Updating Results

What can I do with my business, management, and commerce degree?

Ian Cooper

Career Counsellor
To help you start considering where you might like to apply, we’ll give you a rundown on each of the top five sectors.

If you’re in the process of earning your degree in business, management, and commerce — or have already finished — then you’re probably wondering what comes next.

What sort of graduate jobs can you look for? And what sectors would prove to be a good fit for your hard-won skills?

We’re here to help you answer that question. We’ve crunched the numbers on a survey we commissioned of over 900 recent graduates from Australian universities to find out what, exactly, business grads do after joining the workforce.

The exciting upfront takeaway? There is no one set career path that you have to follow. 

While our survey found that the accounting and advisory sector is the most popular with business grads, most ended up working somewhere else. The newly minted degree holders who responded to us were split between obvious choices like banking and finance and more unconventional options like public service.

To help you start considering where you might like to apply, we’ll give you a rundown on each of the top five sectors. Plus, using numbers pulled from our larger survey database featuring responses from over 8000 fresh grads, we’ll cover what you might expect to see in terms of salary.

We’ll also suggest major employers you may wish to consider — based on our ranking of the top 100 Australian graduate employers (as determined by feedback from grads).

Time to dive in!

Which 5 sectors do business, management, and commerce grads usually find work in?

So, when you’re ready to start searching for your first graduate job, where should you look first?

The short answer? Anything that involves working for a large or growing organisation. There, your skills will prove valuable across a range of roles — anything from business operations to logistics or even marketing.

Fortunately, you won’t be constricted to any one sector, either. Here are the five most common for business grads just starting out in their careers:

These are the sectors that business, management, and commerce grads usually end up working in. Source: Prosple survey of over 900 recent business grads.

  1. Accounting and advisory — 46 per cent
  2. Banking and financial services — 11 per cent
  3. Technology — 8 per cent
  4. Retail, sales, and consumer goods — 8 per cent
  5. Government and public service — 5 per cent

As you can see, that’s quite a range. We’ll explore each one in order.

1. Accounting and advisory

Now, you may think of the accounting field as being made up of lonely number crunchers who spend their days glued to an Excel document. But the truth is that large accounting and professional services firms — like the Big Four and other companies that occupy a similar niche — do so much more than that.

In a graduate program at a major accounting and advisory firm, you’ll be exposed to areas like tax, auditing, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, and even management consulting. Depending on your skill set and responsibilities, you’ll likely be a part of a team that helps clients make sound financial decisions by doing things like taking interviews with stakeholders to fully understand how a client business approaches a particular problem, turning reams of data into clear reports, and then joining your team in presenting final recommendations to executives.

In other words, you won’t just sit there moving numbers from column A to column B. You’ll be learning about how businesses operate — and what they can do to make smarter and more effective financial decisions.

We’ll be honest: Starting salaries in the accounting field can be underwhelming. Per our survey, you’ll make an average of $59,945 in your first year. However, we’ve also noticed that some more prominent firms pay better than that.

More importantly, you’ll be acquiring valuable skills that can put you in line for a significantly higher payday down the road — if you prove to be a good fit in your role.

Which companies are the top accounting employers for business grads?

We suggest starting your search by looking at the Big Four:

Who’s hiring business grads for accounting jobs today?

Check out our live listing of accounting and advisory companies hiring business graduates!

2. Banking and financial services

The banking and financial sectors are all about moving money around — and generating more of it in the process. That makes you, as a business grad, a strong fit for jobs in those fields.

Because business and finance cover so many different kinds of companies — from trading houses, private equity firms, and investment banks to credit card issuers or the Commonwealth Bank branch you pass by every time you go out for a coffee — there are a vast array of roles for you to explore within the industry. 

You’ll likely be at least somewhat qualified for most of them. Not just frontline roles like bank teller or branch manager, either, but market analyst positions, executive training programs, and even coveted jobs in trading or investing.

Of course, those latter roles are incredibly competitive and often demand upwards of 60 hours a week. More standard banking jobs are less demanding, but you’ll see an average starting salary of just $59,420 — hence why so many grads still shoot for the higher-end opportunities.

Which banks are the top employers for business grads?

Want to build a career in banking or finance? Try applying to one of these heavyweights:

Who’s hiring business grads for banking jobs today?

See banking and finance job postings specifically for business grads.

3. Technology

While you may think of tech as the realm of coders and computer science grads, tech companies are — first and foremost — businesses. And they need lots of savvy business grads to help keep things running smoothly.

That’s where you come in. Working in tech, you can move into an operational role — something like project management or logistics, say — where you would help your company function on a day-to-day basis. If your firm sells a SaaS product or has another business-to-business offering, your background could also make you a good fit for sales… if you have the right kind of personality, that is. 

Tech companies also need analysts, strategic advisors, marketing experts — the list goes on. And whatever role you end up in, you’ll be working in an industry that has, for better or worse, done more than perhaps any other to shape the world we live in today.

Starting salaries for graduate jobs in tech average $65,956. However, depending on your role and whether or not you get a position with a startup or an established company, this number can vary considerably. Remember, too, that equity can sometimes be a part of tech compensation (most commonly if you’re an early hire at a startup).

Which tech companies are top of the heap for business grads?

These tech firms range from powerhouses to outright megalodons: 

Who’s hiring business grads for roles in the tech industry?

Check out these active job listings from tech companies specifically looking for business grads.

4. Retail, sales, and consumer goods

When you think of retail, you probably think of a low-paying, customer-facing job working the sales floor. But with a business degree, you’ll be ideally positioned for a corporate retail position: one where you can put your talents to work growing a brand and selling products at scale.

Here, a great option for you might be marketing. You can use your hard-earned business skills and logical thinking to collaborate on data-driven marketing campaigns by doing things like A/B testing and learning best practices, whether as a content creator, strategist, or both. 

Join the right firm and you’d also be a good fit for a training program that will teach you to become an area manager fresh out of school — a role in which you’d oversee dozens of retail employees while leading your area to achieve sales goals.

As a fresh grad working in the industry, you’d likely earn a salary close to the $67,354 average we found with our survey. Trying for an area manager role, especially, can be a way to quickly boost that number further, with some grads making over $100,000 less than a year out of school.

Which retail, sales, and consumer goods employers are top choices for business grads?

Get experience building major, even international, brands:

Which consumer-facing companies are actively hiring business grads?

Explore our live listings specifically highlighting jobs in the sector that are open to business grads!

5. Government and public service

What good does a business degree do someone working in public service? Turns out — quite a lot!

Government agencies are, after all, large organisations. With your business degree, you’ll be ideally placed to step into roles like project manager, data analyst, or anything else that involves putting your problem-solving skills to work in the service of helping your employer keep things running smoothly.

You’ll also (ideally) have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping your community — or at least doing your part to keep the trains running on time.

The average starting government salary won’t overwhelm you at $65,859. But unlike many of your friends working in the private sector, you’ll be able to count on a more consistent 40 hours a week schedule.

Plus, succeed at your job and you won’t just have a long career in government awaiting you. You’d also be positioned to transition over to a consulting firm that has a lot of government contracts, as your insider knowledge and connections would make you a valuable asset — and in line for a significant bump in salary.

Which government employers are tops for business grads?

Some of our highest-ranked government employers include:

Who’s hiring business grads for government jobs?

Browse active job listings just for business grads seeking government work!

All you have to do is start

Whether or not you see anything on this list that sparks your interest, remember: All you have to do is start. Start searching for open roles, send in your applications, land your first graduate job, and then see what happens.

No matter what, you’ll learn a lot — good, bad, and in between. As time goes on, you’ll get a clearer sense of your strengths and weaknesses and be able to pursue new opportunities that are a good fit. 

Or you can just focus on what’s in front of you and see what comes along. 

Your first job is a beginning, but it’s only one beginning. You’ll have them throughout your career — over and over again. Enjoy the moment, maintain an open mind, and always keep learning.

You never know where your next beginning will take you.

Who’s looking for business grads?

Find out by searching open jobs just for business graduates on Prosple Australia! You’ll enjoy:

  • Job listings only for fresh grads and students
  • Unlimited free applications
  • Fresh opportunities posted daily
  • Tailored searches that highlight your chosen sector and qualifications

See what jobs are open right now!