What can I do with my business degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a business degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employees and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.     

Knowledge and skills

Undertaking a business degree will develop your understanding of business organisations and the markets and frameworks they operate within. You will acquire knowledge concerning customers, operations, communication, policy and strategy and how all of these are connected. An International Business degree will see you acquire this information within the context of different countries and cultures.

You will also develop the following abilities:

  • effective communication, project management, leadership and interpersonal skills through teamworking and collaborative learning opportunities
  • effective listening, negotiating and influencing skills through interactions with fellow students and university staff members
  • self-awareness and a sensitivity to the diversity of people, cultures, business and management issues
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to create, evaluate and assess options and apply ideas to a range of situations
  • organisational and time management skills, making sure that all your commitments, including social ones, are completed on time.

Career options

Studying business at the University of Plymouth will open a wide range of career choices for you. With the skills, knowledge and commercial awareness acquired through a business degree programme, careers in accountancy, project management, consultancy, banking, analytics and many more are open to you.

You may however wish to explore other pathways that will make use of a more specific knowledge and skills set that you have developed. Maybe you have a passion to support, motivate and encourage people in the workplace, and so a human resources role might suit you. The public and charity sectors will take on business graduates to harness their commercial awareness and business acumen for public/charitable benefit. Some graduate schemes to consider are The Local Government Graduate Development Programme or the Civil Service Fast Stream. Or, maybe your outgoing personality will help you soar as a sales executive.  

Since specific career paths may be less obvious it is important to use your research skills to explore the range of opportunities and to consider your personal interests, motivations, values and strengths. Also, don’t forget that some employers will accept applications from graduates with a degree in any subject.

Researching your career options

Given the diversity of career options open to business graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future.

The following websites provide helpful information on options with a business degree:

Employment opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what University of Plymouth business graduates told us what they were doing after six months from graduating; for some graduates these roles served as a stepping stone by providing relevant work experience.

  • management trainee (FMCG)
  • client manager
  • internet analyst customer service
  • investment helpdesk consultant
  • letting negotiator
  • supplier account manager
  • resourcer/head-hunter
  • sales executive
  • author/self-employed
  • project developer
  • traffic planner and administrator
  • business development representative
  • head of business development
  • mortgage adviser
  • construction manager
  • costs lawyer
  • environmental auditor
  • human resources officer
  • mortgage adviser
  • retail manager
  • systems analyst
  • urban designer
  • data scientist
  • chartered management accountant
  • business development manager
  • insurance underwriter.

Employers

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by business graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options related to business:

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a careers consultant about your particular situation.

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme:


Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized skills workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience

Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.  

You will want to acquire experiences that immerse you within commercial environments where you are exposed to business functions and operations. With so many businesses to choose from, decide which industry/sector you want to work in and then find a relatable business to acquire experience from. This could be through a part time role whilst studying, or you could apply for a placement year. Alternatively, you could approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or for one year’s duration.

Clubs and Societies

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society/club promotion.  

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to your degree or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.    

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn's alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • Click on ‘Alumni’
  • Filter the results by subject, sector, company or location

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.