Business & Commerce Major
General business/commerce is a major that typically falls into the Business, Management & Marketing category.
There are 575 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in general business, 436 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 122 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 24 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting a General Business Degree?
General business/commerce runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #21 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 25,800 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. Roughly 47.1% of the graduates are women, and 52.9% are men.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of general business majors is as follows:
- Asian: 5.1%
- Black or African American: 12.4%
- Hispanic or Latino: 9.4%
- White: 58.4%
- Non-Resident Alien: 7.9%
- Other Races: 6.8%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in general business. About 7.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending general business majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.
What Will You Learn as a Business & Commerce Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to general business to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for General Business Majors
General business majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
Skills for General Business Majors
When studying general business, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
Abilities for General Business Majors
General business majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
What Can You Do With a General Business Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with general business:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Loss Prevention Managers||8%||$107,480|
|Storage and Distribution Managers||6.8%||$94,730|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8%||$107,480|
|Wind Energy Operations Managers||8%||$107,480|
Business & Commerce Major Salary
General business majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $94,000 to $116,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Business & Commerce Major Jobs
Some careers associated with general business require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to general business have obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0.2%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||9.1%|
|Some College Courses||7.2%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||8.6%|
|First Professional Degree||0.3%|
Online Business & Commerce Programs
There are 436 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in general business/commerce, with 126 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.
Is a Business & Commerce Major Worth It?
The median salary for a general business grad is $103,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 166% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,288,600 after 20 years!
- Business & Commerce
- Business Administration & Management
- Business Support & Assistance
- Corporate Communications
- Managerial Economics
- Entrepreneurial Studies
- Finance & Financial Management
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resource Management
- International Business
- Management Information Systems
- Management Sciences & Methods
- Real Estate
- General Sales & Marketing
- Specialized Sales
- Construction Management
- Telecommunications Management
- Other Business & Marketing
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