In a nutshell: Studying business management may open doors in a variety of different industries.

Since the 1970s, more students have sought a business administration degree, both at graduate and undergraduate levels, than nearly any other major.

An MBA has been No. 2 among master’s degrees since 1970, and a bachelor’s degree in business has been the top undergraduate degree since 1971, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

A business degree opens a range of jobs in an array of fields and provides skills useful in nearly every aspect of commerce. A master’s degree is helpful for anyone seeking a move into management or up the career ladder. Here are some career opportunities to consider:

Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions and marketing managers play an essential role in developing products and services and getting them into the hands of customers. They need a balance of analytical and creative skills as they plan and enact initiatives to understand customer needs, generate interest and encourage sales.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said the median pay for advertising and promotions and marketing mangers was $106,130 in 2017. For marketing managers, the median was $132,230. (See note at end about BLS figures.)

The job field is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, the BLS says. That’s higher than the average for all jobs.

Human Resource Managers

Anyone who’s worked for a company of even modest size has probably encountered human resources — whether it’s one person, a few employees or a major corporate function. Human resources managers can be involved in a vary of duties related to this vital function, from everyday tasks like recruiting to long-term efforts like strategic planning.

Human resources managers are needed in every industry at companies of nearly every size. Some positions will require a master’s degree. Studies can start with a bachelor’s degree in human resources. Interpersonal and communications skills are vital.

The BLS says the job field will grow 9% from 2016 to 2026, which is about the average for all jobs. The median pay in 2017 was $110,120 a year.

Finance Managers

Running a company’s finances puts you in charge of its financial wellbeing. It can be as a comptroller, treasurer, risk manager, cash or insurance manager, according to the BLS. The median pay for financial managers in 2017 was $125,080 a year, and the job outlook from 2016 to 2026 calls for nearly 20 percent growth — much faster than the national average.

Careers in finance management can begin at the bachelor’s degree, but graduate-level education will be required for top positions. Graduate-level degrees can include a master’s in finance or an MBA with a finance concentration.

Sales Managers

Every organization needs sales to bring in revenue. Sales managers direct sales operations and strategy, setting goals and leading teams of salespeople.

While higher education isn’t a requirement for sales in general, management roles typically require a bachelor’s degree at minimum and work experience. Travel can be a significant part of the job.

The median pay for sales managers in 2017 was $121,060 a year, according to BLS. The job outlook from 2016 to 2026 is 7%, which is about the same pace as the national average.

Medical and Health Services Managers

Healthcare is a fast-growing industry, driven by growing need for health services, regulatory changes and new technologies. Medical and health services managers are required to manage healthcare operations at facilities of all sizes, from small practices to large hospital systems.

A career in medical and health services management usually starts with a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s might be required for some top positions. The median pay for medical and health services managers was $98,350 a year in 2017, according to the BLS. The job outlook from 2016 to 2026 calls for 20% growth, outpacing the average.

A word from our lawyers about BLS statistics: Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine actual earning potential as salaries may vary depending on location, education level and other factors.

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