The Business Administration degree continues to be the most awarded college degree in the U.S. And it’s no wonder. Business is a well-rounded degree field that covers many different areas and can lead to early positions at innovative and impactful companies. But these days, employers often are looking for specific skill-sets. So, often, business degree programs ask their students to choose a concentration. The concentration is a particular subject or subject area for the program’s focus, and it can determine the set of courses the student pursues.
Because of this, deciding to earn a business degree is just the first step. You should also choose a concentration in areas like accounting, finance, marketing, information technology, computer information systems, management, and eCommerce.
With so many options out there, how can you choose? Your career goals and future demand for your concentration area are two key factors to consider in this decision. While most concentrations have merit and demand, there are certain ones that are in higher demand than others. High demand means more career options and potentially higher pay. These five, specifically, have excellent career potential because they are in high-demand fields.
A business concentration in finance helps prepare a student to work in financial services industries. This can be quite varied, as it includes everything from insurance to banking. In addition, students with this concentration can learn the skills to work with investments and money management, including buying and selling securities or evaluating risk, depending on the additional certifications they pursue.
Undergraduate degrees in business with a concentration in finance also are well-prepared for analyst positions within the financial services market. They know how to assess the market value of assets, advise businesses or clients on the right strategies to take to pursue their own financial goals, and understand debt management or retirement plans.
Many of the highest-paid fields in finance do require an MBA degree, but an undergraduate with this focus is a good starting place. The average salary for a finance degree is over $103,000 per year, and one of the highest-paid positions is that of a chief financial officer, which averages $183,000 per year.
For a business to be successful, no matter its industry, it must have successful marketing. A business degree with a concentration in marketing will teach students the analytical, research, and strategical skills they need to successfully promote a business or brand. The goal of marketing is to learn how to advertise businesses effectively so that they can sustain growth for the long-term.
Because effective marketing is essential for a business’s growth, this is a field that will remain in high demand. Marketing professionals earn an average of $95,500 per year, but this can be as high as $183,000 for a vice president of marketing and $121,000 for a marketing director.
Establishing and running a new business is not easy. It requires a special set of skills and knowledge, which are covered in the entrepreneurship concentration. This concentration will teach potential business owners the skills and resources they need to run successful businesses. Graduates with this concentration often go on to create successful startups.
While there aren’t specific career paths for an entrepreneur, there are industries that are seeing strong growth in terms of new startups. Tech and finance business, in particular, are in high demand.
Of course, not all people who enter an entrepreneurship program end up deciding that starting a business is the right fit. This field offers opportunities within established businesses, as well. Working in mid-level management, as a business consultant, in sales, or in research and development are all possibilities for those holding a degree with this concentration.
The world is quickly growing to be a digital marketplace. Established brick-and-mortar businesses are making their mark in eCommerce, and many new online stores pop up every day. Business students now have a new concentration option to tap into this potential.
The eCommerce concentration is a new player in business education. This concentration focuses on sales and marketing strategies, but also adds the telecommunications, information technologies, and database marketing that are core features of eCommerce sales platforms. Internet marketers and application designers all need to understand the unique nature of eCommerce marketing as online sales are increasing in popularity at a tremendously fast rate.
Because eCommerce is a relatively new player in the business degree field, estimates for income are not readily available. However, because today’s companies must venture into the eCommerce sales platform if they hope to stay competitive, this is a field in very high demand.
Though it’s not a new idea, economics remains a top concentration for business majors. The demand for qualified economic professionals is still high. Economics and finance are not exactly the same, though they do cover some common principles. It is a good choice for students who have strong math skills and enjoy statistics and analytics.
Business majors with a concentration in economics study the principles and theories that make economies work. Both microeconomics, which looks at individual consumers and companies, and macroeconomics, which views the economy on a larger scale, are important concepts within this field.
With a degree that emphasizes economics, graduates can earn roles as finance directors and managers or senior financial analysts. The average salary with an advanced degree that has this emphasis is $97,400.
Concentrations for the Changing Business World
The world of business is constantly changing as new technologies continue to enter the market. Yet the need for qualified professionals remains the same. Whether you are considering adding additional training to your existing degree or are starting college for the first time, choosing the right concentration for your business degree will position you for success. With any of these five, you will be well prepared for the demands of an exciting and rewarding career.
Comments or questions about this article? Email us.