The office has long been the cornerstone of business in the United States. Most people assumed they would put on a suit and head to a desk when they graduated from college. Now, that’s not the case. In today’s world of connectivity, more people are spending time in non-office jobs.

A business degree is leading more graduates to non-corporate business environments. One of the best things about receiving a business education is that it can take you down any path you choose. And that path doesn’t always include a suit and a cubicle.

Some Alternatives to Office Jobs

Here are six alternatives to office jobs for business majors to consider.

Restaurant Owner

Opening a restaurant can be a tricky endeavor. Spending time in the restaurant industry can help you know where to start, but you’re much more likely to succeed with the training a business degree provides.

No matter what kind of restaurant you’re opening or looking to manage, a business plan is needed, along with research into target markets. When launching a restaurant, securing financing is important. Skills in human resource management, bookkeeping and marketing will come into play. Restaurant owners must also have good communication and leadership skills. All these business tactics will be incredibly important as the restaurant grows and, hopefully, thrives.

In a post on Modern Restaurant Management, restaurant owner Rich Lansdale said, “Don’t forget you are running a business. You need to do so efficiently, with the goal of keeping costs down and profits up. Spend time going over the books each month. Always look for ways to market yourself better, improve menu items, streamline operations and help staff do their job better.”

While it takes a special person to run a restaurant successfully, this satisfying career is well suited for those with acute business insight, the drive to work hard toward their dreams and the right education.


Farmers are managers and entrepreneurs, and because farming is big business, they have a lot of responsibilities. Farm Progress stated, “Farmers fulfill nearly all executive roles in their organization: chief executive officer, chief financial offers and HR manager, just to name a few.”

The skills learned in a degree program can help any farmer stand the test of time in the agricultural business. Some important expertise needed in farming are analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills and financial skills. People managing farms must also be able to vet employees.

Many farmers and agricultural managers come into the role through on-the-job training, but business acumen plays a pivotal role in the success of a farmer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated, “As farm and land management has grown more complex and costly, farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers have increasingly needed postsecondary education.”

The agriculture industry also offers many specialties. Though most think of tractors in fields, aquaculture farming, the farming of fish, and pastoral farming, the raising of animals for profit, offer some alternative options to crop farming.

Anyone with a love for land who is up for a challenge can toss their suit and use their business skills in the American farming industry.

Greenhouse Manager

Greenhouse management is an up and coming career path for those with a business degree and an interest in agriculture. Here are just a few of the responsibilities of this role:

  • Monitor and oversee inventory.
  • Supervise and hire greenhouse staff.
  • Maintain records of financials.
  • Improve processes and follow regulations.

Increasing in popularity, greenhouses and nurseries are an excellent place to grow a business career. With the interest in urban farming, greenhouse managers will likely be in high demand in the years to come. Plus, this opportunity to work with your hands while still interacting with other businesses and the public make it a great opportunity to toss the suit.

While experience in horticulture or agriculture is important, a business degree could set you apart in this career. In fact, job postings on AG Careers show an MBA as a preference for greenhouse management jobs. That makes sense given the importance of supervision, communication and bookkeeping skills in this career.

Discover the Top Industries in Alabama

Interested in learning more about industries in Alabama? Wondering if Alabama is the right place for you to advance your business career? With our free guide, you can learn all about Alabama industries and what business expertise you need to make an impact in the state.

Access the Guide

Event Planner

Most don’t think a business degree translates into a career in the event industry, but business is pivotal to success as an event planner. Typically, a bachelor’s degree with some hospitality experience is required to be hired as an event planner. While some who enter the field have specialized degrees in event management, many major in business.

Event planning requires all the skills that business school teaches in a unique way. The job may sound like it’s all fun and games, but event planning is an intellectually challenging career that requires organizational, communication and financial skills.

The responsibilities of an event planner can change in an instant, but primarily include:

  • Identifying business opportunities.
  • Developing a network of contractors.
  • Budgeting and negotiating costs.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders and contractors.
  • Providing customer service.
  • Gathering data to inform choices for future events.

According to the BLS, job growth in event planning is growing faster than average. Business graduates with a knack for all things business and boundless creativity could find success and satisfaction in an event planning career.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

A career in pharmaceutical sales offers a chance for business graduates to get away from the desk and still have a lucrative business career. The pharmaceutical sales industry offers plenty of perks, with many companies offering bonuses or company cars, and the flexibility to make your own schedule.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives usually work on commission in a certain territory. They schedule their meetings with health care providers and cultivate leads and customers for their companies. Much of their job requires clear communication to educate about products and excellent organizational skills to manage their own schedule and workload.

Those with an interest in science and health care and a strong business background are uniquely suited for this growing career field. As with any sales career, perseverance, time management and communication skills are key in this fast-paced industry. There’s also plenty of room for growth if life on the road gets to be too much, including managerial positions.

Construction Project Manager

A construction project manager is a pivotal member of any construction team. They take on many responsibilities related to not just the project but the overall business goals. They plan and manage workloads for entire team, budget and do cost estimates and hire and supervise team members.

Aproplan, a construction app, stated, “Not all construction project managers know what they do all the time. Sometimes, they get too overwhelmed with so many tasks and with the multiple stakeholders they have to communicate with.” That’s where preparation with a business degree comes into play.

With strong communication skills, a knack for financial planning and budgeting and the ability to manage people effectively, a construction project manager will stand out among the rest. A strong business education can help graduates get out of the cubicle and into the construction zone.

Find Your Non-Office Job with a Business Degree

A business degree is truly what you make it. If you’re interested in entering any of these fields or others that require a background in business, consider earning your online business administration degree from the University of West Alabama. Already have a business degree? Expand your skills with our online MBA program.

With UWA, you’ll earn your degree entirely online at one of the state’s most affordable institutions. Our flexible structure allows you to challenge yourself while still fitting education into your busy lifestyle. We proudly provide all our students with personal support from application to graduation and look forward to helping you find ways to toss the suit in your business career.