20 Best Business Majors for the Future [2021 Guide]

Compare business majors for the future based on salary and projected job growth.

Best Business Majors for the Future

Enrolling in one of the best business majors for the future is a smart way to set yourself up for success.

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Earning your business degree online, or on-campus, in a growing field can help you gain the skills and knowledge that employers are seeking.

What Are the Best Business Majors for the Future?

Methodology: The following business majors were included based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for average annual salary and expected job growth over the next 10 years.

Click on the area you’re interested in to jump to that section of the page.

  1. Accounting
  2. Business Administration
  3. Economics
  4. Entrepreneurship
  5. Finance
  6. Forensic Accounting
  7. Healthcare Administration
  8. Hospitality Management
  9. Human Resources
  10. International Business
  11. Internet Marketing
  12. Management
  13. Management Information Systems
  14. Marketing
  15. Non-Profit Management
  16. Project Management
  17. Retail & Sales Management
  18. Small Business
  19. Sports Management
  20. Supply Chain & Logistics

All of these different types of business degrees can help provide a rewarding career for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Accounting

accountant working in her office

From payroll to taxation, accountants handle a number of essential responsibilities in a business. If you choose a career in accounting, you are likely to spend your days working with numbers and calculations.

You may be in charge of keeping financial records, auditing statements for discrepancies, processing payroll checks, submitting tax forms, or preparing financial reports.

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In school, you may study cost, financial, management, and tax accounting. You may learn to use accounting software, navigate tax laws, write financial statements, audit records, and operate with ethics and integrity.

  • Top job to consider: Accountant
  • Median annual salary: $73,560
  • Projected job growth: 4%

Accountants work in a variety of fields. You may take care of all of the accounting needs in a small business or be one of many accountants in a large corporation.

There’s also the possibility that you could provide accounting services for a non-profit organization, a medical group, or a school system. Another line of work you may pursue with this degree is auditing. Government agencies, in particular, need both accountants and auditors.

Business Administration

general manager working in her office

If you want your college education to provide a well-balanced overview of many aspects of business, choose a generalist degree in business administration. This program is versatile and can help prepare you to take a variety of different business positions.

It can also help to provide a good foundation for a more specialized Master of Business Administration program.

The curriculum for this program may cover many business topics, including accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, business law, and information technology. Other classes may survey leadership, management, and team dynamics.

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You may be able to choose a few electives; you could concentrate those classes on one area or select courses from different business disciplines.

  • Top job to consider: Administrative Services Manager
  • Median annual salary: $98,890
  • Projected job growth: 6.5%

Although there are a variety of jobs you may be able to do with this degree, management positions are common. You might be a general manager of a retail establishment, or you might manage a specific area of a company, such as the facilities staff.

Economics

economist talking to a colleague about his report

Money matters influence people, policies, programs, and politics. To understand how economic circumstances play a role in the big-picture scheme of things, and then use that information to make accurate decisions, consider a degree in economics.

This may be a good program for you if you’re interested in finance, trade, unemployment, global markets, inflation, or economic policy.

The courses for this program may cover microeconomics and macroeconomics. You may also study statistics, economic analysis, banking, and legal regulations. Some schools’ economics programs have a substantial math component that includes classes like calculus.

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Your program may have a foreign language requirement; this can be helpful if you plan to work in international markets.

  • Top job to consider: Financial Risk Specialist
  • Median annual salary: $83,660
  • Projected job growth: 5%

Many economics majors go on to take analyst positions, whether as risk, credit, financial, or fraud analysts. You may also consider going back to school for further studies; with a master’s degree or a doctorate, you might someday become an economist.

Entrepreneurship

entrepreneur searching the web on her tablet

You’ve got a creative spirit, a head for business, and plenty of drive. Perhaps channeling your efforts into getting new businesses off the ground is the career path for you. A degree in entrepreneurship can help provide an academic foundation that will help you survive in the world of startups.

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Your classes may address management and leadership. You’ll take a variety of fundamental business classes that cover topics like marketing, accounting, and human resources. Other courses will likely focus on startup and small-business issues like raising capital, developing creativity, and forming a business plan.

  • Top job to consider: Top Executive
  • Median annual salary: $107,680
  • Projected job growth: 4%

Many people enter this degree program because they want to open their own companies. Although your business will likely start out small, you may eventually supervise more and more people and take on an executive role.

Alternatively, the innovation and leadership skills that you develop in college could help you be a management analyst or business consultant who helps others evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

Finance

Financial Manager presents his work during a meeting

Every business has to think about money โ€” where it comes from, where it goes, and how it can best be used. Studying for a degree in finance can help you gain the skills necessary for evaluating those questions and formulating reliable answers.

Your work can help organizations make sound financial decisions and meet their goals.

To earn this degree, you may study financial accounting, portfolio management, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Markets around the world are interconnected, so you may also discuss finance in global settings.

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Because finance professionals need to analyze data and present the findings to other departments in clear, easy-to-understand formats, you may take classes on written and oral communication for business settings.

  • Top job to consider: Financial Manager
  • Median annual salary: $134,180
  • Projected job growth: 15%

Finance students may become financial analysts or bankers. With experience, you may be able to advance to a job as a financial manager. With this degree, you may also become a financial advisor who oversees investments for people or organizations.

Forensic Accounting

forensic accountant checking documents for validation

It would be best if all accountants and businesses kept honest, accurate records, but that doesn’t always happen. If you want to use your business and accounting skills to spot discrepancies and get to the root of accounting problems, then you could consider a career in forensic accounting.

To earn a degree in this field, you may study a variety of accounting-related topics, including managerial accounting, financial accounting, and taxation. You may also learn how to conduct audits and use accounting software.

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Your courses may introduce you to the fundamentals of forensic accounting and fraud investigation, and you may become familiar with the psychology that plays into financial crimes. Other classes may cover financial laws and ethics.

  • Top job to consider: Financial Analysts
  • Median annual salary: $83,660
  • Projected job growth: 5%

With this degree, you might work for the government or a law enforcement agency. Private companies sometimes hire fraud analysts as well. You might want to consider pursuing your Certified Fraud Examiner credentials.

Healthcare Administration

health service managers in a meeting

If you know that you want to use your business skills in a medical setting, then a degree in healthcare administration could be your top choice. Because the demand for healthcare services is expected to rise over the next several years, this is projected to be a growing field.

This program can help introduce you to the fundamentals of the American healthcare system and the laws that regulate medical practice.

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You may study how to maintain accurate records, operate within a budget, keep patient data secure, ensure that your organization is paid for its work, and improve patient satisfaction. Healthcare safety and ethics may be discussed as well.

  • Top job to consider: Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Median annual salary: $104,280
  • Projected job growth: 32%

Healthcare administrators, also known as medical and health services managers, oversee the operations of healthcare departments or facilities. You might look for a job at a clinic, a hospital, or a nursing home. There are also government jobs available in this field.

Hospitality Management

restaurant manager talking to a chef

Your gift for helping others have a good time and feel at home may lead to a successful career. A degree in hospitality management can help you gain essential skills for helping others have experiences that they won’t soon forget.

This program may provide an overview of the tourism industry as well as in-depth looks at its various branches. You may study hotels, restaurants, casinos, entertainment venues, and meeting facilities.

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The classes may teach you to plan menus, stick to a budget, practice food safety, and negotiate contracts. You may also talk about managing teams and motivating others to serve customers with excellence.

  • Top job to consider: Food Service Manager
  • Median annual salary: $56,590
  • Projected job growth: 1%

Restaurant management is one of the fastest-growing job options for a hospitality professional, but there are a number of other careers that you may be able to pursue with this degree as well.

For example, you may try your hand at event planning, casino management, convention organization, lodging management, or cruise directing.

Human Resources

human resource manager talking to employees

Every organization needs qualified, engaged staff members. The better the employees are, the better the organization can be. Studying human relations can help you learn to contribute to company success in the areas of staffing, training, employee retention, and conflict management.

Studying human resources can help you understand what makes a good employee. It can help you learn to motivate people and equip them with skills for job improvement.

To help your organization have good team members from day one, you may learn to conduct interviews, select the right candidates, and attract recruits to your company. In this program, you may also study compensation, benefits, and workplace morale.

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Because HR professionals are often mediators, you may learn to manage conflict, work with labor specialists, and encourage satisfactory compromises.

  • Top job to consider: Human Resources Manager
  • Median annual salary: $121,220
  • Projected job growth: 6%

HR jobs are available in businesses, non-profit organizations, academic settings, and government agencies. You may need to start in a specialist position and work your way towards management.

International Business

multi-ethnic Operations Manager during a meeting

Business activities span the globe. During your business career, you might work for an international company that has offices in your hometown, or you might need to communicate regularly with suppliers from other countries.

You may also spend time overseas for a short-term trip or a long-term placement in a foreign office. For any of these circumstances, understanding global business practices can be an invaluable asset.

The courses for this program may be similar to general business courses, but they’ll incorporate an international perspective. For example, you might study business laws in countries around the world or talk about ways to market your product in foreign countries.

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You will probably need to study a second language during your time in school.

  • Top job to consider: Operations Manager
  • Median annual salary: $103,650
  • Projected job growth: 6%

Majoring in international business can help prepare you to work in domestic settings or overseas. Taking on a management role, such as operations management or supply chain management, is a promising possibility.

Internet Marketing

advertising team sharing their ideas during a meeting

Public relations and marketing are more and more often taking place in online settings. Studying for a degree in online or internet marketing can help you learn to operate in the digital world.

To earn this degree, you may have to become a whiz at using a variety of digital tools and concepts, such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email, digital analytics, and social media platforms.

You may also study aspects of advertising and public relations; these classes may cover communication, consumer psychology, storytelling, and brand management.

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Of course, before completing your program, you may learn to integrate these various disciplines by exploring specific methods of engaging customers through digital platforms like social media, websites, and mobile technology.

  • Top job to consider: Public Relations Specialist
  • Median annual salary: $62,810
  • Projected job growth: 7%

Jobs like social media strategist and digital engagement specialist are considered subsets of the public relations field. You may also choose to focus on the marketing side of this degree with a job as an advertising or promotions manager.

Management

administrative manager checking her staff

You know that you’re a good leader and that you can inspire others to follow you. You can put that talent to work in a management role. To prepare, consider earning your bachelor’s in management either through a traditional program, or through an accelerated business degree program.

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You may take classes on team dynamics and organizational structure. The courses may talk about navigating change, making decisions, communicating with others, and heading up projects. You may also learn about handling money wisely, training staff, understanding the supply chain, and making ethical choices.

  • Top job to consider: Management Analyst
  • Median annual salary: $87,660
  • Projected job growth: 10%

The lessons you learn in a management program may transfer to many different types of managerial roles. You may be a general manager, an operations manager, a retail manager, or an administrative manager for a small business, a large corporation, a non-profit, or a government agency.

One of the quickest-growing jobs in management is being a management consultant or analyst who provides suggestions on ways that organizations can improve their management structures.

Management Information Systems

Computer Systems Analysts checking the data room

Modern organizations possess a good deal of digital data, and they need complex systems for storing, organizing, and retrieving it. As a professional in management information systems, you can help make sure that those systems function smoothly so that information is readily available.

A program in management information systems can help you learn operating systems and programming languages. The classes may address network design and structure, and you’ll talk about ways to keep information safe and secure.

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Other topics may include troubleshooting problems, maintaining quality services, conducting business in digital spaces, and using data for decision-making.

  • Top job to consider: Computer Systems Analyst
  • Median annual salary: $93,730
  • Projected job growth: 7%

There are many computer-related jobs available to people with this degree, and several of them are expected to have significant job growth in the coming years. Positions for both computer systems analysts and database administrators are growing at a 7% and 10% respectively.

Other related careers for which you might be able to use this degree include software developer and network architect.

Marketing

marketing team collaborating on a project during a meeting

You’ve always had a gift for being able to persuade others. This talent may help you find a lucrative career in marketing or advertising. A bachelor’s degree in marketing can help you develop the skills that you’ll need for professional success in this field.

The courses in this program can help you learn how to perform market analysis so you can determine what products or services to offer. Along those same lines, you may also learn about consumer behavior so that you’ll have a better idea of what can help attract people to your business.

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The program may also cover prices, promotions, sales, online marketing, and team management.

  • Top job to consider: Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager
  • Median annual salary: $141,490
  • Projected job growth: 6%

As a marketing professional, you may be employed directly by a company to take care of their promotions or branding needs in-house. You may also get a job with a marketing agency that provides advertising services for a variety of clients.

Non-Profit Management

team of volunteers cleaning a beach

For most businesses, making money is a top priority. Things are a bit different for non-profit organizations. Although they still need revenue to function, they have a higher mission in mind than accumulating wealth.

Playing a pivotal role in one of these organizations requires a unique set of business skills, and a non-profit management program can help you learn these essential skills.

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The classes that you take may cover organizational leadership and governance structures for non-profits. Other courses may address budgeting, grants, marketing, and project management. You may also learn to develop good relationships between your organization and the public.

  • Top job to consider: Fundraising Manager
  • Median annual salary: $118,430
  • Projected job growth: 9%

Fundraisers are public relations professionals who are good at encouraging people to support an organization’s work.

You may also serve on the operations staff of a non-profit, be the program director, head up general public relations for the group, or coordinate community outreach. Potential work settings include charities, hospitals, religious groups, schools, and museums.

Project Management

project managers discussing a project

When a project is in the works, many details must be addressed. Successful project managers know how to keep the big picture in mind while ensuring that someone is taking care of every little piece of the puzzle. A degree in project management can help prepare for that sort of role.

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This degree can help you learn about the project management cycle and how to oversee a project during each step. Other topics may include contract negotiation, problem-solving, procurement, team supervision, and risk management. You may also talk about overseeing projects in global settings.

  • Top job to consider: Construction Manager
  • Median annual salary: $97,180
  • Projected job growth: 8.5%

Project managers work in industries like construction, healthcare, and manufacturing. Depending on the career path that you choose, you may need to gain additional training to prepare you for leadership roles.

For example, construction managers need to understand engineering and building materials. For any specialty, becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management can be beneficial.

Retail & Sales Management

retail manager of a clothing store checking their products

Some people thrive on convincing others to use a product or a service. If that describes you, then you might be an ideal fit for a leadership job in sales or retail.

Although you often don’t need a college degree to land a retail job, moving into a sales management position is likely to require a bachelor’s degree.

To become a good sales manager, you may need to learn about how consumers think, what motivates them to make a purchase, and how you can build good customer relationships.

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The courses may cover product procurement and other behind-scenes details that are involved in retail management. You may discuss particular sales niches, such as food and beverage sales.

  • Top job to consider: Sales Manager
  • Median annual salary: $132,290
  • Projected job growth: 4%

You may use this degree to work in a retail setting, such as a chain clothing store, a supermarket, an automobile dealership, or a store that you own. Another option is to oversee a sales team that markets wholesale goods or supplies to other businesses.

Small Business

business owner of a flower shop checking online orders on laptop

Some people have their sights set on working for mega-corporations, but others prefer more intimate settings. To focus your career on local businesses โ€” perhaps even one that you own โ€” think about getting a bachelor’s degree in small business.

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This program usually includes a variety of fundamental business classes on topics like budgeting and project management. To get you ready for the small-business setting, you may also take courses on creating business plans, coming up with product ideas, and running online shops.

  • Top job to consider: General Manager
  • Median annual salary: $103,650
  • Projected job growth: 6%

When you work in small businesses, you may have a hand in many different roles, including marketing and accounting. The most accurate title for this position might be a general manager. Of course, you may also hold a specific title like a sales manager or simply be known as a business owner.

The skills that you gain in this program may also be useful in management roles in larger business settings.

Sports Management

sports managers checking their list of athletes on the clipboard

If you love both business and athletics, then you might thrive in a sports management program. With a career in the athletic industry, you may spend a lifetime immersed in the world of casual or competitive sports.

Studying for this degree can help you explore the role of athletics in modern culture. You may also discuss legal and ethical issues that pertain to athletes, coaches, and team management. To give you a strong business foundation, you may study budgeting, marketing, ticket pricing, and media relations.

  • Top job to consider: Athletic Business Manager
  • Median annual salary: $75,420
  • Projected job growth: 12%

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The skills you gain in a sports management program can help prepare you to oversee an athletic facility, direct sports programs at a school, or conduct marketing and public relations efforts on behalf of a team.

Supply Chain & Logistics

Distribution Manager checking their products for delivery

Whether by truck, train, plane, or ship, materials and products are constantly moving from one place to another. If you want to be a part of that process, earning your online business bachelor’s degree in supply chain and logistics can help.

This degree program typically includes a class that will introduce you to the supply chain from beginning to end. You may learn about obtaining raw materials, negotiating contracts, and troubleshooting problems.

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The courses may also cover managing inventory, moving goods, storing products, and making decisions. You will probably need to learn about navigating the supply chain in international settings and dealing with importing and exporting goods.

  • Top job to consider: Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager
  • Median annual salary: $96,390
  • Projected job growth: 4%

In this field, you might start as a logistician who makes sure that inventory, supply chain, or delivery needs are met.

Over time, you may move into a supervisory or managerial role. Places of employment may include warehouses, trucking companies, manufacturing plants, or airports.

What Are the Top Business Degrees in Demand?

Top Business Degrees in Demand

To decide which online business majors are best for the future, it’s smart to take a look at some of the business careers with the most growth potential. Once you select an in-demand job that appeals to you, it may be easier to narrow down your college major.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of these careers in the business field include:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager $141,490
Financial Manager $134,180
Fundraising Manager $118,430
Medical and Health Services Manager $104,280
Administrative Services Manager $98,890
Construction Manager $97,180
Computer Systems Analyst $93,730
Management Analyst $87,660
Athletic Business Manager $75,420
Food Service Manager $56,590

Keep in mind that median salaries are based on employment statistics from around the country and reflect the experience and education of many different workers in these fields. Multiple variables are at play, so these figures are not a guarantee of your future earnings.

In general, though, you are likely to increase your salary as you gain experience and take on additional responsibilities. Earning a master’s or a doctorate can help contribute to your salary growth as well.

Which Is the Best Major in Business?

Which Is the Best Major in Business

Above all, the best business major for you is the one that is a good fit for your interests and abilities.

For example, if you are passionate about preventing white-collar crime, you might feel the most fulfilled in a forensic accounting program, even though that degree doesn’t necessarily have the highest growth or salary potential.

If you’re having a hard time narrowing down your interests, then you might want to give more weight to the earnings and growth potential of various jobs. Healthcare management, finance, and management are projected to be some of the top business fields in coming years.

What Business Degree Is in High Demand?

As the population ages, medical services are increasingly in demand. Not only does this mean that more doctors and nurses will be needed, but it also means that there will be more positions for healthcare administrators.

Jobs for medical and health services managers are increasing at an 32% rate, making healthcare management a top business degree for the future.

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Finance and other money-related degrees are also in high demand. Financial management positions are increasing at a 15% rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics). You may need a degree in finance, economics, or accounting for these positions.

What’s the Best Business Majors by Salary?

With a median annual salary of $141,490 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), marketing and promotions managers command some of the top earnings in the business world. For that career, consider a degree in marketing or internet marketing, which are among the most popular college majors currently.

Financial managers often earn high salaries. You may be able do that job with a degree in finance, accounting, or economics. Sales managers can also bring in substantial earnings. A bachelor’s in sales management could be useful for that job.

What Are the Best Business Degrees?

businessman working on her laptop

Job openings in the business world are growing rapidly, particularly in the fields of investment, healthcare, and management consulting. To make your mark in one of these areas, a business degree in healthcare management, finance, business administration, or management can help.

Once you find the business program that ignites your passion, it’s time to enroll in college. Work towards your future by submitting applications to your top schools.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.