If you want to reach the top level and stay there, discover more about management courses. From degree programmes to professional development courses these qualifications can boost your prospects
Many employers in the business sector accept graduates of any degree discipline, so postgraduate study isn't essential. However, it can improve your chances of employment in a competitive industry, increase your business knowledge and widen your pool of contacts, giving you an advantage over undergraduate candidates.
Postgraduate management courses are available at a variety of universities. You could study a general management course to keep your options open, such the:
- MSc in Management at Queen's University Belfast
- MSc in International Management at the University of Bath
- MSc in Business Management 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 Sports Management, Birkbeck University of London
- MSc Human Resource Management, University of Birmingham
- MSc Technology Management, University College London
- MSc Media Management, University of Glasgow.
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 - so research your options carefully.
Find out more about Masters degrees.
You could also consider studying a management apprenticeship, where you'll gain a qualification up to Masters level while applying your learning on the job.
Much of the appeal is that you’ll earn while you learn, bypassing tuition fees and student debt.
Management apprenticeships are run by organisations such as:
For more information see business apprenticeships.
Leadership and management courses
Once you're in a job, obtaining additional professional qualifications can enhance the quality of your work. Leadership and management courses are a popular option, as they cover a lot of ground and the skills they provide can be used in a variety of roles.
The CMI and ILM both offer qualifications and training in areas such as leadership and 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). The 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.
Progressing your career in management consulting involves completing a consulting graduate scheme or structured training programme if you're based in a large firm or learning on the job in smaller consultancies. Wherever you're based, 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 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 develops your skills and knowledge of management consultancy. You'll need a degree or at least five years' business experience to apply.
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. 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.
Learn more about becoming a management consultant.
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.
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 isn't an entry-level role. To become a marketing manager, you'll 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 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 professional qualifications span from Level 3 (Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing) to Level 7 (Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Marketing and the CMI Marketing Leadership Programme).
The CIM also provides a variety of individual and in-house training courses.
Human resource (HR) management
t's 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, CIPD 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.
You don’t need a specific degree or Masters qualification to become a facilities manager; graduates of all disciplines can enter the profession. However, a degree in building management, business studies or property may prove useful.
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) can aid your progression in the field with its suite of professional qualifications from Level 2 (entry level) to Level 7 (senior, strategic level). You can study either an award, certificate, diploma and extended diploma.
Qualifications include the certificate in facilities services (Level 2), Diploma in facilities management (Level 4) and the extended diploma in facilities management (Level 7).
The IWFM also run short training courses in areas such as facilities management strategy and essentials of the workplace.
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 Enterprise 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.
The Digital Risk Management Certificate brings risk management into the present day, equipping students with the tools and understanding to manage risk in an increasingly digital world. The course takes six to nine months to complete and provides a detailed introduction to cyber security principles and practices.
Learn more about the role of a risk manager.
Find out more
- See what the business, consulting and management sector has to offer.
- Find out how to become a project manager.
- Discover how to answer management interview questions.