Business Careers: Types & Characteristics

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

In this lesson, you'll learn about business careers in accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resources, sales and entrepreneurship. We'll also discuss educational and licensure requirements.

Business Careers

Jesse just graduated from high school and he's meeting with a college counselor to discuss the bachelor degrees offered in the school of business. The counselor tells Jesse the business school offers a variety of business degrees: accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resources, sales, and entrepreneurship and explains each degree.

Afterwards, Jess says, 'All the degrees sound interesting, but what type of career opportunities exist in each category?'

For the rest of this lesson, we will explore careers in each area of business and discuss the educational and licensure requirements.


The accounting field hosts a variety of careers such as an accountant. Accountants prepare financial statements from company transactions. Transactions range from purchasing supplies, paying employees, and selling products and services. Accountants track these transactions then consolidate them into financial statements. Accountants have a bachelor's degree and many are certified public accountants (CPA). A CPA is a state certification attesting one's level of accounting knowledge and ethical commitment.

An auditor is also a popular accounting career. An auditor reviews a company's financial statements to ensure accuracy to general accounting standards. The position of an auditor is very important internally and externally. Internally, executive management makes decisions based on the financial health of the company, while externally, investors rely on accurate information to ensure their investments are viable. Auditors must have a bachelor's degree and sometimes they must be state certified.


Another career that deals with numbers is a financial analyst. Opposite from tracking and consolidating transactions, financial analysts review and analyze data from the financial statements. While accountants handle the day to day financial operations of a business, financial analysts compare and contrast the data to calculate differences and determine why they happened. Financial analysts must have a bachelor's degree and some may have certifications.

Investment managers or stockbrokers are additional careers in finance. Both can work for a firm or individual and make decisions about buying and selling stocks and bonds, also called securities. Investment managers and stockbrokers are not required to have a degree, however, they must have a state license to buy and sell. They also must register with the SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, which is a federal agency that regulates securities.


Like a career in finance, an economist career requires analytical skills. Economists study supply and demand. They're also familiar with fiscal policy and monetary policy. Fiscal policy focuses on how the government spends money and assesses taxes, while monetary policy impacts the amount of money in the economy and how the supply of money affects interest rates.

This career requires you to be detailed oriented and requires a master's degree. If you have a more flexible, creative personality, let's look at marketing.


Another component of business is marketing. Marketing is the efforts to promote a business. Marketing managers and analysts (entry level positions) plan the promotion and advertising initiatives of the company. They must be creative and have solid writing skills and excellent communication skills. You will not only plan marketing for print and TV, but also for internet communication. Therefore, you must be well versed in social media. Most entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree. Now let's explore careers in human resources.

Human Resources

Human resource managers and generalists manage the recruiting, hiring, and firing processes. Generalists are entry-level human resource positions who typically handle hiring and firing paperwork as well as other small tasks. Managers solve employee grievances and ensure the company is compliant with employment law. The human resource department is the cornerstone of the organization. You need to be a good listener, show empathy, and have exceptional communication skills. These positions require a degree.


There are numerous types of jobs in sales. An insurance agent sells car, home, and life insurance. Insurance agents must be state licensed. Some agents work out of their home and sell insurance for multiple companies, while others may work in a call center or own their own business and work for one company.

Another type of sales position is a real estate agent. Real estate agents sell property, both personal and commercial; they too must be state licensed.

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