Entry-level business administration jobs are ideal for students looking to start their careers and gain valuable experience.
Many employers are looking for qualified entry-level candidates with business skills and the right education. And as a result, business degrees are the most popular type of undergraduate degree in the US. There are numerous jobs that are geared specifically towards entry-level candidates with business education.
A few of the most common careers for business administration graduates from two-year programs we’ll focus on include the following in-demand positions: human resources specialist; administrative assistant; accounting, bookkeeping and auditing clerk; and sales representative. Below, we look at some of the many options for business students to begin a long and rewarding career in business, from entry-level positions to ones that require a little more experience that a business graduate can work towards.
Human Resources Assistant
A human resources assistant helps with the hiring and onboarding of new employees. They also help with troubleshooting issues between employees and management. Their role is to ensure that employees and company management work smoothly together.
You might be tasked with helping train new employees, organizing employee onboarding, and distributing information about any changes in compensation packages or workplace guidelines. Daily tasks may include training new workers, addressing HR complaints, organizing employee files and information, answering phone calls and emails, organizing schedules and calendars, and making company announcements. Human resource assistants may move on to become human resources strategists or HR managers.
Human Resources Specialist
A common business administration job for a new graduate that has the right skills and experience is a human resources specialist, which is closely related to a human resources assistant. Human resources specialists work in the recruiting, hiring, training, and placement of staff in a variety of business settings. They also may oversee compensation, disciplinary actions, employee performance evaluation, payroll, and employee relations in general, depending on the setting. HR specialists typically earn between $30,000 and $95,000 per year in gross salary, plus additional benefits.*
Social Media Marketing Coordinator
A social media marketing coordinator can be a good entry-level position with room for upward mobility, especially given the growth of social media consumption and relevance over the past decade. Larger brands use social media specialists to attract new customers through posting interesting material on social media platforms. Candidates with good organizational skills, creative skills, and communication skills may excel at this position. If you have knowledge of other forms of internet marketing, there is room to advance into more senior positions.
Administrative assistants work in a wide variety of capacities, depending on whom they work for and what field of business they are in. Typically, an office job focuses on the preparation of documents, filing, bookkeeping, and general office duties. Working as an administrative assistant can help you gain skills that transfer into a wide variety of other positions. Administrative assistants typically earn between $20,000 and $50,000 a year in gross salary, plus additional benefits.*
Executive Administrative Assistant
A more specific type of administrative aid job that you could pursue is an executive administrative assistant. Executive administrative assistants make sure that an office runs smoothly, providing administrative and clerical support for executives. An executive administrative assistant can work in different environments but is responsible for a variety of tasks. Some of the tasks they might do daily include scheduling meetings, organizing and maintaining files, greeting visitors and clients, answering emails and phone calls, and assisting executives and supervisors.
General Office Clerks
If a clerical job in the business field interests you, work as a general office clerk might be the ideal path. General office clerks are responsible for many duties throughout the day, including
- Organizing and delivering mail, and sending outgoing mail
- Answering calls, taking messages, and transferring calls to the appropriate people
- Scheduling appointments
- Greeting customers and visitors
- Maintaining and filing electronic and paper documents
- Preparing and processing invoices and other documents
- Collecting information to perform data entry
General office clerks aren’t specialists. Instead, they have responsibilities that change daily to meet the needs of their employers. One day, a clerk may answer phones, while the next day, they may need to enter data into a computer system. Knowledge of many different types of office equipment and software is a necessity.
By 2024, the need for general office clerks is expected to grow by 10% in California. Most general office clerks hold full-time positions, and most work in office settings. The top industries that employ the greatest number of these professionals include:
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Education services
- Administrative services
Most business offices will require general office clerks to ensure efficient operations and exceptional customer service.
First-line Office Supervisor
Education in the field of business administration will prepare you to work in a supervisory role. As a first-line office supervisor, you will directly supervise administrative support and clerical workers. Some of these daily tasks include
- Monitoring the work of customer service and office employees to ensure quality and policy adherence
- Resolving customer complaints and answering customer questions
- Providing guidance to employees to help them learn how to handle complex problems
- Discussing job performance issues with employees, and identifying ways to resolve problems
As a first-line supervisor, you’ll also review reports and records about a variety of workplace activities. These may include shipping, payroll, production, and many others.
Business administration graduates can enter the financial field as a financial analyst. The main role of a financial analyst is to help company executives make wise investments and business decisions. A financial analyst usually works at a bank, security firm, or sometimes an insurance firm.
By analyzing vast amounts of financial data, economic trends, government regulations, and competitive trends, a financial analyst can help companies keep and grow resources.
After gaining experience as a financial analyst, you may move on to become a financial consultant, investment advisor, portfolio manager, or senior financial analyst.
Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Auditing Clerk
Accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing clerks generally produce financial documents for individuals, companies, and organizations. They use spreadsheets, bookkeeping software, and database management skills to record, analyze, and report on the financial aspects of their employer’s business. Accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing clerks typically earn between $25,000 and $55,000 a year in gross salary, plus additional benefits.*
Purchasing Assistant/Assistant Buyer
Purchasing Assistants often work in the procurement or buying department of a larger organization. Their role is to help make sure the supplies the company needs are provided smoothly. As supplies are purchased from outside vendors, the purchasing assistant maintains the vendor list, purchasing documentation, and may research new vendors to supply the company. They may also order supplies directly for the company, as well as taking regular inventory. The purchasing assistant will also track shipments from suppliers and manufacturers. Organizational skills, record-keeping, and negotiation skills are paramount in this role.
Right in the same department is the procurement clerk. Procurement clerks work in important business positions, although not many people have heard of this job title. These professionals will compile records and information to create purchase orders of company materials and services. Sometimes known as buyers or procurement officers, they are responsible for several important tasks throughout the day, such as
- Performing business buying duties
- Preparing purchase orders
- Comparing bids, bills, and purchase orders to ensure accuracy
- Preparing and reviewing purchasing reports and files
- Reviewing shipments upon receipt to ensure that orders are filled correctly
- Calculating order costs and forwarding invoices as needed
- Comparing prices, delivery dates, and other specifications
Sometimes known as a management trainee, an assistant manager supports a head manager or facility manager during their daily duties. The assistant manager may be in charge of a department or facility when the lead manager is not present or may be the main person providing operational oversight on a daily basis.
Their role is to learn all the duties, activities, and roles of a head manager, so they can perform those duties, either at the same location or at another location within the organization. An assistant may also be responsible for helping to develop and implement company policies, running operations, or leading sales and marketing efforts.
A marketing assistant helps senior marketing staff with promotion of a company’s product line, service offerings, or company image. The marketing assistant may write and craft social media posts, write copy for marketing messages, conduct market research, monitor industry trends, brainstorm ideas for future campaigns, and measure the efficacy of past marketing promotions.
Sales Representative or Account Manager
A sales representative or account manager is the connection point between a customer and a company that sells goods or services. They must have deep knowledge of both worlds. They must understand the customers’ needs and also have an encyclopedic knowledge of their company’s product line. Their role is to answer customer questions, build long-term relationships with customers and procurement departments, and provide long-term support. A sales rep or account manager must also be able to multitask, schedule calls, and organize meetings.
The difference between the two is a bit nuanced. While a sales rep aims to lead prospects into becoming customers through a sales process, an account manager continues to oversee the client accounts once a sales representative has already closed a deal.
Skills that are useful for both roles are the ability to think quickly, patience and empathy, communication and interpersonal skills, collaboration with a team, organization, time management, and problem-solving skills.
Account managers and sales representatives are an integral part of a company’s sales team, serving existing accounts through the sales and management of products and services, and winning new business for their companies. Sales representatives and account managers can earn anywhere from $20,000 to over $100,000 a year in gross salary and commissions, plus additional benefits.* Experience and performance are usually major indicators of pay for sales representatives and account managers!
Start Your Business Career with an Online Associate Degree in Business
Whether you are considering pursuing a degree in business administration or are already working toward one, you may be wondering exactly what type of work a degree in business administration is preparing you to do. A business administration degree actually prepares you to excel in a diverse range of fields, performing a variety of tasks in an equally diverse variety of settings.
If you’re hoping to pursue a business related career, you can start your journey with an online community college like Campus, which offers a career-focused online associate degree in business. You learn and build a wide range of practical and up-to-date business skills employers find especially valuable today.