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What Can I Do with a BS in Business - Retail Management?

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in business with a retail management concentration enter the work force equipped for a variety of positions. Retail management professionals work in industries ranging from grocery stores to high-fashion department stores, and they usually have a strong sales background. Keep reading for more information about what you can do with a bachelor's degree in retail management and what the employment outlook is like.

Building a Career in Retail Management

Individuals with strong sales and leadership skills may have what it takes to become retail management professionals. Retail managers' main job often is to supervise retail salespeople, but they're also responsible for the purchasing, budgeting and accounting functions in their stores.

A postsecondary education is not a strict requirement for a retail management career if you have extensive experience; however, a bachelor's degree is the typical required level of education. It's important to remember, though, that experience is vital; most retail management professionals begin their careers by gaining first-hand experience on the sales floor, and they usually have 1-5 years of experience before becoming managers. Also, some sales managers earn a master's degree.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

PrerequisitesTypically only a high school education is required for admissions
Common Courses Finance, global retail, marketing, merchandising, management
Online AvailabilitySeveral schools offer fully online programs
Possible Career FieldsRetail operations management, merchandising, retail marketing

Industries and Specializations

Retail managers work in multiple types of stores, including grocery stores, general merchandise stores, clothing stores, automobile dealerships and electronic goods stores. College graduates with a retail management bachelor's degree are not confined to roles as store managers, though. The National Retail Federation reports that retail professionals can also work in areas like loss prevention, merchandising, supply chain management and human resources. They may work their way up to prestigious positions as district or regional managers.

Earning Potential and Career Outlook

The BLS reported in May 2018 that sales managers received a median annual salary of $124,220. The BLS predicts that the sales management industry will experience an average growth of 7% between 2016 and 2026, adding 28,900 new jobs, though competition should be strong. The number of job opportunities often fluctuates with economic ups and downs.