Learning Center

Business Careers: Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors typically use the skills acquired through a bachelor’s degree to analyze client’s finances, suggest strategies for improving cash flow and implement financial planning recommendations. (1, 3) These professionals not only generally monitor a client’s portfolio and help them plan for retirement, they also typically attend conventions and seminars to market their services and gain new clients. They also usually spend a great deal of time researching new investment opportunities and keeping clients investment plans up-to-date. (1, 3, 5)
How to Become a Personal Financial Advisor
To assess the financial needs of individuals, personal financial advisors typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. (1) According to ONet Online in 2010, 57 percent of these workers had a bachelor’s degree, while 21 percent had a post-bachelor’s certificate and another 11 percent held a professional degree. (3) While degree programs in personal finance are available, these professionals could get the skills they need through several majors including finance, accounting, business and economics. (1) These programs are designed to provide students with a broad education in accounting, management, business law and marketing with career specific courses in investments, taxation, risk management and estate planning. Prospective financial advisors gain real-world training through the completion of a capstone experience or internship. (4, 5)
Depending on the type of investment advice these professionals provide or the investments managed and bought for clients, personal financial advisors may need to be licensed through their state. Specific details about the different licenses and regulations are available through the North American Securities Administration Association. (1) Voluntary certification — as a Certified Financial Planner — is available through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. In addition to holding a bachelor’s and having three years of experience, applicants must pass a computer-based, multiple-choice test that covers several facets of the financial planning process. (1, 6)
Salary
Due to the aging population and longer life spans, the need for personal financial advisors is expected to be much faster than average – at 27 percent – from 2012-2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (1) Personal financial advisors made a mean annual wage of $99,920 in May 2013; however, the lowest 10 percent made $33,190 or less, while the top 10 percent made $187,199 or more. The BLS listed the annual mean wages for the top five industries with the highest level of employment as follows in May 2013: (2)
• Other Financial Investment Activities: $117,460
• Securities and Commodities Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage: $104,900
• Depository Credit Intermediation: $74,730
• Nondepository Credit Intermediation: $68,530
• Management of Companies Enterprises: $92,700
Work Life
Usually in the comfort of an office or cubicle, personal financial advisors meet with clients to discuss financial goals and explain financial services. While these workers may work a full-time, standard workweek, several financial advisors attend meetings, teach financial classes or travel to conferences on evenings and weekends to gain additional clients. About a third worked more than 40-hour workweeks, and 20 percent were self-employed in 2012, according to the BLS. (1)
Citation
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Personal Financial Advisor, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm (visited October 13, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes132052.htm (visited October 13, 2014).
3. ONet Online, Personal Financial Advisor, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2052.00 (visited October 13, 2014).
4. Liberty University, Financial Planning, on the Internet at http://www.liberty.edu/academics/business/index.cfm?PID=26855 (visited October 13, 2014).
5. Franklin University, Financial Planning Degree Program, on the Internet at http://www.franklin.edu/financial-planning-bachelors-degree-program (visited October 13, 2014).
6. CFP Board, About the CFP Exam, on the Internet at http://www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements/cfp-exam-requirement/about-cfp-exam (visited October 13, 2014).

Business Careers: Human Resources Managers

A day in the life of a human resources manager is usually full of planning and coordinating employee talent and handling contracts or disputes. Typically with extensive experience and a bachelor’s degree, these workers could choose to concentrate their talents in labor relations, payroll or recruiting, or provide a broad range of services. In addition to planning and structuring an employer’s orientation and administering compensation and benefits, these individuals usually travel to job fairs and conventions to recruit new employees. (1, 3)
How to Become a Human Resources Manager
The path to becoming a human resources (HR) manager typically involves a bachelor’s degree program and about five years of work experience. (1) The coursework in a bachelor’s program usually focuses on employment law, organizational communication, management principles, compensation and collective bargaining. Business courses in management, accounting, marketing principles and global business generally round out a HR manager’s education. Additionally, students gain real-world business training through labs, internships and/or a senior seminar. (4,5)
Experience –usually about five years – in compensation and benefits or the Human Resources Information System is also likely essential for working in this field. Experience could be gained by working in a lower position, such as a HR specialist, or by earning an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree. (1, 4, 5) To possibly strengthen their resume and job opportunities, HR managers could also earn voluntary certification through the HR Certification Institute or the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, among other associations. To earn these certifications, HR managers generally must have a bachelor’s degree and meet experience requirements, as well as pass an exam. (1, 6)
Salary
From 2012-2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that HR managers would see a 13 percent or average growth in positions. However, this is considerably better than the slower-than-average growth projected for management occupations in general that same decade. (1) In May 2013, the mean wages for human resources managers were $111,180. Most human resource managers earned between $58,780 and $177,460 in 2013 stated the BLS. The top paying industry that year was securities and commodity contracts and intermediation and brokerage, and top paying states were New Jersey, Delaware, D.C., Pennsylvania and New York. In 2013, the BLS listed the following industries with the highest level of employment: (2)
• Management of Companies and Enterprises: $125,940
• Local Government: $94,520
• General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $108,550
• Employment Services: $109,670
• Elementary and Secondary Schools: $100,960
Work Life
In 2012, there were more than 100,000 human resources managers working in nearly every industry, including management, manufacturing, government and health care, stated the BLS. While most of their work, like monitoring staff and conducting orientations, can be completed in the comfort of their office, they may be required to travel to recruit new employees. This job is a regular full-time nine-to-five position; however, overtime may be required at times to handle paper work or attend meetings. (1, 4, 5)
Citation
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Manager, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-2 (visited October 13, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oes113121.htm (visited October 13, 2014).
3. ONet Online, Human Resources Manager, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-3121.00 (visited October 13, 2014).
4. Regis University, BS in Human Resource Management, on the Internet at http://regis.edu/CPS/Academics/Degrees-and-Programs/Undergraduate-Programs/BS-Human-Resource-Management.aspx (visited October 13, 2014).
5. DeVry University, Business Administration Program, on the Internet at http://www.devry.edu/degree-programs/college-business-management/business-administration-about.html (visited October 13, 2014).
6. HR Certification Institute, Certifications, at http://www.hrci.org/our-programs/our-hr-certifications/phr (visited October 13, 2014).

Online Finance Programs

Undergraduate and graduate programs are available in fully online formats to students interested in pursuing a career in the financial sector. These programs are designed to provide students with the financial expertise and management knowledge to recommend investments, research financial data, study business trends and prepare reports. (4-7) Careers in the financial sector are projected to remain stable in the coming years with high monetary gains for graduates. (1-3)
Online Finance Program Overviews
Government reform, regulatory changes and economic expansion are just a few factors driving the financial markets, creating the need for individuals with the financial expertise that could be gained through an online finance program. (2, 4-7) While bachelor’s degree programs appear to be the most prevalent online, students can find certificate, associate’s and master’s programs, as well. These programs are available fully online in both full- and part-time formats. (4-7)
Online associate’s degree and certificate programs should provide students with fundamental knowledge of finance principles, personal finance, macro and microeconomics, financial markets and business law. (5, 7 ) Bachelor’s degree programs typically add courses in management skills, leadership, statistical reasoning, portfolio management and enterprise to the equation. Additionally, online bachelor’s students could have the opportunity to complete a capstone course to gain real-world experiences, and may have the option to work on team projects. (6) Master’s degrees are research programs designed to further a professional’s knowledge in the field through in-depth study in financial computing, financial products, financial optimization and risk management. These programs generally allow students the freedom to tailor their programs to their personal interests, and may culminate in an advanced research project, thesis or comprehensive exam. (4)
Career Options
Financial experts are needed in most industries, but career opportunities are usually more prevalent in major financial epicenters like New York. While a bachelor’s degree is the standard for most careers, associate’s and certificate holders could find entry-level positions in personal finance, financial planning, cost estimating and real estate. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree could open the door to several more career titles including financial analyst, budget analyst, management analyst and financial examiner. Master’s degree programs usually prepare students for management and academic pursuits, like professor or financial manager. With experience, a graduate program could also prepare students for the coveted chief financial officer position. (4-7)
Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial occupations are projected to see a 13 percent growth from 2012-2022, which is typical. However, this can vary by specialty. For example, financial analysts see a growth of 16 percent for that decade, which is higher than average. (1, 2) The mean annual wages for these workers were $71,020 in May 2013. Listed below are the 2013 mean wages for ten positions online financial graduates could find, according to the BLS. (3)
• Cost Estimator: $63,660
• Budget Analyst: $72,560
• Financial Specialists: $74,270
• Financial Analysts: $91,620
• Personal Financial Advisors: $99,920
• Financial Examiners: $86,980
• Credit Counselors: $44,960
• Real Estate Brokers: $82,380
• Financial Manager: $126,660
• Chief Executives (Chief Financial Officer): $178,400
Citations
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Business and Financial Occupations, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm (October 21, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Financial Analysts, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-2htm (October 21, 2014).
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#13-0000 (visited October 21, 2014).
4. Carnegie Mellon University, MS in Computational Finance, on the Internet at http://tepper.cmu.edu/prospective-students/masters/masters-in-computational-finance/program-options (visited October 21, 2014).
5. Ashworth College, AS in Finance, on the Internet at http://www.ashworthcollege.edu/associate-degrees/finance/careers (visited October 21, 2014).
6. Capella University, Finance Specialization BS, on the Internet at http://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/bachelors-finance/courses (visited October 21, 2014).
7. UC Berkeley Extension, Certificate in Finance, on the Internet at http://extension.berkeley.edu/cert/finance.html (visited October 21, 2014).

Business Careers: Meeting and Event Planner

A meeting and event planner is a growing career that offers several different niches for bachelor’s degree holders. (1) These professionals are typically responsible for every aspect of an event from soliciting bids to finding the facility to overseeing the event. Effective planners use highly developed communications and marketing skills to coordinate event services, such as signs, caterers and security, and create promotional information. (1, 3)
How to Become a Meeting and Event Planner
There is not one clear-cut educational path for becoming a meeting and event planner; however, ONet Online notes that about half of workers had a bachelor’s degree in 2010. (1, 3) Four-year programs specifically in event management are scarce, but students could choose from several other majors, including business, tourism, hospitality management, foodservice management or marketing; some of which offer a concentration in event management or convention planning. (1, 3, 5) Regardless of the major, students should study customer and personal service, marketing techniques, strategic planning, leadership and human resources. Career specific topics in food management, event management and event technology are likely helpful. (4, 5)
Experience is probably also vital to this field. Planning meetings for a university club or completing an internship could provide the hands-on training for students to get their feet in the door. Experience could also help students bolster their resume by making them eligible for voluntary certification through a variety of associations, like the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. In addition to the requirement of one to three years of experience, applicants for these certifications must pass an exam. (1, 3, 4, 5)
Salary
The field of meeting and event planning appears to be a goldmine of opportunities with a vastly expanding market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals will see a 33 percent employment growth from 2012-2022, which is much faster than the average– of 11 percent — for all occupations. (1) The average wages in May 2013 were $50,190, and one out of six workers was self-employed in 2012, according to the BLS. Jobs are most abundant in traveler accommodation, but the highest pay was available in oil and gas extraction. Listed below were the mean wages for the five industries with the highest employment in 2013. (2)
• Traveler Accommodation: $46,950
• Business, Professional, Labor, Political and Similar Organizations: $55,400
• Other Support Services: $53,400
• Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools: $48,250
• Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports and Similar Events: $47,590
Work Life
Meeting and event planners could work as corporate, government or event planners, to name a few. While much of their work is usually completed from the comfort of their office, travel is likely a large part of an event and meeting planner’s life. However, it could be quite enjoyable since some events are at tropical or exotic locations. This fast-paced – sometimes-demanding – career typically offers work on a full-time basis, but the hours could be long, extending into nights and weekends. (1, 4, 5)
Citation
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm#tab-2 (visited October 12, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131121.htm (visited October 12, 2014).
3. ONet Online, Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1121.00 (visited October 12, 2014).
4. University of Central Florida, Hospitality Management, on the Internet at https://hospitality.ucf.edu/files/2014/06/EventManagement_2014B.S.1.pdf (visited October 12, 2014).
5. San Jose State University, Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Tourism & Event Management, on the Internet at http://www.sjsu.edu/hspm/programs/undergrad_programs/bs_htem/ (visited October 12, 2014).

Online Entrepreneurship Programs

Students could find several online programs that provide them the management skills and business savvy to become an entrepreneur, small business owner or management professional. Within these programs, students should learn how to invest in their company, manage small teams and develop critical thinking skills. They also should gain the ability to create a business plan and options for funding their company. (1-4)
Entrepreneurship Program Overviews
Community colleges, four-year institutions and online colleges offer online programs in entrepreneurship. These online programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in full- and part-time options. Fully online programs are typical, but students can find programs offered in a blended format that allows them to complete some courses on campus. These programs may cover an additional aspect of entrepreneurship, such as small business, technology or management. Some programs are offered as a specialization within a business administration program. (1-4)
These programs generally place a lot of emphasis on project leadership, quality management, global organization, business decisions and strategic management. Certificate, associate and bachelor’s programs generally allow students to gain hands-on training and experience through collaborative projects, simulations and internships within a business environment. (2, 3) Master’s and doctoral programs generally delve deeper into entrepreneurial strategy, ventures and financing. Graduate programs typically culminate in a final research project, thesis or dissertation. (1, 4)
Career Options
While the main goal of most entrepreneurship programs is to prepare individuals for self-employment or personal business ventures, these programs are also designed to provide graduates with the management skills to succeed in other business sectors. (1-4) Undergraduate program graduates may be prepared for careers as product developers, consultants, venture analysts and marketing analysts. (2, 3) Master of Business Administration or Ph.D. graduates could find positions within health care, marketing, academia, consulting, government or financial services as consultants, professors, managers and directors. (1, 4)
Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), self-employment will see a steady growth of 3.6 percent from 2012-2022. While this is considered slower-than-average for all occupations, specific fields may see a greater job growth. For example, job growth for management analysts was 29.5 percent that decade, and real-estate managers saw an 11 percent increase. (5) Additionally, top executives are projected to see an 11 percent increase from 2012-2022. (6) Although the BLS doesn’t provide wages for business owners, it does provide wages for several fields that include self-employed workers. Profiled below are the mean wages for a few of these fields as of May 2013. (7)
• Chief Executives: $178,400
• Advertising, Marketing and Sales Managers: $124,640
• Construction Manager: $92,700
• Management Analysts: $89,990
• Business Operations Specialists: $69,030
• Market Research Analysts: $67,780
• First-Line Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers: $41,450
Citations
1. Capella University, Entrepreneurship Specialization MBA, on the Internet at http://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/mba-entrepreneurship/ (visited on October 21, 2014)
2. ASU Online, BS Technological Entrepreneurship and Management, on the Internet at http://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-technological-entrepreneurship-and-management (visited on October 21, 2014)
3. Central Penn College, Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business, on the Internet at http://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-technological-entrepreneurship-and-management (visited on October 21, 2014)
4. University of Louisville, Entrepreneurship PhD, on the Internet at http://business.louisville.edu/entre-phd-curriculum/ (visited on October 21, 2014)
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Self-Employment: What to Know to Be Your Own Boss, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/article/print/self-employment-what-to-know-to-be-your-own-boss.htm (visited October 21, 2014).
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Top Executives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm (visited October 21, 2014).
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#11-0000 (visited October 21, 2014).

Online E-Commerce Programs

E-commerce professionals work for brands, businesses and large corporations to maximize a company’s Internet exposure. These professionals may be hired to create a Web presence or provide email marketing and monitor website traffic. Online degree and certificate programs are common in this field, and typically combine online coursework with hands-on professional training. (1-5)
E-Commerce Program Overviews
With the expansion of Internet sales in the last decade, jobs in online sales, marketing and consulting are evolving and expanding. (1, 4, 5) Online programs in e-commerce are easy to find at the certificate, associate’s and bachelor’s levels. These programs may be available in general e-commerce, e-commerce and Web design, e-commerce marketing, electronic e-commerce and e-commerce technology. (1-4) While not as common, master’s degree programs are also available, but these programs typically focus on e-commerce technology. (5)
These online programs generally delve into multi-channel marketing, social networking, online selling, Internet marketing, organizational behavior and multimedia development. Real-world training may be gained through internships or online simulations. Some programs allow students to gain experience working in a team environment through online projects, and master’s programs may incorporate a thesis. (1-5)
Career Options
There are a wide range of career possibilities for e-commerce graduates, depending on the student’s specialization and level of education. Certificate, associate’s and bachelor’s holders could find positions as Web advertisers, Web designers, e-commerce sales professionals, e-commerce consultants and webmasters. (-4) Master’s graduates should have the technical knowledge and enhanced business prospective to qualify for positions as software developers, computer security analysts and e-commerce analysts. (5)
Salary
Business professionals, including those in e-commerce, are projected to see an average growth from 2012-2022 – of 13 percent – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some careers will see higher projections. For example, market research analysts are projected to see a 32 percent growth that decade, while management analysts have a 19 percent growth. (6-7) Profiled below are the 2013 mean wages for five typical positions for e-commerce program graduates, according to the BLS. (8)
• Advertising, Marketing and Sales Managers: $124,640
• Web Developers: $67,540
• Management Analysts: $89,990
• Sales Representatives, Service: $68,680
• Computer Systems Analysts: $85,320
Work Life
E-commerce professionals can be generally found in all types of businesses, including finance, management, sales, manufacturing, advertising and website creation, to name a few. These individuals typically work in an office setting; however, frequent travel to client locations could also be part of the job. Overtime is common to meet deadlines and marketing schedules. Some positions, such as Web developers and software developers, may require extended work hours. (6, 7)
Citations
1. Ferris State University, E-Commerce Marketing Certificate, on the Internet at http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/statewide/programs/certificate/ecommarketing.htm (visited on October 21, 2014)
2. North Hennepin Community College, Web Graphic Design and E-Commerce Certificate, on the Internet at http://www.nhcc.edu/academic-programs/degrees-and-certificates/art-and-design/web-graphic-design-programming-cert (visited on October 21, 2014)
3. UALR Benton, E-Commerce Degree, on the Internet at http://ualr.edu/benton/e-commerce-degree/ (visited on October 21, 2014)
4. FLCC, E-Commerce AAS, on the Internet at http://www.flcc.edu/academics/ecommerce/ (visited on October 21, 2012)
5. Towson University, Computer Science MS – E-Commerce, on the Internet at http://grad.towson.edu/program/master/cosc-cecm-ms/ (visited on October 21, 2012)
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Management Analysts, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-3 (visited October 21, 2014).
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Market Research Analysts, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tab-3 (visited October 21, 2014).
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#11-0000 (visited October 21, 2014).

Business Careers: Online Customer Service Program

There are several undergraduate degree and certificate programs available online in the field of customer service. (5-6) These programs are designed to prepare students to provide product information, review customer accounts and take orders. Using keen listening and communications skills, customer service professionals also typically handle customer complaints, process returns and solicit sales of new products. (1, 3)
Career Options for Online Customer Service Programs
Online programs in customer service are more often found at the certificate level; however, students can find colleges and universities that offer online customer service programs as associate and bachelor’s degrees. These programs may be combined with another field, such as sales or hospitality. In addition to business courses in marketing, accounting, finance and global strategies, these online customer service programs generally include field specific courses in emotional intelligence, leadership, service operations management and quality assurance. (4-6)
Program graduates could find careers as a customer service specialist, customer care representative, client relations specialist or customer support specialist. (3) While online certificate or associate programs might prepare students for entry-level positions, bachelor’s degree programs typically focus more on management principles and prepare graduates for customer service management occupations. Regardless of the program, these professionals could find positions in most industries, including finance and insurance, business support, hospitality services and health care. (4-6) The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted in 2012 that the most popular industry for these professionals was administrative and support services, which hired 16 percent of workers. (1)
Salary
From 2012-2022, the BLS noted that customer service representatives are projected to see an average growth of 13 percent. Additionally, those working in telephone call centers have a 38 percent growth in job opportunities that same decade. (1) In May 2013, the BLS stated that most customer service representatives made between $19,640 and $50,570, with a median wage of $30,870. The top paying industry was pipeline transportation of natural gas with a mean wage of $53,800 that year. Profiled below are the mean annual wages for the top five industries with the highest levels of employment, according to the BLS in 2013. (2)
• Business Support Services: $27,510
• Agencies, Brokerages and Other Insurance Related Activities: $35,160
• Insurance Carriers: $36,800
• Depository Credit Intermediation: $33,650
• Employment Services: $29,300
Work Life
Professionals working in customer service typically work full-time in an office setting conferring with customers; however, those working in retail may spend hours on their feet. The hours for customer service specialists can vary from early morning to late night, and working weekends and holidays are possible in specific work settings. Dealing with call quotas and irate customers could cause stress for these individuals. (1)
Citations
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Customer Service Representative, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm#tab-3 (visited October 14, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oes434051.htm (visited October 14, 2014).
3. ONet Online, Customer Service Representative, on the Internet at www.onetonline.org/link/summary/43-4051.00 (visited October 14, 2014).
4. Ohio University, Bachelor’s in Customer Service Online, on the Internet at http://online.ohio.edu/customer-service/#.VD3IVrDF98E (visited October 14, 2014).
5. National University, Associate of Arts in Hospitality and Customer Service, on the Internet at http://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/SchoolOfBusinessAndManagement/LeadershipAndHumanResourceManagement/Programs/Associate-Arts-Hospitality-and-Customer-Service.html (visited October 14, 2014).
6. Genesee Community College, Sales and Customer Service, on the Internet at http://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/Business/Sales/ (visited October 14, 2014).

Business Careers: Online Business Program

Large corporations, government agencies and small businesses, as well as banks and advertising agencies, are all looking for the business savvy and management skills that students could acquire during an online general business program. General business graduates are typically multifaceted individuals that could complete a variety of tasks from performing financial audits to managing project teams. Careers in business and finance are projected to be stable, and graduates could find excellent incomes and advancement opportunities. (1-3)
Career Options for Online Business Programs
Completing an online business program could open the door to a variety of careers in accounting, finance, business management, operations management, logistics, advertising and public relations, to name a few. (1, 7) These programs are available at both the associate and bachelor’s levels and can be found at a variety of public, private and online institutions. (5-7) While the online associate degree typically provides students with an overview of general business topics and systems, the bachelor’s program usually delves deeper into the business core and allows students to customize their education through electives. (5,6) For most business careers, the bachelor’s degree is considered the gold standard. (1)
These versatile online programs are designed to expose students to all the facets of the business world through classes in finance, accounting, management, communications, computer information systems and marketing. Online students could network with business professionals through internships, group projects and real-world simulations. The career opportunities for online graduates could be extensive, from a financial analyst on Wall Street to a marketing specialist promoting new products in the world market. Other career titles could include accountant, budget analyst, cost estimator, fundraisers, loan officers and tax examiners. (5,6)
Salary
From 2012-2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected business and financial operations occupations to grow at an average rate of 13 percent. (2, 3) However, some fields, like that of market research analysts, are projected to see much faster than average growth that decade. (2) The overall projected wages of business and financial operations occupations were well above the average with mean wages of $71,020 in May 2013. Profiled below are the mean wages of just a few of the careers available to online general business graduates, according to the BLS in 2013. (4)
• Management Analysts: $89,990
• Market Research Analysts: $67,780
• Financial Analysts: $91,620
• Personal Financial Advisors: $99,920
• Business Operations Specialists: $69,030

Work Life
Business professionals are necessary in every industry to oversee the operations of companies and financial sectors. Prominent industries are government, management, finance, manufacturing and wholesale trade. Business professionals in general work full-time in an office setting; however, overtime, nights and weekends may be required to meet tight deadlines. These professionals could work alone or in teams, and travel to meetings, conferences and clients is typical. Additionally, self-employment opportunities are available. (1-3)
Citations
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Business and Financial Occupations, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm (visited October 14, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Market Research Analysts, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm (visited October 14, 2014).
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Financial Analysts, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-6 (visited October 14, 2014).
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#13-0000 (visited October 14, 2014).
5. Rio Salado College, General Business, on the Internet at http://www.riosalado.edu/programs/genbusiness/Pages/aas.aspx (visited October 14, 2014).
6. Kansas State University, General Business Bachelor’s Degree, on the Internet at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/business/general-business/ (visited October 14, 2014).
7. College Board, Major: General Business, on the Internet at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-general (visited October 14, 2014).

Business Careers: Online Business Administration Program

Graduating from an online program in business administration could open the door to a multitude of careers in business, management and government. (1, 2, 3) These professionals should have the business expertise to manage large projects for government firms and the financial savvy to balance accounts for large corporations. (5, 6) Though careers in this field could be stressful at times, the job outlook appears stable and monetary compensation could be excellent for online graduates. (1-3)
Career Options for Online Business Administration Programs
Career opportunities for graduates of an online business administration degree program could be far-reaching, ranging from careers as financial analysts to top executives. (1-3, 5, 6) Online business administration programs are commonly available at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels. (2, 3, 5) Although less common, online Ph.D. programs can also be found. (6) While an associate program is designed to prepare students for employment as sales agents and business coordinators, a bachelor’s degree is the typical route for most business careers, including accountant, financial advisor, communications specialist, business operations specialist and marketing manager. (1-3, 5) Master of Business Administration programs could bolster resumes resulting in advanced positions, like chief executive officer, and doctoral programs are designed for research and academia careers. (3, 6)
Like their on-campus counterpart, online business administration programs are available at a multitude of online, private and public universities and colleges, designed with the flexibility for working individuals or those with family obligations. Be aware, however, that these programs require a lot of self-discipline and are time intensive, even though it’s from the comfort of a home or office. The coursework generally delves into business operations, accounting, management, marketing and finance. Most programs allow students to specialize in a particular field, such as accounting, business information systems, sales, human resources or project management, to name a few. Hands-on or real world training could be gained through team projects, internships and capstone projects. (5-7)
Salary
Business is a stable market that is projected to see average growth of 13 percent from 2012-2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (1) Additionally, the BLS stated in May 2013 that the mean wages for this field as a whole were above average at $71,020. Profiled below are the mean wages for ten possible careers available to online business administration graduates, according to the BLS in 2013. (4)
• Sales Representatives, Service: $68,680
• Business Operations Specialist: $69,030
• Accountant and Auditor: $72,500
• Financial Analysts and Advisors: $90,730
• Marketing Manager: $133,700
• Chief Executives: $178,400
• General Managers: $116,090
• Business Professor: $89,100
• Marketing Research Specialist: $67,780
• Sales Manager: $123, 150
Work Life
The work life for online business administration graduates can vary based on the industry they work in. Career opportunities could be found in every industry, including large and small business, government, management corporations, manufacturing and finance. Most work a full-time schedule in an office setting; however, travel is common to attend meetings or meet with clients. Overtime is typical, including working nights and weekends. (1-3)
Citations
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Business and Financial Occupations, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm (visited October 14, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Management Occupations, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/ (visited October 14, 2014).
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Chief Executives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-3 (visited October 14, 2014).
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#13-0000 (visited October 14, 2014).
5. Penn State World Campus, AS in Business Administration, on the Internet at http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/business-associates/overview (visited October 14, 2014).
6. Hampton U Online, PhD in Business Administration, on the Internet at http://huonline.hamptonu.edu/programs/phd_busleadadmin.cfm (visited October 14, 2014).
7. US News and World Report, 5 Tips to Success in an Online Course, on the Internet at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/01/14/5-tips-to-succeed-in-an-online-course (visited October 14, 2014).

Business Careers: Online Accounting Program

Online degree programs in accounting are designed to provide students with the analytical and math skills to become accounting clerks, accountants and top financial executives. (1-8) Professionals in accounting typically review financial reports, check figures, prepare taxes and organize financial records.  (1-3) They could find career opportunities in bookkeeping services, wholesale trade, government, manufacturing, health care and corporations. (1, 2, 3)

Career Options for Online Accounting Programs

Over the last decade, online education has exploded, making it easier than ever before for accounting students to find programs that can be completed online. Accounting students can find online degree programs from the associate to the doctoral level at several colleges and universities. (5-8) These programs, which are available in fully online, partially online, full-time and part-time formats, are designed to provide students with a solid foundation in financial accounting, management, economics, taxation and qualitative methods. Most programs include a capstone or real-world experience that allows students to gain hands-on training with accounting applications. Graduate programs may include thesis or dissertation requirements. (5-8)

Job opportunities for graduates typically vary based upon the level of education. Graduates of an associate degree program could qualify for careers as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk, while bachelor’s degree holders could find positions as entry-level accountants and auditors. (6,7) Students seeking to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) typically complete an online master’s degree program, since most state’s Board of Accountancy requires accountants to have 150 credit hours of education before taking the CPA exam. (1, 8) Additionally, individuals that complete a doctoral degree program in accounting could work as a researcher, professor or chief financial officer. (5)

Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the salaries for these careers can vary greatly, with those with higher education typically making higher wages. In May 2013, business and financial operations occupations as a whole had mean wages of $71,020. Listed below are the mean wages in 2013 for the three most common careers for graduates with an online accounting degree, according to the BLS. (4)

  • Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks: $37,250
  • Accountants and Auditors: $72,500
  • Chief Financial Officers (Chief Executives): $178,400

Work Life

Online accounting graduates typically work full-time in an office setting crunching numbers or reviewing financial reports. While most work a standard work schedule, overtime and long hours should be expected for these professionals during tax season and the end of the fiscal year. Travel to meet clients or attend meetings is common among accounting professionals. (1-3)

Citations
1.      Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Accountant and Auditor, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-3 (visited October 14, 2014).
2.      Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm#tab-3 (visited October 14, 2014).
3.      Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Chief Executives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-3 (visited October 14, 2014).
4.      Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_nat.htm#13-0000 (visited October 14, 2014).
5.      Capella University, PhD Accounting specialization, on the Internet at http://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/phd-accounting/ (visited October 14, 2014).
6.      Southern New Hampshire University, Online Accounting Degree: AS in Accounting, on the Internet at http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/undergraduate-degrees/accounting-AS-online.asp (visited October 14, 2014).
7.      Kaplan University, Bachelor of Science in Accounting, on the Internet at http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/business/accounting-bachelor-degree.aspx (visited October 14, 2014).
8.      Liberty University, Master of Science in Accounting, on the Internet at http://www.liberty.edu/online/masters/accounting/ (visited October 14, 2014).