Underrated Degrees for Business Career Success

There are plenty of business-related degrees that are well-known for providing professionals with a good foundation for career success. Business administration, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing — all of these degree programs supply students with the knowledge they need to begin a fruitful career in business. However, all of these degree programs also promise plenty of cut-throat competition, beginning in the classroom and continuing through the boardroom.

If you want an easier path to a successful career, you want to enroll in a business-related degree program that provides essential information and skill-building opportunities but is perhaps less well-known among the masses. Here are a few underrated degrees that nonetheless almost guarantee career success.

Information Systems

It is no secret that modern businesses rely heavily on all sorts of internal and external data. However, data is not particularly easy to work with; it must be organized and protected by more experienced data professionals before it can be of any service to the business leaders and the company at large. Information systems professionals are the workers tasked with developing applications and systems for harnessing the power of data, and their role in business is only growing more critical year after year. You can pursue a business information systems degree to access entry-level jobs boasting salaries between $59,000 and $74,000.

Data Science

Information systems professionals are tasked with keeping collected data organized and accessible by key members of an organization, and data scientists are responsible for deriving meaning from incomprehensible numbers and letters. Data science is the field associated with answering questions using available data. In business, data scientists work alongside business leaders to collect and understand information that can lead to more efficient workplace processes, better products and services and greater success overall. With the right education credentials, you can find entry-level data science positions paying an average of $79,000 in salary.


Data science offers a more targeted knowledge and skill set, but if you want a degree that provides a bit more flexibility, you might pursue math. Mathematics is an essential skill for data analysis, which means you will always find work in the data science field with an advanced understanding of math. However, math is also unendingly useful for a number of other business fields, to include economics and finance, accounting, actuarial science, market research and database administration. Most entry-level jobs that rely heavily on math pay astonishingly well because mathematics is such a rare and valuable skill in business.

Industrial/Occupational Psychology

A business is composed of people, and people are exceedingly complex. To better understand the needs of their staff, many organizations utilize the services of industrial/occupational (I/O) psychologists, who study the psychology of work, workers and the workplace. I/O psychologists can help business leaders devise better systems, structures, policies and programs to improve the performance of their staff. The median salary of I/O psychologists is over $96,000, but you will likely need to pursue advanced degrees before you can practice in industry.

Communication Science

The skill that sets humans apart from all other animal species — the most important skill in life and in the modern workplace — is communication. By devoting your studies to communication science, you can enhance your knowledge associated with this critical skill, which makes you better prepared for any business role. Many communications majors pursue positions that allow them to flex their superior communication abilities, such as jobs in content and web marketing, public relations, event planning, customer service and human resources.


One of the fields that everyone recognizes, engineering is not usually seen on lists of “underrated” degrees — but few think of engineering when preparing for a career in business. The truth is that many organizations rely on the innovation of engineers to create and refine products for clients and customers. A degree in engineering coupled with business knowledge and skill could qualify you for engineering management positions, which will catapult your career forward from the start.

You could take the traditional track through degree programs like business administration or accounting — or you could take advantage of the growth of certain business fields to find an easier path to success. Degrees from the above fields are in high demand across businesses, so you are almost certain to find a high-paying and satisfying role by committing to these fields early in your career. 

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