Business Majors that Will Earn You a Good Salary

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Ask a business major for reasons for choosing to have a business degree, or to pave a career in business, and you might get a variety of reasons.

Ask a business graduate why she chose this path, and you are also likely going to get even more reasons, complete with elaborate explanations.

In this guide, we answer 1) why you should study something business related and 2) the top 10 highest paying business majors.


Business and its related degrees are sometimes collectively referred to as the “FAME” group, since they stand for Finance, Accounting, Management and Economics.

Often, these fields of study are confused as being the same thing, for the simple reason that they are business courses. These courses also happen to be some of the degrees or majors with the highest demand all over the world, whether they are in the undergraduate or in graduate schools.

Let us first try to gain an understanding of why a lot of people are studying business these days.

There are more career options in business.

Depending on the business major, there are certainly more career possibilities for someone holding a degree in business. Many are under the impression that business majors are only for those who want to start and run their own businesses. That is not the case.

Take a look at the following list, which include some of the possible careers for a business degree major.

  • Teacher / Academician
  • Management consultant
  • Marketer / Advertiser
  • Market Researcher
  • Personnel Manager
  • Retail Manager and Buyer
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Bank, Investment and Fund Manager
  • Distribution and Logistics Manager
  • Accountant / Bookkeeper

A business degree provides you with many transferable skills.

The study of business is very broad, encompassing a wide area of learning and discipline. This will equip an individual with all the necessary knowledge about business operations, and even related areas. In addition to that, however, transferable skills may also be acquired when you study business.

Transferable skills are what make an individual flexible and versatile, so that he will not be boxed in or be hampered by his limited knowledge. These transferable skills may also be applied in one’s personal life, not just his professional life.

Examples of the transferable skills that one can learn while studying for a business degree include:

  • Understanding of organizational structures, cultures and philosophies
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Communication skills, which includes oral, written, and presentation skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Numeracy skills, which often involve usage and interpretation of financial information
  • Time management skills
  • Project management skills

A business degree holder has higher chances of rising up the ranks.

Granted, a fresh graduate of business may find himself starting at the bottom, occupying an entry-level position in the organization.

However, that may not last for long, since his transferable skills, which come as part and parcel of his business degree, will make him qualified for promotion, so that he can advance and move up to managerial positions, all the way up to a seat in the top management.

Business degree holders get paid more.

When you have a business degree, salary expectations are bound to be high.

Out of all these reasons, you are sure to encounter the last reason more than once or twice. Or several times. Students choose to study business because of the higher earnings potential that a career in business offers.


The United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics conducted several studies and came up with the list of the ten highest paying business degrees today. They are bachelor or master degrees in:

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. E-Commerce
  3. Marketing
  4. Finance
  5. Human Resource Management
  6. Economics
  7. Healthcare Management
  8. Global Business
  9. Business Administration
  10. Accounting

Many say that getting a business degree or majoring in business is a form of investment, with great expectations of high returns. Let us go over each of the business majors with the greatest potential of providing high returns.


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in Entrepreneurship
  • BS/MS/MBA in Management and Entrepreneurship

This business degree focuses on the students gaining specialization in entrepreneurship, specifically in the various areas of running and overseeing the day to day operations of an organization. This focuses on the development of the student’s decision making skills and capabilities.

The courses or subjects included in this business major include:

  • General business courses: these include accounting, finance, global business, human resources, marketing, public relations, and sales.
  • Capital management
  • Global business
  • Product development

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Entrepreneur – Those who study entrepreneurship do so with the view of starting or founding their own business someday.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Graduates of this degree may also be aiming for the top managerial position in the organization, which is the CEO. According to the BLS, the average annual salary of a CEO is $159,000, but that would mostly depend on the size of the organization.


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in Internet Marketing
  • BS/MS/MBA in Digital Marketing and Advertising

These days, the internet has grown to become a lucrative field in itself. E-commerce is now seen by businesses and organizations as a field where they can increase their competitive advantage and improve on profitability.

The fact that technology, particularly the internet, is very innovative and evolves at a fast pace means businesses should keep up with it. That is why organizations are now creating positions meant for people to focus on the organization’s e-commerce aspect.

Universities that offer this major aim to mold students into experts at e-commerce management, equipping them with extensive and intensive knowledge on electronic services, operations, and distribution.

The courses and topics usually involved in this major are:

  1. General business courses
  2. Management information systems (MIS) and electronic systems (E-systems)
  • Information systems (IS) and E-systems analysis and design
  • Analysis and design of decision support systems
  • Database management
  • Information technologies
  • E-commerce project management
  • Global e-commerce policies
  • Database system management and design
  • Telecommunications management
  • Internet technologies management
  • Economic analysis

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • E-commerce management specialists – This career makes the most of an individual’s knowledge and expertise in both business and information technology.
  • Internet marketers – This job entails marketing of products or services online, or using digital technologies. This proves that even those with graphic design background are also adept when it comes to business.
  • Internet applications designers – Graduates of e-commerce, especially those who excel in design and digital technology development, may also find themselves employed as designers of internet applications used for business.
  • MIS administrator or computer and IS manager – Their expertise in technology combined with their knowledge in business put them in the best position to oversee sensitive matters usch as data security and the like.

These jobs have the potential to earn the e-commerce professional an average annual salary of $128,000.As of January 2016, the salary range of an e-commerce manager or e-commerce management specialist is $38,189 to $105,604, on top of other bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing schemes.

Someone with a degree in MIS can even earn as much as $56,000 annually in an entry-level position. As he rises up the ranks and gains more expertise and experience, his annual salary may go up to $95,000. It goes higher as the responsibility and position also rises. For example, the average annual salary of computer and IS managers amounts to $127,000.

Learn about some E-Commerce trends

[slideshare id=56993774&doc=ecommercetrends2016bydivante-160113083908&w=710&h=400]


Common description

  • BS/MS/MBA in Marketing

This is probably one of the most recognizable business majors you would come across in many universities. This major focuses on turning students into marketing and promotion specialists, so they can become the major players when it comes to the organization and promotion of businesses, products, services, or brands.

Marketing is often referred to as the lifeblood of businesses, which pretty much underscores the importance of the role played by individuals with solid marketing background and knowledge.

It is through their efforts that businesses are better able to enhance its brand, maximize its investments and resources, and increase profitability. They are the ones with the ability for analysis, research and strategy development with respect to an organization’s marketing.

The courses often included in this major are:

  • General business courses, such as finance, accounting and economics
  • Pricing, branding and advertising
  • Sales and distribution
  • Retail management
  • Marketing research and strategy
  • Business administration
  • Public relations
  • Consumer and market behavior
  • Statistics
  • Organizational management
  • Business law (including export and import concepts)

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Marketing specialists and managers – Organizations come up with marketing programs and campaigns, and at the helm of these programs are its capable marketing specialists and marketing managers.
  • Marketing consultants – They may opt to provide third-party services as advisors and consultants, helping out businesses with their marketing campaigns.
  • Advertisers – Marketing graduates will also find gainful employment in advertising, where the more creative individuals are given their time to shine.
  • Market analysts and researchers – They are responsible for determining what the market wants, and how much they are willing to pay to get what they want. Market research requires in-depth attention, one that marketing majors are equipped to perform.

On average, a marketing manager earns close to $115,000 yearly, but they can actually even reach up to $127,000. Market researchers and analysts, on the other hand, may start receiving as much as $62,000 on the first year.


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in Finance
  • BS/MS/MBA in Financial Management

Finance majors are known to be specialists when it comes to anything and everything related to a business’ or organization’s finances.

Universities that offer this business degree are now broadening the reach of the major, introducing to students the concepts of international finance, aside from the usual (personal and corporate finance).

The usual courses you will find under this degree are:

  • General business courses
  • Human resource management
  • Business Law
  • Project management
  • Corporate finance and financial management
  • Management information systems
  • Supply chain management
  • Entrepreneurship principles
  • Debt and money markets

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Financial advisors and consultants – They provide advisory and consultancy services on both personal and corporate finance, covering concerns such as debt management, retirement and insurance policies.
  • Investment and fund managers – Finance majors are equipped with knowledge on how one can strengthen position on long term investment and maximize returns earned on investments.
  • Financial or budget analysts and financial planners – These are some of the most common career paths taken by Finance majors. Their analysis and planning will aid management in making investment decisions.

Yearly, the estimated average salary earned by those with a career in finance is almost $100,000. Personal financial advisors, for instance, are estimated to make as much as $82,000 per year.


Common description

  • BS/MS/MBA in Human Resource Management

Human resources are an integral component of business, which explains why this field of study also falls under the Business Degree category.

The courses commonly taken up in this business major are:

  • Leadership courses
  • Global leadership
  • Global business
  • Human capital management
  • Human resource management technologies and applications
  • Strategic operations management
  • Financial accounting
  • Organizational strategy

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Human resource manager – Organizations have their own departments exclusively meant to handle human resource management issues, and the one heading that department is usually referred to as the Human Resource Manager. If you look at how much the top firms and businesses are paying their human resource managers, the average annual salary amounts to $96,000.
  • Human resource specialist – These professionals provide advisory and consultancy services on human resources. The entry-level annual salary of a human resource specialist as of May 2015 is $63,710.
  • Recruitment specialists – You will find some of them within organizations, or they can set up shop on their own, offering their headhunting and recruitment expertise.


Common description

  • BS/MS/MBA in Economics

We cannot speak of business without talk of economics coming up in the discussion. It goes without saying, then, that Economics is a staple when it comes to business majors and degree offerings.

Economics majors are educated and trained to specialize in decision making in business in view of government policies, multinational issues and global relations. Looking at the list of courses that economics majors have to go through in order to earn this degree may be daunting. Just take a look at the list below:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Business analysis using econometric methods
  • Business and economic forecasting
  • Industrial organization
  • Business and public policy
  • Taxation
  • Labor economics and relations
  • Business laws and regulations
  • International and global trade

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Economists – They conduct research, formulate plans and fiscal policies, and prepare the required reports that will aid management and policy-makers in decision making. Economists are known to be able to average almost $110,000 yearly.
  • Market analysts – These professionals also play a vital role in marketing programs and branding campaigns, since their skills in research and analysis – with a macro- and a microeconomic approach – will definitely come in handy. If you choose this profession, expect to average $70,030 annually.
  • Credit analysts – Decision-makers will definitely flock to credit analysts for their knowledge and expertise in evaluating credit risks. As of May 2015, a credit analyst may make $79,000 in a year.
  • Investment analysts and bankers


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in Healthcare
  • BS/MS/MBA in Health Care Management
  • BS/MS/MBA in Health Management
  • BS/MS/MBA in Health Care Administration

When one hears the word “healthcare”, the most frequent assumption is that this is a degree that falls under the medical field. However, this is actually a business major.

This degree is basically a specialization on healthcare management in the healthcare industry, which is one of the large emerging markets of late. Of course, most of the specialized courses in this degree are focused on healthcare. The courses are:

  • General business courses
  • Leadership courses
  • Health care policy, rules and regulations
  • Health care economics
  • Law on health care
  • Health care risk management
  • Global health care administration and management
  • Health care informatics

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Healthcare administrators and managers – Hospital administrators may also fall under this category. They may also be called “medical and health services managers. The mean annual wage for this occupation is $106,070. Hospital managers also fall under this category and, depending on the healthcare facility or hospital being managed, he or she may earn $114,180 in a year.
  • Health care consultants – Even if they do not actively administer or manage a healthcare facility, their expertise or knowledge may still be sought by those that need them.

Healthcare management majors may find employment in other business administration and management fields, but they will get the best opportunities (and salaries) if they choose to work in the health care industry.


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in International Business
  • BS/MS/MBA in Global Business
  • BS/MS/MBA in International Management and Marketing

As business has finally made its move on to the global stage, with many industries and markets crossing over to different parts of the globe, competitiveness is high. In response, universities are now offering students the option to major in a business degree that is focused on global business or international trade.

International or multinational corporations, or businesses with a global reach, are more focused on looking for talents with the skill set appropriate for this broader application.

To equip individuals for this challenge, the courses usually included in this major are:

  • General business courses
  • Global banking
  • Global capital and financial markets
  • Global outsourcing strategy
  • Multinational business management
  • Operations for global entrepreneurs
  • Global and international monetary policies

Possible Careers or Jobs

Graduates of this business degree will find their skills and qualifications in demand, not only in international corporations and financial institutions, but also in government and regulatory agencies.

  • Chief executive officers
  • Senior managers – Top management will choose those with the proper education, training and background when choosing the people to assign to their executive management teams.
  • Entrepreneurs – Those who want to own their businesses will do well to pursue a degree in Business Administration.
  • Global business advisors and consultants – Since they have more knowledge of global business and international trade, they are seen as the better sources of advice and assistance, compared to those without background on global business.

Except for when they reach the CEO position, the average annual salary of a degree holder in international or global business is close to $75,000.


Common description

  • BS/MS in Business Administration

This is probably one of the most recognizable when we speak of business majors or degrees. Some would probably even say that this is the most encompassing and fundamental of all business majors.

Business administration graduates are expected to have learned and developed the ability to lead and run a business in a way that maximizes its resources and profits. They are also expected to be capable at research and analysis, exactly what one would expect from an all-around manager.

The courses in this degree include:

  • General business courses
  • Business strategy
  • Human resources management
  • Marketing management
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Logistics management
  • Operations management
  • Statistics
  • Technology and information systems

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Senior and executive manager
  • General operations manager – These are the ones responsible for supervising the daily operations of a business.
  • Business analysts, advisors and consultants – They provide advice and instruction to individuals and businesses on how to manage their operations. Again, this would depend on a lot of factors, such as the nature of the industry or business, and the degree of involvement of the advisor or consultant in the project or program.


Common descriptions

  • BS/MS/MBA in Accounting
  • BS/MS/MBA in Accountancy

Accounting is said to be the language of business. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it will be mentioned when talk of business majors come up. It also happens to be one of the higher-paying business majors.

One may immediately conclude that accounting majors need only learn about accounting. However, accounting is a broad knowledge that will also be impacted by other disciplines or fields of study. Therefore, accounting majors often find themselves encountering these courses:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Business policies
  • Information and financial systems
  • Auditing
  • Macroeconomics and microeconomics
  • Operations management
  • Marketing management
  • Applied statistics
  • Business ethics

Possible Careers or Jobs

  • Accountant – Financial accountants are often hired by organizations for its accounting and bookkeeping functions. Or the accountant can set up his own firm, providing accounting and bookkeeping services
  • Auditor – There are several independent audit firms providing independent audit services to other businesses, and it is in these firms where you will find auditors. Auditors and accountants are often referred to interchangeably. According to the BLS, the median wage for accountants after 2 to 3 years of employment is $66,000.
  • Management accountant – Accountants are also great providers of management advisory services, aiding management in making major or capital decisions.
  • Actuarial service providers – Since accounting majors are equipped when it comes to quantitative sciences, they are also in the best position to provide actuarial and mathematical services. An entry-level actuarial provider may earn $58,000 annually, reaching $119,000 per year after around 5 to 6 years.
  • Financial analysts – Accountants are also poised better at making financial analyses.
  • Tax analysts – It is also normal to find accounting graduates in tax agencies.
  • Loan experts – Debt management will also benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience provided by graduates with an accounting background.
  • Investment bankers – Accounting majors are also knowledgeable about making investment decisions, so do not be surprised when you see them working as investment specialists and even fund managers.

The salary of accounting majors, depending on their jobs or the organization they are employed in, may range from $46,000 to $80,000 per year.

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