too many great businesses.

9. Fundraising or Development

Fundraising and development is an option for people that are good at working with money and know that is how they want to use their degree. This job allows you to get creative about how to raise money for a business and what to do with the money once you've raised it to help the company grow. If you thrive in the face of challenge and change, you are probably well-suited to careers in fundraising and development.