The following articles describes the important aspects of a business management career. You will learn what business management professionals do, where they work, how to become one, common career paths in business management, and more.
What We Do
Business management professionals provide expert management and oversight of various aspects of companies. A career in business management will involve the process of developing plans, strategies, policies and procedures that guide the business both on a daily and a long term basis. It also involves the coordination of financial, human and material resources to reach the objectives of the organization.
Professionals who work in business management can do a broad range of day to day tasks that can include accounting, finance, budgeting, planning, supervising, marketing, hiring and leadership.
A career in business management can mean working in a small start up, your own small business, or working with a large, Fortune 500 company.
The job duties for business management professionals will vary widely, given that business management careers are so broad and varied. However, most business management professionals will do at least some of the following:
- Maintain the staff of their department by selecting, orienting and training employees
- Establish the strategic goals for the company or department by gathering vital business, financial and operations information.
- Accomplish the financial objectives of the department or company by forecasting business requirements; prepare budgets each year, schedule business expenditures.
- Maintain a high level of quality and service by analyzing and solving any quality and customer service issues
- Provide annual staff reviews to encourage employees to improve and grow in their business roles
Where We Work
Most business management professionals work for small, medium and large private companies. Business management professionals are needed in every industry, including IT, telecommunications, manufacturing, health care, pharmaceuticals and many more.
A critical decision that will affect your career growth is not just the type of business management career you choose: Where will you live and work? Smart business professionals choose to live and work in high growth cities. According to Forbes, the following cities hold much potential for business management professionals:
- Denver, Colorado – Nearly a 3 million population and gross metro production of $178 billion.
- Provo, Utah – Under the radar, but growing quickly year over year with a 586,000 population.
- Raleigh, North Carolina – Gross metro production of $68 billion and very rapid population growth; major tech center
- Seattle, Washington – $250 billion gross metro production and fast job growth in software and medical fields
- Salt Lake City, Utah – $75 billion gross metro production and above average population growth with current population of 1.7 million
- Dallas, Texas – A massive $318 billion gross metro production and 4.7 million population. One of the hottest cities west of the Mississippi.
How to Become
The best path to a career in business management is to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in whatever is your area of interest. If you are uncertain what your career interest is, earning a general bachelor’s in business is a good move.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the overall job growth in the management field will be 6% by 2024, which is about average. In business and finance, there will be 8% growth by 2024.
However, growth is often more or less depending upon the area of business management you want to pursue. Below are the job and salary outlooks for many business management professions:
- Accountants: Median pay is $67,190, and job growth is going to be 11% by 2024, which is faster than average. It is believed that the economy is going to keep expanding, and the regulatory environment will continue to get stricter, which is driving demand for accounting professionals.
- Management analysts: Median pay is $81,320, and job growth will be a strong 14% by 2024. More management analysts and consultants are needed as the global competitive environment is getting tougher. Companies need to determine how to cut costs and enhance revenues to beat the competition.
- Financial managers: Median salary is $117,000 per year and job demand will be an average 7% by 2024. But the US continues to be a major financial center, and many industries will see stronger growth in the major US markets.
- Financial analysts: Median pay is $80,300 per year, and the average job demand will increase by 12% by 2024. There are more financial products available today than ever, and there is a greater need for very in depth knowledge of geographic regions for many international markets.
- Top executives: The median salary for top executives is $175,100, and job demand will increase by 6% by 2024. The rate of new company creation is starting to increase, and there could be more demand in many popular sectors, such as technology and healthcare.
Business management is a very broad area, and you can certainly find a career that is a good fit for you:
- Top executive: Devise business strategies and policies to make certain that the company achieves its financial and business goals. They are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating all of the operational activities of small, medium and large companies. Your exact responsibilities largely depend upon how big the company is. Top executives for a smaller company may handle purchasing, training, hiring, quality control and operations. In a big company, you will usually focus on forming company strategy and policy.
- Operations manager: Provides oversight of business operations that are too diverse for one specific department to manage. Operations managers formulate policies, manage the daily workings of facilities, and provide plans for the use of human resources and materials. They may produce staff schedules, assign jobs, and make sure that projects are completed.
- Management analyst: These are consultants who propose new ways for the company to improve profits and efficiency. They provide expert business management advice on how they can make the company more profitable through cutting costs and enhancing revenues.
- Medical and health services managers: For business management professionals interested in a healthcare career, these professionals are often called healthcare executives. They are responsible for the planning, directing and coordinating of health services and medical care for hospitals, nursing homes, long term care centers and doctor’s offices. You could work as a nursing home administrator, clinical manager, health information manager or healthcare administrator.
- Financial manager: They are largely responsible for the financial fitness of the company. Most often they will produce regular financial reports, direct how funds are invested, and devise long term business strategies that will enhance company profits and meet company objectives.
- Accountant: They are responsible for the preparation and examination of financial records. They must ensure that all financial records are entirely accurate and that taxes have been properly paid. Accountants also provide accurate assessment of financial operations, and they ensure that their companies are run in an efficient manner. They also need to communicate with higher level management about their findings.
- Product manager: This is a critical role for many technology companies; this business management professional is often thought of as the CEO for a product. The product manager provides the strategy, roadmap and feature list for the product or the line of products. This role may include duties that cross into marketing, forecasting and profit and loss.
Business management is a very versatile career choice, and you can choose many types of educational paths depending upon your career goals.
A good foundation for a career in business management is a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. If you are interested in a career in international business, accounting, finance, marketing or another speciality, you may want to choose one of those as a concentration area for your undergraduate degree. Today, many non-profit accredited online MBA programs are now available.
For professionals who want to move into upper level or executive management, earning your MBA is often the best choice. Again, you can choose to specialize in many areas with your MBA: MBA in marketing, MBA in finance, MBA in international business, MBA in accounting, MBA in leadership, MBA in healthcare management, MHA in healthcare administration and many more.
Many corporations prefer upper-level managers with plenty of experience and an MBA with a focus on accounting and/or finance.
There are so many business management careers that the specializations are nearly endless.
However, for top executives, some of the most common and popular specializations include:
- Chief executive officer: Provide the overall direction for the company; answers to board of directors
- Chief operating officer: Oversees all of the other executives who oversee the company’s various departments
- General and operations manager: Oversees daily operations
- Chief information officer: Responsible for the computer and information technology needs of the company
Training and Certifications
Professionals in business management need to have a variety of up to date business expertise to be successful and to advance their career. After you have earned your bachelor’s and possibly a master’s degree in a business management field, you should seek additional training to enhance your decision making and organizational ability. Those two attributes are often the ones that lead to the most rewarding business career.
An effective way to enhance your career prospects is to obtain certifications in your business speciality. For example, the following certifications are available in these business specialties:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
- Six Sigma Green Belt
- Business Process Management Certification (BPM)
Business Degrees by State
Learn more about Business career opportunities by state including salary figures, outlook as well as campus and online business programs available.
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- 2016 Best and Worst Places for Business and Career. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45fgjeh/best-places-1-denver/#668d9ae5656d
- Florida Tech Online. Guide to Majors in Business Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.floridatechonline.com/blog/business/guide-to-majors-in-business-management/
- Management Analysts. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-2