Business & Commerce
Types of Degrees Business & Commerce Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many general business/commerce graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Business & Commerce Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to general business were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for General Business Majors
General Business majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
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:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Abilities for General Business Majors
A major in general business will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Business & Commerce Major?
People with a general business degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Administrative Services Managers||10.1%||$96,180|
|General and Operations Managers||9.1%||$100,930|
|Investment Fund Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Loss Prevention Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Social and Community Service Managers||18.0%||$65,320|
|Storage and Distribution Managers||6.8%||$94,730|
|Supply Chain Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Wind Energy Operations Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Wind Energy Project Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Commerce?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of general business majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||3,295|
|Hispanic or Latino||2,544|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in General Business. About 7.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Business & Commerce Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in general business/commerce made a median starting salary of $39,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $36,700 (25th percentile) and $46,050 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a general business degree.
Salaries According to BLS
General Business majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $94,390 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Business & Commerce
Some degrees associated with general business may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling 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.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.2%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||9.1%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||4.1%|
|Some College Courses||7.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||8.6%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||4.0%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||2.3%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.3%|
Online Business & Commerce Programs
In 2018-2019, 959 schools offered a general business program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||175||55|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||117||29|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||3||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||24||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||1||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Business & Commerce Worth It?
The median salary for a general business grad is $103,330 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 159% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,268,600 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Business & Commerce
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to general business.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Business Administration & Management||410,147|
|Finance & Financial Management||56,186|
|Human Resource Management||26,823|
|Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods||23,738|
|Business Support & Assistant Services||19,483|
|Management Information Systems||14,747|
|Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing||5,873|
|Other Business, Management & Marketing||5,834|
|General Sales & Marketing||5,734|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By U.S. Consulate General Munich under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.