What can I do with a degree in Business?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying business can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

Business careers

The occupations below are a selection of those that may interest Business students and graduates. Although many of these careers are open to graduates in other subjects, a business degree will be useful and some employers may give preference to business graduates.

Advertising Account Executive (also known as Account Handler; Client Services Executive)

Advertising account executives are the bridge between the client and the agency. Account Executives are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of client accounts within the agency. They need to develop effective working relationships with client contacts. They will get involved with solving problems, drafting internal and external communications, and documenting progress on a variety of agency projects.

Prospects job profile: Advertising account executive
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising: Account Executive

Chartered Accountant

Chartered accountants are never limited to one discipline. You can take your career into a diverse range of specialist areas including auditing, taxation, corporate finance, forensic accounting and business recovery.

Prospects job profile: Chartered Accountant
Inside Careers: Chartered Accountancy
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of staff in an organisation. Responsibilities include hiring, developing and looking after employees. This involves functions such as training and monitoring performance.

Prospects job profile: Human resources officer
Chartered Institute for Personal Development: HR generalist roles

Investment Banker

Investment banking relates primarily to helping large organisations access the capital markets to raise money for expansion or other needs. Two main areas of interest in investment banking for graduates are typically Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Proprietary Trading.

Prospects job profile:  Investment banker
Inside Careers: Banking and Investments

Management consultant

In essence, a consultant’s job is to advise an organisation on improvements that can be made. Consultancy usually involves identification and assessment of a problem or analysis of a specific area, reporting findings and formulating recommendations..

Prospects job profile: Management consultant
Inside Careers: Management consultancy

Marketing executive

Marketing executives promote a company or an individual product or brand. This role may include planning campaigns, commissioning market research and communicating with people in all areas of the business, from production to finance, as well as  externally. 

Prospects job profile: Marketing executive
The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Get into Marketing

Project Manager

Project managers are responsible for the planning, management, coordination and financial control of a project. They ensure that a project is completed on time and within budget, that the project's objectives are met and that everyone else is doing their job properly.

Prospects job profile: Project manager

Association for Project Management: Project management career path

Retail manager

Retail managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments. This may involve responsibility for a wide range of business functions, depending on the size of the store and company structure, such as human resources, marketing, logistics, IT, customer service and finance.

Prospects job profile: Retail manager
Target jobs: Retail manager

Logistics and Distribution / Supply chain manager

Supply chain managers plan, coordinate and monitor the transfer of goods and materials from manufacturers and suppliers through to customers. This can include everything from forecasting trends and buying through to transport and distribution.

Prospects job profile: Logistics and distribution manager
Target jobs: Logistics / Distribution manager

If you are unsure of how to start developing your career after graduation, you may consider joining one of the many graduate training schemes, which many large and international companies run. These often allow graduates to spend time in different business functions before opting for a particular career track to pursue.

You could also use your business degree to find a job within start-ups, charities, non-profit organisations and NGOs. If you have a bright idea and the knowledge to back it up, you may even consider launching your own business

Almost every employer needs graduates for commercial and management roles in which a business degree is valued. Engineering, technology and manufacturing companies will recruit graduates into sales, marketing, finance, supply chain, human resources and customer service. Insurance companies have many opportunities in business development, customer operations and marketing as well as actuarial and finance-related roles.  

The big accountancy firms have many career paths in addition to accounting and taxation, including consulting and corporate finance. As a manager in retail or hospitality, you could be running all aspects of a business with a multi-million pound annual turnover. For further information on these and other employers and job sectors, see also:

Other careers

There can be few careers where a knowledge of business would not be useful. Charities rely heavily on marketing and, like public sector organisations, need to deliver value for money and manage their finances effectively. All organisations, from schools to law firms need to recruit, train and develop good staff. 

Journalists may report on business matters (many begin their careers on trade magazines.) Even careers advisers need an appreciation of the business environment where so many graduates will be employed.

Many careers that do not necessarily require business skills and knowledge at the outset have the potential to develop into management roles where this will become important – primary / secondary school teaching, nursingsocial work and law to name a few.

You may be interested in graduate roles outside of Business. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but do not have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:


Skills gained

Business and management degrees are strongly related to practice and therefore provide a clear link between the development of relevant skills and employability of graduates. Graduates should be able to demonstrate a range of cognitive and intellectual skills together with competencies specific to business and management. Graduates should also be able to demonstrate relevant personal and interpersonal skills. These include both subject-specific and generic skills.

Skills of particular relevance to business and management

  • People management: to include communications, team building, leadership and motivating others.
  • Problem-solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
  • Research: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Commercial acumen: based on an awareness of the key drivers for business success, causes of failure and the importance of providing customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty.
  • Innovation, creativity and enterprise: the ability to act entrepreneurially to generate, develop and communicate ideas, manage and exploit intellectual property, gain support, and deliver successful outcomes.
  • Numeracy: the use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.
  • Networking: an awareness of the interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation and their use in generating business contacts. 

Other generic skills and attributes

  • Ability to work collaboratively both internally and with external customers and an awareness of mutual interdependence.
  • Ability to work with people from a range of cultures.
  • Articulating and effectively explaining information.
  • Building and maintaining relationships.
  • Communication and listening, including the ability to produce clear, structured business communications in a variety of media.
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy.
  • Conceptual and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • Self-management: a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, to be resilient, self-starting and appropriately assertive, to plan, organise and manage time.
  • Self-reflection: self-analysis and an awareness/sensitivity to diversity in terms of people and cultures. This includes a continuing appetite for development.

Source: QAA Subject benchmark statement

This is not an exhaustive list of skills – you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. Find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them.

Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources.

Prospects webpage: Over view of the business sector in the UK

General graduate vacancy sites
The websites listed below will be useful when searching for vacancies and companies offering graduate jobs, internships and placement years.
TARGET Jobs  Search employers by name or industry sector
Milkround  Vacancies A-Z by employer or by industry sector, plus careers advice
Glassdoor Jobs, company information and reviews and interview feedback
GradJobs Employer A-Z, magazine and recruitment events
The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers – as chosen by graduates
The Job Crowd Includes a feature on “Top Companies to Work For”
Inside Careers covers actuaries, accountants, management consultancy, tax advisors
Rate My Placement Internships and year-in-industry jobs and company reviews
Entrypark Employers across Europe

Further study

The proportion of business graduates going on to further study (both academic and vocational) is relatively low when compared with all UK graduates as a whole. Most business graduates are keen to get out into the world of work and put their skills and knowledge into practice.

Postgraduate study, especially for an MBA, is likely to follow around five years of graduate-level work experience. However, some postgraduate courses may allow you to specialise in a particular aspect of your degree, such as Marketing or Human Resource ManagementQualified Teacher Status is essential if you want to teach business studies in state schools.

Many graduate schemes will give you the opportunity to study for a postgraduate professional qualification, especially in areas such as finance and accountancy, human resources, marketing and purchasing.

Other careers, some, such as teaching or law, will require further study for a relevant professional qualification. In some careers, such as journalism, a postgraduate degree is not a requirement, but may be an advantage, while there are many careers that will put more emphasis on personal skills than on academic qualifications.

The job profiles section of the Prospects website will tell you whether postgraduate study is essential, useful or not needed for a specific career.

There are many reasons for choosing to continue into postgraduate study. Whatever your motivation, you need to consider issues such as your suitability, funding options for postgraduate study and research the options available to you to enable a fully informed decision to be made.

Looking for Careers Advice?  

The Careers and Employability Service is open to all University of Kent students and recent graduates. We support students from the moment they start their course, throughout their student life and up to three years after their graduation.   

Book an appointment with a Careers Advisor today

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