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2023 General Business/Commerce Degree Guide

Are you interested in learning the dynamics behind a successful business? What goes on behind-the-scenes is what can make or break a company. A program in General Business and Commerce will give students a broad view of how to operate a business. This will include accounting as used in for profit and nonprofit institutions, business organization, and the process of interchanging goods and services (producing, buying, and selling). Students will learn to apply techniques and business principles in various occupational settings.

In this major you will take courses in Management, Marketing, Finance, Economics, and Statistics.

#16 Most Popular Major
56k Degrees Awarded
0.5% Increase in Graduates

General Business/Commerce was the 16th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 56,042 degrees in this year alone. This represents a small change of only 0.5% from the prior year's total of 55,749 general business degrees awarded.

Our 2023 Best General Business/Commerce Schools ranking analyzes 472 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for general business/commerce students. Explore this or one of our many other custom general business rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for General Business/Commerce
2023 Overall Best General Business/Commerce Colleges >

Best General Business/Commerce Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in General Business/Commerce
Bachelor's Degrees in General Business/Commerce
Master's Degrees in General Business/Commerce
Doctorate Degrees in General Business/Commerce

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in General Business/Commerce

Students with strong leadership skills are often drawn to this major. Through group work and presentations you will be prepared to become a leader in your company or organization. A healthy work-ethic and strong organizational skills will help you stand out to professors and future employers. Writing, speaking and time management skills are also necessary to success.

You may be able to prepare for this major ahead of time by taking courses in Computer applications, English, Accounting, Microeconomics', and Accounting. These classes will allow students to grasp the fundamentals of Business and Commerce. You will also find first-hand experience helpful to grasp business concepts. Consider an internship or part-time job in the area of your interest.

This program is not only offered as a Bachelor's Degree, but students can continue onto higher education and receive a Master's or Doctorate in this field.

Prior Education for a General Business Program

general business/commerce degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic general business/commerce program qualifications, to serve in some general business careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of General Business/Commerce Degrees

There are many different general business degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in general business/commerce to something that takes less time like a . The time it takes to complete a general business degree varies depending on the program.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to general business, with approximately 49.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for general business workers below.

Level of EducationPercentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree45.4%
Master’s Degree14.1%
High School Diploma9.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)8.6%
Some College Courses7.2%

Most workers in general business have at least a bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in general business/commerce careers have.


This of course varies depending on which general business career you choose.

Career Opportunities for General Business Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$43.3k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are a multitude of career paths that graduates can pursue. One option is to become a Manager in various business settings. Managers oversee and coordinate the operations of the organization. They manage daily operations, plan for use of material and human resources. Managers can be found in Administrative Service, Construction, Sales, Social and Community Service, Industrial Production, and Transportation, Storage, and Distribution. You may also work in other fields as a Chief Executive or Cost Estimator. These occupations require problem solving and organization. A strong business background will help prepare you for a position. Salaries can vary depending on your position and what business you enter into.

Solid Growth Projected for General Business Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your general business degree? General Business/Commerce careers are expected to grow 9.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to general business/commerce.

Occupation NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
General and Operations Managers2,468,3009.1%
Management Analysts921,60014.3%
Construction Managers448,60011.1%
Sales Managers414,4007.5%

General Business Degree Salary Potential

General Business/Commerce graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $43,304 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,830 to as high as $170,089. As you might expect, salaries for general business graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for General Business Majors

Salaries for general business/commerce graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers general business grads often go into.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Chief Executives$200,140
Sales Managers$140,320
General and Operations Managers$123,880
Industrial Production Managers$113,370

Getting Your General Business/Commerce Degree

With over 1,467 different general business degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased general business school rankings to help you with this.

General Business/Commerce is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.

Related MajorAnnual Graduates
Business Administration & Management416,590
Finance & Financial Management57,778
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods43,382

View All General Business Related Majors >


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