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Careers in Business

With so many degrees, certifications, and hiring statistics to take into consideration, launching a career in business can be daunting. We’ve compiled the academic requirements, employment statistics, geographical data, and other information for five of the most popular professions within the business sector: accountants and auditors, financial analysts, HR specialists, management analysts, and market research analysts.

Accountants and Auditors

In order to manage costs efficiently, companies look to accountants and auditors to maintain financial records. These professionals make sure companies are paying and filing quarterly and yearly taxes in a timely fashion, and they advise decision-makers about how to build sound financial plans. The median yearly salary for accountants and auditors in the United States was $61,690 in 2010.

Employers usually require a bachelor’s degree when hiring accountants and auditors, and many companies prefer a master’s degree. Employment rates in this sector are expected to rise 16% between 2010 and 2020; in contrast, all occupations are expected to rise 14% during the same period. Those who obtain CPA credentials have a higher likelihood of securing long-term, high-paying jobs.

The five states with the highest accountant and auditor employment rates are California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania; cities with the highest employment rates include New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C, Chicago, and Houston.

Financial Analysts

Individuals and companies hoping to invest in stocks and bonds consult with financial analysts. These professionals research market trends and make clear investment recommendations based on individual or company needs. The median yearly income of a financial analyst is $74,350.

While a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for most financial analysts’ careers, a master’s degree in finance or business administration is usually required. The rate of growth in this field is substantially higher than other careers, with a projected rise of 23% between 2010 and 2020.

States with the highest employment rates for financial analysts include New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, and Chicago boast the highest employment numbers by city.

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources (HR) specialists not only find and hire new company talent, they also work to optimize workplace conditions for all employees; such a career is very people-oriented. Day-to-day duties include conducting interviews, training new hires, providing information about company benefits, and educating the staff on various company policies. The median annual salary for these professionals was $52,690 in 2010.

HR specialists may enter the workforce with nothing more than a high school diploma, but a bachelor’s degree is often required and some companies prefer master’s or doctoral credentials. Candidates without degrees may be considered for this role if they have ample experience in customer service or human resources. Between 2010 and 2020, employment in this sector should rise 21%.

California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania are the states with the highest employment rates for HR specialists; the top cities for this profession are New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

Management Analysts

Company leaders who want to refine their operational processes will hire a management analyst to help reduce costs and increase productivity in the workplace. These professionals become familiar with current workflows and consult with managerial staff to streamline these processes. In 2010, individuals in this role earned a median salary of $78,000.

These workers often have a bachelor’s degree when entering the field, while 28% obtain their master’s degree. This profession is expected to grow significantly between 2010 and 2020, rising 22%. Public sector and small consulting firms will be leveraging management analysts the most. The top five states to pursue this career are: California, Virginia, New York, Florida, and Texas. Cities with the highest employment rates include Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Market Research Analysts

These professionals initiate extensive brand and demographic testing to find the perfect target audiences for a company. The data uncovered by market research analysts is used to drive compelling marketing campaigns. The median salary for these individuals was $60,570 in 2010.

Math, computer science, and statistics are put to use in this career; for this reason, many employers seek applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in these fields. This career is projected to grow 41% between 2010 and 2020, nearly three times the estimated rate of growth for all professions.

The top states for marketing analyst employment are Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and California. The best cities to pursue this field are Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco.

No matter which business pathway you choose, thorough research of annual earnings, educational requirements, and other aspects of the industry are essential for making an informed career decision. College websites, job boards, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are all valuable resources that will assist you with your post-graduate job search.