When it comes to bachelor’s degrees, Alabama is in business.
About 24% of first-time bachelors degrees in Alabama are in a business field, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That makes the business field the second-most popular field for first-time bachelor’s degrees in the state, behind only science and engineering.
In nine Alabama counties, business degrees are the most common type of bachelor’s for people 25 and older with a bachelor’s or higher. Those counties are Greene, Dallas, Conecuh, Shelby, Crenshaw, Butler, Russell, Talladega and Pickens.
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No county had a higher rate of business degrees than Greene County, in Alabama’s Black Belt region. Some 34% of people 25 and older there with at least a bachelor’s degree earned a degree in business – 10 percentage points higher than the statewide figure.
Greene is one of several Black Belt counties to rank highly on the list. One reason for this is the relatively small population in those areas – especially for people with college educations. Census data indicates there were just 584 people in Greene County with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2020. Census data shows 199 of those got a degree in a business field – but margin of error means those numbers aren’t 100% accurate. Still, trends show business degrees are common in Greene – and some other Black Belt counties, including Dallas County, home of Selma.
But these rural areas aren’t the only ones where business degrees are popular. Shelby County, one of the wealthiest counties in Alabama, also ranked highly on the list. More than 28% of people with at least a bachelor’s degree there had a degree in business.
On the other end of the spectrum, two neighboring south Alabama counties had the lowest rate for business degrees. Just 14% of bachelor’s degrees in Washington and Choctaw County, both just north of Mobile, were in business.