There is little doubt that earning a business degree gives college graduates a lot of flexibility in different career fields upon graduation. It stands to reason the “Top 5” business majors within college degree programs have great income potential and job growth, making them attractive to many students. Below are the top five majors that specialize in business, with some details so you can better understand the requirements for each one:
- Finance tops the list of business majors, according to The NACE Center. Geteducated.com names some of the courses involved in this degree as Principles of Finance, Micro and Macroeconomics, Statistics, and Accounting. Kiplinger indicates a starting salary over $50,000/year with a 13.1% job growth rate. If you’re aiming to be a Financial Analyst or Financial Planner, this is the major for you.
- Accounting comes in second on the NACE Center list and has an estimated 11% growth rate. Core courses include Basic and Advanced Accounting, Tax Accounting and Auditing, and Corporate Governance, along with general business courses like Marketing, Management and Economics. Geteducated.com cites the median salary of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) near $70,000/year.
- Business Administration is closely aligned with Management and places third on the NACE list. This broad degree encapsulates many areas of business, so bachelor’s degree requirements include courses like Business Communications, Management, Marketing, Accounting and Economics. Career paths include business management, retail management, and communications positions and, according to Kiplinger, starting salaries start around $45,000/year and has a 11% job growth rate.
- Management Information Systems may be one of the hottest business majors and is closely aligned with computer science, which is fourth on NACE’s list. Kiplinger says, “combining tech savvy with leadership abilities can be a winning formula.” You’ll complete courses like Project Management, and Human Resources Management alongside Network Principles, Information Security and System Design. While the starting salary is only slightly higher than these other degrees, Kiplinger believes mid-career salaries will hit six figures.
- Human Resources is a reliable major in which you may choose to find a specialty area and pursue additional certifications. Rounding out the top 5 majors, you can expect to take courses like Labor Relations, Business Law, and Training and Development. According to Geteducated.com, job growth is at 5%, while starting salaries start around $60,000/year.
Career Fields for the Top 5 Business Majors
While there are many career opportunities for college graduates who hold these or similar majors, below are listed some of the better paying careers that are projected to continue to grow:
- Accountant – Passing the CPA exam may be challenging, but many degree programs work the exam into your program. With an accounting degree, you can become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), work for a corporation as a Controller or with individual clients in your own firm. You may work as a Tax Accountant, IRS auditor, or Forensic Accountant, someone who works with law enforcement agencies to solve criminal cases. According to Payscale, salaries in these areas settle into six figures by mid-career.
- Financial Analyst – If you can identify economic trends in business and like working with large companies, you can also earn in six figures. Mike Profita, at The Balance Careers says analysts, “evaluate companies, industries and associated investments for clients or their parent company. They…write reports with recommendations for investments and the allocation of corporate resources.” Banks, pension funds, and stock brokerages are just a few industries that hire people with these skills.
- Attorney – A background in business can prepare you for law school and a career as an attorney. With a focus on Business Law, you might work for federal, state or local government, as well as corporate law firms or serve as in-house counsel for companies who need your skill. If bankruptcy, contracts, mergers, securities and incorporations are your area of interest, Mike Profita at The Balance Careers believes you will be in high demand.
- Corporate Controller – All businesses and government organizations need financial experts to manage budgets at a high (and highly skilled) level. A controller is an organization’s chief accounting officer and is responsible for debits and credits, payroll, tax compliance and budgeting. This high-responsibility position will definitely net a six-figure income for which an Accounting degree is a must.
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Majoring in a business degree is a good career choice that pays well and has enough variety to find something you enjoy. While we’ve touched on just a few career paths, there are many more you can pursue. If you’re interested in business, but unsure where to start, take a StraighterLine class to find your area of interest and then start majoring in business by taking online business courses from StraighterLine. Not sure if online college classes are the right choice for you? Take two free lessons on us!
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