Highest Paying Business Degree Jobs Ranked for 2024

Highest Paying Business Degree Jobs Ranked for 2024

We rank the highest paying careers for business majors with a bachelor’s degree in business or a related subject like accounting, finance, or human resources.

Key Takeaways

  • The business degree is the most popular of all undergraduate degrees.

  • The undergraduate degree in business is extremely versatile and can lead to a wide variety of high paying jobs.

  • Top paying business jobs for undergraduates include project management specialists, personal financial advisers, and more.

The business degree is by far the most popular of all bachelor’s degrees. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that nearly 400,000 students earned business degrees from colleges and universities in the 2019-2020 academic year. But with so many business majors out there, is there anything you can do to improve your job opportunities and earning potential?

You can start by pursuing a business major in a high-paying concentration. Indeed, the highest paying business degrees are often associated with specific areas of business administration including financial accounting, international business, human resource management, and more. It also helps to earn a degree that provides valuable training in 21st Century business skills as well as leadership skills and critical thinking skills.

Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a comprehensive look at the best paying business degrees for careers as wide ranging as financial analyst, financial management analyst, accountant, human resources manager, and more.

If you already know exactly what you want to do with your business major, start with a look at the very best online business degree at the undergraduate level.

Otherwise, read on to find out which business majors are earning the most...

What can you do with a business administration degree?

The business degree is popular for a reason. This is one of the most versatile degrees you can earn. Regardless of your concentration, business degree programs will typically incorporate core courses in areas like business strategy, financial analysis, human resource management, supply chain management, international business, and much more.

Depending on the business field you plan to go into, you may also have the opportunity to study valuable subjects like public relations, digital marketing, consumer behavior, healthcare management, business law, and much more.

Business majors often go on to run their own business, work in international business, or generally develop business and leadership skills that can be applied in settings throughout the business world. This makes the business major a great starting point for a wide range of careers.

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What About Accounting, Human Resources, and Finance Degrees?

While a degree in business is a great starting point for any of these careers, you may prefer to earn a degree directly in one of these specialized areas. These are among the highest paying business majors with focused areas of study. This concentrated approach is a great strategy for those who already know that they’ll be applying their business degree to one of these sectors.

For instance, if you already know that you’ll be entering into the field of financial planning, you may be able to receive a more focused education with a degree in finance. Similarly, aspiring human resources managers will likely be best served by an undergraduate degree in the human resources subdiscipline.

However, if you’re not entirely sure what you plan to do with your business degree, or you’d simply like to retain the flexibility to pursue business ventures of all kinds, a general business degree is likely your best option.

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How We Identified the Highest Paying Business Majors

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, we’ve identified and ranked the highest paying degrees for students with a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field like finance, accounting, or human resources. The highest paying business degrees are ranked using the median salary for 2021.

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The 15 Highest Paying Business Degree Jobs

Keep in mind that there are a number of entry-level positions available to graduates with an associate degree in business, but the bachelor’s degree is the typical academic threshold for many of these occupations. However, in many cases, you may be required to earn certain professional certifications or licenses in addition to your undergraduate degree.

Moreover, many of these fields may be particularly competitive. In some cases, while a bachelor’s degree may offer entry-level employment in your concentration, a master’s degree may be a threshold to higher pay and leadership opportunities. Fortunately, it is increasingly possible to earn your MBA online so that you can complete this advanced degree on your own schedule.

1. Financial Analysts

  • 2021 Median Pay-$95,570

Financial analysts produce and evaluate financial statements and often work alongside the chief financial officer to make core business decisions regarding both spending and profitability.

In most cases, the bachelor’s degree in business administration is seen as the minimum threshold for a career in financial analysis. Some students may alternatively pursue an undergraduate degree in finance.

2. Project Management Specialists

  • 2021 Median Pay-$94,500

Project management specialists oversee project specifics from budget and staffing to implementation and legal compliance. Project management is among the highest paying business careers due to its versatility, as these business skills may apply in areas as diverse as construction, government contracting, corporate expansion, and more.

Most project management professionals will earn an undergraduate degree in business administration or a more concentrated area such as business management or project management. Some project managers will also earn certification in a related area.

3. Personal Financial Advisors

  • 2021 Median Pay-$94,170

Personal financial advisors offer consultation to private individuals regarding their financial planning, money management, and retirement plans. This is among the best business degrees for those who desire an independent business career. Financial advisors often work as freelance third-party consultants.

While it may be possible to become a personal financial advisor with an undergraduate degree, this is a highly competitive field. You may be able to improve your earnings by pursuing a certification or even a master’s degree program in financial management. Fortunately, it is possible to access a growing number of highly reputable online MBAs with no GMAT required.

4. Management Analysts

  • 2021 Median Pay-$93,000

Management analysts help organizations improve their operational efficiency. A management analyst may work as an independent consultant or provide insights as an internal member of an organizational team.

Though it is possible to become a management analyst with a four-year degree, this is considered a leadership position. Therefore, most who hold this role will advance to the position through on-the-job experience.

5. Financial Examiners

  • 2021 Median Pay-$81,410

Financial examiners are responsible for determining that organizations are in compliance with government regulations regarding financial and monetary transactions.

Financial examiners will usually be required to earn an undergraduate business degree with courses in relevant areas like accounting and business law. Some on the job training is generally required as well.

6. Budget Analysts

  • 2021 Median Pay-$79,940

Budget analysts work for both public agencies and private organizations, offering support in financial management and planning. Financial managers will often work closely with budget analysts to make decisions about spending, saving, investment, and pursuit of profit.

Most budget analysts will earn a four-year degree in business, often with a concentration in accounting as well as courses in areas like economics, statistics, and supply chain management.

7. Accountants and Auditors

  • 2021 Median Pay-$77,250

Accountants and auditors prepare financial reports, consult on business strategy, and analyze financial records. Accountants and auditors may work independently, for accounting firms, or as in-house accounting personnel for companies and organizations of all kinds. Accounting is one of the highest paid business majors because accounting skills can be applied in innumerable professional settings.

In most cases, you would be required to earn a minimum of a four-year degree in order to become an accountant or auditor. Depending on the nature of your college degree program, you may choose to study accounting as a focus of your business degree, or you may earn a focused accounting degree. If you wish to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you would also need to become licensed in your state.

8. Logisticians

  • 2021 Median Pay-$77,030

Logisticians typically provide analysis and oversight of organizational supply chain management. Undergraduates with a degree in the logistics subdiscipline may also pursue positions as information systems managers, health services managers, sales managers, and more.

In most cases, you would be required to earn a four-year degree in order to serve in a leadership position in logistics. However, it may actually be possible to earn an entry-level job in this field with an associate degree in business administration.

9. Labor Relations Specialists

  • 2021 Median Pay-$77,010

Labor relations specialists provide support and services in creating, enforcing, and interpreting labor contracts on behalf of organizations and agencies. Responsibilities for labor relations specialists may cross over with those of human resources managers.

You may be able to become a labor relations specialist with a four-year business degree or in an array of concentrated business majors like human resources, industrial relations, or, in a related field.

10. Insurance Underwriters

  • 2021 Median Pay-$76,390

Insurance underwriters make critical decisions regarding insurance claims and applications, ultimately evaluating whether these claims warrant compensation or not.

You can become an insurance underwriter with an undergraduate degree, but it should be noted that this role requires strong accounting skills, computing skills, and—in the case of health insurance underwriting—a basic understanding of healthcare management. For this reason, many underwriter roles—especially those at the management level—will require you to earn a specialized certification.

11. Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

  • 2021 Median Pay-$75,410

Buyers and purchasing agents help organizations make decisions about what to purchase, when to purchase it, and how much to purchase. Those in purchasing management positions will typically oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents.

In most cases, a four-year degree would qualify you to work as a buyer or purchasing agent. That said, you may be able to improve your job opportunities with specialized certification in areas like management information systems, supply chain management analysis, and more. Becoming a purchasing manager would typically require either a master’s degree or a few years of workplace experience.

12. Cost Estimators

  • 2021 Median Pay-$65,170

Cost estimators use data to determine the time, money, materials, and labor needed to complete projects, build products, provide services, and more. Cost estimators will often work closely with financial managers to make spending decisions and budget allocations.

In most cases, you can become a cost estimator with a bachelor’s degree in an array of related business majors. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that construction professionals without a degree may be able to advance into the cost estimator role simply through work experience.

13. Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investors

  • 2021 Median Pay-$64,710

Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators serve in an array of functions for insurance companies. This means that such personnel will determine the validity of insurance claims as well as the appropriate compensation for valid claims.

The appropriate degree requirements may vary depending on your specific insurance sector. It may be possible to get entry-level work as an adjuster, examiner, or investigator in an area like automotive repair with a high school diploma or equivalent along with a relevant postsecondary certification. Those who work in healthcare fields, by contrast, will typically be required to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.

14. Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

  • 2021 Median Pay-$64,120

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists are responsible for coordinating the compensation and payment structures ensuring that employees and non-employees are paid for work and services provided. These specialists will also help to determine the appropriate value and compensation for specific roles and functions.

A basic four-year business degree will typically be sufficient for entry-level work in this field. However, some on-the-job training will be required. Students may alternatively seek degrees in areas like human resources or labor relations.

15. Market Research Analysts

  • 2021 Median Pay-$63,920

Market research analysts analyze consumer behavior and help create marketing strategy for a wide variety of organizations, agencies, projects, and campaigns. Many sales managers and marketing managers will begin their studies as business majors with concentrations in market research analysis.

To become a market research analyst, you would typically need a four-year business degree. Alternatively, you may wish to pursue an array of relevant marketing majors. If you wish to become a marketing manager, you may be able to improve your chances by earning a master’s in marketing degree.

Interested in other high paying degrees? Check out our rankings of the highest paying medical degrees, highest paying accounting jobs, or the highest paying MBA degree concentrations.

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