Business degrees are a popular option for students who are focused on their future careers. But there’s so much more you can do with these flexible degrees than you might expect!
Here we’ll share with you some examples of career paths a business degree can lead you to, but first, what skills will you gain to prepare you for the world of work?
Skills you can gain from this degree include…
Resilience - you will learn how to cope with multiple deadlines, and manage the stress which may come with this
Collaboration - on a Business degree, you will be working in teams regularly, learning how a business is run. As a result, you will learn how to be a leader and delegate, as well as listen to others
Time management - Business students learn to balance learning and work time with free time. This in turn enriches the learning experience
Research skills - on this degree, you will learn how to synthesise information, and package it into a digestible format in your projects and essay writing
Interpersonal skills - Business students learn how to adapt to different professional environments, so they can communicate with a range of clients and colleagues. Opportunities like work placements and internships will allow you to practise these skills on the course
With a degree in business, you can become...
Here are some careers that business graduates commonly go on to hold.
This job is for those graduates keen to provide their expertise in the form of coaching, advice, and guidance to companies and entrepreneurs. You’ll draw on the ins and outs of starting and building a business that you learned during your degree as you work with individuals hoping to start up their own companies, or take an established one to the next level. While it’s unusual to begin working in these kinds of advisory roles without gaining some work experience first, a business degree appeals to potential clients.
As a risk manager, you’ll be responsible for… well, like it says: helping an organisation evaluate and manage potential risks, from financial investments to the impact of political policies. You’ll be drawing on key skills from your degree, like critical thinking, collaboration, and research.
Specialising in an area like finance, general insurance, health care, or life assurance, this role will require you to understand and use complex mathematical formulas to measure risk, do data analysis, and then write reports on your findings - all topics you’ll have the opportunity to cover during your degree.
Forensic accountants combine investigation skills and accounting with analysing data in order to find evidence of financial fraud. During your degree, you’ll develop the ability to critically evaluate information and put together reasoned arguments: exactly what you’ll need for this career.
Business development manager
As a business development manager, you'll be responsible for helping a business to thrive. That might mean looking for sales opportunities, pitching services to new clients, or making sure relationships with existing customers stay positive. The interpersonal skills gained on your degree will help in a role like this, as will your time management skills, as you'll be juggling lots of meetings and possibly managing colleagues too.
A degree in this subject might also take you to…
Whilst you might expect to pursue one of the above roles after this degree, there’s a whole range of careers it could lead you to. Whilst some Business students might take up jobs during their degree, they may then use the skills learned on the course to move into a different career post-uni.
These are some of the roles the University of Sunderland’s students have taken up after graduating...
Widening access and participation for Higher Education
This role includes outreach activities to groups within schools and colleges who are currently under-represented in higher education and supporting them throughout their university journey. Studying a business degree equips you with strong interpersonal skills, and they can be directly applicable to roles which include presentation and audience engagement.
Head of Communications (Fintech)
A relatively new area of business, there are a diverse range of roles within financial technology (fintech) that compliment those with a business management background. From online banking to online shopping, in this sector you’ll draw on exciting specialisms within your degree such as finance and the progression of digital technologies. In a communications role, this will also include capitalising on the interpersonal skills you’ve gained to represent the business, whether this is through PR, on your company’s website, or through social media.
This role can involve fundraising, increasing awareness and engaging with local businesses for a cause you’re passionate about. The foundational skills that come from undertaking a business management degree can directly contribute to the strategic planning and successful running of a charitable organisation.
Procurement/ purchasing manager
As a purchasing manager you’ll be coordinating the procurement of equipment or services for the business you work for. You’ll be required to keep up with modern trends in the industry, which is something you’ll begin to follow during your time at university. The role will utilise a selection of skills at the heart of a business degree, including financial forecasting, negotiation, organisation and research.
One of Sunderland’s graduates moved into the military after their degree, before eventually shifting into the legal sector as a solicitor! The negotiation skills they learnt from the degree proved useful for both of these careers, and the adaptability they gained prepared them for career changes - often essential in a changing financial climate.
15 months after graduating…
The average salary for an international relations student 15 months after graduating is £24,810. According to our stats, roughly 69% of these students have secured a graduate job by this point.
… and long term?
‘Studying Business gives our students the coping skills to be able to adapt, and apply their generic knowledge to different learning organisations’ – Dr Derek Watson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism
Want to know more about one of these careers? Visit the Careers library to learn all about what it entails, and how you can make your way there.