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Highest Paying Business Jobs
January 27, 2021

Examining the Highest-Paying Business Jobs for Bachelor’s Degree Holders

You’ve heard critics say it numerous times: “The master’s degree is the new bachelor’s degree.” While completing a graduate program can certainly open doors to some careers, there’s still a lot of value in an undergraduate education. The professional world is ripe with high-paying job opportunities for bachelor’s degree holders who majored in business, which is good news given your interest in the field.

By now, you’re probably starting to think about some potential career paths you could pursue in the business realm. You want to consider options that play to your strengths and interests. Maybe the thought of analyzing financial data appeals to you, for example. Or perhaps you see yourself as a visionary who can devise organization-wide strategies.

But you also want to make sure you’re able to make a good living after graduating from college. You can’t help but wonder what the highest-paying business jobs are for professionals with a bachelor’s degree. There are some surprisingly good options, so get ready to explore some of these roles.

The 10 highest-paying business jobs you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree

We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 7 million job postings that called for a bachelor’s degree in business over the past year.* The data helped us identify the most common business jobs available to bachelor’s degree holders.

We sorted them into this list of highest-paying business jobs so you can get a better idea of your options. Learn more about these business salaries and the job duties you’ll need to take on in order to earn them. You just might find your future job title in the list below.

10. Compliance managers

Compliance managers work to ensure an organization’s activities meet ethical and regulatory standards. They do this through a variety of tasks, such as reporting compliance violations to the appropriate agencies, discussing emerging compliance issues with management and employees, providing employee training when needed and consulting with attorneys to address relevant legal issues.

To succeed in this career, you need to have integrity and a firm understanding of the laws that govern your organization. It’s a role that comes with a lot of responsibility.

Mean market salary: $89,288/year*

9. Risk management specialists

Every big ideas person needs a critical thinker to keep them in check. In the business world, the latter are risk management specialists. These professionals work to limit the odds of financial loss by developing contingency plans, documenting and communicating key risks and recommending ways to mitigate risk.

One of the skills risk management specialists rely on is the ability to identify problems before they arise. It’s a great role for business professionals who always make sure they have all their bases covered.

Mean market salary: $90,298/year*

8. Marketing managers

A marketing manager leads their organization’s marketing team by estimating the demand for the products and services they and their competitors offer, conducting market research and identifying potential opportunities to reach new customers. While they aim to maximize profits, they also need to ensure customer satisfaction.

You might be a good marketing manager if you have a balance of creativity, analytical thinking and general leadership skills. But don’t expect to become a marketing manager overnight. You’ll need to garner several years of marketing experience before you can move up the career ladder.

Mean market salary: $91,094/year*

7. Actuaries

Often employed by insurance companies, actuaries analyze and determine costs associated with risk and uncertainty. They collect and analyze statistical data and other information, estimate the probability and cost of certain events, and design insurance policies and other business strategies to both minimize risk and maximize profitability. Need an example? Consider how your car insurance payment can increase when you move to an area that’s prone to accidents.

While obtaining a bachelor’s degree qualifies you to become an actuary from an educational standpoint, you’ll need to complete a few other requirements to become a certified professional. You’ll need to obtain certification from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) to reach the associate level. To achieve fellowship status, you’ll need to obtain certification through the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

Mean market salary: $91,781*

6. Investment fund managers

These professionals are responsible for managing the investment strategies of their clients — institutions or individuals. The strategies investment fund managers develop will vary based on the client. How much risk is the client willing to take on? What is the client’s future goals? They also need to be incredibly well-versed in different types of investments.

Of all the jobs featured on this list, investment fund managers are the most likely to find themselves in need of a master’s degree. That said, only 64 percent of the postings in our analysis required a graduate-level education.*

Mean market salary: $96,582/year*

5. Regulatory affairs managers

You can think of a regulatory affairs manager as the bridge between an organization and the authorities that determine operating and production specifications. Common tasks include responding to regulatory agencies as needed, directing the preparation of documents submitted to regulatory agencies and training staff to maintain compliance with standards. They also manage audits, inspections conducted by regulatory agencies and product recalls.

If you’re a detail-oriented person, this role could be a great fit for you. A big part of the job is staying up to date on relevant laws and regulations, which can obviously change over time.

Mean market salary: $97,056/year*

4. Information technology project managers

In the most basic sense, information technology (IT) project managers oversee all computer-related activities in an organization. Common duties include analyzing needs and recommending possible upgrades, directing hardware and software installation and maintenance, ensuring the organization’s network is safe and managing other IT professionals.

The exact nature of your work will depend on both the size and structure of your organization. IT project managers at smaller companies, for example, often wear many hats.

Mean market salary: $98,403/year*

3. Treasurers and controllers

These financial managers are responsible for ensuring fiscal health. Controllers oversee preparation of financial reports like income statements and analyses of future earnings or expenses. They also may prepare special reports related to government regulation. Treasurers manage investments, implement strategies to raise capital and develop plans for mergers and acquisitions.

While a master’s degree is not required to become a treasurer or controller, you’ll likely need to spend some time in the field to work your way into one of these positions. You might start out as an accountant or financial analyst, then advance as you gain experience.

Mean market salary: $98,579/year*

2. Financial quantitative analysts

If you have a mind for math and science, you might consider becoming a financial quantitative analyst. These professionals develop and implement complex models that financial institutions use to manage risk and make decisions about investing, borrowing, saving or lending.

This role requires familiarity with various operating systems, application software and programming languages. As you might imagine, it’s not for those who shy away from new technologies.

Mean market salary: $100,677/year*

1. Chief executives

Chief executive officer (CEO) — one of the highest-paying business jobs — is probably the most recognizable job title that falls under this umbrella, but there are other roles as well. Chief financial officers (CFOs), chief operating officers (COOs) and executive vice presidents (EVPs) are all considered chief executives. These are the leaders who develop strategies and provide overall direction for the organization.

If you consider yourself a big thinker, a career as a chief executive could be a great fit for you. But you also need to be comfortable as a leader. Chief executives are responsible for coordinating both resources and employees. It’s also important to note that while only 45 percent of chief executive positions in our analysis required a master’s degree, you’ll need to garner plenty of experience before climbing to such a senior role.*

Median market salary: $109,977/year*

Qualify yourself for a high-paying business job

These highest-paying business jobs illustrate you can make a good living by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in marketing, accounting or any other related discipline. Clearly, there’s still a lot of value in a college education. With a business degree, you’ll develop the practical skills you need to excel in the workforce.

Before you can kick off your career, though, you first need to focus on your education. To learn more about how you can achieve your career goals with a degree from Berry College, visit our Business program page.

*Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 7,034,981 job postings available to candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a business concentration, September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020).

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