However, if you would like to advance your career, you have to perform well regardless of being a government contractor or working in business field. You should make improvement from time to time rather than competing with others.
The business field is very competitive but rewarding. The important thing is to set yourself apart from others. If you are considering a career in this area, look at what competencies are required and look to see how you acquire the skills to be proficient in these competencies, but also to get experience in the competencies. There are similar competencies across many roles in business e.g. communication, creative thinking, would suggest looking for ways you can learn the academic theory but also how you can acquire or practice these skills.