Graduates looking for business, consulting or management jobs have an array of options to choose from, the hard part is narrowing them down. Read up on what different careers involve and discover what's on offer in the sector
It's highly likely that you'll need a degree to climb the ranks in this sector - the highest paying business, consultancy and management jobs are offered at graduate level. What's more, the range of jobs you can get with a business-related degree is much broader than if you're entering the job market without one.
You may be able to work your way up without a degree in smaller businesses, but this can take years and you'll need extensive experience to progress.
You'll provide information, support, coaching, advice and guidance to individuals looking to start their own business through to supporting established businesses.
Many business advisers are graduates from a variety of disciplines, who started out in a professional and financial service such as HR, recruitment, marketing, accountancy, finance or banking. Many have worked in industry and have run their own businesses.
Learn more about the role of a business adviser.
In this typically IT-focused business job you'll work with an organisation to manage, change and plan for the future in line with their goals, either for specific projects or on a more permanent basis. You'll create solutions to their problems, usually (but not always) in relation to information and software systems.
You'll need excellent communication skills, the ability to motivate others and lead change and a related degree in a subject such as business information systems.
Find out more about what's involved in becoming a business analyst.
Business development manager
Concerned with improving and growing a business, you'll foster and develop relationships with customers, suppliers and other partners. You may work to improve profitability or to enhance the operation of the business, position or reputation in some way.
To be successful you'll need tenacity, excellent communication skills, initiative, good networking skills and the ability to think strategically.
Discover what else you'll need to become a business development manager.
You'll use theories and knowledge to provide specialist advice, by studying data and statistics and uncovering trends. You'll carry out research and collect large amounts of information, which will then be used to assess feasibility, produce forecasts of economic trends, determine the implications of your findings and recommend ways to improve efficiency.
Entry is possible with a degree in economics, or a joint degree.
Find out what you could earn as an economist.
Not all consultancy jobs confine you to a desk. To become an environmental consultant you'll need an honours degree in environmental and earth sciences, environmental management, geology or hydrogeology. You'll also need sound business skills and commercial awareness.
You'll work with organisations on a range of environmental issues, offering expert advisory and assessment services to your clients with the aim of minimising or eliminating environmental damage.
Read up on how to become an environmental consultant.
By scientifically studying the relationship between people, environments and equipment, ergonomists use their findings to improve human interaction with processes and systems.
You'll need good numeracy and problem-solving skills, the ability to understand technical concepts and an interest in people's behaviour in different situations.
You'll also need an undergraduate or Masters degree in ergonomics/human factors, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).
Find out more about becoming an ergonomist.
Health service manager
Working in either an NHS or private healthcare setting, you'll manage the cost, delivery and quality of healthcare services. You'll work with both clinical and non-clinical staff, as well as other partner organisations, while considering the demands of political policy and local circumstances.
As a graduate with a minimum 2:2 degree (or equivalent) in any subject, you can apply to the fast-track NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme.
Gain an insight into the role of a health service manager.
In this management position you’ll be responsible for the day-to-day management of a hotel and its staff, as well as holding commercial accountability for budgeting and financial management. You'll plan, organise and direct hotel services, including front-of-house, food and beverage operations and housekeeping. In larger hotels you'll often have a specific remit, such as guest services, accounting or marketing.
Read more about the role of a hotel manager and discover 6 reasons to get into hotel management.
Working in the public sector, for private companies or accountancy firms you'll provide an independent guarantee that an organisation's risk management, governance and control processes are operating effectively.
While open to all graduates a degree, HND or foundation degree in accountancy, economics, finance or IT may be beneficial.
Discover how to become an internal auditor.
Helping organisations to solve issues, create value, maximise growth and improve business performance you’ll use your business skills to provide objective advice and expertise, and help an organisation to develop any specialist skills that it may be lacking.
Management consultancy is open to graduates from any degree discipline, but a degree that is numerical or analytical may give you an advantage.
Read more about the responsibilities of a management consultant.
Also known as business, administrative or operations managers, office managers are responsible for organising all of the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of an office.
To carry out your duties you'll need excellent organisations skills, strong IT knowledge, the ability to prioritise, teamworking skills, interpersonal and communication skills such as speaking, listening and writing.
For further information, see office manager.
Opportunities are available with any company that makes a product, whether technical, financial or manufactured.
You'll ensure that the product is being made as efficiently as possible and that the people working on it have access to the latest technologies and techniques. You're also responsible for the life cycle of the product - ensuring that the roadmap is followed, and features are being released on time.
Learn more about a career as a product manager.
You're responsible for completing the project work in line with the plan so you'll need to track work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks to your project team, identifying any potential risks.
You can get into project management with a degree in any subject. However, studying business or project management will provide practical knowledge about the commercial aspects of projects.
Find out more about the role of a project manager and discover how to become a project manager.
Aiming to maximise profits while minimising costs, retail managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments. You'll ensure promotions are run to the company's standards and make sure that staff work towards targets.
Although open to all graduates, an HND or degree in business studies, fashion management, marketing, and retail management may increase your chances.
Gain an insight into the role of a retail manager and discover 6 questions to ask in a retail management interview.
Working to advise organisations on potential risks to the profitability or existence of the company, you'll identify and assess threats, put plans in place if things go wrong and decide how to avoid, reduce or transfer risks.
Technical acumen, decision-making and problem-solving ability, planning and organisational skills, commercial awareness and the ability to understand broad business issues are essential to the role.
Discover what it takes to become a risk manager.
You'll help companies and businesses become more socially and environmentally responsible in how they operate. Responsibilities involve evaluating the impact a company is having on the environment and then minimising that impact or planning the use of limited resources.
While you don't always need a degree, most sustainability consultants do have one.
Learn more about the role of a sustainability consultant.
Find out more
- Search graduate jobs in business, consulting and management.
- Find out more about graduate careers in consulting.