Business/Management Majors and Potential Jobs

by and

The career options with a business/management major are certainly varied, almost limitless. Whether you want to explore your entrepreneurial side and start your own business, or just be a part of one, business just might be the right major for you. Keep reading to see what these common business and management majors and careers are all about.

PS When you're ready to search for colleges with business and management majors, go here

Agricultural Business and Economics

Agricultural business and economics studies the relationship of economics and industrial practices in agricultural production, from harvest to consumption. The management of farms, ranches, and farm-related industry forms the core of the major. The management of public lands and waters is a related interest. Technical aspects of agriculture are intensely analyzed, since the ability to create practical solutions and get results are the intended outcomes of the degree. Marketing and business management are also important learning areas.

Education

The plan of study usually shares the same core courses as an agricultural science major, including biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The curriculum progresses to agricultural production, economic analysis, futures market analysis, world economics, and production forecasting. Field trips involving close-up study of working farms to analyze agricultural business decisions and policy-making practices are included.

Possible careers

•    agricultural agent
•    agricultural economist
•    agricultural engineer
•    agronomist
•    commodity merchandiser
•    economic analyst
•    farmer/rancher
•    financial analyst
•    food and drug inspector
•    forester
•    lawyer
•    range manager
•    teacher

Business Administration/Management

Business administration is the study of the techniques and skills needed to manage an organization in order to achieve business goals. Course work in this major includes all aspects of business, including business organization, production, sales and marketing, accounting, and personnel administration. A business administration major may concentrate in one of the above areas, focusing on a specific facet of business while taking courses in the remaining areas to complete the program.

Education

Colleges with a strong business department may offer a dual major together with such studies as economics, international business, business law, or operations research. Since a large numbers of colleges offer this major in some form, students are urged to study and compare catalogs carefully to find the program best suited to their goals. For students contemplating a Master’s of Business Administration, an undergraduate major in business may not be necessary or advisable. Consult several schools of business administration before making this decision.

Possible careers

•    accountant
•    administrative assistant
•    business education teacher
•    comptroller
•    contract administrator
•    economist
•    financial analyst
•    manager
•    market research
•    real estate broker
•    stock broker
•    venture capitalist

Business Economics

Business economics is a major that emphasizes the dynamics of business in the study of economics. It concerns itself with the quantitative analysis of business trends. This entails the investigation of the forces that affect the rise and fall of business activity. The impact of this activity on employment, capital outlay, investment, and profit/loss is also examined. The major is geared heavily toward statistical analysis, so a strong background in mathematics is a necessity. It is designed to prepare students for graduate study in a variety of fields, including economics, law, management, urban planning, and public administration.

Education

The plan of study begins with a concentrated study of economics. It will include courses in mathematics and a core of courses from the business or business administration department, many of which will concern accounting or finance. Some colleges award a dual major in business and economics upon completion; those that do not offer business economics as a formal major can prepare a student for this career through appropriate faculty advisement.

Possible careers

•    accountant (C.P.A.)
•    actuary
•    architect
•    budget officer
•    business economist
•    comptroller
•    cost accountant
•    economist
•    journalist
•    lawyer
•    manager
•    market analyst
•    public administrator
•    sales representative
•    teacher or professor
•    treasurer
•    urban planner

Business Education

Business education is the study of business and entrepreneurship in all its forms, as preparation for teaching the full range of business courses to secondary school students. Business education majors develop a thorough background in accounting, office management, marketing, organizational behavior, and business law. Student teaching experiences and seminars on current topics culminate in eligibility for teaching certification.

Education

The plan of study begins with courses in English composition and literature, mathematics (beginning with college algebra), education, and introductory courses in business. Upper-division students pursue advanced work in business topics such as accounting, law, marketing and sales, organizational behavior, and business law. Other requirements will include psychology, computer studies, and macro- and microeconomics. Students will complete the necessary course work and student teaching to qualify for teacher certification.

Possible careers

•    accountant
•    auditor
•    business consultant
•    business manager
•    business owner
•    executive secretary
•    paralegal specialist
•    proprietary school instructor
•    sales representative
•    secondary school teacher

Business Statistics

A specialized major within the department of business administration, business statistics examines the techniques for the collection and use of empirical information in making business decisions. The focus is on the design and analysis of surveys, industrial research, and the conduct of experimental business programs and market research. This major usually includes extensive computer science and business information processing courses.

Education

The plan of study begins with core courses for business majors, with electives in basic statistical methods. A firm grounding in theoretical higher mathematics and advanced statistics and probability leads to work in descriptive statistics, graphic methods, hypothesis testing, and interpretation of confidence intervals. Management courses in policy planning and decision making are also incorporated.

Possible careers

•    actuary
•    business statistician
•    college professor
•    comptroller
•    lawyer
•    management analyst
•    management consultant
•    manager
•    market analyst
•    operations researcher
•    statistical accountant
•    teacher

E-commerce

In this major, students learn how to combine marketing tools, business strategies, and technology applications to launch new businesses or to enhance established businesses through the use of the Internet and other state of the art technological techniques. Often found as an area of concentration in the business management program, or a joint program between business and management information systems, e-commerce prepares students to work with everything from start-up “dot coms” to Fortune 500 companies. It is suited for the student with an entrepreneurial bent who is business savvy, as well as skilled and creative in the use of information technology. It is a new, fast moving, quickly changing field that could allow entry to virtually any kind of business venture.

Education

The plan of study will include an array of introductory courses suitable for all business majors enhanced by courses in all aspects of information technology and systems design. Students will learn how to use computer-based techniques to market products and communicate information. This is a major well suited for co-op or internship opportunities, and students are well advised to pursue them in the junior or senior year, if they are not required to do so by the major program itself.

Possible careers

•    communications
•    consulting
•    electronic retailing

Entrepreneurial Studies

Entrepreneurial studies prepares students to find and respond to opportunities for new business or for business growth. Although typically thought for people that are interested in owning or operating a small business, entrepreneurship cannot be limited that way. In fact, every corporation in operation wants its managers to think like entrepreneurs; that is, to be innovative, be on the alert for new ideas and opportunities. A sub-specialty within a school of management or school of business, entrepreneurial studies requires not just a fine background in principles of management, but creativity, energy, and the willingness to take measured risks.

Education

The field of study will require students to complete the basic requirements for an undergraduate degree in business or management. Beyond that, students can expect a lot of group work in their courses on entrepreneurship. The most rigorous programs will expect students to work in groups and craft viable new business ventures; sometimes these projects carry actual cash value. Students are judged in real-life business terms; successful ventures are praised, unsuccessful ones are scrapped.

Possible careers

•    business owner/founder
•    investment banker
•    marketing manager or executive
•    product development manager
•    venture capitalist

Finance

Finance students learn about the dynamics of financial decision making, the behavior of financial markets, managing financial risk, valuing financial securities, and evaluating financial opportunities. While for-profit, nonprofit, and public firms share some financial principles, students generally concentrate in only one of these sectors. As may be apparent, strong mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills are key. This is a growingly international field of study, especially for the private sector. Job prospects are generally good.

Education

This field of study will start with foundational courses in economics and finance and then branch into specialized fields such as corporate finance, venture capital, or international finance. Not every program has co-op or internship opportunities, but a finance major is encouraged to seek summer employment. Especially in the later years of the major, group work will be emphasized and assignments will carry more and more of a “real world” quality. There is a theoretical field of finance as well, and for this, students will want to prepare themselves for graduate study and pursue advanced mathematical work.

Possible careers

•    commercial banker
•    corporate finance
•    entrepreneur
•    financial analyst
•    financial planner
•    investment banker
•    stock broker
•    venture capitalist

Hospitality Administration/Management

Related to the narrower field of restaurant and hotel management, hospitality administration is a major that prepares students for a career in the management of hotels, resorts, travel services, recreational facilities, and food delivery services. This is for students who wants a business education, but do not see themselves working in a typical office environment. It is ideal for students who enjoy working with people, exploring new places, and solving problems. Opportunities for employment and advancement are good. Travel is often a requirement. This major is usually offered as a specialty in a school of business.

Education

Because this is a business-related major, students start with the basic business administration array of courses before branching into more specified courses in hospitality management. Students may have a chance to take more course work in one particular field, such as resort management or marketing or travel, but the major is intended to introduce the student to all aspects of the industry. Many programs offer co-op opportunities or internships; most require them.

Possible careers

•    convention/meeting planner
•    facilities manager
•    restaurant, resort, or hotel manager
•    travel agent or consultant
•    tourism director

Hotel Management/Administration

A hotel is a complex system, serviced by personnel with a range of skills and trades and operated on a 24–7 basis. Managing such a complex entity is a specialized study under the umbrella of business administration, with its own array of courses and disciplines. Hotel management is the study of the information and skills needed to administer and direct such an organization, from a sole proprietorship to a large corporate operation. Colleges offering the baccalaureate in this program frequently draw their upper-division students from those who have pursued a similar program at a two-year college. The field is demanding, but there are good opportunities for employment and advancement within it.

Education

The plan of study is a practical one. Course work moves quickly from theoretical business core courses including business administration and accounting to those teaching front office operation, registration and billing procedures, supervision of housekeeping services, food and beverage management, cost control, and personnel policies. Students will be expected to engage in internships or co-op services to complete this major.

Possible careers

•    caterer
•    convention planner
•    food/beverage inspector
•    foods supervisor
•    health inspector
•    hotel/motel/resort manager
•    personnel manager
•    purchasing manager
•    restaurant manager
•    tourism director

Insurance

Insurance is an orderly way of providing for financial risk and uncertainty. The potential losses that can result from accidents, fires, so-called acts of God, and other disasters can be minimized through knowledge of proper levels and types of insurance coverage. The few colleges that offer a true undergraduate program in insurance provide a very comprehensive foundation in the practical aspects of this subject. Degrees offered may be either Bachelor of Arts in insurance management or Bachelor of Science in actuarial science.

Education

The plan of study begins with core courses in liberal arts, business administration, and insurance. Insurance areas that receive in-depth coverage include casualty, life and health, property, liability, commercial multiple lines, financial planning, and pension plan development.

Possible careers

•    account executive
•    accountant
•    actuary
•    benefits officer or consultant
•    business manager
•    claims examiner
•    financial advisor
•    financial analyst
•    insurance broker
•    insurance underwriter
•    lawyer
•    loan officer
•    real estate broker
•    stockbroker

International Business

International business is an area of specialization in a business administration program. It consists of an analysis of overseas business operations, selection of investment opportunities and evaluation of resources to support the investment, as well as an examination of the social and cultural variables involved in conducting business abroad. In a “shrinking world” where more corporations and more countries think in terms of a global market, this major will simply grow in importance in the near term. The work can be intense and can include extensive travel, but job prospects are promising.

Education

The plan of study begins with the core courses of the business administration or management major, including economics, statistics, applied math, management, marketing, and organizational analysis. Specialty courses in international marketing, international finance, and international business environments follow. The study of at least one foreign language to the point of real fluency is desirable. Students of international business also would be well advised to consider study abroad. Colleges frequently offer a dual major in this area, coupling it with a major in finance, economics, statistics, or marketing.

Possible careers

•    account executive
•    accountant
•    business department head
•    college professor
•    diplomat
•    editor
•    financial analyst
•    import-export agent
•    lawyer
•    marketing representative
•    purchasing agent
•    state departmental official
•    venture capitalist

Labor/Industrial Relations Studies

Labor/industrial relations studies is an interdisciplinary field that deals with work, the workplace, and workers and their organizations. Drawing from the fields of history, economics, industrial relations, political science, law, sociology, communication, and philosophy, labor relations enables students who complete the major to serve more effectively as members and leaders in their organizations. Students also gain a sense of the past and present contexts of work and unionism. Because labor leaders need to be familiar with economics, communications, and other subjects, the labor relations major can assist one in mastering a broad range of topics and perspectives. Internships with local labor unions may be available or mandatory as part of the major. Few colleges offer this program as a pure major.

Education

The plan of study entails a core curriculum in sociology, labor law, history of unionism, and problems facing unions today. The balance deals with specialized subjects including collective bargaining, ethnicity in unions, and unions and the modern corporation.

Possible careers

•    community organizer
•    contract specialist
•    industrial relations director
•    job analyst
•    labor journalist
•    labor relations specialist
•    labor representative
•    lawyer
•    lobbyist
•    management analyst
•    national labor relations board staff
•    occupational health/safety inspector
•    salary and wage administrator
•    union official

Operations Management

Operations management is a mathematically based concentration within the business administration major. Its purpose is to solve business and related problems using a mathematical model. Students learn to construct a model of the system to be analyzed, including its structure and constraints, state the objectives to be realized, and utilize mathematical techniques to find the best way to accomplish the objective. It suits those students who are comfortable using mathematics as a vehicle for creative problem solving.

Education

The plan of study usually requires a core of liberal arts courses with some business electives during the first two years, then proceeds to heavily mathematics-based major study encompassing such subjects as mathematical modeling, game theory, decision theory, networking, graphics, and flow charting. Dual major programs in operations research and either economics or mathematics are available in some colleges. Taking appropriate accounting courses it may even be possible to obtain the C.P.A. credential at the close of this program. At some colleges, operations research is considered a field of applied mathematics, management, or engineering.

Possible careers

•    college professor
•    computer programmer
•    industrial engineer
•    management analyst
•    operations researcher
•    organizational researcher
•    research/development director
•    systems analyst

Adapted from Major Decisions: A Guide to College Majors, by Terry Ward. Used with permission from Wintergreen Orchard House, 2012. For the full breakdown of these majors, check out the book, available in paperback and for the Kindle!

Note: Did you know you could win a $10,000 scholarship for college or grad school just by registering on CollegeXpress? This is one of the quickest, easiest scholarships you’ll ever apply for. Register Now »

Comments