What Can I Do with a Business Management Degree? Skills, Jobs, And Courses

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Bachelor’s degrees in business management can prepare you for a successful career. Learn about the requirements for a business management major, career paths, jobs and more.

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If you enjoy being in charge, a degree in business management can help you explore the knowledge and skills you need to be a leader in the workplace. Earning this degree can start an exciting and diverse career in almost any industry. Learn about the different types of business management degrees, career paths, and various certifications to enhance your resume.

What is business management?

Business management refers to the practice of managing the operations of a company. It involves coordinating and organizing general or specific business activities to help an organization succeed. To do this, business managers often apply strategic and financial planning for production and resource management to benefit the business. 

What is a business management degree?

A business management degree is an associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree with coursework that covers business management principles. This degree program tends to focus on the knowledge and skills you need to oversee an organization's resources, like information systems and human resources management. A business administration degree program typically concentrates on business functions like marketing and finance. With a business management degree, you may seek a management position in business, including business analyst, human resources manager, or operations manager.

Types of Business Management Degrees

One of the advantages of studying business management is how it applies to various organizations and industries, including profit and non-profit ones. However, the type of degree you earn can affect the jobs you'll have within an organization. Here is a closer look at how the different types of business management degrees can affect your career prospects.

Associate degree in business management

An associate degree is a two-year degree program with coursework designed to help you understand how businesses work. You may take courses like Accounting Principles, Business Law, Management Principles, and Marketing. This can prepare you for entry-level positions as an assistant, customer service specialist, or sales consultant.

Read more: What Is an Associate Degree in Business?

Bachelor's in business management

A bachelor's degree is a four-year program that can open additional career opportunities. The coursework is similar to an associate degree program, with classes in accounting, finance, law, and marketing. However, you can explore these and other management topics in-depth and have more time to devote to the practical components of the major. After graduation, you may pursue work as an accountant, human resources manager, or sales manager.

Master's degree in business management

Master's degree programs typically take one or two years to complete after you earn a bachelor's degree. A Master's in Business Management is an alternative to a Master of Business Administration (MBA). This degree can be helpful if you have work experience in a specific industry and want to learn more about management theories and practices. Many master’s business management programs offer a general management curriculum, but some schools provide specializations.

Read more: Master’s in Management vs. MBA: Which Is Better?

Doctorate in business management        

Doctorate programs in business management tend to be even more specialized than master's degree programs, and you'll notice they have names like PhD in Management or Doctor of Management. These degrees aren’t the same as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), although they share overlapping topics. In a doctoral program, you can enhance your research skills and apply business theories to real-world situations.

Certifications in Business Management

You may choose to earn a certificate in business management in place of or to support a degree. Certifications show that you’ve completed the required business management courses which may help you get closer to your dream job. 

At some schools, the courses you take to earn a  certificate are the same as those you might take to earn a degree. You can typically complete a certificate program in less time than a degree, and some schools accept students who haven't earned a college degree.

Business management degree coursework 

The courses you take in a business management degree program are similar to what you would take in an MBA program. This include topics like accounting, business ethics, business law, leadership, and quantitative methods. Some of the courses you may take include the following:

  • Accounting for Business

  • Corporate Finance

  • Data Analysis and Business Analytics

  • Introduction to Business

  • Management and Organizational Behavior

  • Managing Change in a Changing Environment

  • Principles of Sustainability

Skills you can learn in a business management program

In addition to exploring business management, marketing, and accounting theories, you also have opportunities to develop skills in a business management program. You may use these technical and workplace skills in your career.

How long does it take to earn a Business Management degree?         

A business degree typically takes two to six years to complete, depending on the type of degree and program you're pursuing. You can complete an associate degree at some schools in about two years. Bachelor's degree programs take about four years to complete if you’re a full-time student. A graduate degree, such as an MBA, could take two years or more.

Some business management degree programs include expedited options to complete the degree faster than on a traditional track. This can be a great option if you have time to devote to the coursework. However, if you have a full-time job while you go to school, you may need to attend school part-time, which extends the time it takes to complete the degree.

What can you do with a business management degree?

With a business management degree, you can work in various industries as an administrative assistant, sales consultant, human resources manager, and operations manager. The courses you take and the skills you develop can be transferred to many job opportunities, ranging from entry-level to managerial positions. They include those listed below:

  • Business Consultant: Examine procedures to identify areas for improvement and devise strategies to boost profits and performance.

  • Human resources: You’ll recruit, screen, hire, and train employees. These roles can also include ensuring the company complies with labor laws and processing payroll and benefits.

  • Marketing manager: Plan, execute, and evaluate marketing initiatives and advertising to raise brand awareness, create sales leads, and drive traffic to convert sales.

  • Operations manager: Supervise budgets, resources, people, systems, and more to ensure employees have the support they need to stay motivated and productive. 

  • Project manager: Oversee projects from start to finish, including setting goals, organizing resources, monitoring progress, and evaluating processes.

Business management career outlook and salaries 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in management to grow by 9 percent between 2020 and 2030 [1]. Salaries for business management positions vary depending on your position, location, employer, and industry. Here are some business management roles and their annual average salary:

  • Administrative assistant: $68,014 [US]

  • HR analyst: $81,596  [US]

  • Project manager: $92,671 [US]

  • Business manager: $82,212 [US]

*All salary data is sourced from Glassdoor as of July 2022

Ready to take the next step in your career?

The next step in your business management career depends on where you are in your career path. You can build leadership skills to use when running a business through specializations. On Coursera, consider the  Business Foundations Specialization from The Wharton School or a Professional Certificate like Google Project Management if you want to focus on project management. Or pursue a bachelor's or master's degree like the University of London's Bachelor of Business Management.



Business Foundations

Solve Real Business Problems. Build a foundation of core business skills in marketing, finance, accounting and operations.


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Average time: 7 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

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professional certificate

Google Project Management:

Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.


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952,731 already enrolled


Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication

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Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Management Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/home.htm." Accessed June 30, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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