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General Business & Commerce Major

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General Business & Commerce

25,809 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
9,486 Master's Degrees Annually
#6 in Popularity
$103,330 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Business & Commerce Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general business/commerce graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 24,866
Associate Degree 17,132
Master’s Degree 8,782
Basic Certificate 2,528
Undergraduate Certificate 1,693
Graduate Certificate 481
Doctor’s Degree 267

What General Business & Commerce Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to general business and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for General Business Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • 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

general business majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • 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:

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  • 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 General 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
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Construction Managers 11.1% $93,370
Cost Estimators 10.5% $64,040
General and Operations Managers 9.1% $100,930
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Management Analysts 14.3% $83,610
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Sales Managers 7.5% $124,220
Security 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
Transportation Managers 6.8% $94,730
Wind Energy Operations Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Business & Commerce?

24,866 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
47% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Roughly 47% of the graduates are women, and 53% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of general business majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,309
Black or African American 3,329
Hispanic or Latino 2,794
White 14,091
International Students 1,634
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,709

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in General Business. About 6.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do General Business & Commerce Majors Make?

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.

Median Salary for a General Business & Commerce Major  ( 94390 to 115590 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

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 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.

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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%
Bachelor’s Degree 45.4%
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%
Master’s Degree 14.1%
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%
Doctoral Degree 5.1%

Online General Business & Commerce Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 917 schools offered some type of general business/commerce program. 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 115 23
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 503 156
Bachelor’s Degree 43 10
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 129 29
Post-Master’s 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 28 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General 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!

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References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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