20 Best Business Majors for the Future [2020 Guide]

We’ve identified the 20 best 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. Earning your degree in a growing field means that, in the coming years, you’ll be ready with the skills and knowledge that employers are seeking.

What Are the Best Business Majors for the Future?

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  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

Each of these business majors can 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.

In school, you’ll study cost, financial, management, and tax accounting. You’ll 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: $70,500
  • Projected job growth: 6%

Accountants work in a variety of fields. You could 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 could 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 prepare you to take a variety of different business positions.

It can also serve as a good foundation for a more specialized Master of Business Administration program.

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


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: $96,180
  • Projected job growth: 7%

Although there are a variety of jobs you could do with this degree, management positions are common. You could be a general manager of a retail establishment, or you could 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 could 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 will cover microeconomics and macroeconomics. You’ll also study statistics, economic analysis, banking, and legal regulations. Some schools’ economics programs have a substantial math component that includes classes like calculus.


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

  • Top job to consider: Risk analyst
  • Median annual salary: $63,869
  • Projected job growth: 6%

Many economics majors go on to take analyst positions, whether as risk, credit, financial, or fraud analysts. You could also consider going back to school for further studies; with a master’s degree or a doctorate, you could 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 provide an academic foundation that will help you survive in the world of startups.

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: $104,980
  • Projected job growth: 6%

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. By studying for a degree in finance, you can 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 will study financial accounting, portfolio management, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Markets around the world are interconnected, so you may also discuss finance in global settings.


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: $127,990
  • Projected job growth: 16%

Finance students can become financial analysts or bankers. With experience, you may be able to advance to a job as a financial manager. With this degree, you could 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’ll study a variety of accounting-related topics, including managerial accounting, financial accounting, and taxation. You will also learn how to conduct audits and use accounting software.

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

  • Top job to consider: Fraud examiner or analyst
  • Median annual salary: $70,280
  • Projected job growth: 6%

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 will introduce you to the fundamentals of the American healthcare system and the laws that regulate medical practice.

You’ll 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 will be discussed, as well.

  • Top job to consider: Medical and health services manager
  • Median annual salary: $99,730
  • Projected job growth: 18%

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 can lead to a successful career. With a degree in hospitality management, you’ll gain essential skills for helping others have experiences that they won’t soon forget.

This program will 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.

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

  • Top job to consider: Food service manager
  • Median annual salary: $54,240
  • Projected job growth: 11%

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

For example, you could 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. By studying human relations, you’ll learn to contribute to company success in the areas of staffing, training, employee retention, and conflict management.

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

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


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

  • Top job to consider: Human resources manager
  • Median annual salary: $113,300
  • Projected job growth: 7%

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 could 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 will 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.


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

  • Top job to consider: Operations manager
  • Median annual salary: $100,930
  • Projected job growth: 7%

International business majors are prepared to work in domestic settings or overseas. Taking on a management role, such as operations management or supply chain management, is a promising option.

Internet Marketing

advertising team sharing their ideas during a meeting

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

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

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


Of course, before completing your program, you’ll 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: $60,000
  • Projected job growth: 6%

Jobs like social media strategist and digital engagement specialist are considered subsets of the public relations field. You could 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 business bachelor’s degree in management.

You’ll take classes on team dynamics and organizational structure. The courses will talk about navigating change, making decisions, communicating with others, and heading up projects.

You’ll 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: $83,610
  • Projected job growth: 14%

The lessons you learn in a management program can transfer to many different types of managerial roles. You could 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 will cover operating systems and programming languages. The classes will address network design and structure, and you’ll talk about ways to keep information safe and secure.

Other topics will 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: $88,740
  • Projected job growth: 9%

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 9% rate.

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. Make a lucrative career of that talent by going into 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 will teach you how to perform market analysis so you can determine what products or services to offer. Along those same lines, you’ll also learn about consumer behavior so that you’ll have a better idea of what will attract people to your business.

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

  • Top job to consider: Advertising, promotions or marketing manager
  • Median annual salary: $132,620
  • Projected job growth: 8%

As a marketing professional, you could be employed directly by a company to take care of their promotions or branding needs in-house. You could 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 you can learn those essentials in a non-profit management program.

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

  • Top job to consider: Fundraiser
  • Median annual salary: $56,950
  • Projected job growth: 9%

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

You could 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 get you ready for that sort of role.

Students in this field learn about the project management cycle and how to oversee a project during each step. Other topics 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: $93,370
  • Projected job growth: 10%


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 won’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’ll need to learn about how consumers think, what motivates them to make a purchase, and how you can build good customer relationships.


The courses will 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: $124,220
  • Projected job growth: 5%

You could 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.

You should expect this program to include 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: $100,930
  • Projected job growth: 7%

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 could 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 can 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 can spend a lifetime immersed in the world of casual or competitive sports.

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

  • Top job to consider: Athletic business manager
  • Median annual salary: $66,040
  • Projected job growth: 10%


This degree can help you become a sports manager, also known as an athletic business manager. You could work on behalf of an individual athlete, a mix of clients, or a whole team.

The skills you gain in a sports management program could also 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, earn your online business bachelor’s degree in supply chain and logistics.

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

The courses will 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 or distribution manager
  • Median annual salary: $94,730
  • Projected job growth: 6%

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 could 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 will be easier to narrow down your college major.

 

Career Median Annual Salary
Medical and Health Services Manager $99,730
Financial Manager $127,990
Management Analyst $83,610
Food Service Manager $54,240
Athletic Business Manager $66,040
Construction Manager $93,370
Fundraiser $56,950
Computer Systems Analyst $88,740
Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager $132,620
Administrative Services Manager $96,180

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 contribute to your salary growth as well.

Questions Related to Narrowing Down the Best Business Majors

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. Some of the top business fields for the coming years are healthcare management, finance, and management.

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 18% rate, making healthcare management a top business degree for the future.

Finance and other money-related degrees are also in high demand. Financial management positions are increasing at a 16% rate. You’ll need a degree in finance, economics, or accounting.

What’s the Best Business Majors by Salary?

With a median annual salary of $132,620, 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.

Financial managers also earn high salaries. You could 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, think about a business degree in healthcare management, finance, business administration, or management.

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

This article is brought to you by
Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
Author
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
Director