What does a graduate do with a bachelor's or master's of business? Since business degree holders have strong written, oral, and media communication skills and a broad knowledge of management, marketing, and money, they have an amazing array of options as they enter the business world or parlay MBA degree study into a new position, including:

Budget analysis: Whether they work in government positions or for businesses, budget workers develop and implement budgets while managing the resources and estimating future needs of organizations. Wherever there's a budget--in the public sector, private industry, or nonprofit groups--an analyst must keep track of costs and income and guide overall funding decisions.

Concept testing: These consumer evaluation specialists help businesses test public responses to products, either new commodities or improved items, through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. A bachelor's of business with some advertising can provide the skills to conduct concept testing, evaluate consumer responses, and quantify the results.

Entrepreneurship: An entrepreneur has a degree in business and an innovative idea that he or she wants to realize through a self-owned, self-managed company. Creativity can be taught; online entrepreneur degree programs teach prospective business owners how to find venture capital to launch the new product or service.

Estate planning: Business majors who have a background in financial planning, taxation, and administration and who like hands on work with the public can help individuals manage their assets. An estate planner is both an advisor and an educator who helps clients reach their short- and long-term money goals including planning for retirement.

Investment Banking: Investment banks operate in the commercial sector, advising corporate clients regarding mergers and acquisitions. An investment banker investigates, pitches, administrates, and executes large-scale financial dealings. With a bachelor's degree in business, a young banker's job will entail investment research.

Knowledge Management: Knowledge officers are big-picture administrators with one foot in the IT world and the other foot in business. They make the most of an organization's intellectual capital, whether it is human, tangible, or intangible. Formerly known as information officers, these organizational managers protect and develop the knowledge infrastructure of a business.

Management consulting: This career, best entered after some work experience and an MBA or master's level business education, involves improving companies by analyzing business practices, management structure, and effectiveness. Consultants identify and solve performance problems and help with the development of more effective and efficient business plans.

Nonprofit administration: Wherever there's an arts council, film festival, aid organization, or social interest group, an administrator must oversee both its day-to-day operations and the implementation of its mission. Nonprofit administration is a jack-of-all-business trade. Future administrators should have broad business skills and a passionate interest in the sector in which they seek employment.

Purchasing management: In wholesale, retail, or government positions, purchasing managers buy the goods and services that keep an organization running while providing crucial oversight of their employer's supply chain. Purchasers need a bachelor's of business plus several years of on-the-job training to learn the ins and outs of the business whose raw materials they manage.

Securities analysis: These number crunchers help their companies make sound investment decisions by keeping abreast of the latest corporate financial statements and commodity prices. Bottom line, they assess investment risks. Some securities analysts work for mutual funds, banks, securities businesses, or insurance companies. Others work in commercial lending, assessing loan risks.

A business degree program, from a bachelor's of business through an MBA, opens up a world of career options.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov.org)
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)

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