Business degrees are hands-down the most popular choices for undergraduate studies in the UK, and for good reason. It’s one of the most diverse and well-rounded fields of higher education out there, offering a vast array of transferable skills that can lead you into almost any industry. Here we’ve picked out some of the most common areas that business graduates go into after their studies.
Any business studies degree will explore some aspects of finance and accounting. After all, cooking the books is a key element of any business. Jobs in accounting usually involve reviewing the company’s current and past financial situation, advising on tax, costs, record management and transactions. You’ll also take a role in mergers and acquisitions, whether it’s active or purely advisory, and have responsibilities regarding the prevention of fraud and negligence.
If you want to specialise in finance you’ll need to gain further qualifications after your business degree. Fret not, though; most large accountancy firms offer on-the-job training programmes with their graduate roles.
Retail and sales
Spanning from the management of a single store to regional and even global management, there’s a whole range of opportunities in the field of retail sales that goes beyond shelf-stacking and cold-calling. Big companies often have fast-track programmes for graduates looking to move into management positions which will further (and quickly) develop your skills in business management while getting plenty of on-the-job experience.
Similarly, sales doesn’t have to mean scanning items through a till. It can mean anything from automotive, technology or medical supplies to homes, businesses and intellectual property. No matter what the product, a good understanding of business is going to be a huge advantage to getting those agreements signed.
A big part of any business management skillset is people management, and nothing say’s people management more than human resources. If you’re interested in recruitment and training, and managing budgets and payroll, then HR might be the right route for you. HR managers and directors often have open-door policies, needing excellent communication and interpersonal skills. It’s a very diplomatic area of any business, needing a gentle approach that helps employees and the business alike.
You’ll find managerial roles in any company and within any field, so once you’ve developed a strong track record in management it can be easy to shift between industries. The main responsibility of a manager is to provide structural and strategic guidance to the company or team, and it takes a lot of experience to do this well. If your goal is to reach a managerial position it’s going to take a fair bit of leg-work, developing skills in people management and strategy through mid-level work experience for a number of years.
It’s going to take some extra training, but the transition from business to law can make a lot of sense if you’re interested in corporate law. Your business degree will give you a good footing for understanding the workings and priorities of a corporation. Bringing that viewpoint with you to a law conversion course can make absolute sense, and firms are becoming more attracted to people who have switched to law at postgraduate level and can offer a non-law perspective. Check out The University of Law’s GDL conversion course for more information on how you can make the shift to a legal career.
If you’ve got a burgeoning idea for your own business, your newly acquired skills will see you through the set-up and management of a small business. It might be a slow-burner that you’ll need to do while also working for a company to keep a roof over your head, but with enough hard graft and perseverance you could end up being your own boss. If you want to get some experience of starting a small business, look for graduate jobs at start-ups so you can see what it’s like to build a business from the ground up.