A Head for Business

The world of business operations specialists can be lucrative. With rare exceptions, you need a bachelor’s degree for these positions, which include everything from human resources to finances to management. Median annual wage ranges from $38,791 for meeting, convention and event planners to $74, 924 for personal financial advisors.

Highest pay

Personal financial advisors have a median wage of $74,924. Most are employed by financial investment firms, who also give bonuses in addition to salary.

The highest pay in business operations is for personal financial advisors, credit analysts, logisticians, and management analysts.

Credit analysts look at financial data to determine the risk of lending to a person or firm. The  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2020 shows that South Central Kentucky is one of the top-paying non-metropolitan areas in the nation for credit analysts. Annual mean wage in this area of Kentucky is $78,620.

Logisticians analyze and coordinate the supply chain for a company. They can be found in many industries.

A career as a management analyst is right for you if you’ve spent several years in your field, perhaps accounting or marketing, and you know how to make things more efficient, cutting costs and increasing profits. At minimum you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree in business administration makes you more competitive.

  • Personal financial advisors: 9.98 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 2,235 to 2,458 jobs. Median wage $74,924.
  • Credit analysts: 4.70 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 745 to 780 jobs. Median wage $74,771.
  • Logisticians: 8.46 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,973 to 2,140 jobs. Median wage $72,705.
  • Management analysts: 18.78 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 5,486 to 6,516 jobs. Median wage $70,628.

Wanted: A mind for data

Being able to analyze statistics is a key element in two of the fastest-growing business occupations for those with college degrees: operations research analysts and marketing research analysts.

Jobs for operations research analysts are expected to grow nationally 25 percent from 2019-2029. In Kentucky, jobs are expected to grow even more, at 26.42 percent. Median annual wage in Kentucky is $66,016. This field requires a background in computer science and advanced math, such as calculus and statistics.

South Central Kentucky is among the top five highest paying areas for this field in the nation, with annual mean wage of $78,140, according to May 2020 data from BLS.

Jobs for market research analysts and marketing specialists are expected to grow 22.56 percent from 2018-2028. Businesses depend on marketing specialists to measure the effectiveness of strategies to bring the company’s products or services to the attention of buyers.

  • Operations research analysts: 26.42 percent from 2018 to 2028, from 1,075 to 1,359 jobs. Median wage $66,016.
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists: 22.56 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 4,946 to 6,062 jobs. Median wage $54,500.

Financial operations

Jobs are always available for the professionals who are trusted with adding up the numbers.

Cost estimators collect data in order to figure up the amount of time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. Businesses depend on their accurate estimates in order to make a profit. Nationwide, over a third of cost estimators, 37 percent, work for specialty trade contractors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Cost estimators: 5.71 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,803 to 1,906 positions. Median wage $63,216.

Accountant and auditors make up the largest occupational group in the financial specialist category in Kentucky. Over 13,400 total positions are expected by 2028. Accountants need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Earning the CPA (certified public accountant) credential can improve job prospects.

  • Accountants and auditors: 9.75 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 12,281 to 13,478 positions. Median wage $61,434.

Human resources

Human resources specialists are needed in almost every business, to recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They may also handle compensation and benefits.

  • Human resources specialists: 5.51 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 7,547 to 7,963 positions. Median wage $56,730.
  • Human resources managers: 9.59 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,575 to 1,726 positions. Median wage $93,077.


These business specialists can expect double-digit growth in Kentucky from 2018-2028.

  • Fundraisers: 11.91 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 949 to 1,062 positions. Median wage $50,805.
  • Training and development specialists: 12.37 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 3,161 to 3,552 positions. Median wage $52,658.
  • Credit counselors: 12.47 percent increase from 2018 to 2028 from 473 to 532 positions. Median wage $45,419.

Figures from the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.

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