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Business careers: What are your options?

Business professionals specialize in diverse areas like marketing, finance, accounting, and healthcare. Our guide introduces more than 20 options.
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Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributing Writer on

Are you considering a business career? Understanding subfields within business will help you launch your career or shift specialties. 

Being trained for a specific role in human resources, international business, nonprofit management, or cybersecurity may make you more attractive to employers.

Whether you're considering a business degree or transitioning into the field, our guide covers dozens of career paths and job titles. 

Accounting

Accountants create and evaluate financial statements. They need training in accounting methods, auditing, and financial reporting, which they can gain from an online accounting degree. Finally, attention to detail and strong communication skills benefit professionals in accounting careers. 

Common accounting job titles include:

  • Certified public accountant
  • Auditor
  • Management accountant
  • Forensic accountant

Consulting

Consultants bring advanced skills in their area of expertise, such as finance, strategy, or operations. Outside consultants must quickly assess issues within an organization and develop solutions. The career also requires strong collaborative and organizational skills.

Common consulting job titles include:

  • Business analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Consulting advisor
  • Business consultant

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity professionals bring strong technical skills and an ability to diagnose and solve problems. They rely on attention to detail to identify and prevent security breaches. Interested in cybersecurity? Read up on cybersecurity training and careers with a cybersecurity degree.

Common cybersecurity job titles include:

  • Security analyst
  • Security engineer
  • Cryptographer
  • Security software developer

Economics

Economics careers require strong math and analytical skills. These professionals evaluate complex economic systems to create forecasts. The field also requires excellent research and critical thinking skills, which an economics degree helps develop. Finally, economics professionals must effectively communicate their findings. 

Common economics career paths include:

  • Economist
  • Economic consultant
  • Financial analyst
  • Policy analyst

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs launch new businesses. They also evaluate other entrepreneurs' business plans and make investment decisions. An entrepreneurship degree develops business proposal and finance skills. Marketing and interpersonal skills also help entrepreneurs. 

Common entrepreneurship business careers include:

  • Business founder
  • Business consultant
  • Business developer
  • Venture capitalist

Executive

Executive careers require strong leadership and decision-making skills. Executives like CEOs and general managers bring an ability to set long-term goals and communicate a corporate vision. These careers require significant experience.

Common executive business careers include:

  • Executive director
  • Chief executive officer
  • Chief financial officer
  • Vice president

Finance

Finance jobs require strong analytical, modeling, and reporting skills. In finance, professionals analyze historical data to project future earnings. They rely on communication skills to recommend investment strategies and serve clients.

Common finance career paths include:

  • Financial analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Chief financial officer

Healthcare

Healthcare management professionals manage the non-clinical side of the healthcare industry. They need training on healthcare regulations, patient improvement methods, and healthcare policy. Strong leadership and interpersonal skills also help.

Careers combining healthcare and business include:

  • Health information manager
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Healthcare executive
  • Nursing home manager

Hospitality and entertainment

Business careers in hospitality and entertainment include management roles in the food and beverage, entertainment, or tourism industries. Professionals benefit from strong sales or marketing skills, which they can gain during a hospitality management degree. Communication and teamwork also help hospitality and entertainment professionals advance.

Common hospitality and entertainment business careers include:

  • Hotel manager
  • Event planner
  • General manager
  • Producer

Human resources

HR professionals manage employee benefits, recruitment, and dispute resolution. Professionals need to understand employment regulations while also bringing strong employee relations and communication abilities. HR certifications help professionals move into specialized roles. 

Common HR careers include:

  • Human resources specialist
  • Human resources manager
  • Training and development specialist
  • Compensation and benefits specialist

Information technology

Careers in information technology require a mix of technical and business skills. IT managers, for example, evaluate technology needs and recommend upgrades. IT business professionals need strong interpersonal skills to interact with people in diverse industries.

Common IT business careers include:

  • Systems analyst
  • Computer systems manager
  • System administrator
  • IT manager

International business

International business careers require specialized training in areas like global marketing, logistics, or global business development. An international business degree provides that expertise. Professionals also benefit from collaboration skills and cultural awareness.

Common international business careers include:

  • Business developer
  • Global business administrator
  • Global business analyst
  • Financial controller

Marketing

Marketing careers require strong analytical skills. Professionals benefit from a marketing degree's courses in marketing research and customer behavior. Many workers bring experience in SEO, content creation, and social media marketing. In addition to analytical strengths, marketing professionals draw on interpersonal and creative skills.

Common marketing career paths include:

  • Market research analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Digital marketing specialist
  • Content marketing specialist

Nonprofit business management

Nonprofit business managers act as leaders in the nonprofit sector. These roles require strategic planning and budget training, such as the sort offered by a nonprofit management degree. Nonprofit managers also need public speaking experience. Many bring a background in donor relations or fundraising. 

Common nonprofit management job titles include:

  • Nonprofit manager
  • Program coordinator
  • Fundraising specialist
  • Donor relations manager

Operations management/supply chain management

Organizational management and supply chain management careers require logistics training and business finance experience. Professionals also benefit from problem-solving abilities and a project management background.

Common job titles include:

  • Supply chain manager
  • Operations manager
  • Logistics analyst
  • Purchasing manager

Organizational leadership

Organizational leadership careers require strong communication and interpersonal skills. Leadership roles demand strategic planning and analytical training. An ability to lead teams and develop team members also helps those in organizational leadership roles. Many organizational leaders hold an advanced business administration degree.

Common organizational leadership job titles include:

  • Management analyst
  • Project manager
  • Training and development specialist
  • Leadership coach

Project management

Project managers shepherd projects from an idea to completion. Careers in project management require planning, delegation, and organizational skills. A project management degree helps develop that know-how. Project managers also benefit from industry-specific skills, such as IT or construction.

Common project management careers include:

  • Project manager
  • Project coordinator
  • IT project manager
  • Project leader

Public administration

Public administrators run government offices and manage public sector services. Training in public budgeting, policy making, and organizational management help public administration professionals. The career also requires strong research and analytical skills.

Common public administration job titles include:

  • Public administration consultant
  • Budget analyst
  • City manager
  • Labor relations specialist

Public relations

Public relations jobs combine communication and marketing. These careers require strong analytical skills. A public relations degree provides crisis management and PR campaign training. Leadership and interpersonal skills help PR professionals advance.

Common public relations career paths include:

  • Public relations specialist
  • Publicist
  • Public relations manager
  • Social media specialist

Real estate

Real estate careers rely on local knowledge and a strong network. Professionals must communicate with clients and negotiate on their behalf. Experience or a master's in real estate helps professionals advance in this field. 

Common real estate job titles include:

  • Property manager
  • Real estate investor
  • Real estate agent
  • Real estate broker

Retail

Retail makes up a large sector of America's workforce. Retail jobs require strong people skills, an organized approach, and often experience in sales. A college degree helps retail professionals move into supervisory or analyst roles.

Common retail management job titles include:

  • Customer service representative
  • Department manager
  • Retail manager
  • Retail analyst

Sales

Sales careers require product expertise, strong public speaking skills, and effective communication. Sales professionals also benefit from business training. Management positions may require a college degree. 

Common sales job titles include:

  • Sales representative
  • Sales manager
  • Account manager
  • Business development specialist

Sustainability

Sustainability careers focus on long-term, sustainable policies for businesses. Sustainability degrees teach professionals how to create analytical reports and sustainability plans. The field also requires strong project management, interpersonal, and analytical skills. 

Common sustainability job titles include:

  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Environmental consultant
  • Sustainability specialist
  • Sustainable design coordinator

In conclusion

The business sector offers diverse career options. From project management to marketing and human resources to sales, you can find an area of business that fits your strengths and interests. If you're interested in a business degree, consider researching specialized programs in your top choice business fields. 

This article was reviewed by Alexandra Tapia, MBA

Alexandria Tapia, a blonde woman, smiles at the camera

Alexandra is a driven, high-spirited, unapologetically energetic, and optimistic person. She prides herself on her devotion to becoming a better business leader and overall human. She has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, asks a million questions, and thrives on making change.

She has reached many populations throughout her career. She's studied recidivism, helped prior criminal offenders reintegrate into society, and built trusting relationships while working at a homeless shelter. 

Her passion for education also shines through in her work. She taught younger children for many years, but has since turned her focus to higher education. She loves collaborating with others to be a disruptor in the education industry, creating and delivering programs that are unlike others — all while building a better future for her clients and students. 

Tapia is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Last reviewed Feb. 25, 2022.

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