Want to Advance or Change a Business Career? Salaries, Skills, and Job Search Resources

By Russell H Roe, MLIS
Reference and Student Engagement Librarian, Golden Gate University Business Library

To start or advance a business career requires research into individual fields, desirable business skills, and up-to-date salary statistics. Google searches can produce helpful results but can also produce advertisements that float to the top of search results or job-listing sites that may not be helpful to people wanting to learn something new. For this reason, the GGU library, in concert with our faculty, presents information on careers in Organizational Leadership, Finance, and Marketing. We’ll start out with knowing your strengths and move on to career areas, where you will find basic resources, professional organizations, certifications, expert opinions from the GGU blog, and salary estimates.

This post may also be helpful if you are researching careers to see what undergraduate degree you might want to get, especially if you are going back to college in your mid-20’s, 30’s, or 40’s and need to make a sound decision.

Knowing Your Strengths

The business world is a vast and complex landscape shaped by bold ideas and strong personalities, and that can seem intimidating. It’s easy to feel like everyone except you has a skill that is allowing them to succeed, but the only difference between you and them is that they already know their strengths and are employing them.  You can use the following materials to discover your strengths, helping you narrow down the fields of study best for you.

StrengthsFinder 2.0: Assess your strengths in relation to 34 identifiable themes.

The Ultimate Career Guide for Business Major:  Includes “seven important questions” every prospective business student should be asking about a potential job, such as day-to-day tasks, career ladders, and best degrees.

Harvard Business Review’s Ace the Assessment: HBR predicted at the time of writing that the number of companies testing applicants would reach 90%. This free guide will help you understand and ace the tests, as well as divulge the skills and qualities employers want.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0: Easily rattled by criticism? Don’t know how to handle that annoying coworker? Emotional Intelligence 2.0 gives you the tools to understand yourself as an emotional being working around other emotional beings, and how to avoid interpersonal conflict and form positive relationships.

Management and Organizational Leadership Careers

Global Leader Index: Benchmark leadership traits before you move to a leadership position.

How do you know if you are ready to take on managerial responsibilities? from Forbes 

How Managers Become Leaders from Harvard Business Review

Leadership Best Practices from Development Dimensions International (DDI)

The New Leadership Literacies: The author predicts that more and more companies will be organized as distributed networks, with leadership emerging at various points.

Professional Organizations

MBA Exchange

National Association of Women MBAs

Expert Opinion

Organizational Leadership: Key Skills of Managing Complexity, Leading Complex Change

Know Your Brain, Grow Your Leadership

Job Resources

Association of MBAs


It takes money to make money, and someone needs to manage it all.


A Guide to Financial Careers

Corporate Finance Organizations

Corporate Finance Institute

Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Executives International

Financial Executives International of Silicon Valley

San Francisco Treasury Management Association

Silicon Valley Association for Financial Professionals 

Investments Organizations

Chartered Financial Analyst Institute

CFA Society San Francisco

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association

Technical Analysis Association of San Francisco 

American Association of Individual Investors 

Expert Opinion

Career and Educational Paths in Finance

How to Pass the CFA Exams: It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

Salary Estimates for Finance Careers

LinkedInGlassdoor, and Monster

Marketing Careers

Introduction to Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners: A general overview of marketing concepts before delving into concrete methods of data analysis, on and offline presence, and garnering publicity.

The Complete Guide to Facebook Marketing: Facebook saw 241 million Facebook users in Q2 2018, which reflects the enormous potential for your products or services.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising: Low cost, high growth digital marketing techniques that focus on social media and search engine optimization (SEO), as well as swift product evolution based on early testing. If you think you have the savvy to build an audience and sell a product, this book will help you hone your abilities into a budding marketing career.

Marketing Professional Organizations

American Marketing Association: Offers a wealth of information regarding current issues and best practices, along with industry data, career information, community networking, and student resources. Student membership is available.

Insights Association: This association of marketing researchers seeks insights into consumer behavior.  The Pacific Northwest chapter (San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle) is particularly active, providing professional development and social events. Student membership is available.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): The nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community with a mission to “make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career.” Our membership collectively represents more than 30,000 members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). San Francisco chapter welcomes students.

San Francisco Public Relations Round Table: Provides scholarships to public relations and marketing communications students. Meets at Golden Gate University four times a year.

Society for Marketing Professional Services: Access to networks of fellow professionals, career information, educational opportunities, leadership building opportunities, salary surveys, and certification information. Membership is fee-based.

Jobs & Salaries

Exploring Careers in Marketing is a short article that includes the chart above.

High Paying Jobs That Are Great for Career Changers: Social media manager and Market Research Analyst rank 2nd and 5th respectively.

2019 Creative & Marketing Salary Guide

Pay forecasts for Marketing Advertising and PR Positions

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster.

Expert Opinion

How to Build a Social Media Influencer Plan

Check back on this blog for tips and resources for starting a career in project management, leadership, financial planning, and more.

About Our Library

If you choose to study at Golden Gate University, the Business Library has the resources students need. We offer 116 databases collecting professional-level reports, profiles, statistics, industry information, company filings, government rulings, articles, and more. Librarians have cultivated these databases into 63 subject-based research guides designed to act as springboards for whatever information students need for assignments. For example, the Information Technology Management guide contains current articles on Blockchain; the Company Research guide points students to information such as Amazon.com’s return on investment; the Mergent database offers company reports that can include financial information and SWOT analyses. You can search these resources on the library’s website.


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