Business Career Paths: What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Business?

Business Career Paths: What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Business?
Campus is the new alternative to online community college that provides a 100% live and online Associate of Arts in Business Administration degree program. Our comprehensive, career-focused business program equips students from across the U.S. with a solid foundation in core business principles to set them up for success no matter what their next step is. Read on to explore the world of business and how starting with a business degree might be your next best move.

Nowadays, due to the rise in jobs that don’t require a bachelor's degree, many students are choosing to pursue associate degrees. While a four-year degree can help students get high-paying jobs, associate degrees are a good investment as well. Moreover, as the job market has evolved, students with associate degrees sometimes earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree! It all comes down to accumulating the right experience, network, and skills.

When it comes to associate degrees, students have some logical concerns. For instance, do great associate degree jobs exist in the market? What professions allow you to work with an associate degree? Are they rewarding from a financial perspective?

The answer is yes! In general, you can enter the workforce right out of community college or a two-year program and earn a good salary. One of the best two-year degrees for obtaining a high-paying position is an associate in business administration degree. In effect, it offers more than you might anticipate.

For example, Campus gives you a high-quality education preparing you to face business challenges in the real world. With an online associate degree in business, you can be a sales manager, project manager, administrative assistant, accountant, specialist in Human Resources, and so much more.

This blog is dedicated to helping students understand the broader spectrum of the careers they can potentially choose after earning an associate in business administration degree.

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What Do You Study If You Major in Business Administration?

If you want a more comprehensive answer to what is a business administration degree, check out our informative article about this field of study.

The curriculum typically covers fundamental business topics like finance, accounting, and marketing. You learn to analyze financial statements, develop marketing strategies, manage resources, and make informed business decisions.

One of the key advantages of a business administration degree is its versatility in terms of career opportunities. You can pursue various roles in different sectors, like marketing, consulting, entrepreneurship, etc. You may find employment in corporations or nonprofits or start-up ventures. The degree provides a skill set valued across industries, making it possible to explore different career paths and adapt to changing market demands.

For those interested in launching their own ventures, this degree provides a foundation for starting and managing a business. You learn about business planning, marketing strategies, financial management, and legal aspects of starting a business. This knowledge and skill can be invaluable for potential entrepreneurs, giving them a competitive edge and increasing their chances of success.

A business administration degree can also be a stepping stone for advanced studies. Graduates can pursue further education, such as MBA programs, to deepen their knowledge and specialize in specific business areas. Advanced degrees can open up new career opportunities, improve leadership capabilities, and provide a deeper understanding of complex business concepts.

Let’s dig deeper.

Business Career Paths in Business Administration

A student who has a degree in business administration may choose from many exciting and rewarding career options. That’s because people pursuing business administration degrees are equipped with versatile and wide-ranging skill sets.

Graduates of business administration programs effectively contribute to an array of positions in an organization. That’s thanks to the degree’s adaptability and combination of communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills it offers students.

With a few years of hard work, business administration graduates can move up to higher-level management roles. The experience and ongoing development opportunities make business administration the degree that acts as an indispensable tool for long-term professional growth.

Business professionals can work in a variety of business career paths, including accounting, marketing, finance, and management, with the right education and experience. It's vital to know your options because there are numerous promising occupations in the business field, many of which have great job outlooks. Nevertheless, some business career paths may require further certifications, training, or an advanced degree, subject to the company and industry regulations.

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Let’s take a look at the six most promising business career paths available for business administration graduates:

Accountant

With an associate degree in business administration, you can get an entry-level position as an accountant. This career path includes tracking and evaluating financial transactions, creating financial statements, and offering insights for decision-making. Accountants play an integral part in financial management.

Some of the duties of an accountant include

  • Oversees tax law observance
  • Helps with planning and budgeting
  • Carries out audits
  • Manages risks
  • Offers financial advising services

Even at the entry-level, an accountant can assist businesses in upholding their financial integrity, improving performance, and adhering to legal obligations. To take the career path of an accountant or auditor, students can earn certification in a particular area of accounting, such as becoming a certified public accountant (CPA).

Most auditors and accountants are full-time employees. During certain times of the year, such as during quarterly audits or during tax season, overtime hours are common. Entry-level accountants usually collaborate with coworkers from the finance, auditing, or other departments while working as a team. To ensure that assignments are completed accurately and on time, they work and communicate with team members.

An accountant often has options for learning and development within the company as an entry-level professional. As they advance in their professions, accountants obtain real-world experience, brushing up their accounting skills and gradually taking over more responsibilities.

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $77,250.

Financial Analyst

A business analyst has a broad focus and deals with a wide range of data. In contrast, a financial analyst specializes in financial data and offers insights for financial planning and investment decisions. Both professions contribute to the success of the organization.

In an entry-level position, a financial analyst assists in offering management insights and recommendations by

  • Helping acquire and analyze financial data
  • Reviewing financial statements
  • Performing ratio analysis and highlighting patterns in data
  • Create financial models and projections
  • Track budgetary performance

An entry-level financial analyst might assist in creating financial models and projections, contributing to evaluating the probable effects of different scenarios on business outcomes. They can track budgetary performance to offer ideas for better business decisions. Overall, they assist in assessing a company's financial performance.

A financial analyst works in a typical office setting. Some people work more than 40 hours a week, while most work full-time. Most of the time, a bachelor's degree is required to work as a financial analyst.

Financial analysts' total employment is expected to increase by 9% between 2021 and 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next 10 years, there are expected to be, on average, 32,000 new job openings for financial analysts. Many of those positions are anticipated to be brought on by the need to replace workers who change their career path or leave the workforce due to retirement.

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the typical yearly salary for finance and investment analysts was $91,580, while the the median yearly salary for financial risk specialists was $100,000.

Human Resources Specialist

A human resources specialist hires, filters, and interviews job candidates, assigning newly hired employees to positions. They can also be in charge of training, employee relations, and salary and benefits.

Human resources specialists generally work in in-house positions. Some human resources specialists go to job fairs, college campuses, and candidate meetings—especially recruitment professionals. During regular business hours, the majority of human resources professionals are employed full-time. If you start working in an entry-level position, there are chances that you might need a bachelor’s degree to work in this department. Of course, this varies from company to company.

In entry-level positions, HR specialists help teams and workers while contributing to numerous HR tasks. They help

  • Keep personal records
  • Enforce HR regulations and compliances
  • Coordinate hiring and onboarding
  • Support programs to increase employee engagement

They can advance to higher-level HR roles with more responsibility as they gain knowledge and experience.

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the median annual salary for human resources experts was $62,290.

Market Research Analyst

To get ahold of market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive landscapes, organizations need the assistance of a market research analyst. Therefore, to choose it as a career path, you should concentrate on strengthening your analytical abilities as you work on entry-level positions to excel in your area as a marketing analyst.

In entry-level positions, a market research analyst's responsibilities include

  • Researching and analyzing customer trends, behavior, and responses to marketing initiatives
  • Supporting the gathering of information and data through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and data analysis
  • Offering insights and suggestions to support marketing campaigns and strategic decision-making

As a member of a research team, a market research analyst will be responsible for working on analysis and data collection. The pertinent data is then shared in a report. An entry-level analyst can be a member of a group that presents its findings verbally or in writing.

To operate as an entry-level market research analyst, you should have a degree, analytical and communication abilities, and a grasp of how to gather and present data using tools like Excel and PowerPoint. A bachelor's degree in marketing, market research, business, math, or a related discipline is the minimal need for the majority of jobs. Some employers may ask for a master’s degree as well.

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the average yearly salary for market research analysts was $63,920.

Project Management Specialist

A project management specialist is in charge of supervising and managing the organization's project planning, implementation, and completion. Their duties include

  • Managing project operations
  • Keeping tabs on project progress
  • Distributing resources
  • Ensuring project goals are completed within the allocated time and financial constraints

If you opt for this career path, you will work together in cross-functional teams, share project updates with stakeholders, and reduce possible risks and problems. To successfully complete projects, you will be using project management approaches, monitoring project milestones, and ensuring efficient teamwork and communication.

The manager of bigger collaborative projects receives support from an assistant project manager. This may be a temporary role that enables a person to demonstrate their independent project management skills to top management. In an entry-level position, the candidates work with seasoned project managers who give them valuable insights into the project lifecycle.

Project management specialists often work from an office; however, they occasionally go to clients' locations.

An advantage of entry-level positions is that candidates will get a better understanding of whether this profession is for them or not.

A bachelor's degree, which can be in a number of different subjects, such as business or project management, is often required for project management professionals. Although it's not always necessary, certification can be useful when pursuing a project management specialist job.

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the median annual salary for project management professionals was $94,500.

Management Analyst

A management analyst or a management consultant offers suggestions to an organization on how to increase productivity, earnings, or efficiency. They also offer suggestions on how to boost sales and limit expenses.

Among other things, responsibilities include

  • Obtaining information
  • Conducting personal interviews
  • Suggesting new procedures and systems

Hence, analysts should possess excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical abilities. A management analyst may need to devote more time to a particular business the more experience they have.

Students wanting to take this career path need to major in administration, accounting, marketing, economics, statistics, computer science, or engineering. Specializations are available in some programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, for people wishing to work as analysts. That aside, you need several years of experience, too.

By hunting for an entry-level position, you get a chance to improve your ability to make decisions, communicate effectively, handle conflicts, and foster a positive workplace culture.

The duties of an entry-level management analyst position include

  • Collaborating with team members and stakeholders
  • Supporting project management activities
  • Conducting research and analysis
  • Gathering and organizing data
  • Preparing reports and presentation
  • Supporting process improvement initiatives

If you feel you’ll find your calling in this area, an associate degree in business can shape your skills!

Annual Salary: In May 2021, the median yearly salary for management analysts was $93,000.

Get Started on Your Dream Business Career Path Today

As you can see, gainful employment is achievable with an associate degree in business administration. An associate degree in business administration equips students with the knowledge and abilities they need to pursue various entry-level employment options in the business world. It provides chances for professional development and improvement in the field of business administration as well as acting as a stepping stone to more advanced study.

By completing the program, you’ll develop technical business acumen and acquire great management, analytical, and communication skills. Also,  you’ll master the operations of organizations.

What’s more, you can pick and choose any business career path and further your profession with higher education!

At Campus, you can take an online associate degree in business that enables you to set your own pace and take courses that interest you.

You can virtually attend live classes with professors from top-ranked schools, juggle your career and other obligations with your studies, and network with industry professionals. To kick-start your career as a business professional, visit our site and request more info.

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Note: The data provided above are from a source unaffiliated with Campus and are for informational purposes only and represent the employment field as a whole. They are not solely specific to Campus graduates and, by providing the above information, Campus makes no representation, direct or implied, or opinion regarding employability.