Types of Business Careers by Major

University and college business students tend to choose a major without thinking through the long-term consequences. What kind of work will you be performing after you graduate? Will it be interesting and what sort of career prospects will you face?

Let’s run through a list of the most popular business majors. I’ll quickly explain the kind of work graduates normally end up doing, potential earnings, and the key advantages and disadvantages of each career path.

For a longer list of majors and careers, refer to our Ultimate Guide to Business Majors. For insights into the specialisation choices at business school, see this list of the best courses in business.


A career in accounting involves managing financial records, preparing tax returns, and conducting audits. Accountants analyze financial data to guide business decisions and ensure compliance with laws.

  • Education: A Bachelor of Accounting degree qualifies you to become a CPA.
  • Job titles: certified public accountant (CPA), auditor, tax advisor, financial analyst, management accountant, corporate controller, forensic accountant, budget analyst.
  • Pros: Studying accounting offers a clear professional pathway with high job security. Accountancy skills are usually in high demand.
  • Cons: Accountancy work can be tedious, though technology is lessening task repetition. The job is not perceived as glamorous.
  • Outlook: Median salary of $78k per year for accountants and auditors. Job growth of 4% from 2022-32.

Related: What Accounting Careers are Really Like

Business Analytics

A career in business analytics is about using data to inform strategic management decisions. Analysts apply mathematical, technological, and business strategy skills to analyze data for guiding businesses.

  • Education: Business analytics is a popular undergraduate business major. Specialist postgraduate courses are also widely available.
  • Job titles: business analyst, data analyst, financial analyst, marketing analyst, analytics consultant, data scientist, operations analyst, business intelligence analyst.
  • Pros: Business analytics merges math, tech, and business strategy, offering diverse and interesting career paths. Good analysts can significantly impact strategic decisions.
  • Cons: There is a career leap from low-end data analysis to shaping reporting and business strategy. Not every graduate succeeds.
  • Outlook: Median salary of $95k per year for management analysts. Job growth of 10% from 2022-32.

Related: Is Business Analytics a Good Major? | Is Business Analytics Hard? Yes and No


Finance is a lucrative, competitive sector when analysts use their skill with numbers to guide investment decisions. The job is about analyzing market trends, assessing financial risks, and providing recommendations to maximize returns and minimize losses.

  • Education: A Bachelor’s degree is typically required to start a career in finance, with Master of Finance programs available for further specialization or career transition.
  • Job titles: financial manager, investment analyst, financial advisor, risk manager, finance officer, treasury analyst, portfolio manager, financial planner.
  • Pros: The finance sector offers high earning potential and opportunities for career advancement. Skilled finance professionals can inform highly profitable decisions.
  • Cons: Careers in finance can be intellectually demanding due to the responsibility of managing significant financial resources and the need to stay informed about markets. The work often involves long hours.
  • Outlook: The median annual wage for financial managers was $139,790 in 2022, with the job market expected to grow by 16% from 2022 to 2032.

Related: What Financial Analysts Do

Human Resource Management

A career in HR management has you working within companies on activities such as recruitment, training, performance management, and employee relations.

  • Education: To become an HR manager, major in Human Resource Management in your Bachelor of Business degree. Master’s degrees in HR are also available.
  • Job titles: human resources manager, recruitment specialist, training and development manager, employee relations manager, compensation and benefits manager, HR consultant, HR analyst.
  • Pros: HR management offers stable and potentially high-paying career opportunities in almost every industry.
  • Cons: The role can be challenging, dealing with complex interpersonal issues and balancing organizational goals with employee needs. It is not ideal for “people pleasers” but does require interpersonal skills.
  • Outlook: The median salary for Human Resources Managers is $130k per year, with job growth projection of 5% from 2022-32.


A marketing career can often be interesting as you carve out a role in helping business to sell product. The job is to understand customers, reach an audience, and convert interest into sales.

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become an advertising, promotions, or marketing manager. Graduate courses also enable you to switch into this career stream.
  • Job titles: advertising manager, promotions manager, marketing manager, digital marketing specialist, brand manager, market research analyst, social media manager, content marketing manager.
  • Pros: Marketing combines creativity with analytical skills, providing varied daily tasks and the opportunity for innovative thinking.
  • Cons: It is a competitive field, with career success hinging on performing well consistently. You need to keep up with technology trends.
  • Outlook: The median annual wage for marketing managers was $140k in May 2022, with a job growth outlook of 6% from 2022-32.

Related: Top 10 Essential Marketing Skills

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