America prides itself on opportunities for individuals to become successes in their chosen fields. With a sound preparation of at least a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship or business, those opportunities are a step closer to becoming realities. Among the most popular entrepreneurial careers today are business consultant and management analyst.
Entrepreneurship or small business development degree programs provide students with a foundation in finance, management and business operations. They prepare individuals to work as a business consultant or analyst. Some positions can be gained with just a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship, but others may require a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
|Career Titles||Business Consultants||Management Analysts|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship or another business-related discipline||Variable; a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship, business, management, economics, accounting or a related area OR an MBA|
|Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)||5% to 8%* (for business operations specialists)||14%**|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)**||$68,170||$81,320|
Sources: *O*Net Online, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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- Small Business Management and Operations
An individual with a degree in entrepreneurship or small business operations can work as a business consultant or management analyst. These professionals could work for an independent business, major corporation or non-profit agency.
A business consultant provides advice about business issues, such as the development and implementation of business plans, how to streamline operations or how to expand into a new market. They give advice to management professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. Some consultants work independently, while others work for a consulting firm. The majority of consultants have at least a bachelor's degree.
Management analysts evaluate a business' systems, procedures and operations. They may also review a business' financial matters, such as the ratio of income to expenditures. An analyst's goal is to identify places needing improvement and to suggest ways to make a business operate more efficiently. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 14% growth in employment opportunities in this field over the 2014-2024 decade.
The BLS reports that in 2015 there were approximately 926,610 business operations specialists, a type of business consultant, in the nation. These specialists earned a median annual salary of $68,170 as of that same year. The BLS states that, at the same time, there were about 614,110 management analysts in the nation and that these analysts earned a median annual salary of $81,320 per year.
Degree Options for Entrepreneurship or Business Administration
Bachelor's degree programs cover topics such as business law, statistics, marketing principles, human resource management and operations management. Students may also learn how to write a business plan. Master's degree programs expand on those topics and may also cover entrepreneurial operations, accounting and the design process. Doctoral degree programs focus on research and include a dissertation component. These programs may include internship opportunities and networking events with local business owners; partial or complete coursework may be available online.
Depending on the prospective position, in order to be considered, you may be required to hold a master's degree, which expands on programs covered in your bachelor's degree program. Doctoral programs that focus on research are also available. Employment opportunities for business consultants are expected to increase at least as fast as the national average for all occupations through 2024, while those for management analysts should increase at a much faster rate over the same time period.