Best Paying Jobs For Business Majors
If you are a student who is pursuing a business major in college right now, you probably have huge dreams about your future. You don’t want to end up in a dead-end job after graduating.
You want to get a job that you will be passionate about, a job that will allow you to unlock your biggest potential, and most importantly, a job that will allow you to make enough money to live comfortably and achieve all your dreams and desires.
Even if money should not be your only incentive for getting into a certain career, everyone certainly wants a good paycheck.
So, for someone pursuing a business major, which jobs should you be dreaming about?
We collected the information for you and compiled a list of seven of the best paying jobs for someone with a business major.
Take a look at them and find one that is most appealing for you so that you can start preparing early enough.
CHIEF ACCOUNTING OFFICER (CAO)
The position of chief accounting officer is a C-level position that most accounting students have probably dreamt about.
As a chief accounting officer, your roles involves providing oversight over the entire accounting department in the organization. You will be responsible for the organization’s accounting operations and its financial reporting functions.
As part of overseeing the accounting and administrative staff, you will also ensure that the staff follows proper accounting procedures and complies with the existing rules and regulations.
You might also have to work directly with the organization’s external auditors. Since this is an oversight role, it will also require you to have leadership skills.
As a chief accounting officer, you will also need to ensure you are always up to date with changing government regulations concerning financial reporting and accounting procedure.
Some of the day to day duties and responsibilities of a chief accounting officer include:
- Directly reporting to the organization’s chief financial officer (CFO).
- Coming up with accounting strategies for profit maximization.
- Management of taxes and payroll.
- Recruitment, management, and oversight of all the accounting departments in conjunction with other accounting managers.
- Regular examination of the company’s financial statements to verify accuracy and eliminate errors.
- Analysis of company accounts, then suggesting improvements which can help in increasing profits and reducing costs.
- Preparation, management, and presentation of the monthly accounting reports.
- Acting as a liaison to external auditors.
- Acting as the representative of the accounting department during the organization’s board meetings.
- Ensure the company’s accounts information remains confidential.
- Organizing and updating the company’s financial records.
- Staying on top of any relevant industry changes and current accounting/tax laws.
- Ensuring that the company’s financial data complies with the existing tax laws and regulations.
To get hired as a chief accounting officer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business management, or a similar field. A master’s degree in the same fields is even more valuable.
Some small companies may accept you for the position if you have enough years of experience and a good track record, even without a degree, though the chances are slim.
Since this is a senior level position, you will need to have worked as an accountant before advancing to chief accounting officers. Most companies will also require that you be a certified public accountant. Prior experience as a manager or supervisor is also necessary.
CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER (CIO)
The chief investment officer is the top executive in charge of the company’s investment portfolios. The CIO typically manages a team of professionals who do the following:
- Managing company’s investment activity.
- Monitoring investment activity.
- Managing pension funds.
- Collaborating with external analysts.
- Maintaining good relations with investors.
- Developing long and short-term investment policies for the company.
The CIO’s role is in some companies combined with other aspects of finance and the whole responsibility taken up by the chief financial officer (CFO). The CFO is a more common position than CIO. A CIO position is, however, more specialized, with a focus on investments.
The CIO is in charge of determining what amount out of its operating funds a company can invest. The CIO gauges the risks of investments and finds a way to minimize the risks involved in taking a certain investment decision. In investment, risk is unavoidable.
In fact, in most cases, the higher the risk, the higher the potential gain. The CIO must therefore make changes to the company’s investment portfolio and tailor it to ensure there is a good balance between risk and return on investments (ROI). A bad balance can quickly sink a company if some big risks don’t pay off and the company has no safety net.
Therefore, the company’s investment activity should be managed properly to ensure it does not pose a threat to the organization’s liquidity or stability.
The CIO, being in a top position, has to be a good strategic thinker, with the ability to think long term and help the company achieve its big goals. This involves advising the board on potential ways the investment policy and strategy can change.
To be a CIO, you will need a thick skin and a resolute personality.
This is because of the high pressure you will have to work under. The company has high expectations on the performance of the investments and strategies you pick. Jobs that involve risk-taking are always emotionally or psychologically taxing.
The bigger the company, the larger the risks (in terms of money) you will be taking.
Even when the market is going through a challenging time, where yields are low, you will still be expected to navigate through the challenges expertly and ensure the company’s fiscal security.
To get a CIO job, you will need at the least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or accounting, preferably from a respected business school. The best majors are the ones which give you the tools you need to launch a career as a financial analyst or investment banker. An MBA is also essential.
According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average annual income for a CIO in the US is $157,469 per year. The website reports that some CIO salaries could go as high as $287,000 a year.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
A chief financial officer (CFO) is the topmost executive in charge of the company’s financial decisions. As the CFO, you will be responsible for financial planning, tracking cash flow, and carrying out analysis of the organization’s financial strengths and weaknesses. It will also be up to you to suggest the best corrective actions.
As CFO, you will be in charge of the company’s financial condition. You will make investment decisions, considering factors such as risk and liquidity.
You will oversee the organization’s capital structure and determine the appropriate mix of equity, debt, and internal financing. In fact, capital structure issues may be the most significant of the CFO’s roles in the company.
The CFO is in charge of both the accounting and finance divisions. The CFO ensures the accuracy of the organization’s financial reports, ensuring they are completed on time. He or she also oversees the company’s taxation issues.
While the CFO is responsible for the company’s financial position in the present (and past), he or she also plays a role in determining its financial future.
That involves identification and reporting of the areas where the company is most efficient, and advising the company on how to capitalize on this information.
For instance, a CFO in a doll factory should be able to identify which doll models are earning the highest revenue for the company. The CFO should also be able to figure out how the company can utilize this information to maximize profits.
In addition, the CFO also engages in economic forecasting and modeling. This involves predicting a variety of future scenarios and determining the steps the company should take to avoid the negative scenarios and take advantage of the positive scenarios in order to achieve success.
In many cases, the CFO is the third-highest position in the organization. In this position, you are highly vital to the organization’s strategic initiatives. As such, the CFO reports directly to the chief executive officer (CEO). He or she pulls a lot weight in the company’s capital structure, investments, and the company’s management of its incomes and expenses.
As CFO, you will collaborate with other senior executives to ensure the company stays on track in pursuing its strategic goals. Being a high-level executive, your input is mainly concerned with the company’s long term success. For instance, you will help the CEO with cost-benefit analysis, forecasting, and in finding funds for the organization’s various projects/initiatives.
Since this is a really senior position, a bachelor’s degree is usually not enough. In smaller companies, a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field can help you get the job, provided you have lots of experience. Due to the management and leadership responsibilities of the role, however, an MBA is usually necessary.
As I said earlier, the CFO is usually the third-highest position. In the finance industry, however, a CFO is the position of highest rank. Going past the CFO position usually means becoming the CEO, the chief operating officer (COO), or the company president.
According to Investopedia, the CFOS of S&P 500 companies have an average annual income of $3.8 million. Glassdoor.com, however, provides a more modest average base pay of $145,379 per year (based on 1,536 salaries anonymously submitted to the website).
In an organization, the tax director is in charge of ensuring tax planning, tax compliance, and income tax accounting. As a tax director, you will collaborate with the organization’s financial management and third party service providers.
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a tax director include:
- You will be in charge of management fee arrangements and transfer pricing.
- You will perform oversight of tax returns for the international subsidiaries of the organization.
- You will be in charge of international, federal, and state income tax returns, and that includes related support and analysis.
- You will audit state and federal income tax as well as local and state filings.
- You will collaborate with the VP Treasurer on tax planning issues.
- You will help the VP and Treasurer to monitor and estimate the annual cash taxes.
- You will coordinate with the internal audit tax team to ensure compliance to pricing policies and to determine the right IDR report.
As you can see, being a tax director is all about the organization’s tax issues. As a tax director, you are supposed to analyze all the implications of a tax and help the company minimize its tax obligation. You are responsible for coming up with tax strategies and plans.
Tax directors are incredibly important because they help keep down the costs of running a business. Taxes have a way of siphoning an organization’s finances and threatening its continued existence. It is therefore necessary that a company should find ways to bring down the amount it pays in taxes.
The strategic tax plan created by the tax director helps the organization retain as much of its finances as it can. The tax director ensures the organization files its taxes in time and is tax-compliant.
As a tax director, you will need to have a thorough understanding of tax laws and regulations, whether domestic or international. You will also need to have a good command of the written language, since the position involves a great deal of writing.
The minimum requirements for getting hired as a tax director are a bachelor’s degree in accounting. However, you stand a better chance if you also have a master’s degree in business taxation. You will also need to have some years of experience working as an accountant.
According to indeed.com, a tax director in the US earns an annual salary of 153, 975. The estimates are based on 586 salaries anonymously submitted to the website by Tax Directors. The figures are also based on job advertisements on the website over the past 36 months.
The finance manager is the person in charge of the organization’s financial health. Businesses cannot live without finance. Finances are the lifeblood of a business.
If finances runs out, the business dies (going bankrupt). It is the responsibility of the finance manager to ensure that the organization has a good financial standing at all times.
Some of the duties and tasks of the finance manager include:
- Reviewing of financial reports in a bid to come up with cost-reducing ideas.
- Analysis of market trends to figure out how to boost profits and find opportunities for expansion.
- Supervision of employees who carry out budgeting and financial reporting.
- Monitoring of financial details in a bid to make sure the organization meets its legal requirements.
- Preparation of forecasts, business activity reports, and financial statements.
- Guiding management in making the right financial decisions.
If you want to be a finance manager, you have to be prepared to spend most of your time looking at data. From your analysis of the data, you are then able to advise the senior management in the organization on the best ways they can cut costs and increase profits.
As a finance manager, you will need to be knowledgeable on tax laws and regulations, and other topics which are specific to your organization or industry. For example, financial managers in the healthcare sector will need a good understanding of reimbursement and billing.
The minimum entry-level education for this job is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or economics. In most cases, however, employers prefer to give the job to candidates who also have a master’s degree in those fields.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2019, finance managers earned a median annual wage of $129,890. The lowest 10 percent of finance managers had their earnings at less than $68,370. On the other hand, the highest 10% had earnings at over $208,000.
The highest earning financial managers are those working in professional, scientific, and technical services, with median annual wages of $152,810.
Other high earning sectors for financial managers include manufacturing, finance and insurance, government, and management of companies and enterprises.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER
The human resource manager’s job is the planning, directing, and coordination of the organization’s administrative functions, and particularly matters concerning the organization’s employees.
The human resource manager is responsible for interviewing and recruiting new staff, as well as collaborating with top executives in strategic planning on matters related to recruitment and administrative issues.
Staffing is one of the most important aspects of any organization. No company can succeed if it has the wrong people. Every company wants to attract, motivate, and retain qualified, high-performing employees.
It is the human resource manager’s job to do that, and to match them to the jobs they are best suited for.
Some of the main duties and responsibilities of the human resource manager include:
- Planning and overseeing benefit programs for employees.
- Acting as a liaison between staff and management
- Overseeing training and development of staff.
- Planning and coordination of the workforce to ensure optimal utilization of employee’s abilities/talents.
- Coordination and supervision of the work specialists and support staff do in the company.
- Overseeing the hiring process: recruitment, interviews, selection.
- Mediating disputes.
- Directing disciplinary procedures.
- Other managers will consult with the human resource manager on human resource issues such as sexual harassment and equal opportunity employment.
To become a human resource manager, you will need a bachelor’s degree in human resources or related fields such as business management, though a master’s degree is highly preferred. In addition, it might be helpful to be certified in course such as industrial psychology and conflict management.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that human resource managers make a median annual wage of $116,720 as of May 2019. However, the top 10% of human resource managers make as high as $205,720 per year.
The sales manager is a person in an organization who is responsible for guiding and providing oversight over the company’s sales executives.
It is up to them to develop sales plans, train and mentor the sales people, ensure that sales goals are met, and figure out ways to boost the company’s sales.
Some of the duties of a sales manager include:
- Planning and coordination of training programs for salespersons in the organization.
- The assignment of sales territories and the setting of sales quotas for your sales team.
- The preparation of budgets and approval of expenditures.
- Addressing complaints by customers regarding sales and customer service.
- Analysis of sales statistics.
- Projection of sales.
- Determination of the profitability of different products and services.
- Monitoring of customers’ preferences. This will help determine the appropriate place to focus sales efforts.
- Coming up with discount rates and special pricing plans.
- Coming up with customer acquisition strategies using different techniques such as cold calling, direct sales, and business-to-business marketing visits.
To succeed as a sales manager you will need the following skills:
- Customer service skills – The ability to listen and respond to a customer’s needs is key in making a sale.
- Communication skills – You will need the ability to communicate with your colleagues and with the customers.
- Analytical skills – Collection and interpretation of complex data and then targeting the most promising demographic groups and geographic areas, as well as coming up with effective sales strategies.
- Leadership skills – The ability to inspire and manage the sales staff, harnessing their talents and pushing them to hit their targets. Leadership also includes the ability to develop strategies for attaining sales goals.
To be a sales manager, you will need prior experience as a sales representative.
That is because sales work is highly intuitive and you can only learn it through experience, by trial and error.
You will need at least 1 to 5 years of experience in sales. You will also need a bachelor’s degree. The best courses are in management, business law, accounting, marketing, mathematics, finance, and statistics.
The US bureau of labor statistics reports that in May 2019, the annual median income for sales managers was $126,640. The highest 10% of sales managers, however, earned an annual salary of over $280,000.
WRAPPING IT UP
While money shouldn’t be your main motivator when searching for a job, it is still an important consideration.
As a business major who wants to make enough to live comfortably, you should consider getting into one of the seven careers discussed above.
It is also important, however, that you choose a career line that you are passionate about. For instance, don’t aim for the position of chief accounting officer if you don’t love working with numbers.
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