Your First Job After a Business Diploma: 4 Popular Entry-Level Options

Updated December 2023

One of the first questions students ask when considering a college program is, "What kinds of jobs can I get with this diploma?" Since many people pursue college training to launch a new career or improve their current prospects, this question is both valid and necessary.

Genuine interest in a program of study is key, but only part of the equation. It's crucial for people to map out where a diploma will take them post-study, and how they'll make the often challenging transition from student to professional.

Considering a business diploma and want some clarity on your options after school? Take a look at these four different paths business grads often take, and the variety of practical entry-level positions you will qualify for after training. Which path suits you best?

1. Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants work across every imaginable industry. Finance, real estate, retail, IT, government, human resources management, education, non-profit—almost every kind of business and organization needs talented administrative support to run smoothly.

This is a very common way for recent business grads to get their foot in the door and start learning the ropes of everyday operations and business management.

What exactly does an admin assistant do? Specific tasks vary depending on the work environment, but general job requirements almost always focus on:

  • Coordinating communications between departments, individuals, and clients
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Handling incoming inquiries and delivering excellent customer service (by phone, email, and social media, and in person)
  • Preparing and editing reports and presentations using common office software (such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook)
  • Performing simple updates on a company website and/or social media channels
  • Carrying out minor accounting and data-entry tasks

This is the ideal entry-level post for the naturally well-organized graduate who has strong writing skills, is a solid communicator, and can work well under pressure.


2. Marketing Assistant/Coordinator

Marketing assistants play an important support role in branding, public relations, and business development. Similar to admin assistants, they work across many different industries, helping companies and organizations communicate better with targeted audiences, attract new clients, and outperform the competition.

If you begin your business career as a marketing assistant or coordinator, you can expect your responsibilities to include:

  • Helping to create marketing materials (such as blog posts, videos, brochures, advertisements, interviews, press releases, etc.)
  • Updating social media channels and responding to questions and comments online
  • Providing support at live marketing and publicity events (and helping to organize those events)
  • Helping to organize and conduct market research
  • Creating copy for websites
  • Helping to create performance reports (interpreting metrics, analytics, etc.)

Careers in marketing require a combination of creativity and technical aptitude. For example, grads who pursue this path should be very comfortable learning new software, analyzing statistics and other data, and writing/editing a wide range of content.

On the other hand, being able to build rapport with people, come up with creative campaign ideas, and work well with a team is considered essential in marketing roles. Business graduates who can develop skills on both sides will be very well-positioned to perform well and progress to managerial roles.


3. Sales Assistant

Generally speaking, sales assistants provide support to account managers to help achieve sales targets. Like most business grads, budding sales representatives will find work in a range of industries, from medical to industrial to IT to retail. Their job is to help form and nurture new relationships with prospective clients, close deals, and ultimately help the business expand.

If you decide to pursue a career in sales, some of your entry-level, routine responsibilities will likely include:

  • Identifying prospective customers and making sales calls
  • Assisting with marketing and sales activities, such as representing your company at conferences, trade shows, and other industry events
  • Providing regular feedback from customers to sales managers, marketing teams, and other departments (to help refine campaigns, improve sales tactics, enhance product development, etc.)
  • Preparing bids and purchase orders and tracking deliveries
  • Conducting research on pricing and products
  • Creating sales proposals
  • Sending and following up on quotes
  • Answering phones/emails, booking appointments, scheduling sales visits

Sales assistants must be excellent communicators, passionate about the products or services they represent, trustworthy, and highly self-motivated. More than anything, success in sales relies on your capacity to build positive relationships with others.  Your job will be to establish trust and skillfully nurture that trust toward a sales agreement.

This is a challenging entry-level position, but it can open up extremely rewarding career paths to business grads who are willing to work hard and develop the right skillset.


4. Accounting Clerk

A reputable business diploma will always include basic accounting training. Students typically graduate with the fundamentals of bookkeeping, managerial and cost accounting, and competency in relevant computerized accounting software (QuickBooks, MS Access, Excel, etc.)

If you're particularly interested in the financial management side of business, these skills will be enough to secure an entry-level position as an accounting assistant or clerk in either the public or private sector.

In this role, you would provide administrative support to an accountant, and assist with bookkeeping tasks such as:

  • Maintaining daily accounting entries
  • Sorting incoming/outgoing mail, organizing and updating files, and responding to client inquiries
  • Preparing financial reports and statistical analysis documents
  • Managing office inventory
  • Following up on accounts receivable
  • Preparing bank deposits, general ledger postings, and statements

If you're considering this career path, you have a natural talent for math and numerical analysis, exceptional attention to detail, and are discreet and reliable.



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