What can you do with a business management degree?

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Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation and data analytics, are enabling companies to streamline business processes and collate real-time data on their operations and turn them into actionable insights.

These technologies can support companies in improving efficiencies across their business and delivering growth. However, business managers have to ensure they keep pace with innovation to hit their short-term and long-term targets.

A business management degree can equip you with the skills, knowledge and experience to help a company to take advantage of the opportunities these emerging technologies are creating.

To help you decide whether a business management degree is the right choice for you, we’ve answered some key questions about what exactly business management is, the skills and knowledge a business management degree can provide, as well as the career opportunities on offer once you graduate.

What is business management?

Business management is effectively all about how companies operate and the strategies and management styles they utilise to improve efficiencies across their business. These strategies are fundamental to delivering revenue and profit growth, and being able to hit business targets.

The process of managing a business requires an understanding of the administrative, accounting, finance, and human resources functions. As renowned business management expert Peter Drucker put it in his book The Practice of Management: “Management is a multi-purpose organ that manages a business and manages managers and manages workers and work.”

With the help of emerging technologies, the role of business management is becoming ever more strategic. As such, business managers need to have their finger on the pulse and be able to adapt their company’s strategy in the face of macroeconomic, financial and political risks.

What does a business management degree entail?

Quick facts about business management

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- Business management degrees rank ninth for UK degrees with the best job prospects, according to Study in UK

- The employability rate, or likelihood of landing a job relevant to a business management degree, is 90%

- As of October 2023, the average salary for business analysts is £48,688, according to Glassdoor. This can go much higher for more specialist roles, such as data analysts and data scientists

A business management degree is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in today’s ever-changing business world. You’ll likely take modules that cover everything from business economics to organisational behaviour and from the digital economy to supply chain management.

You might also learn about the ethical and legal implications of doing business in the modern world – a topic that is becoming increasingly important in light of the emergence of generative AI.

Courses tend to place a strong focus on vocational elements where you may be given a brief and asked to present solutions to real-world business challenges, helping you to build your leadership and teamwork skills. Some courses offer students the option of a further year to gain industry experience through a practical placement.

Universities may also host guest lectures from professionals who can share insight into what a career in business management is like. They may run networking events as well, which should be used as a chance to build some contacts.

What to consider when applying for a business management degree

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Most universities that offer business management as a degree have strong links to well-known companies. For example, the University of Portsmouth has good links with IBM, which has a main office in the city.


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Courses are usually accredited by professional bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). You may be given the opportunity to work towards earning a certificate, such as CIM’s Certificate in Professional Marketing.

Different universities are affiliated with different professional bodies, so it’s worth researching this before you apply depending on whether there's a particular area you want to focus on – accounting or marketing, for example.

What skills will a business management degree equip me with?

The majority of skills can only be gained in a work environment, but what a business management degree will give you is a broad understanding of business behaviours and business structures. A course should help you to develop an analytical mindset, improve your critical thinking and decision-making, and learn how to solve problems creatively.

What can you do with a business management degree?

A business management degree will prepare you for a job in a wide range of industries, from retail to pharmaceutical to hospitality, as the knowledge you gain will be transferable.

While a business manager is a role in itself, it’s more of an umbrella term encompassing the various departments and functions of a business. Here are some relevant roles you could use your business management degree for.

Business analyst

This role involves analysing data using insights gleaned to create solutions to business problems that can help steer a company towards its strategic goals.

Forensic accountant

This role involves analysing financial data and records in meticulous detail to identify any gaps in accounts, creating and manipulating spreadsheets, and then preparing reports based on your findings.

Data analyst

This role involves interpreting data and then using your analytical mindset, critical thinking and software to inform strategic decisions.

Data scientist

This role involves collecting data, identifying patterns and predicting future outcomes. You may have to generate research and reports on customer behaviours, for example, to help a company improve its sales strategy.

For more on data science and possible career routes, we recommend taking a look through what we believe are the best data science bootcamps available today.

Business management degree can help you to become a data analyst or data scientist, but it's important to remember that it’s only a stepping stone. These specialist roles will probably ask that you have a postgraduate degree in analytics, mathematics or computer science.

Rich McEachran

Rich is a freelance journalist writing about business and technology for national, B2B and trade publications. While his specialist areas are digital transformation and leadership and workplace issues, he’s also covered everything from how AI can be used to manage inventory levels during stock shortages to how digital twins can transform healthcare. You can follow Rich on LinkedIn.