Exploring Different Types of Management Careers

Exploring Different Types of Management Careers

11 minute read

Management roles are needed across almost every industry and field. Whatever your field of interest, from finance to real estate or healthcare, you can pursue a management career.

We’ll look at the responsibilities, qualifications, and paths you need to get started in a management career. We’ll also share the skills specific to management jobs in various fields. With this guide, you can get started learning how to be a leader in your industry.

What is a Management Career?

A manager is a person in charge of others within a department or section. But they’re more than just bosses. Managers are leaders who need to be able to wear many hats in their roles in order to inspire and direct their teams. The specific day-to-day tasks and general responsibilities of each job may differ, but almost all manager careers involve the following:

  • Decision-making
  • Motivating a team
  • Tracking department goals
  • Training direct reports
  • Enforcing company policy

The Educational Path to a Management Career

There is no one-size-fits-all route to becoming a manager. However, there are key steps you can take to navigate your way toward a managerial career. 

These steps are designed to help you develop the necessary skills and qualifications to progress in your career and advance to managerial positions.

Take Courses

Earning a business degree can significantly boost your chances of securing a management position. However, you don't necessarily need to attend an expensive business school to kickstart your journey. Online educational platforms offer a wide range of business courses that allow you to explore different areas before you commit to a formal degree program.

In addition to general business classes, certain courses can help you learn the skills you’ll need in most management positions:

Find Your Speciality

Consider taking courses that align with your specific interests and industry to prepare for a management position in your chosen field. For instance, aspiring healthcare managers can benefit from courses in medical terminology, healthcare administration, and healthcare policy. Those aiming for restaurant management roles may find it helpful to study hospitality management, food and beverage operations, and customer service strategies. By tailoring your education to your chosen field, you’ll acquire the relevant knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a manager.

Earn Certifications

As you work your way to a fulfilling management career, research the certifications relevant to your chosen field. Project managers can obtain the highly-regarded Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which demonstrates proficiency in project management practices. 

Similarly, certifications like the Professional Certificate in Team Leadership (PCTL) can grow your leadership skills and make you more competitive in the job market.

Work Your Way Up

Sometimes, despite a degree or certification, you will have to work your way up in an organization before you earn a management position. The timeline for this process varies, but it’s a great way to get to know the industry, particularly one that may be newer to you. 

Other times, especially if you’re already a working professional with experience in your area of specialty, you might be able to jump right into a management position once you’ve taken certain courses or earned certifications.

11 Different Types of Management Careers

Like being a doctor, there are many ways to be a manager. In the next section, we’ll explore how to start on a management career path, but here are a few types of management careers to consider.

1. Product Manager

Product managers play pivotal roles in various industries, including consumer goods and technology. They’re responsible for overseeing a product’s development, marketing, and improvement throughout its lifecycle.

Responsibilities of a product manager typically include:

  • Market research and analysis
  • Product development
  • Product roadmap planning
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Project management
  • Performance monitoring
  • Continuous product improvement

Some product manager positions start with a degree in information technology, computer science, business administration, or a related field. However, many employers value hands-on experience and industry knowledge over formal education. 

2. Property Manager

Those interested in real estate might consider a career as a property manager. They oversee various aspects of property operations and ensure the smooth functioning of a building or community. 

Some property manager responsibilities include:

  • Rent management
  • Tenant management
  • Property maintenance
  • Staff supervision
  • Financial management
  • Legal compliance
  • Record keeping

Most employers prefer property manager candidates with a bachelor's degree in business administration, real estate, accounting, finance, or management. While a high school diploma may technically suffice, having a relevant degree provides a strong foundation in some of the key areas of property management we mentioned above. Whatever your path to property management, focus on developing strong communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and organizational skills.

3. Business Development Manager

Nearly every industry needs business development managers, from retail to financial services. In this role, managers identify and pursue opportunities for a business’s growth and expansion. Their primary focus is to create and implement strategies that will generate new revenue streams and improve their organization’s overall market position. 

Here are some common responsibilities of business development managers:

  • Developing growth strategies
  • Lead generation and follow-up
  • Market research and analysis
  • Collaboration with sales and marketing
  • Client relationship management
  • Performance monitoring and reporting
  • Strategic partnerships and alliances

Many business development managers have at least a bachelor's degree in business or a related field. However, the most relevant aspects of business development management are critical thinking and negotiation skills, which can be gained through relevant work experience. 

4. Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are highly sought-after across industries such as retail, media and advertising, hospitality, healthcare, finance, and IT. They play a significant role in crafting brand awareness, extending brand reach, and advocating for a company's products or services to the target audience. Marketing managers wield considerable influence in shaping a brand's identity and how it connects with its audience.

The responsibilities of a marketing manager encompass a broad spectrum:

  • Narrating the brand's story
  • Heightening product awareness
  • Acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones
  • Deciding how, where, when, and to whom a product or service should be presented
  • Making a product appealing to the target segment
  • Overseeing internal teams
  • Devising and executing marketing/sales campaigns
  • Determining seasonal promotional offers
  • Collaborating with the marketing team to disseminate the brand's messages

Marketing managers often need a degree in marketing, finance, or business. They also need a creative mindset, business acumen, analytical skills, communication and negotiation skills, technical proficiency, and an understanding of the sales process. 

5. Social Media Manager

Social media managers are in high demand these days. That’s because nearly every business across almost every industry has a social media presence and needs a professional who can manage their public image.

Their primary duties involve:

  • Developing social media campaigns
  • Interacting with customers and clients
  • Creating, curating, and managing published content
  • Cultivating leads and sales
  • Performing research and analytics
  • Supervising social media marketing associates

Candidates for this role typically need a bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, business, journalism, or management. That background will provide the solid foundation you need in marketing strategies, communication techniques, and business management principles. 

6. Sales Manager

A sales manager’s primary role revolves around leading a team to achieve sales targets, set quotas, implement team procedures, and provide sales forecasts. They also assist in developing sales strategies, which include fostering relationships with clients or customers. 

Typical responsibilities of a sales manager include:

  • Leading sales teams to reach targets
  • Setting quotas for sales representatives
  • Implementing team procedures and strategies
  • Providing sales forecasts to inform decision-making
  • Developing and implementing sales strategies
  • Analyzing market trends and competition
  • Fostering relationships with clients or customers

This career path usually requires a bachelor's degree in business or a related area. It’s also often necessary to have experience working with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, past experience in sales roles, and strong communication skills.

7. Financial Manager

Financial managers manage a company's finances, set financial goals, and devise data-driven strategies to achieve them. They often collaborate with project managers and departmental managers to make major financial decisions for their organizations.

Typical responsibilities of a financial manager include:

  • Developing short-term and long-term financial goals
  • Devising data-centric strategies to achieve financial goals
  • Collaborating with project managers and departmental managers
  • Budget planning and resource allocation
  • Investment planning and risk assessment
  • Creating detailed financial reports
  • Implementing strategies for budgeting and forecasting
  • Brainstorming on fund procurement
  • Monitoring key financial metrics
  • Evaluating the organization’s financial performance

For a career as a financial manager, individuals typically need an advanced degree in relevant fields such as mathematics, economics, accountancy, finance, or business. Additionally, they must possess excellent problem-solving, analytical, and technical skills.

8. Administrative Managers

Administrative managers oversee and coordinate administrative functions within an organization to maintain efficient operations and smooth workflow. They handle a variety of tasks, from managing office supplies and facilities to supervising administrative staff and implementing organizational policies and procedures. Because of the nature of this role, administrative managers are sought after across nearly every industry and field.

Some of the more common responsibilities include:

  • Managing office supplies and facilities
  • Supervising administrative staff
  • Implementing organizational policies and procedures
  • Coordinating administrative functions
  • Handling budgetary matters and expense reports
  • Organizing meetings and events
  • Managing correspondence and communication channels

Potential administrative managers usually begin by gaining experience in other administrative roles or office management positions, such as administrative assistants, office coordinators, or team leads. To succeed in this role, administrative managers must have strong organizational, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

9. Project Manager

Project managers must be excellent coordinators. They work collaboratively with various teams to oversee production from the planning stages to completion. For example, a project manager for a marketing agency might oversee a specific campaign from start to finish, guiding it through each stage of the process and making sure all teams do their part.

While many companies have project managers on staff, some businesses opt to hire independent contractors for project management roles.  

Day-to-day responsibilities usually include:

  • Creating project plans
  • Delegating tasks and responsibilities
  • Supervising project team members
  • Creating and managing project timelines and budgets
  • Monitoring project progress and milestones

Project managers must possess strong organizational, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. They usually start their careers with experience in project coordination, team leadership, or related roles within their industry. There are also degrees in project management, business administration, or related fields that can be beneficial.

10. Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers collaborate closely with top executives to strategize on various HR functions, including recruiting, interviewing, and retaining employees. They play a key role in directing and managing a company's human resources by acting as the liaison between top management executives and staff.

Most HR managers can expect to:

  • Strategize on recruiting, interviewing, and retaining Employees
  • Boost employee morale and productivity
  • Create talent acquisition plans
  • Monitor employee performance
  • Evaluate employer-employee relations
  • Craft HR policies
  • Conduct annual salary surveys
  • Develop training programs

You can always get started in HR by pursuing entry-level roles, such as an HR assistant. Degrees in human resources management, business administration, or a related field can also help you build your career. Note that HR managers need strong interpersonal, communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and organizational skills.

11. Health Services Manager

Nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings need health services managers. These professionals oversee expenses, ensure doctor availability, handle administrative duties, and manage medical benefits. They must stay updated on the latest laws, regulations, and technologies relevant to the healthcare field to ensure compliance and efficiency.

Typical responsibilities of a health services manager include:

  • Managing expenses related to healthcare services
  • Ensuring doctor availability for patient care
  • Handling administrative duties and operations of Healthcare facilities
  • Managing medical benefits and insurance matters
  • Staying updated on laws, regulations, and technologies in healthcare
  • Ensuring compliance with healthcare standards and best practices
  • Overseeing staff and personnel management

Those interested in healthcare management positions often start with education in fields such as healthcare administration or public health management. Healthcare internships or entry-level jobs can also offer valuable experience for a management role in health services. 

Start Your Path to Management With StraighterLine

StraighterLine offers many online courses for those who are ready to work as managers. Our offerings include courses in business as well as specialty areas you can focus on, like finance. For those ready to dive in, we offer a Management Career Path Bundle that includes the following courses:

Enrolling in the Management Career Path Bundle automatically saves you money — the cost per course is reduced when you purchase them together rather than separately.

Plus, when you take your management courses with StraighterLine, you can transfer the credit you earn to degree paths at over 150 partner schools and thousands of other schools through the ACE credit recommendation program. 

Get started on your path to a management career today with StraighterLine!

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