Business Management is a highly popular and competitive industry to break into with lots of areas to dip into. But, with its global career opportunities and skill development potential, we say go for it! To give you a helping hand, here are a few types of business management roles you can go into, including what you need to apply, what skills employers look for and what the roles entail.
Why should I work in business management?
You can make a career in business management anything you want it to be. If you have a solid academic or experience-based background and you can show you have what it takes, the industry is your oyster! Business management roles are well-paid and usually offer amazing benefits, depending on the company you work for. Although climbing up the ladder can be tough in some areas, if you have commitment and determination then that rewarding moment will come. This sector offers room for personal interests, progression and improvement, as you’ll constantly gain new skills, contacts through networking or partnerships and other opportunities. Business management gives you the chance to take on real responsibility, making decisions and impacting the business on your own accord.
As a retail manager, you'll work alongside sales assistants to help the day-to-day running of the store. From refreshing stock and dealing with customers to solving any problems that arise. The skills needed for this role include organisation, leadership, customer service, adaptability and good communication skills.
The career path for a retail manager is straightforward, and you can often move up the ladder within a matter of years. The key is to gain one to two years of experience as a sales assistant first. Gaining those first years of experience will enable you to get your foot in the door and show your manager that you have the skills and ability to take on a supervisor role that entails more responsibility for the shop, staff and targets the team needs to achieve.
To apply for sales assistant roles, you’ll need 4 - 5 (C / 4 GCSEs), particularly in English, Mathematics and Science. It isn’t always necessary to take a degree route, but if you want to gain theoretical knowledge of the industry and market then disciplines like Business Studies or Economics would be an option. You can also move into this area through a college course:
- Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Management - requires 4 - 5 C / 4 GCSEs or equivalent.
- Level 4 Diploma in Retail Management - requires 1 or 2 A-Levels in a range of subjects or one-two years of retail experience.
Business Development Manager
Generally, a Business Development Manager takes on most of the responsibility for growing a business. This is often done by finding new opportunities, enhancing business reputation, expanding on relationships with existing or potential partnerships and clients and researching new market leads. Depending on your interests and career goals, Business Development Managers usually specialise in a specific area, such as non-profit, IT, healthcare or education.
Getting into Business Development roles as a graduate is possible through graduate schemes or work experience. This can lead to mid-level roles that will have more responsibilities, a bigger team and higher targets to reach. You can take the degree route into Business Management roles, as many UK universities offer the course full-time or coupled with another subject area, such as Economics. Or you can take the apprenticeship route by starting at level 2 or 3 (GCSE equivalent), moving up to levels 4 to 6 or 7 (equivalent to Bachelor or Masters degree). The benefits of an apprenticeship in Business Management is the hands-on experience, full-time wage and you’ll receive an overview of how to run a business.
To become a Business Development Manager and succeed, you’ll need strong leadership skills, mathematical ability, customer service experience and the ambition to reach goals. Learn about the top skills for a career in Management.
Supply Chain Management
If you work as a supply chain manager, you’ll manage and oversee every single stage of the production process and performance. This can include implementing a new logistical strategy, analysing performance and forecasts, maintaining cost and quality and motivating your team. Some key skills you’ll need include problem-solving, organisation, time-management, negotiation and relationship management skills.
You can break into this area with a degree, foundation degree or Higher National Diploma in a range of subjects including Computing, Finance Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management. Not-for-profit organisation NOVUS, offers supply chain management courses supported by leading companies to offer students year-long placements and a guaranteed graduate job upon completion and achievement of a 2.1. Two universities that offer this are the University of Huddersfield and Aston University.
It is possible to find your way in without a degree. You can work your way up the ladder to this role by starting as an administrative assistant, trainee buyer or purchasing assistant. You can also take part in work experience or recognised professional qualifications that will help boost your skills and chances of climbing the ladder faster. Look at Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply to find out more
Learn about what is Operations and Supply Chain.
HR Managers oversee strategies and processes throughout the department, as well as dealing with employee relations and recruiting new talent. Unlike other Business Management roles that focus on managing the business or project, HR managers manage the people in those businesses. They will also be part of training sessions, including the design, budget and assessing which staff members need it the most. HR managers need strong interpersonal skills, clear and accurate communication, leadership skills and the ability to make decisions under pressure.
Employers don’t always look for academic qualifications in this field. But qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development are highly recognised and desirable by employers. Apprenticeships are available:
- Level 3 - HR support apprenticeship
- Level 5 - HR Consultant/partner apprenticeship
Requiring 4-5 GCSEs from C / 4 grade (or equivalent). Or, degrees in Business Studies, Psychology or HR will set you up to impress employers. Work experience in an HR setting is extremely beneficial because it shows employers you are dedicated to the industry and that you may have some transferable skills and knowledge from that experience to bring to the table.
Business Advisors offer advice to start up or highly established businesses to help them expand. From advice on finances, business plans or even marketing objectives. You’ll need excellent communication and analytical skills (numerical data especially) and an understanding of the different departments of the business and what function they play.
As a graduate, you may start in this field as a Junior Business Advisor or consultant. With more experience, this will lead to higher-paying mid-level or senior roles depending on the size of your company and number of employees. Learn more about management consulting.
To break into this field, it is beneficial to have a business-related degree discipline or A-Level qualifications such as Business Studies, Economics or Marketing. BTEC qualifications in subjects like business, enterprise, accountancy and entrepreneurship can be just as good. But the main thing is you need a proven track record in business management - this can be from work experience, shadowing from the experience of work in finance, HR and management before.
A Project Manager is a very broad job role as it depends entirely on who you work for and what type of project you manage. But, the overall role of a Project Manager is to increase profitability and develop long-term business goals, brainstorm strategies to expand the business, run projects smoothly and budget project costs throughout. A Project Manager needs strong leadership, communication, negotiation skills, critical thinking and organisational skills.
Project Management positions are relevant in many sectors, from marketing, retail and construction. As a graduate in this area, you’ll likely start as a junior project manager first. If you want to go to university, a business-related role is recommended, but depending on the industry you want to work in, having another degree discipline will be useful - the more you know about that area the better! A Masters qualification is beneficial and will start you off higher up the ladder than those with an undergraduate degree.
Apprenticeships are great for Project Management. You could study as a Project Coordinator, Project Executive or a Project Support Officer. Requiring 4-5 GCSEs from C / 4 and up, or 1-2 A-Levels in different subjects. Apprenticeships can build industry contacts and hands-on experience, all while earning! There are many training and qualifications available too - these can be a stepping stone into a higher-paid role.
Why are business management roles popular?
If you aspire to be a business leader or entrepreneur, business management roles give you a real insight into how businesses are run, what it takes to succeed and what skills you need to work on to be the best. Business management roles are always in high demand, so having that background or academic experience is a good option for your future. These roles are also very broad, but that lets your interests and passions take over to find what you want to be involved in or put your stamp on.
If so, browse graduate jobs for Management and Business today and take the next step towards your future career.