Career Outlook

Berkeley College General Business Career Outlook

General Business at a Glance

Berkeley College General Business Career Outlook

Career Opportunities

Students graduating from the General Business program can apply for such positions as customer service representatives and sales associates in a wide variety of industries.

Job Training

Customer service representatives usually receive short-term on-the-job training. Those who work in finance and insurance may need several months of training to learn more complicated financial regulations. Most retail sales workers also receive on-the-job training. Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Shift supervisors are required to have a few years of experience in the industry before taking on a management role. Some employers require that those working in management and supervisory positions have a college degree.

Job Responsibilities

Typical tasks performed by customer service representatives include:

  • Listen to customers’ questions and concerns, and provide answers or responses
  • Provide information about products and services
  • Take orders, calculate charges, and process billing or payments
  • Review or make changes to customer accounts
  • Handle returns or complaints

Typical tasks performed by retail sales workers include:

  • Greet customers and determine what each customer wants or needs
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions

Outlook for Employment

Employment of customer service representatives is projected to grow 10 percent through 2024, faster than  the average for all occupations. Employment of retail sales workers is projected to grow 7 percent through 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Industries That Employed the Most Customer Service Representatives in 2014:

  • Administrative and support services – 18%
  • Insurance carriers and related activities – 12%
  • Retail trade – 12%
  • Monetary authorities, credit intermediation, and related activities – 9%

Industries That Employed the Most Retail Sales Workers in 2014:

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores – 20%
  • General merchandise stores – 19%
  • Motor vehicle and parts dealers – 11%
  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers – 10%
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores – 7%

Please note that these are national statistics and projections that might vary by location.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm and http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/retail-sales-workers.htm

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