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2021 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.

#13 Most Popular Major
58.5k Degrees Awarded
0.1% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, general business/commerce was the 13th most popular major nationwide with 58,451 degrees awarded. This represents small change only 0.1% from the prior year's total of 58,413 general business degrees awarded.

Approximately 720 colleges in the U.S. offer a general business/commerce degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for General Business/Commerce ranking compares 176 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom general business rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting 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

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most general business degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. 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 various different levels of general business degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a professional practice doctorate's in general business/commerce to something that takes less time like a associate's. The type of general business degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At 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. People currently working in careers related to general business tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 45.4%
Master’s Degree 14.1%
High School Diploma 9.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.6%
Some College Courses 7.2%

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.

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

Career Opportunities for General Business Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$40.8k 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 Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
General and Operations Managers 2,468,300 9.1%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Management Analysts 921,600 14.3%
Construction Managers 448,600 11.1%
Sales Managers 414,400 7.5%

General Business Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated general business/commerce students earned an average of $40,821 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $17,800 to as high as $155,400. As you might expect, salaries for general business graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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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 5 highest paying careers general business grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Chief Executives $200,140
Sales Managers $140,320
General and Operations Managers $123,880
Managers $115,590
Industrial Production Managers $113,370

Getting Your General Business/Commerce Degree

With over 1,541 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 Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241
Human Resource Management 26,823

View All General Business Related Majors >

References

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