Is Business Services a Good Career Path? Is it Right for You?
Looking for a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities for advancement? You’ll discover many different options out there but getting involved in the business services sector could be a very wise decision. Is business services a good career path? Yes, and it offers flexibility, more control over your career trajectory than you might think, and excellent earning potential. In this post, we’ll explore what you should know about business services and why this could be a great fit for your career needs.
What Is Business Services?
Before we dive into the potential positions, let’s establish what we’re talking about when we say “business services”. Technically, this field encompasses any position that supports a business and helps it run more efficiently and effectively. For instance, IT professionals fall under the heading of business services, but so do accounting professionals. To be considered part of the business services sector, a position should:
- Help a business run more efficiently
- Increase the effectiveness of an organization
- Not produce a tangible commodity
As you can imagine, jobs from across many different specializations fall into this basket. How do you know if business services is a good career path for you?
- Understand your interests. What do you like to do? How might those interests support a business and improve its efficiency and/or effectiveness?
- Understand your talents. What are you good at? Where do your proclivities lie? Are you better with people? Numbers? Art and design?
- What is your current level of education? Do you have the education required to enter the particular business services sector you’re interested in?
Why Consider Business Services as a Career Path?
So, what makes business services a good career path for you? In this section, we’ll consider some of the most important benefits on offer.
- Variety – Perhaps the single most important benefit is that you have tons of options when it comes to your actual career. Love information technology? Prefer customer service? Want to dip your toe into marketing? These are just three of the myriad positions that fall under the heading of “business services”.
- Demand – Another benefit is that every position within the business services sector is seeing increased demand. That’s due to multiple factors, including talent shortages.
- Flexibility – Business services include some of the most frequently outsourced jobs in the world, including HR, accounting, marketing, and more. That means you don’t necessarily have to work for the company to which you’re providing business services. Outsourced service providers can make excellent employers, or you can offer your services on your own, either as a freelancer or by starting your own business.
- Remote Work – Finally, you’ll find that many business services job positions are good fits for remote work. Working from home can offer greater flexibility and more control over your time while allowing you to explore a rewarding career.
Potential Drawbacks of Business Services
In addition to the benefits on offer, you must understand the potential drawbacks that you might find working in the business services sector.
- Stress/Pressure – Some positions within this sector involve tight deadlines and long hours. This is particularly true when it comes to specific careers, such as information technology. However, marketing, events planning, and sales are just some of the other fields that involve high stress and pressure.
- Education – Many jobs within the business services sector require a formal education. For instance, if you intend to enter human resources, you’ll need a college degree. The same goes for information technology, although you’re more likely to need industry certifications here.
- Working with Others – Business services careers are by their very nature dependent on working with others. You’ll need to work with other team members, as well as with stakeholders throughout the organization. If you start your own business, you’ll need to work with clients. All of this means you need strong interpersonal and communication skills.
What Can You Do in Business Services?
Business services is a vast category that includes an incredible diversity of dissimilar positions and career opportunities. There are three primary types of business services – business-to-business (B2B), social, and business-to-consumer (B2C). Note that B2B can also be business-within-business. These are positions within an organization that support that company’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Some of the most popular and rewarding careers in the business services sector include the following:
- HR professional
- IT professional
- Marketing/advertising professional
- Event planning specialist
- Sales professional
- Accounting and finance professional
According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the best business services jobs include the following:
- Medical and Health Services Manager: With a median annual salary of over $100,000, this position allows you to help ensure that a medical or health services business runs smoothly and efficiently. It involves employee relations, balancing budgets, setting departmental goals, and more.
- Financial Manager: Financial managers earn a median salary of $134,000. They can work within businesses across industries and provide essential financial acumen when it comes to investment activities, developing financial strategies, and creating financial reports, among other responsibilities.
- Statistician: While statistics might not have the same name recognition as management or marketing, it’s a proven winner with a median annual salary of just over $90,000. Statisticians can work in any industry out there and are responsible for transforming raw data into usable information, particularly statistics that highlight patterns and trends.
- Market Research Analyst: Earning around $86,000 per year, a market research analyst helps businesses understand customer expectations, wants, needs, and pain points. They can forecast sales trends, monitor ongoing sales information, analyze data, create reports and presentations, and more.
- Operations Research Analyst: Operations research analysts quite literally focus on business efficiency and effectiveness. They do this through a combination of skills and processes that range from data mining to mathematical modeling and reporting. The average annual salary here is around $86,000.
- Management Analyst: Management analysts are responsible for helping businesses identify breakdowns and bottlenecks, and then creating strategies to boost profitability and enhance efficiency. They earn around $87,000 per year on average.
- Business Operations Manager: Business operations managers focus on how a business operates and the underlying structures that support it. This includes things like contracts and budgets but also touches on hiring and onboarding, decision-making, and more. A business operations manager earns a median salary of $103,000.
- Accountant: Accountants are among the most essential business service providers and can work within the organization or outside of it. As an accountant, you will help with tax-related matters, compliance issues, audits, and more. The median salary for an accountant today is around $69,000.
- HR Specialist: Human resources has become an incredibly important business department. An HR specialist handles employee relations, but is also intimately involved in the recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and firing processes within the business. The median salary for an HR specialist in the US is around $62,000 per year.
- Receptionist: Receptionists can work within an office or remotely. They are often the face of the company (or the voice in the case of remote receptionists). They answer calls, reply to emails, work with visitors to schedule appointments, and generally keep the office running smoothly and efficiently at all times. The median annual salary for a receptionist is $31,000.
How to Choose Your Business Services Direction
“Business services” is something of a catchall term and includes an often-bewildering range of potential career options. It’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed when considering your options. The good news is that if you take a measured approach, it’s possible to chart a course to success. Below, we’ve outlined some of the considerations you’ll need to make before embarking on a career in this area.
Your Interests, Passions, and Talents
Any career should be based on your personal interests, talents, and what you enjoy doing. Love to write? A career as a content creator might be for you. You can work as an in-house content creator writing blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and the like, or you can go freelance or join a digital agency that contracts with other businesses.
Prefer math to writing? Accounting and finance professionals are always in demand and have the same options when it comes to working as an employee, hiring on with an outsource service provider, or going the freelance route.
These are just two examples of career paths that tie in with your interests and talents. Not sure where to start? Ask yourself the following questions.
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What are my talents?
- What do I enjoy learning more about?
- How would I like to support a business in its development?
- How can a business benefit from my talents and/or passions?
Your Educational Path
Once you’ve discovered your interests, talents, and passions, it’s time to consider your education. To be clear, many business services jobs don’t require any type of formal education. You can embark on a career as a marketing content creator without going to college. You can be a self-taught graphic designer.
However, many positions do require a formal education – accounting, for instance. You’ll also find that even career paths that don’t require a degree can benefit from higher education. By completing a degree course with a focus on marketing, you learn more about psychology and how to create the right message for your specific audience, for example.
While there is no one size fits all path here, some of the most common degree programs pursued by those aspiring to the business services sector include the following:
- Business administration
- Business management
- Data analysis
- Computer science
- Supply chain management/logistics
- Information technology
- Project management
- E-commerce (analysis of information and E-Systems, combined with data mining and information technology)
- International business
- Human resources management
Once you’ve completed your education, you can begin your job search. Create a resume and then work with a job placement service, recruiter, or manually submit your information to companies hiring for your profession.
Note that you may need to complete an internship to gain experience in your field before you can land a full-time position. You should also spend time networking. You can do this by joining industry groups, attending meetings at your local chamber of commerce, and even through social media sites like LinkedIn.
Questions and Answers about Business Services
Unsure if business services is a good career path for you? Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions people have.
Does the business services sector have a good outlook in the coming years?
Yes, business services is predicted to grow substantially. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an excellent breakdown of the information you’ll need.
Do I need a degree to enter the business services sector?
It depends on what area you want to enter. Some positions do not require a degree to get started. However, higher education is always worth considering. A degree allows you to earn more and access higher positions in all areas of the business services sector.
What are some of the most important factors affecting the business services sector?
Statista points out that some of the factors that affect business services include digitization, technology, communications capabilities and infrastructure, outsourcing trends, and the ongoing effects of new legislation and industry rules.
What are the most important skills to have when entering the business services sector?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer here because the business services sector is so vast and varied. However, all roles will require good communication skills, the ability to work well with others, the ability to handle pressure and criticism, an understanding of business goals and how you help achieve them, and strong organizational skills.
Business Services: Choosing Your Career Path
Is business services a good career path? Yes, it is. However, realize that there’s an incredible amount of diversity here. It’s best to decide what it is you want to do that would provide support for an organization and then pursue a specialization in that field, whether that’s human resources, business operations, information technology, shipping and receiving, financing, marketing and advertising, or something completely different.