Is Business Services a Good Career Path?
Are you wondering if there are career paths that can allow you to branch over to different industries without much difficulty? Then look no further as a career path in business services may be the perfect one for you. Not only does it cover different kinds of careers but its flexibility also allows for a wide range of compensation and stable job opportunities.
Business services, in the simplest terms, is a business that provides services that its clients (also a business) cannot handle in-house or full-time. These services are usually part of operations such as accounting and bookkeeping, marketing and advertising, legal services, and even human resources. Business services allow businesses of all sizes to operate smoothly without worrying about quality, compliance, and security.
Best Jobs in Business Services
There are certain undergraduate degrees that can find jobs in most, if not all industries with the services that they provide. These include degrees in Accounting, Communications, Information Technology, and Law. However, not all businesses have the capacity to employ professionals to provide these services full-time. This is where business services companies come in to provide their needed manpower and expertise.
Accountant or Bookkeeper
All businesses big or small need their books (or accounting sheets) looked at every once in a while, in order to see if they are actually earning money or if there are any unnecessary expenses. Bookkeepers are in charge of overseeing a business’s financial transactions and keeping all receipts from both clients and vendors, while an accountant analyzes the cash flow of the business. They are, however, slightly different from a certified public accountant (CPA). A CPA is a licensed professional who is qualified to perform more tasks, such as preparing audited financial statements and filing reports to concerned government bodies.
Accountants are professionals who have completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting, while CPAs have to pass the state licensure exam, which they also have to renew after several years. Bookkeepers, on the other hand, are not required to have an accounting degree but are preferred to have completed courses in banking and finance. Continued learning is also highly encouraged with the Certified Management exam and Bookkeeper Certification.
Social Media Specialist
A social media specialist is a relatively new profession but is now currently one of the most in-demand services. While small business owners tend to manage their own social media accounts, medium-sized and larger companies tend to tap social media specialists to form a strategic plan for advertising online, all while being aligned with the brand’s voice and visuals.
Social media specialists are usually individuals with bachelor’s degrees in communications or marketing. Due to the specialized nature of the job, many certifications are available for those seeking to create a career in social media, such as the Google AdWords certification, Facebook Blueprint Certification, and the American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) Certification. These courses prove that you can do beyond posting ads or sending messages to people online, and are updated with the current processes of online marketing.
In the legal side of businesses, contracts are critical in protecting the business and creating good partnerships with vendors and clients. Contract specialists put the terms of a purchase or sale on paper, not just for record-keeping but for also covering any issue that may arise in the future and which party is responsible for what aspect of the agreement. This way, the business is protected and is provided the best possible deal.
A bachelor’s degree is usually needed to become a contract specialist, but those who have taken at least 24 credit hours in areas like business, economics, law, contracts, or a similar field can also be accepted. On-the-job training is also common for this kind of work, and voluntary certifications through institutes like the Federal Acquisition Institute will also open up opportunities for higher positions and better compensation.
Training and Development Specialists fall under human resources services. They formulate and execute training programs, mostly large-scale companies that require specific skills or development training to support the growth of the business. They also assess the company’s organization and identify any problem areas and address it in the training. Training can come in the form of manuals, videos, or online/offline sessions.
Those who aim to become a training specialist usually need a degree in organizational development or psychology, followed by work experience in a related occupation. Certifications from institutes such as the Association for Talent Development showcase expertise and professional credibility. Training specialists can usually become human resources managers or training managers.
Cyber Security Analyst
With almost all business information and records kept online or digitized, it is important that a business knows its information is secure and will not be vulnerable to hacks or any damages. Companies tap cyber security analysts and specialists to protect their information.
News of corporate information hacking from all over the globe and fast developments in technology requires cybersecurity analysts to be highly skilled and open to continuous learning. Specializing in information security requires at least a bachelor’s degree, with some companies requiring even higher levels of education such as a master’s degree. On top of this, industry clearances and certifications are highly encouraged to show credibility. The Computing Technology Industry Association, also known as the CompTIA, issues professional certifications, such as Security+ for risk assessment and management and Network+ for networking infrastructure and operations.
Why You Should Pursue a Job in Business Services
In a word, business services are flexible. Professionals in this field have the ability to transfer to other industries without much trouble, as all industries need accountants, marketing specialists, and all the jobs previously mentioned. Job security is not much of an issue in business services professions, with opportunities almost everywhere they go.
Opportunities and Compensation
Opportunities and compensation expectations in business services vary widely depending on the industry, demand, location, and experience. Business services are tapped by companies of all sizes, from start-ups to corporations, thus the varying salary range.
Bookkeepers can expect an average salary of $43,000 a year, while accountants can earn up to $73,000. Marketing is proving to be a more lucrative profession with social media specialists’ salaries averaging $62,000 and marketing managers earning up to $147,000 annually.
On the other hand, contract specialists earn an average of $72,000 annually, while training specialists earn a little lower with an expected salary of $65,000. As with marketing professions, IT services tend to earn much higher, with cybersecurity analysts and IT managers earning an average of $103,000 and $159,000 annually, respectively.
The business services industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years, especially with the rise of new technology, the increasing complexity of business operations, changing state compliance and regulations, as well as the trend of outsourcing non-production services and functions. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% up to 2028, with key drivers such as higher demand in digital marketing, data analytics, and outsourcing.
Outsourced business services are expected to thrive in a post-pandemic world, and especially those in the fields of marketing and IT can expect job security in the coming years. However, they must also expect that continuous learning is a requirement to keep up with trends and new technology.
Learning and Growing
There is no doubt that business services is a good career path, with its diverse types of careers and good outlook in the coming years. However, its higher than average compensation, ability to pivot to different industries easily, and consistent demand from clients come with the condition that the nature of these professions is ever-changing. One method can be the best strategy one day, and the next week, a new one pops up. One day you are fluent in a specific methodology or program, and the next day you are presented with a new one that takes time to grasp.
If you are interested in taking up a career in any of these fields, make sure that you are open to learning and growing all the time. Remember, your career path is built upon the bricks of your learnings, mistakes, and successes.