A career in business or leadership can open new doors and multiply your earning capacity. Many roles offer earnings well into six figures, with plenty of room for growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in business and leadership roles will increase 9% from 2020 to 2030.
The right business or leadership degree equips you with the skills you need to not only manage people, but also inspire them to improve their work and change the world. Talented business leaders — especially those with MBAs — remain in high demand for major companies like Google, Target and Facebook, as well as hundreds of start-ups seeking educated, inspiring leaders.
Plus, business and leadership training can help you earn a raise or promotion at your current job, positioning you to climb the corporate ladder. Your education can also prepare you for a career shift, opening new doors into exciting industries. People pursue careers in business or leadership for many reasons, including:
Career focus demands hard work and a commitment to personal growth. Although it’s not easy, it can change your life.
Why Should You Pursue a Career
in Business and Leadership?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused great suffering and disrupted everything about how we live. But it also inspired millions of people to rethink the direction of their lives, assess whether they were doing work that matters and seek new ways to make a difference in the world.
Millions of workers quit their jobs in 2021, and a whopping 55% of the workforce said they were planning to switch roles. If you’re among the millions rethinking everything and searching for a brighter tomorrow, then a career in business and leadership could help you make your dreams a reality.
Careers in business and leadership are rapidly growing, so you can count on the excitement of personal growth. However, there are other more important reasons why pursuing a career in business and leadership may be right for you:
Business or leadership degrees offer some of the highest earning power, even right out of school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual median wage of $72,250 for business and finance occupations in 2020.
For management or leadership occupations, the median annual wage was even higher at $109,760.
Note that the median annual wage for all occupations is $41,950.
Some degrees limit you to a handful of occupations. That is not the case with leadership and business training.
You can choose from hundreds of roles. Work for someone who can help you make the most of your career, or start your own business and blaze your own trail. You can even move in and out of the business and nonprofit worlds. There are countless options available to you.
Every type of organization needs business leaders, including:
"The skills you master in school will serve you well in any career, lending credibility and authority to your work no matter where you go. "
For some businesses, it doesn’t matter if you’re a natural leader or exceptional at your job. You may need an MBA or similar degree to climb to the highest rungs of the corporate ladder. Don’t get stuck on a middle rung—reach all of your goals.
The rapid growth of business and leadership careers means it’s an employee’s market.
You will have many jobs to choose from, and employers will have to compete over you. Generally, more education means higher employment rates, with unemployment rates decreasing the more education a person attains.
Choosing a career path that is right for you takes planning, both in requirements and personal interest. Requirements often include education, like having a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree is a great way to begin or accelerate your career in just a few years. It also offers a direct path to graduate training, opening up opportunities for advancement. Whatever your motivations are, find the path that fuels your passion.
If you want to command top earnings, a master’s degree in business administration or leadership can support that goal. Drawing on data from Payscale.com, Monster identified these seven areas as the most lucrative and high-demand career paths for MBA graduates:
"The careers you qualify for will depend on your experience and level of education. The right education can open career doors, especially when you already have on-the-job experience."
If you have a passion for data or numbers, a role as a financial analyst may be for you. At the highest level, the goal of a financial analyst is to guide businesses and individuals in decisions about spending money to make a profit. You may find yourself forecasting budgets, tracking operational metrics and creating financial models.
Financial analysts earn an average of $83,660 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
A marketing manager is responsible for leading the marketing efforts for a business, service or product. They often estimate market demand, lead a marketing team and develop strategies to drive consumer interest. Although this role requires a passion for data, it is also a great fit for those looking to be creative.
Marketing managers earn an average of $141,490 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
Pursuing a career as a computer and information systems manager offers great flexibility and makes you a high-demand candidate. This role is primarily focused on planning, directing and coordinating activities such as electronic data processing, systems analysis and computer programming.
The average earning potential for someone getting into this role is $151,150 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
Although these are two different roles, they function very similarly. If you are financially savvy and love spending time on numbers, one of these roles may be a good fit for you.
Accountants are responsible for:
Auditors are responsible for:
Accountants and auditors earn an average of $73,560 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
If you have a passion for helping others but still want to be in a business setting, a role in human resources may be the right path for you. Human resources (HR) teams play many roles in organizations, depending on their size. Most commonly, they lead recruiting, candidate selections, compensation and benefits. In some cases, individuals in this role will also lead company culture initiatives and employee development.
The average earning potential for someone in this role is $121,220 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing plants. They plan, direct and coordinate the necessary work activities and resources per cost, quality and quantity specifications. If you have a passion for being hands-on and making improvements for the betterment of many, this may be a career path for you.
Industrial production managers earn an average of $108,790 annually. Some of the skills needed to be successful in this role include:
What Makes a Great Business Leader?
Some business leaders are born, but most are made. And, in most cases, even those with natural leadership skills work to develop specific skill sets and find success in their field.
In addition to a bachelor’s or master’s degree, business leaders and managers must build a foundation of hard skills.This includes technical skills, certifications or additional education required to grow in your role.
Soft skills are just as essential as hard skills.In the business world, you need critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making abilities. You should also have solid time management and a strong work ethic. Additionally, clear written and verbal communication skills are a must.
Those working with or for people every day will also need to develop empathy for coworkers and find ways to address a variety of working styles.
It’s essential to have a career path that matches your desires. Whether it is a personal aspiration to improve processes, boost the bottom line or help others grow, those who find self-motivation are better equipped to succeed in their career.
How to Choose a Fulfilling
Career Path Post-Graduation
A degree in business or leadership is versatile. Upon earning your degree, you will have many potential career paths. The key to long-term success is choosing a role in an industry that excites you and caters to your passions and talents. These questions can help you determine which role might be the best fit for you:
Ask yourself, "What are my interests?" "What drives me?" "What challenges allow me to thrive?" "What makes me look forward to a workday?" When you're passionate about what you're doing, you will never "work" a day in your life.
Education at the bachelor’s or master’s level builds a foundation, but nothing will prepare you like real-world experience. How can you leverage past work experience to inform the day-to-day tasks you would be responsible for?
For some, earning a bachelor’s degree in a field they are passionate about is the final destination. For others, it may serve as a stepping stone to future goals. What are your long-term career goals? What are the steps you will take to get there?
Aside from your professional goals, what do you hope to achieve personally? What do you want for your life and family? Whatever you hope to achieve, make sure you align your personal and professional goals with that mission.
Find Your Path With SNU
No matter where your career takes you, SNU is here to help. SNU offers bachelor’s and master’s programs for those aspiring to move into a leadership role.
Perhaps the most crucial decision you can make about your future career is which school you attend. SNU is deeply committed to the success of adult learners, with a variety of innovative programs that will help you excel and graduate on time, even when you’re juggling a host of other commitments.
Each program listed below offers a theoretically grounded approach and real-world practical training. Our accelerated tracks give you credits for prior learning and allow you to focus on just one class at a time, helping you graduate quickly. We want to see you get the most out of your degree, and that means shortening your path to graduation and a career.
"We know that the right support is key to helping students learn. Our flexible schedules, online courses and innovative cohort model all support you to thrive in school and beyond. We also offer resume workshops, career counseling, mentoring and access to our exceptional job boards."