Management Professions

There are many different potential career options for individuals interested in management professions. Earning an MBA might help prepare students to pursue these careers. Let's take a look at some careers in management that might interest a person with a business administration degree.

Chairman

careers for mbas

The leader of the board of directors, the chairman assists the CEO in carrying out the corporate plan: aiding in project planning, development, sales and other functions as required. In public companies, the chairman's allegiance is to the shareholders, and must ensure that the firm's operations result in a positive return on their investment. The chairman is elected or appointed by the rest of the board; often, the CEO is also the chairman, or slides into that role as he gives up his CEO post.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

An executive is awarded the chief executive post either through years of loyalty and achievement inside, or notable accomplishments in another firm. Along with the board of directors, the internal and external face of the company shapes the corporate strategic map, and gets the credit (or the blame) depending on the results. The CEO directly oversees the rest of the C-level team (CIO, COO, etc.).

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

A relatively new invention in the corporate hierarchy (and increasingly important), the CIO is responsible for everything IT-related. It's not just making sure everyone has the proper computer equipment. The CIO must consider questions of legacy and succession planning (are our systems outdated? will we be able to handle upcoming expansion in personnel and product lines?), security, compliance, and overall structure (are our systems efficiently configured to maximum benefit?). CIOs often have advanced management degrees as well as expertise in software, hardware and/or connectivity.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Such an officer must be able to relate easily to people that fall into two distinctly different camps - salesmen and "creatives" - as he oversees all aspects of the performance of a product or line of business. The CMO directs the activities of the advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers and keeps the CEO apprised of progress and developments.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO is generally seen as the No. 2 behind the CEO; indeed, the COO frequently rises to become chief executive. The COO is more hands-on in the day-to-day life of a company, and reports back to the CEO with detail and insight. The COO must achieve outcomes under budget constraints, and balance customer, employee and organizational goals.

Corporate Communications Executive

For years, corporate PR was considered to be exclusively for damage control during events like the Exxon Valdez or the Tylenol cyanide scare. Whenever a CEO had problems with the press, the white knights of corporate PR came to the rescue to help avert a worse catastrophe. Corporate PR groups still perform this function. However, the work of corporate PR groups is much broader than just handling crisis management. Corporate PR groups now manage corporate spokespersons, serve as experts on media training and public appearances and coach CEOs as they prepare for media appearances and event marketing. The corporate PR group is also known for initiating major press coverage in industry and business trade publications, as well as corporate-focused articles in general interest magazines like Time, Newsweek or Vanity Fair. PR professionals also develop relationships with government officials and lobbying groups that may have influence over legislation affecting the company’s growth and development.

Corporate Development Manager

Corporate development encompasses large-scale projects that generally fall outside of any one department's responsibilities. Fundraising is one function that would fall under this umbrella, as would planning a merger or acquisition, launching a new product line (or sunsetting one in decline), or considering a partner for a strategic alliance.

Corporate Planning Manager

This area is the think tank that produces a firm's short- and long-term planning reports, which outline where a company stands, what it wants to achieve, and how it expects to meet its goals. Strategic managers and directors work closely with other company leaders. A successful planner must possess a logical and analytical mind, and be able to reformulate strategy as market conditions change.

Corporate Security Services Manager

A director in this division would keep the company's physical and intellectual property safe from harm, by establishing protocols for such events as dealing with emergencies and handling terminated employees. Depending on the employer, a security services manager may also get involved with building security (deliveries, visitors, magnetic entry cards for workers) or, to some extent, computer system security.

Strategic Planning Manager

This area is the think tank that produces a firm's short- and long-term planning reports, which outline where a company stands, what it wants to achieve, and how it expects to meet its goals. Strategic managers and directors work closely with other company leaders. A successful planner must possess a logical and analytical mind, and be able to reformulate strategy as market conditions change.

Division Manager

Part of middle management, the division manager is only responsible for one limited section of the company. Depending on the company and its structure, this could mean being responsible for one product type (say, Green Giant's frozen vegetables division) or one function (marketing tomato products at Ragu), or operations in a specific geographic area.

Facilities Manager

A worker in this area would oversee the maintenance of the firm's physical plant and supplies. The manager might have to arrange for landscaping or painting, maintain heating/cooling/plumbing systems, manage a fleet of company cars, or repair broken windows, for instance.

Franchise Manager

It's necessary for a franchisee or business owner to be extremely organized: He or she must keep track of all aspects of the business and serve as accountant, customer service rep, staff manager, QC manager, service provider/product manufacturer, equipment/building manager and marketer simultaneously. And there's no one to fall back on. A franchisee may or may not have to report location sales results to a corporate home office.

General Manager

"General Manager" is more a broad description than a title. The GM may carry the title of brand manager, managing director or executive director depending on what type of business he works in. (For our illustration, in consumer products, in law or accountancy, or at a non-profit.) The GM is responsible for P&L (profit and loss) within a business segment.

Project Manager

Being a project manager can mean many things—it all depends on what industry you're talking about. In the dot-com and advertising worlds, project managers are in charge of supervising writers, editors, developers, designers and advertising teams and are called upon whenever a company wants to launch a new product, redesign the site, add a new service or upgrade old systems. A big part of being a project manager is the ability to understand the intricacies of a particular project and to manage an interdepartmental team to complete a project on time and within budget constraints. While the project manager manages the day-to-day progress of the project, he/she is also the "first arbiter of quality." In short, he/she is responsible for making sure the project is a success. Higher-level project managers are often called "program managers" and manage a number of projects, as well as a project management team.

Strategic Planning Manager

This area is the think tank that produces a firm's short- and long-term planning reports, which outline where a company stands, what it wants to achieve, and how it expects to meet its goals. Strategic managers and directors work closely with other company leaders. A successful planner must possess a logical and analytical mind, and be able to reformulate strategy as market conditions change.

Strategy and Corporate Development Manager

Corporate development encompasses large-scale projects that generally fall outside of any one department's responsibilities. Fundraising is one function that would fall under this umbrella, as would planning a merger or acquisition, launching a new product line (or sunsetting one in decline), or considering a partner for a strategic alliance.

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