what can you do with a business management degree


Business management degrees equip students with foundational knowledge in various aspects of business operations from finance and marketing to human resources (HR) and project management. Graduates typically possess a wealth of knowledge applicable to numerous industries, thanks to a comprehensive curriculum. In fact, a degree in business management may serve as a solid steppingstone for further specialization or advanced studies.


What Is Business Management?

Business management is a field of study that focuses on the organization, analysis, and oversight of a company's activities and operations. Students discuss strategic planning, financial management, marketing, HR management, operations management, and organizational behavior.

Students can apply the principles covered in business management degree programs to make decisions for their organizations. For instance, they learn to coordinate resources – such as people, finances, and materials – to achieve organizational goals effectively and efficiently.

Sound management is crucial for a company’s financial health and overall success. It directly impacts an organization’s ability to grow, adapt to changes, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.


How Does Business Management Differ from Business Administration?

There is a lot of common ground between business management and business administration, but their differences are primarily in their focus.

Business management typically concerns the practical, daily aspects of running a business, including business strategy planning, decision-making, and resource management. Business management majors focus on leadership, team management skills, and developing and deploying resources to maximize productivity.

By contrast, business administration covers a broader scope, encompassing all aspects of operating a business such as management and organizational structure. Business administration coursework provides a more comprehensive understanding of all the components necessary for a business to function effectively.


A Business Management Degree Can Apply to Different Industries

Business management programs typically offer an expansive understanding of the business world. Courses in such a degree program blend theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Additionally, this type of business degree provides learners with a comprehensive overview of various organizational functions.

After graduation, business management degree holders are well prepared to pursue professional opportunities in diverse sectors, such as technology, healthcare, retail, and finance. Depending upon their preferences, a student might decide to become:

  • A business manager
  • A business development manager
  • A business analyst
  • A financial analyst
  • A sales representative
  • A supply chain manager
  • A business consultant


Pursuing Job Opportunities

A business management degree may offer a pathway to pursue executive and managerial positions. Also, graduates may find their knowledge is suited to managerial roles such as operations manager, marketing manager, and HR manager.

Business managers are responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, setting strategic goals, managing budgets, and guiding teams towards achieving their goals. Managers play a critical role in driving organizational growth and achieving long-term objectives.

However, pursuing a specific career path commonly depends upon your personal and professional interests. Whether you have a passion for operations, HR, or any other area of business, a business management degree can help equip you with relevant knowledge and skills.


Executive Roles

Executive roles like Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Operations Officer (COO) are responsible for defining a company’s strategic direction. Executives make high-level decisions and help ensure their organizations’ success.


Operations Managers

An operations manager ensures smooth and efficient business operations. This role involves overseeing the production process, managing inventory, and optimizing resources to meet customer demands. Operations managers analyze data and make informed decisions to improve efficiency across business functions.

These managers are also at the forefront of decision-making processes that impact the entire organization. Their role involves collaborating with various departments – such as finance and HR – to align operational strategies with overall business objectives. By understanding the needs and goals of each department, these managers can develop and implement strategies accordingly to support an organization's growth and success.


Marketing Managers

Marketing managers are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote products and services. They conduct research, identify target audiences, and create compelling advertising campaigns to attract customers.

These detail-oriented professionals must demonstrate creativity and strategic thinking as they work to help raise brand awareness and drive sales for their organizations. Their work also involves project management.


Human Resources Managers

A human resources manager plays a crucial role in solving business problems pertaining to workforce talent. This type of work involves recruiting, training, and retaining employees. They interview candidates for open positions and coordinate trainings to ensure the company's workforce is up to date on relevant industry skills.

HR managers are also responsible for everything from conducting performance evaluations to implementing company policies and procedures. In addition, a human resources manager may intervene in situations involving employee relations, as HR is tasked with fostering a positive work environment.


Additional Opportunities for Business Management Degree Holders

Business management degree holders may also choose to pursue a role as a finance manager, project manager, or sales manager. Each of these jobs comes with its own unique set of responsibilities and challenges.

In addition, you might decide to pursue other business sectors such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Supply chain management
  • Risk management



If you have a passion for innovation and a desire to create something unique, entrepreneurship may be the right path for you. Entrepreneurship is among the most challenging but rewarding career paths available to business management graduates. It requires strong leadership skills and a comprehensive understanding of business fundamentals.

Pursuing a business management degree could help you learn valuable management principles that may be applied to starting and running your own company. With a knowledge of strategic planning and financial management, you may navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship more easily.

Entrepreneurship is about more than just starting a business; it is about creating something from scratch to reflect your vision and values. Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to turn your ideas into products or services that can make a tangible difference in the world. The freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur allows you to make decisions and shape your business according to your own unique perspective.

But while entrepreneurship has the potential to offer personal and professional fulfillment, it is not without its challenges. Running a business requires perseverance, resilience, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Entrepreneurship is a journey of self-discovery and continuous learning. It is about taking calculated risks, embracing failures, and celebrating successes. A degree in business management could help you establish the foundation needed to make your mark in the business world and help to make you more business-savvy.


Supply Chain Management

Supply chain managers oversee the production, logistics, and distribution processes. They play a crucial role in driving the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations. As you complete your business management degree, you will gain insight into the many skills this field demands.

The ability to analyze complex data, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to enhance efficiency is what makes business managers invaluable assets to a company. Supply chain leaders also foster strong relationships with suppliers to help streamline processes and reduce costs.

Supply chain managers also play a crucial role in building and maintaining relationships with suppliers. Their abilities to negotiate contracts, manage inventory levels, and ensure timely delivery of goods and services are major contributing factors to the organization's success.

Collaborating closely with suppliers makes it possible to identify potential cost savings, improve product quality, and enhance customer satisfaction.

In today's globalized business environment, supply chain managers sometimes lead operations on a worldwide scale. This work may include coordinating activities across different countries, ensuring compliance with international regulations, and navigating cultural differences.


Risk Management

Risk managers are responsible for identifying potential risks and implementing measures to mitigate them. This type of work may include developing contingency plans, establishing quality control processes, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.


Exploring Career Paths in Financial Management and Banking

For learners interested in finance and numbers, studying business management may provide a solid foundation to pursue career opportunities in finance. Most of these entry-level positions require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree, although some employers may prefer candidates with master’s degrees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There are many opportunities in finance that may be of interest to degree holders, such as:

  • Financial manager
  • Investment banker
  • Financial planner
  • Commercial banker


Financial Manager

Financial managers are responsible for optimizing organizations’ financial health. This type of job involves conducting a financial analysis, developing strategies to maximize profitability, and making informed investment decisions.

These professionals use their expertise to assess risk, manage budgets, and make sound financial recommendations to key stakeholders. In addition, they collaborate with other departments to ensure that financial goals align with overall business objectives. Ultimately, these managers play a crucial role in organizations’ success.


Investment Banker

Investment banking is another exciting career path in financial management. An investment banker works with clients to raise capital, facilitate mergers and acquisitions, and provide financial advisory services. They also analyze market trends, identify potential investment opportunities, and develop strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals.


Financial Planner

A financial planner assists individual clients and businesses in creating comprehensive financial strategies. This work involves analyzing their current financial situations, setting financial goals, and outlining how to achieve those goals. Through phone calls or in-person meetings, financial planners provide advice and in-depth financial information on everything from investments to retirement planning, tax strategies, and risk management.


Commercial Banker

Commercial banking involves working with businesses to provide financial services, such as loans, credit lines, and cash management solutions. Professionals in this field assess the creditworthiness of borrowers, analyze financial statements, and make lending decisions.


Job Paths in Marketing and Sales

For students drawn to the dynamic world of brand development and market expansion, business management degrees may offer a gateway to explore marketing and sales management job opportunities. A business management major may delve into the art and science of understanding consumer behavior, crafting compelling marketing strategies, and driving business performance.

Potential job paths in this business field include:

  • Marketing manager
  • Sales manager


Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are tasked with overseeing a company’s business initiatives and growth. They identify target markets and assess customer needs and preferences. Also, these managers develop marketing plans to effectively communicate the value of products or services to customers.

A marketing manager’s role demands a blend of creativity and analytical skills. These professionals must be adept at both generating innovative ideas and analyzing market data to inform their strategies.

A background in business management may provide foundational knowledge essential for this type of work. In courses, students discuss the roles of market research, digital marketing trends, and brand management in crafting campaigns that resonate with audiences and build brand loyalty.


Sales Manager

Sales management focuses on leading and developing a sales team to achieve certain targets. A sales manager with a business management background can set sales initiatives and sales goals, design training programs, and create sales plans that align with the overall business strategy.

Sales managers play a crucial role in driving revenue growth, analyzing sales data to identify trends and opportunities, and building strong relationships with customers. Their expertise in negotiation, customer relationship management, and strategy helps ensure the success of the sales team and the company.

Businesses depend on sound marketing and sales management to generate revenue. Leaders require a deep understanding of the market, the ability to think strategically, and the skills to communicate and execute plans effectively.

A degree in business management can help prepare graduates to meet these challenges. Business school students acquire the tools to build strong brands and open new markets as they learn how to drive business growth and success.


What Will You Choose to Do with a Business Management Degree?

Whether you see yourself as a future leader in a multinational corporation, an innovative entrepreneur, or a specialist in finance or marketing, the choice is yours. The transferable skills and knowledge acquired through a business management degree program may be applied to various industries and roles.


Explore Business Degrees at American Public University

Interested in learning more about business degrees? Consider exploring the diverse array of business and management degrees that American Public University has to offer. You can choose from an array of degrees, such as an associate degree, a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, that meets your educational needs.

Whether you're interested in an online bachelor's degree in management, an online master of business administration (MBA) degree, or an online bachelor's degree in business analytics, each business degree at American Public University offers the opportunity to develop skills and learn from knowledgeable faculty. Whether your goal is to climb the corporate ladder or launch your own business, taking the time to study the fundamentals of management could be a wise choice.

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