What can you do with a business management degree?

A business management degree is a versatile qualification that opens up a myriad of opportunities in the professional world, and can equip you with a diverse skill set that is applicable across various industries. 

On top of this, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business management graduates have competitive earning potential. The average salary varies based on factors such as experience, industry and job role, but the median wage of workers with a business degree in 2021 was listed as $69,000, slightly higher than the median wage of all work fields at $63,000. As professionals gain experience and climb the corporate ladder, their earning potential increases significantly.

In this post, we outline the vast array of career paths a business management degree can take you down while exploring job opportunities and the valuable skills you canacquire along the way.

What is a typical career path with a business management degree?

A degree in business management offers a broad understanding of organisational structures, strategies and operations. From human resource management to financial data analysis, the coursework covers a wide range of subjects, making graduates well-rounded professionals.

Business management degree students gain a broad oversight of the work that goes into all areas of a company, so there is no typical career path for graduates. This means you can choose the path that most appeals to you, with the freedom to choose opportunities that align with your personal and professional goals. Once you have a Bachelors degree, you can then specialise further in your chosen field with a Masters degree to further your career.

Below are some of the paths you could take.

Business administration: A gateway to leadership

With experience and further education, business management graduates often progress to leadership roles in business administration. These positions involve overseeing the entire organisation or specific departments, making strategic decisions and driving the overall success of the business.

Human resources: Nurturing talent and building teams

One of the most common career paths for business management graduates is in human resources (HR). With a solid foundation in organisational behaviour and interpersonal skills, these graduates are well-equipped to become HR specialists or managers. These roles play a crucial role in recruitment, employee development and ensuring there is a positive work environment.

Project manager: Mastering the art of coordination

Effective project management is vital for the success of any business endeavour, and a business management degree provides the skills necessary for individuals to excel as a project manager. They oversee tasks, manage budgets and ensure projects are completed on time, showcasing their exceptional organisational and problem-solving abilities. 

Marketing manager: Shaping brand identities

Business management graduates with a flair for creativity often find their niche in marketing. Whether developing social media campaigns or conducting market research, their understanding of business strategies and communication skills make them well-suited for roles in marketing.

Business analyst: Decoding data for informed decisions

Analysing trends, interpreting financial data and making data-driven decisions are integral aspects of business analysis. A business management degree equips students with the analytical skills necessary to become successful business analysts, aiding companies in making informed choices that drive growth.

Management consultant: Advising for success

For those with an eye for identifying inefficiencies and proposing solutions, a career as a management consultant may be the perfect fit. Business management graduates often enter this field, offering valuable insights to organisations seeking to optimise their operations and strategies.

Sales manager: Driving revenue and building relationships

Sales is the lifeblood of any business, and business management graduates with strong interpersonal and communication skills often excel in sales management roles. They build and lead sales teams, develop strategies to sell products and services, and drive revenue growth.

Entrepreneurship: Carving your own path

Armed with the knowledge of how to create and run business strategies and with precisely honed decision-making skills, some business management graduates choose the path of entrepreneurship. Starting your own business allows you to apply your skills in real-world scenarios and employ the knowledge you’ve gained to help bring a new business idea to life.

International business management: Navigating global markets

The global nature of business today requires professionals with a deep understanding of international markets. A specialisation in international business management allows graduates to navigate the complexities of global trade, cultural differences and diverse business practices. 

Risk management: Mitigating challenges for success

Every business faces risks, and effective risk management is crucial for long-term success. Business management graduates with a focus on risk management contribute to identifying potential pitfalls and developing strategies to mitigate them, ensuring the stability and growth of the organisation.

Transferable skills: The key to versatility

One of the greatest advantages of having business management skills is the acquisition of highly-sought after transferable skills.

Skills such as good communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and efficient decision-making are applicable across various industries and valued by employers across many fields, making business management graduates adaptable in the ever-evolving job market.

Gain a competitive edge

In the digital age, networking is key for career advancement. Platforms like LinkedIn provide an invaluable space for business management graduates to connect with professionals in their field, discover job opportunities and stay updated on industry trends.

Employers also value practical experience, and internships or work placements during postgraduate and undergraduate studies provide valuable insights into the real-world application of business management concepts. Internships and entry-level positions will also enhance a graduate’s work experience and marketability.

Further study for specialisation

While a Bachelors degree opens doors to entry-level positions, pursuing a Masters degree in business management or a related specialised field can enhance your career prospects and open a gateway to a multitude of career opportunities. Further study provides a deeper understanding of business theories, advanced management concepts and the opportunity to expand knowledge into a preferred niche.

At the University of York, we offer an entirely online MSc in Finance, Leadership and Management programme, equipping you with the specialised skills to master the opportunities and risks in financial management. Taught part-time, this degree allows you to continue progressing your business management career by working around your studies. Plus, with six start dates a year, you can begin your higher education journey within weeks.