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A business degree can offer a favorable return on investment. The key to maximizing that investment is knowing which areas of business offer the highest earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for business and financial occupations is approximately $70,000 and even higher for other business-related careers. To help determine which business degrees pay the highest wage, and to assist with your business major declaration, we conducted research on earnings potential and job outlook specific to business careers.
Reviewing the Top 10 Highest Paying Business Degrees
After consulting the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, we determined the highest paying business degrees based upon the most current published data. Below are our results for the top 10 highest paying business degrees.
#10 â€“ Human Resources â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Human Resources
Human resources management is one of the best business degrees on our list, thanks to its favorable job outlook and earnings potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for human resources specialists is approximately $61,900, and the highest ten percent earn more than $105,930. Compensation and benefits managers, a specialization within the HR field, report average earnings of $122,270. BLS also reports HR managers earn a median annual wage of $116,720. For all occupations, a favorable job outlook is projected. In fact, all HR specialists, HR managers, and compensation and benefits managers should see favorable job prospects over the next decade.
#9 â€“ Accounting â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Accounting
A bachelorâ€™s degree in accounting is typically required to become an accountant or auditor. But with a four-year degree and licensure, accounting majors reap the rewards of one of the best paying business degrees. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for accountants as $71,550, with the highest ten percent of earners bringing in $124,450. Top-paying industries for accountants include finance and insurance, management of companies and enterprises, accounting and tax preparation, and government. In addition to offering a high return on investment, accounting offers a favorable job outlook of four percent. In general, job growth for accountants is steady and about as fast as the average for all occupations.
#8 – Logistics â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Logistics
Logistics is recognized as one of the best business degrees to obtain due to its strong earnings potential and favorable job outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a four-percent employment growth for logisticians. The employment growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations, providing a steady and stable projection. BLS also reports job prospects for candidates with experience or expertise in logistical software or military work should be favorable. Also, the median annual pay for logisticians is $74,750, according to BLS. Top-paying industries employing logisticians include federal government (average pay of $85,450), manufacturing (average pay of $76,480), and management of companies and enterprises (average pay of $75,010).
#7 â€“ Management â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Management
The versatile degree in management can open doors to all areas of business. With versatility comes high earnings potential and a favorable job outlook. In fact, management is one of the best paying business degrees on our list. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for management analysts is $85,260, with the highest ten percent of earnings making more than $154,310. Management analysts often hold a bachelorâ€™s degree in management or an MBA. They work in diverse fields like business, economics, finance, marketing, or psychology. This role should expect a favorable job outlook over the next decade. In fact, BLS reports employment of management analysts is projected to grow 11 percent through 2029.
#6 â€“ Statistics â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Statistics
Ranked among the best paying business degrees, statistics majors graduate with the skills needed to work in areas like computer science, economics, math, and other quantitative fields. While most leadership roles in statistics require a masterâ€™s degree, entry-level positions may accept candidates with a bachelorâ€™s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for statisticians is $105,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,000. As a result of these reported earnings, statistics is one of the highest paying business degrees on our list. In addition to the high pay, the overall job outlook is favorable. In fact, employment for statisticians is projected to increase through 2029. Much of the projected growth is expected to be in research-based roles, such as academia, consulting, and research and development.
#5 â€“ Economics – Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Economics
One of the best business degrees on our list in terms of pay and earnings potential is economics. Economics degrees, at the undergraduate or graduate level, have a high earnings potential, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), making them one of the highest paying business degrees available. In fact, the median annual pay for economists is $105,020. Also, according to BLS, economists face a highly favorable job outlook. Employment of economists is projected to grow 14 percent through 2029, which is much faster than other occupations. Job prospects are especially high for individuals with advanced degrees in economics, such as a masterâ€™s degree or MBA.
#4 â€“ Finance â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Finance
Financial managers analyze and create financial reports, direct investments, and develop short- and long-term financial goals for businesses and organizations. The role pays well and offers a favorable job outlook, making finance one of the best business degrees to acquire. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median pay for financial managers is $129,890. The highest ten percent of earners in this occupation made more than $208,000 per year. As one of the highest paying business degrees, finance also offers a favorable job outlook. According to BLS, employment of financial managers is projected to grow 15 percent through 2029. The growth is much faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, the growth is nearly triple the growth for a large percentage of jobs.
#3 â€“ Marketing and Advertising â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Marketing
Marketing is one of the highest paying business degrees on our list. A bachelorâ€™s degree is required for most advertising, marketing, and promotions management positions, as experience is also favored by employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for marketing managers is $136,850, and $125,510 for advertising and promotions managers. In addition to a high earnings potential for marketing majors, the overall employment for marketing managers is highly favorable. In fact, BLS reports a projected six-percent overall employment growth, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses and organizations expand their market share and improve branding, marketing experts will be needed.
#2 â€“ Sales & Marketing â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Sales & Marketing
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a marketing manager earns $136,850 in annual wages. The high earnings potential accompanied by a projected job outlook of six percent earns sales and marketing degrees a #2 spot on our list of highest paying business degrees. Another reason sales and marketing are among the best business degrees to earn is the number of available positions. Based on projections through 2029, BLS reports 314,900 jobs. As emphasis on branding and profit increases, sales and marketing teams within organizations will be in demand. Also, the favorable job outlook means the industry is growing at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. Also, entry into the industry only requires a bachelorâ€™s degree.
#1 â€“ Actuary Science â€“ Masterâ€™s, MBA, or Bachelorâ€™s in Actuary Science
Actuary Science is listed among the best paying business degrees on our list due to the majorâ€™s high earnings potential and favorable job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for actuaries is $108,350, with the highest ten percent earning more than $193,000. The top-paying four industries for actuaries include: professional, scientific, and technical services; finance and insurance; government; and management of companies and enterprises. In addition to high earnings potential, employment for actuaries is projected to grow 18 percent through 2029. BLS reports that more actuaries will be needed to assist companies in managing their own risk. Specifically, insurance companies will require more actuaries as new insurance markets expand.