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Jobs you can get with a business administration degree

Jobs you can get with a business administration degree

Business administration degrees are very popular due to the versatility and flexibility they offer, in terms of the career options and diversity of topics in the curriculum. We’ve discussed in detail the various international post-graduate business administration degrees (read

The Master in Management (MIM) and Master of Engineering management (MEM) programs see a lot of fresh graduates coming in with very less or no work experience while the MBA program is more suited for those who’ve a few years of work experience in hand. The international business administration programs at the undergraduate level also seem to attract a significant number of students.

According to the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), in the United States, out of 1,870,000 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2013–14, the largest numbers were in the field of business (3,58,000). Even at the master’s degree level, the highest numbers were awarded in the field of business (1,89,000).

Business administration curriculum

Business administration courses cover a wide range of topics which includes accounting for managers, marketing, technology and operations management, business ethics, organizational behavior, human resource management, strategy, corporate finance and valuation.

There are elective choices where you can choose to study in-depth about a particular field you’re interested in. The broad scope of the curriculum as well as the various internship opportunities help you decide the future course of your career.

In this article, we’d explore some of the top career choices for students completing their graduation or post-graduation in business administration.

Jobs you can get with a business administration degree

Finance and consulting seem to attract the best talent due to the lucrative salaries some of the positions offer. But there are other interesting and exciting options to consider as well.

Jobs in Finance


1. Corporate finance

This involves working for a company and helping in planning for the company’s financial roadmap, making strategic decisions including those involving business growths or making acquisitions, divestment and mergers, or capital raising, thus the objective is to support the growth of the company while managing the financial risks involved.

The salary would depend upon the level of experience. MIM grads without prior work experience would join at junior level positions as financial analysts whereas MBA grads with prior work experience may be offered a more senior role. The salary would range from $66,347 for a financial analyst position to $1,03,894 for finance manager to $1,62,733 for a CFO position.

2. Investment banks

This is perhaps the most sought-after field for finance professionals due to the prestige, glamour and money it has to offer. However, it can be very demanding due to the extended working hours and stress involved. According to efinancialcareers, 23% of London Business School’s MiM 2017 graduates took a job in investment banking.

Whether it is a matter of raising financial capital and security underwriting for the client (usually large corporations) or assisting them with mergers and acquisitions, investment bankers are the ones to handle such complex financial dealings.

An investment banker earns an average salary of $90,122 per year. In addition to the base salary, there’s the variable pay which would be lower for the junior level positions but can go quite high for post-MBA positions taking the total salary up to $ 3,07,400 or even higher.

Read more about investment banking careers.

3. Private equity and venture capital

Private equity firms make use of the investment capital to buy equity stakes in companies which are not publicly traded. The objective is to increase the company’s value which may also involve cost-cutting methods. This is done over a time-frame of around 4-7 years so that investors are able to maximise their return on investment. The average salary for a private equity associate would be $ 90,863.

Venture capital may be treated as a subset of private equity. A venture capitalists’ work involves investing in a venture, usually promising start-ups or small companies seeking expansion. Though this investment may seem risky, it could provide huge returns as well. The average salary for an associate’s position in a venture capital firm would be $ 93,327.

Read more about venture capital careers.

Jobs in Strategy consulting

This is another favourite and perhaps a dream career for several business administration graduates. McKinsey have globally been leaders in this area followed by BCG and Bain.

The work involves providing support in high-level decision making process for a company thus boosting its profitability and helping it deal with the competition.

Consultants get a chance to be involved in projects across industries; each project may have its unique complexity, so the learning on the job can be immense.

The average salary of a strategy consultant would be $90,769.

Dr Paolo Aversa is the associate professor of strategy and course director for the full time MBA at the Cass Business School. MBA Crystal Ball asked Dr. Aversa to share his views on consulting careers.
MCB: Considering that management consulting requires a lot of rigor, what are the traits that’ll help an aspiring consultant to be successful in the field?

Dr. Aversa: Three main traits are fundamental for a consultant. First, analytical skills. This translates into familiarity with statistics, econometrics, big data, but most of all the interpretative skills to transform large and diverse sets of information into sensible advices.

This is why at Cass MBA we give a lot of emphasis on strategic use of big data and data analytics, particularly in the context of digital transformation. Second, empathy, relational and commercial skills are fundamental. While one can enter consulting through a junior, back-office position, in the long run it is the ability to become a key account executives that unlocks access to higher positions.

At Cass the students undergo a specific relational training that significantly enhances their commercial and advisory skills. Third, one needs exceptional time management and stamina. Consultants tend to overwork themselves, and many of them burn-out way too early and ultimately leave their jobs.

Despite acknowledging that the nature of the job is quite intensive and overwhelming, the ability to make the best of the available time allows consultants to win the long-run race career-wise. This is why at Cass our MBA program has been purposely designed to put the students in the conditions of facing such challenges.
MCB: What else should aspiring consultants keep in mind before taking the plunge?

Dr. Aversa: Many aspiring consultants often dream to work in one of the big strategic consulting firms. Although it is important to have challenging ambitions, it is equally necessary to have reasonable expectations when comparing one’s personal profile to what these companies usually are looking for.

Top strategy consulting companies tend to hire only from the very top business schools, particularly those who have particular expertise in strategy. The Financial Times ranked Cass MBA within the top-ten business schools for corporate strategy worldwide 5 times out of the last 10 years, and in 2017 we were ranked #1 globally.

This is why we have partners and top consultants often coming to collaborate with our students, or sponsoring internships which often turn into job opportunities.

If one is determined to pursue a career in top consulting, it is important to understand which are the Schools and programs the consulting firms actually consider when hiring.

Read more about consulting careers and the best business schools for consulting jobs.

Jobs in Human resources

HR department is responsible for overseeing various employee aspects including recruitment, background checks, managing interviews, employee training, dealing with employee relations issue, retention of outstanding employees, handling compensation packages and employee motivation through recognition and rewards program.

The role requires excellent interpersonal skills and a good knowledge of organizational policies and employment laws. The HR department has to work towards maintaining a healthy, collaborative and productive relationship between the employees and the top management.

The various positions include HR specialist, HR manager, HR director, HR vice president. Depending upon the experience level and the job position held, the average salary would range from $ 48,000 for a HR specialist to $1,46,000 for a HR vice president.

Read more about HR jobs and careers.

Jobs in Operations management

Operations management involves skilful management of the processes involved in delivering either goods or services. It involves co-ordination with various departments and working on improving the efficacy of the existing methods in order to maximise the productivity of the company.

The responsibilities would include supply chain management including inventory control, overseeing purchases and supplies, quality checks as well as optimising use of resources and ensuring that the end product or service meets customer requirements.

The average salary of an operations manager would be $61,177.

Jobs in Technology management

This field would be suited for those with a technical background. The role would involve using technical expertise as well as management skills to successfully lead and manage all aspects of projects which would include planning, designing, scheduling, monitoring, testing and delivering it to the client as per their requirement within the given time frame.

The responsibilities would include team management including work allocation, budget estimation, time management, provide mentoring wherever required, team co-ordination, decision-making, problem-solving, monitoring progress as well as reviewing the performance of the team members. It’s also important to keep up-to-date with the latest technological innovations and emerging trends.

At the specialist level, one may work as a computer analyst, systems analyst or a programmer. Management positions are that of a technology manager, IT project manager, chief information officer (CIO), management information systems director.

The average salary is $94,354 per year for a technology manager, $84,725 for a project manager and $152,000 for a CIO.

Read more about career change options after MBA for software engineers.

Jobs in Marketing

Each marketing role would require job-specific skills, however, marketing professionals are expected to have excellent communication and inter-personal skills and be a team player. In addition, innovative, analytical as well as strategic thinking, quick decision-making skills, being tech-savvy and the ability to perform market research and data analysis in today’s digital age can be a huge advantage.

The various roles in marketing include that of a brand manager, marketing manager, digital marketing manager, market research analyst, business development manager, chief marketing officer and vice-president – sales and marketing.

A marketing manager, on an average, earns $84,066, business development manager $86,965 and a vice president earns $128,025.


Jobs and careers in innovation and design

Dr. Ileana Stigliani, Assistant Professor of Design and Innovation at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department, Imperial College London, shared the following insights with MBA Crystal Ball on the top companies that recruit in this space.

“Traditionally an exclusive domain of creative consulting companies like IDEO, EPA Continuum, and Frog Design, design and innovation are becoming widespread across the corporate world at large.

The realization that investing in good design leads to profitable business has hit management consulting firms, as shown by the recent wave of acquisitions of creative consulting firms by the giant management consulting companies, as well as big corporations such as Pepsico, SAP, Deutsch Bank, GE Healthcare and Airbnb. Firms such as IBM, Porsche and Disney are even using design to drive digital transformation across their organisations.”

“The rising use of design and innovation in driving and transforming businesses, opens up many career opportunities for MBAs interested in this field. For instance, creative consulting companies are increasingly interested in people with a business background but who, nevertheless, understand the role of design in creating economic and human value, thus boosting business profitability. These are ideal candidates for business design roles.”

“Moreover, because of their ability to bridge the field of business and strategy with that of design and innovation, these people are appealing for management consulting firms as well. As design becomes more widespread in the corporate world and ingrained in the fabric of businesses, roles in organisational change management, digital innovation, customer experience, and service design are likely to increase in the coming years.”


Rotational programs

Rotational roles provide employees with the opportunity to work in different roles as well as functions. It helps them develop various skill-sets and also gives them a big picture of how the various functional areas operate within an organization.

Entrepreneurship careers

Obtaining an international business administration degree can create a conducive environment for developing an entrepreneurial mind-set. It gives a better understanding of business knowledge and helps in working out an operating strategy while mitigating risks.

Read more on entrepreneurship careers.
Also read:
Introduction to MBA Careers
Types of jobs after MBA in Marketing, Finance, Operations, Technology
MBA Jobs with the Best Work Life Balance
Highest-paying jobs for MBA graduates
Jobs after MBA (Video)
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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About Swati
After working for over a decade in technical and managerial roles in the corporate world, Swati now works as a freelancer and writes on a variety of topics including education, career guidance and self-improvement.

11 thoughts on “Jobs you can get with a business administration degree”

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for interacting!

    I have almost 2 years of experience in a Telecom Company. I really wish to study MBA abroad, Europe to be precise. Can you suggest me some colleges with the eligibility criteria? Maybe share an article so that I can have a clear picture.


  2. Hi ,

    I am currently working in one of the TOP US MNCs in india and i will have 3 years work ex by next year . I plan to score around 700 in gmat . Which one will be a good option for me to apply among european business schools ? I particularly interested in France , Spain , Italy etc

  3. hello Sameer,
    In next few years ill be completing 20 yrs of service and have vast experience in flying and ground handling of flying operations. Would an MBA from a good institute help me find a good job in aviation operations in India.

  4. IDP also mentioned that I should choose some other course which is not available in India.

    I have worked for about 19 years now in International organisations and NGOs. Is the course in social sector fetch in some good jobs there.

  5. Hello sir,
    I am GAUTAM KUMAR, just got my coc but due to rating background I don’t have bachelor degree, In future I want settle on shore job so can I do directly MBA or I need to do some bachelor from open university if so which bachelor degree is best for MBA and shore job purposes.

  6. Hi,
    I have done bcom and pgdm in marketing and I am looking to do MBA in USA to add another degree and looking out for job opportunities in same field in USA. I have a 1 years experience. Please suggest me what can be done.

  7. Hello Sir,
    Thank you so much. It was truly an insightful article and it actually answered a lot of my questions.
    Also, I had another concern, which is how to explain the adcoms about why there was a difference between the subject I majored in and the job roles that I took after that? Mainly, it was during the graduation days I realized that I am inclined towards some other field.
    To explain this further, I did an Integrated 5 yr course in Biotechnology but from the very first job, I have always taken digital marketing roles in different industries.

    I understand, that is a major career transformation and that might come out as a weak link in showing excellent clarity of goals to the adcoms.
    Kindly, put some light here.
    Look forward!

  8. @Abha: Here are some good business schools in Europe to target.

    @Radhika: France has got two very good options (INSEAD, HEC Paris). There are good options in other EU countries as well (refer to the link above). Be aware that for many roles, employers prefer international students who can speak the local language.

    @Vivek: This article we wrote for ex-army applicants should help you:

    @Hemlata: I’m sorry, I don’t fully understand your query. If you already have 19 years of work experience, why do you need another degree?

    @Gautam: Merchant navy professionals who work with us get an MBA to explore shore jobs. Here’s one such story:

    @Shubham: Wait for a few more years, before considering a second MBA. Read these posts:

    @swikrity: You know the reasons for that change in focus, better than anyone else. Be honest with the reason. And show how well you’ve performed in your chosen field, to eliminate all doubt about your capability and focus.

  9. Helo thx for this wonderful enlightenment ,I would like to do bachelor’s in business administration. What are the most enterprising area to specialise in?.and the best a ugandan.thank u.

  10. I have a Master’s in Business Administration and the only job I can find is teaching business at a Dallas high school


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