A business degree may be able to help open doors, but is business management a good major for you? A degree in business is meant to provide you with an understanding of business fundamentals at every level of an organization by providing perspective on how companies change over time, the cultural differences that can exist within businesses, and the role that managers play. A specialization in business management can prepare you to work in a fluid, dynamic business environment where you can have a tangible impact on an organization through planning and organizing day-to-day operations as well as marketing activities.
What is Business Management?
Business management, sometimes referred to as business administration, is essentially the role of an overseer. According to the National Center for Education statistics, a major in business "prepares individuals to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of an organization."1 As a business manager, you could be responsible for making decisions based on available data, delegating tasks to employees, and recruiting and hiring new employees.
While business management can be a broadly focused leadership role, some involvement with marketing may be inevitable. Managers often have to make decisions based on marketing data. If planning and executing programs to grow the business from the marketing side is more appealing to you than the broad approach of a business management position, you might consider pursuing a marketing degree.
What are Some Entry-Level Business Management Positions?
It's unlikely that you'll get a job leading an entire company immediately after completing your business management degree—rather, most entry-level jobs will involve managing a given facet of a business, giving those with a business degree plenty of options. Some common entry-level business jobs could include:
- Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Manager – These positions entail planning advertising campaigns, developing pricing strategies, initiating and analyzing market research, and directing the hiring of relevant staff members. This field appears to have a steady future, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting a 12% growth rate from 2012 to 2022.2
- Administrative Services Manager – While the exact responsibilities of an administrative services manager will vary greatly from company to company, the role generally involves coordinating support services that are essential to the smooth operation of an organization. Such services often involve keeping records, facility planning and maintenance, and mail distribution. In smaller businesses, this role may be referred to as business office manager. The BLS predicts 12% growth for this occupation from 2012 to 2022.3
- Sales Manager – Sales managers serve as the heads of a business's sales team. Analyzing sales data, setting goals, and the recruitment and training of salespeople are all standard obligations of this position, as is responding to any complaints or issues from customers. Sales managers are typically required to travel, both to maintain contact with distributors as well as to seek new customers. BLS predicts an 8% growth rate for the profession from 2012 to 2022.4
How Can I Tell if Business Management is a Good Major for Me?
At its core, a career in business management is one that requires a certain amount of leadership. A successful business manager will ideally be able to orchestrate disparate parts of an organization to achieve the best results. If you're asking yourself, "Is business management a good major for me?," the answer is likely "yes" if you're comfortable taking a leadership role in an organization and you have a desire to help chart a company's future.
Ready to learn more? Explore online business degrees at AIU.
1. National Center for Education Statistics, on the Internet at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=88877 (Visited August 22, 2015)
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm (Visited August 11, 2015)
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm (Visited August 11, 2015)
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm (Visited August 11, 2015)
The presence of specific potential jobs on this list does not guarantee availability of career opportunities. All statistics referenced are national historical averages and the figures in your area and at the time of your job search may be different.