Professional development is important in this fast-moving industry. To improve your career prospects and stay ahead of the game take a look at broad range of available management courses

Undertaking further training in the form of a postgraduate degree, professional qualification or short course is not always necessary but it can significantly increase your career potential.

Management Masters

A large number of employers in the business sector accept graduates of any degree discipline, so while postgraduate study isn't essential, it can improve your chances of employment in a competitive industry and boost your business knowledge, giving you an advantage over other undergraduate candidates.

There are a vast number of postgraduate management courses available at a variety of universities. You could study a general management course in order to keep your options open. How about the MSc in Management at Queen's University Belfast, the University of Bath's International Management MSc or the Business Management MSc at the University of Hull?

Alternatively, if you'd like to study a particular area of management in greater depth you could choose a more specific course such as MSc Human Resource Management as offered by the University of Birmingham, Technology Management (University College London), Marketing Management (University of Surrey) or Media Management (University of Glasgow). Search for postgraduate courses in management studies and discover what you can do with a business and management degree.

To fit your study around work commitments most postgraduate management courses give you the option to study part time. Some employers may even support employees by granting time off to study or by paying course fees. This is called employer sponsorship.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA), an advanced qualification designed for those with business experience, is also a popular choice for managers and business professionals who are looking to take their career to the next level. MBA courses are highly regarded by employers, but the cost and reputation of programmes can vary widely - so research your options carefully.

Leadership and management courses

Once you're in a job, professional qualifications can give your prospects a real boost. Leadership and management courses are a popular option as they cover a lot of ground, and the skills and qualifications they provide can be used in a variety of roles.

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) only one in five managers have recognised management qualifications, despite employers actively seeking candidates with these credentials. The good news is CMI and ILM both offer qualifications and training in areas such as team leading, first-line management, management and leadership, strategic management, coaching and mentoring and business and enterprise.

CMI management courses span all stages of your career from Level 2 (first-time or junior managers) through to Level 8 (senior managers or directors). Their coaching and mentoring programmes cover Levels 3 to 7. Qualifications are available at award, certificate and diploma level. A similar qualification structure is available via the ILM. These qualifications cater to all levels of management from team leaders and junior managers, through to middle manager and senior manager level.

Awards are the shortest qualifications and usually take one to three months to complete, certificates take between three to six months and diplomas can last up to a year.

Management consulting

If you're looking to progress your career in management consulting many large firms have structured-training programmes, while in smaller consultancies you'll learn on the job. Professional qualifications and training can be carried out while working, awards are offered by the Institute of Consulting (IC).

The IC provides Level 5 qualifications in Professional Consulting and Business Support for those at the start of their career. No experience is required and the qualifications can be studied at award, certificate and diploma level. The Level 7 award in Professional Consulting is a higher grade qualification, which develops your skills and knowledge of management consultancy and requires you to have a degree or at least five years business experience.

Becoming a member of a professional body such as the IC demonstrates your commitment to the profession and enables you to study for the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) qualification, the ultimate accolade within consulting. You'll need at least three years professional experience and can study for the award at your own pace to fit around work commitments. To maintain your CMC status you'll have to undergo a re-certification process every three years.

Discover more about the role of a management consultant.

IT consulting

Known as IT management if working in-house, and IT consulting if working for clients, graduates of any degree discipline can enter this profession. If your undergraduate qualification is in an unrelated subject, taking a postgraduate degree in IT or computing may increase your chances of finding work.

The BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) also offers a range of IT management courses to help you climb the career ladder. Qualifications cover all stages of an IT consulting career from foundation to higher level.

Through the BCS you can study courses in IT Service and Asset Management and Consultancy. Aimed at those in, or moving into, a consultancy role, the Consultancy Practitioner level certificate requires you to have a recognised qualification or at least three years' technical or business experience in your consultancy discipline. The BCS International Diploma in Consultancy is a higher-level qualification and is targeted towards business or technical specialists.

Gain an insight into the role of an IT consultant and find out more about IT training.

Marketing management

If your interest lies in marketing you can move into this area of management with a business-related degree, but bear in mind that this is not a graduate-entry profession. To become a marketing manager you will usually need three to five years' experience in a marketing or business role.

A marketing-based Masters may help if your undergraduate degree was in an unrelated subject. Search for postgraduate courses in marketing management.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) also offers a helping hand to those trying to break in to, and those already working in, the marketing management field. Their range of professional qualifications span from Level 3 (Foundation Certificate in Marketing - aimed at all those starting out in a marketing career) to Level 7 (Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Marketing and the CMI Marketing Leadership Programme - both targeted at experienced marketers and senior business people who aspire to work in marketing management).

The CIM also provide a variety of individual and in-house training courses.

Human resource (HR) management

It is possible to move into HR with a business or management-related degree. Human resource management Masters degrees are available and may help you secure a job if your undergraduate study is unrelated. Search for postgraduate courses in human resource management.

You can enter HR without professional qualifications but for middle and high-level posts, especially management, many employers prefer you to hold a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Available in award, certificate and diploma form their qualifications cover foundation Level 3 (introductory), intermediate Level 5 (undergraduate) and advanced Level 7 (postgraduate). Intermediate and advanced qualifications are for aspiring and experienced HR managers and aim to expand your knowledge, skills and experience and to provide a pathway to chartered membership status.

Specialist and short training courses run by CIPD are also available and cover leadership, management and business skills, learning and development, employment law and employee regulations.

Risk management

If you're passionate about entering the risk profession but didn't study the subject at undergraduate level you could consider a Masters qualification to increase your chances of success. Search for postgraduate courses in risk management.

If you decide to forgo a Masters, graduates of non-relevant degrees can still achieve an entry-level role by studying for the Institute of Risk Management's (IRM) International Certificate in Risk Management - an introductory, distance-learning qualification perfect for candidates at the beginning of their risk career. No previous experience or qualifications are necessary and the certificate usually takes five to ten months to complete.

Graduates of a relevant degree can study for the International Diploma in Enterprise Risk Management - a postgraduate-level qualification for risk professionals. Undertaken via distance learning, the diploma takes three years to complete. The first two modules lead to the International Certificate, which you must complete before moving on to modules three to six.

If you have your sights set on the financial sector, the IRM cater for you too with the International Certificate in Financial Services Risk Management. In 2019 the IRM will also introduce a Digital Risk Management Certificate qualification.

Learn more about the role of a risk manager.

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