Top 5 Lucrative Career Paths for Business Graduates in 2019

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A business degree is highly versatile and can open doors to numerous career options that can command elite pay grades. With a business degree, you can tailor your unique personalised career plan within a vibrant array of industrial sectors. Although, in some cases, professional qualifications are required to secure certain vacancies, a bachelor’s degree in business is an asset that any professional aspirant would need to achieve in order to branch out into more specialised high-figure salary routes.

In this article, we have outlined the profiles, qualifications, and pay scales of our pick of the top 5 lucrative career paths that can be pursued by business degree holders:

1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

General Profile: If you are an individual with an excellent accuracy level in handling information and with a surplus of knowledge in finance or tax, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is definitely an appropriate career path to consider.

CPAs typically work in accounting firms and have job descriptions that resolves around monitoring financial records, financial planning, and managing financial information. Additionally, a CPA takes on the role of preparing tax returns, performing audits, analyzing transactional reports, and providing dedicated financial advice.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in accounting or business is recommended to become CPA certified. Particularly in the United States, the candidate may be required to pass the Uniform Certified Public Account Examination to be granted a CPA License. Additionally, a college credit of 150 hours in business administration with an accounting major is compulsory to be credited as a CPA. Furthermore, business acumen, numerical insight and analytical ability are usually highly sought-after in an outstanding CPA.

Monthly Salary Range (Entry Level):

  • Singapore: SGD 3,000 – 4,000
  • Malaysia: MYR 3,000 – 4,000
  • Philippines: PHP 10,000 – 26,000


2. Social Media Analyst

General Profile: If you think you possess a tactical working style, a creative mindset, and an extended knowledge with the latest social media trends, then perhaps a role as a social media analyst or specialist could be for you.

A social media analyst strives to promote the online awareness of the corporate brand or products/services by managing online contents, developing sales leads, researching the suitable tools and channels to generate quality campaigns, and monitoring the market competition of products. There may also be variations of social media management roles depending on the candidate’s competency and degree specification.

Qualifications: Open to candidates with a bachelor’s degrees in marketing, communications or journalism, social media management roles may also be pursued by business degree holders or any graduate with a relevant set of skills and knowledge. Being updated with the latest digital marketing trends is definitely required when it comes to social media management. Additionally, candidates should assess if they possess sufficient creativity, a basic eye for design, and an adaptive working style to ensure they’ll be a good fit for the job.

Monthly Salary Range (Entry Level):

  • Singapore: SGD 2,000 – 3,000
  • Malaysia: MYR 3,000
  • Philippines: PHP 31,000 – 34,000


3. Financial Analyst

General Profile: If you are a math-enthusiast and excel at decision-making and analysis, then financial analysis could be the career to pursue for you upon graduation.

The job profile of a financial analyst differs depending on the industrial sector of the employment. That said, through a general perspective, the role of a financial analyst generally entails analysing financial data, creating financial models, conducting market research, and planning financial expenditure. Financial analysts are also responsible for healthy business functions and contribute to the forecasting the financial performance of the companies.

Qualifications: Aspiring financial analysts usually seek degrees in business administration, finance, accounting, mathematics or economics. Although not required, a master’s degree is usually recommended for senior financial analyst roles. Additionally, either a standard licensure by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is usually mandatory.

Among the qualifications and the industry profile, proficiency in such financial modelling and data analysis tools (such as Microsoft Excel, SQL and Access) is highly valued within the financial analysis industry; the analysts must be highly efficient at developing multiple spreadsheets or dashboards to assist them in the process of precisely interpreting the financial data.

Monthly Salary Range (Entry Level):

  • Singapore: SGD 4,000 – 5,000
  • Malaysia: MYR 3,000 – 4,500
  • Philippines: PHP 40,000 – 60,000

Related: 5 Things You Must Know Before Pursuing a Double Major


4. Strategy Consultant (Analyst)

General Profile: Consulting is often considered a prestige career path by many top graduates due to the intellectual challenges and financial rewards that it offers. Business strategy consulting specifically is typically done at a high level in an organization – which will involve the CEO, board of directors, and other C-suite executives.

According to Bain & Company, strategy consulting is about facts and common sense, much more than defining the vision or dreams. Strategy consulting is very much tailor-made thinking, and what works for one organization may not necessarily work on others, even on the same industry. Ultimately, what makes strategy consulting so attractive to talented students and young professionals is how it provides many opportunities for young talents to work in a team with some of the brightest people around, learn how to structure thoughts and solve complex business challenges, and interface with top level client executives.

Qualifications: Strategy and management consultancy is generally open to graduates from any degree discipline, as it is important for consulting firm to build a diverse, multi-disciplinary workforce. However, a degree that is numerical or analytical in nature can be considered an advantage and even give you a head start in a career in consulting. Additionally, if you have an idea on which industry you wish to work, it would help if you pursue a degree relevant to the industry, e.g. banking, healthcare, or oil & gas.

It is by no means essential to have a postgraduate degree to pursue a career in consulting, however, the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is valued by some of the top consulting firms, such as McKinsey and BCG.

Monthly Salary Range (Entry Level):

  • Singapore: SGD 3,000 – 5,000
  • Malaysia: MYR 4,500 – 7,500
  • Philippines: PHP 45,000 – 60,000


5. Marketing Specialist

General Profile: If you enjoy being creative on a daily basis and have a knack at coordinating various projects or campaigns, a marketing manager role can help you further shape your innovative skills.

A marketing specialist’s responsibility includes crafting catchy design materials to enhance the reputation of the company of an organization to ensure that the business remains on top of the market competition and cooperate with media agencies to elevate the corporate brand.

Qualifications: Although a master’s degree is usually preferred by the employers, a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or business administration will suffice to embark on a marketing coordinator journey.

Communication, innovation, and extended familiarity with technology are indispensable qualities of a marketing specialist. Competency with the application of a wide range of design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and UI/UX design knowledge is also an added bonus.

Monthly Salary Range (Entry Level):

  • Singapore: SGD 2,000 – 3,000
  • Malaysia: MYR 3,000
  • Philippines: PHP 31,000 – 34,000

Related: The 5 Hottest Jobs for Myanmar Graduates in 2018


Note: The median salary figures were all taken and made reference to GlassDoor.

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