When choosing a career path, business services may cross the mind. But what are they, and is business services a good career path? Business services refer to the professional services companies provide to other businesses or individuals. This includes accounting, consulting, legal services, marketing, and more.
While the term may be broad, the common thread that ties these industries together is that they all provide specialized services to clients. As such, careers in business services can be both challenging and rewarding. And, as with any career path, there are pros and cons to consider before deciding to pursue a career in this field.
In this blog, we will explore the various aspects of a career in business services, including the potential for career growth and advancement and the overall job outlook for these types of professions.
When considering what career to pursue, one should clearly understand the particular field. Business services encompass various industries that offer valuable services to other businesses or individuals. Some common examples of business services include accounting, consulting, legal services, marketing, and human resources.
For instance, in accounting, professionals provide bookkeeping, tax preparation, and auditing services to other businesses. Conversely, consultants may be hired to provide expertise in a specific area, such as strategy or technology implementation. Legal services can range from corporate law to intellectual property law, and marketing services may include advertising or market research.
There are a few key things to consider when exploring a career in business services. First, it’s advised to understand the necessary skills and qualifications for the industry you are interested in pursuing. This may include having a degree or certification in a relevant field, such as accounting or marketing. Additionally, having strong communication skills and the ability to work well with others can be crucial in many business service industries.
Success in the business services industry requires more than just technical skills. Soft skills play a crucial role in achieving career growth and making a positive impact in the workplace. Here are some of the essential soft skills required in the business services industry:
Effective communication is essential in any industry, but it is particularly critical in business services. Professionals in this industry must communicate complex information clearly and concisely. They must also be able to listen actively, understand the needs of their clients, and build strong relationships. For instance, a consultant must be able to communicate their ideas effectively to their clients and colleagues to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Managing time effectively is a vital skill in the fast-paced world of business services. Professionals in this industry often manage multiple projects and clients with tight deadlines. Therefore, the ability to prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and meet deadlines is critical.
A project manager, for example, must be able to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
Business services often involve working on projects with colleagues and clients from different departments or organizations. The ability to work well with others, collaborate effectively, and build consensus is essential.
For example, a business analyst must work collaboratively with developers, project managers, and stakeholders to ensure that the project meets the needs of all parties involved.
In the business services industry, professionals must be able to analyze problems, identify solutions, and make decisions quickly. Critical and creative thinking is a valuable skill in this industry. For instance, a financial analyst must be able to analyze complex financial data, identify trends, and make recommendations tailored to their client’s specific needs.
The business services industry is constantly evolving, and professionals must be able to adapt to changes quickly. The ability to learn new skills and technologies and apply them effectively is critical. A software engineer, for instance, must be able to adapt to new programming languages and technologies as they emerge to remain competitive in the industry.
The business services industry offers numerous job opportunities across various professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of February 2022, there were over 20.8 million jobs in the professional and business services industry in the United States.
This industry includes a range of occupations, from accountants and auditors to management analysts and marketing managers. The BLS projects that employment in the professional and business services sector will continue to grow in the coming years, with a projected increase of 15.5% from 2019 to 2029.
The specific number of jobs available in business services will vary depending on the industry and location. For example, certain regions or cities may have a higher demand for certain services, while some industries may be more competitive than others. Additionally, with the rise of remote work, competition is also on the rise.
As a result, you may be competing with a pool of national and international professionals rather than just those pursuing this career in your area.
If you’re considering pursuing a career in business services, it’s a good idea to research the job market in your area and carefully consider your qualifications and interests. By doing so, you can identify potential career paths that align with your goals and interests and offer a strong outlook for job availability and growth.
There are several advantages to pursuing a career in business services, which may make it an appealing career path for many individuals. Here are a few potential benefits:
Many business service industries offer opportunities for career growth and advancement. This may include promotions within a company or starting your own business. A survey conducted by PwC found that 77% of CEOs consider investing in employee development as a top priority for their companies, which can lead to career advancement opportunities for employees.
Many business service professionals, particularly those with specialized skills or experience, can earn a high salary. According to a report published by LinkedIn, business and financial operations roles were among the top 10 highest-paying jobs in the United States.
The median base salary for business and financial operations roles was $75,000 per year, which is higher than that for all occupations, which was $62,000 per year. The report further noted that certain specialized business and financial roles, such as investment banking associate and software engineering managers, can earn median salaries of $140,000 or more per year, indicating the high earning potential for those with specialized skills in the business service industry.
Depending on the industry, business service professionals may be able to work flexible hours or from home. This can be particularly appealing for individuals with families or other commitments. According to a survey by Deloitte, 73% of business service professionals reported that they have more flexibility in their work arrangements, such as flexible hours or remote work, compared to before the pandemic.
This aligns with the broader trend toward flexible work arrangements. Many companies in the business services industry have adapted to new ways of working to attract and retain talent, improve productivity, and reduce overhead costs.
According to a report by IBISWorld, business services encompass a wide range of industries, from accounting and finance to marketing and consulting. This variety can allow individuals to explore different areas of interest and potentially find a career that aligns with their passions.
Many business service professions require specialized skills like data analysis or marketing strategy. These skills are in high demand and can lead to a stable job market. A McKinsey & Company report found that the demand for specialized skills in the business services industry is increasing due to digital disruption and the need for businesses to stay competitive.
The report notes that “digital skills are becoming increasingly important in business services, with a particular emphasis on data analytics, cybersecurity, and digital marketing. As businesses seek to stay competitive in the digital age, the demand for professionals with these skills is only expected to increase.”
According to Deloitte, the rise of remote work and globalization has allowed many business service professionals the opportunity to work with clients or companies from around the world.
While pursuing a career in business services can have many advantages, there are also several challenges that individuals in this field may face. Here are a few potential disadvantages:
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), many business service professionals experience high levels of stress and burnout. As a result, a lower-stress job may be preferred.
According to IBISWorld, many business service industries are highly competitive, particularly in major cities or industries with a high demand for services. As a result, it may be more challenging to secure an entry-level position within the business services industry.
Many business service professions require individuals to continue their education to stay up-to-date on new technologies or regulations.
This can be time-consuming and expensive. Deloitte notes that “continuing education is becoming increasingly important in the business services industry, particularly as new technologies and regulations continue to emerge. Professionals who stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field are more likely to be successful and advance in their careers.”
According to a report from Harvard Business Review, client management can be a significant challenge for business service professionals, particularly when dealing with high expectations or difficult clients.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging in many business service professions. The report notes that “many business service professions require professionals to work long hours, be on-call outside of regular business hours, or be available to clients at all times. This can make it difficult to achieve work-life balance and can lead to burnout or high levels of stress.”
When considering a career in business services, you should look into the potential salary you could earn in your chosen profession. Salaries in this industry can vary widely depending on factors such as your level of education, experience, and location.
According to the latest 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for business and financial occupations in May 2021 was $76,570. This represents an increase of 5.9% from the median wage reported for May 2020. However, specific salaries can vary widely depending on the occupation. For example, the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $73,560, while management analysts earned a median annual compensation of $87,660.
Years of experience and business type can certainly impact wages for business service professionals. Generally, the more experience an individual has, the higher their earning potential. This is particularly true in accounting and finance, where professional certifications and advanced degrees can lead to higher salaries.
For example, according to the BLS, financial managers in the securities, commodities, and financial services industries had the highest median annual wages in May 2021, at $146,830. On the other hand, financial managers in the retail trade industry had a median yearly salary of $102,970.
Similarly, accountants and auditors working in the finance and insurance industry had a median annual wage of $80,040 in May 2021, while those working in the government sector had a median annual wage of $71,030.
When choosing a career in business services, consider your qualifications and interests, as well as the job outlook and earning potential for your chosen profession. Research the specific industries and regions that offer the best opportunities for your chosen profession.
Additionally, keep in mind that earning potential can also be influenced by factors such as continuing education, certifications, and experience. By staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments and investing in your professional development, you may be able to increase your earning potential and advance your career in business services.
Pursuing a career in business services can be a challenging yet rewarding path for individuals with the necessary skills and qualifications. The business service industry offers a wide range of career growth and advancement opportunities, as well as the potential for high earnings and flexibility in work arrangements.
However, one should also consider the potential challenges of this field, such as high-stress levels, competition, continuing education requirements, tight deadlines, and lack of work-life balance. Only by examining both sides of the coin can one decide if business services is a good career path for them.
Overall, a career in business services can be an excellent choice for individuals passionate about providing valuable services to other businesses and individuals willing to work hard to succeed in a competitive and evolving industry.