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Business careers: Occupations, earnings, and prospects

| December 2016

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Top 10 occupations for 16- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree in business, by overall projected employment change, 2014–24 and median annual wage, 2015
Occupations Percent growth 2014–24 Median annual wage, 20151 Percent of business degree holders

Accountants and auditors

10.7% $54,068 11.4%

Managers, all other

3.9% $60,076 4.4%

Financial managers

6.8% $65,082 3.2%

First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

4.4% $42,053 3.1%

Marketing and sales managers

6.5% $52,066 2.7%

Customer service representatives

9.8% $35,044 2.5%

Retail salespersons

6.8% $30,038 2.5%

Human resources workers

2.8% $49,763 2.2%

Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing

6.5% $58,073 2.2%

Secretaries and administrative assistants

3.0% $30,038 1.8%

1Wages are adjusted to 2015 dollars

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (projections), American Community Survey (employment and wages).

You might want a business degree for its versatility. Or perhaps you’re looking for a business career that pays well or that offers good job prospects. Whatever your motivation, you’ll find wide variation in occupations, wages, and opportunities for business majors, according to data from the American Community Survey (ACS) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The chart shows the 10 occupations with the largest percentage of college graduates ages 16 to 34 who have a bachelor’s degree in business, according to ACS data. The size of a bubble indicates the percentage of business degree holders in that occupation in 2014. Overall, these occupations accounted for about 36 percent of all bachelor’s-level graduates with a business degree.

A bubble’s placement on the chart indicates the occupation’s wages for workers with a business degree as well as the occupation’s overall projected growth, according to BLS data. Compare the bubble’s vertical placement—the occupation’s overall projected growth rate—with 6.5 percent, which is the average for all occupations from 2014 to 24. And compare its horizontal placement—the median annual wage for those in the occupation with a business degree—with $36,200, which is the median for all occupations in 2015.

As the chart shows, seven of the occupations had wages for business-degree holders that were higher than the median for all occupations; six are projected to have average or faster-than-average growth. Accountants and auditors, the occupation with the largest share of business degree holders, is both a high-wage and a high-growth occupation. Hover over the chart to explore the data.

More educational attainment data are available from the ACS, a monthly household survey by the U. S. Census Bureau. Projections data from BLS are produced biennially.

About the Author

Domingo Angeles and Brian Roberts are economists in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. Domingo can be reached at angeles.domingo@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Domingo Angeles and Brian Roberts, "Business careers: Occupations, earnings, and prospects ," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2016.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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