Management roughly divides into two categories: people management and project management. If you choose to work with people, you’ll be running an organisation, team of employees or section/department of a business. You could be in charge of recruitment, logistics, scheduling, finances, policy or any combination of those things.

Jobs in project management

Project management involves planning projects from start to finish, organising resources and people while sticking to a budget and schedule. This can involve use of project management tools or computer programmes: Gantt charts, Logic Network, PERT charts, Product Breakdown Structure and Work Breakdown Structure are all standard tools used in project management. These ensure every stage of the project is reached in a timely fashion, enabling it to move forward to the next.

Jobs in people management

There is often overlap however, in people management it is still likely you’ll be working on one overall project, while in project management, you’ll be overseeing the work of your team members on that particular project.

Broadly speaking, senior managers are in charge of large departments, big budgets and difficult decisions, while junior managers look after the smaller details amd departments, and report to senior managers.

Business managers typically work in general management or hold specific responsibilities for a particular area of an organisation, such as marketing, strategy planning, human resources (HR) or information technology (IT). Some roles lean towards people management, while others focus on project management, but most managers will need skills in both areas.

Careers in management consultancy span every single area of work. These types of professionals are needed in a wide variety of businesses, from hospitals and banks to media companies and factories, often running things behind the scenes: organising projects, teams and ensuring the smooth operation of organisations.

Consultants come up with answers to all sorts of important business questions: what makes the world’s leading brands so successful? How can businesses, their suppliers and networks operate in an environmentally friendly way? How can they make sure their staff feel happy at work? They are therefore invaluable to business.

Management apprenticeships

School leavers wanting to work in this sector could do an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) in management, which includes: monitoring work, giving feedback, briefing teams, supporting team members, resolving problems, procuring supplies, project management, and delivering and improving customer service.

They could then do an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) learning skills in planning, allocating and monitoring the work of a team, supporting team members, managing conflict, resolving problems, project management, agreeing budgets and managing customer service. School leavers with A-levels could also access these schemes.

For those with a good set of A-level results, or those who have completed Advanced Apprenticeships, there are Higher Apprenticeships in management, including informing strategic decision making, managing budgets, planning and implementing change, leading teams and managing programmes of complimentary projects.

Those wanting to work in management could also consider a school leaver programme – schemes on which trainees work for a company (and are paid a salary) while also studying towards professional qualifications – or a sponsored degree.

School leavers could also look at the business management courses on offer at further education college and university. 

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