Steps to Advancing on a Management Career PathSteps to Advancing on a Management Career PathSteps to Advancing on a Management Career Path

Managers play an important role across all types of companies and industries. From small businesses to large corporations, and facilities to finance, managers are leading the way. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for management professionals are on the rise, with roles for management occupations projected to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030.

As the marketplace evolves and companies adapt to the changing business landscape amid the ongoing pandemic, organizations need management professionals to lead their teams through challenges and toward success. With strong work experience and an advanced education, such as a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, future business leaders can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to confidently embark on a management career path, helping themselves and their employers achieve their goals.

A senior marketing manager is standing at a whiteboard making a presentation to a group.

Skills Needed to Advance on a Management Career Path

Keeping up with the rapidly evolving business landscape takes knowledge and years of experience. By investing time in building core competencies, business professionals can develop the valuable skills necessary to take on the challenges of modern business and become talented, competent, and forward-thinking managers able to help an organization succeed. Some of these skills include:

  • Leadership: Those in advanced management positions must be able to not only direct the employees they oversee but also to conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism, proving themselves to be competent, knowledgeable, and respectful leaders.
  • Team Building: For a team to work well together, managers must put in place a system that ensures open communication and efficient coordination and cooperation among employees.
  • Critical Thinking: Strong leaders consider all sides of an issue before deciding on a solution. Managers who can think critically and can thoroughly analyze an issue are better able to guide an organization.
  • Decision-Making: As the saying goes for those in management: “The buck stops here.” The responsibility for a final decision can often fall on the shoulders of managers who must be able to make quick and informed decisions.
  • Problem-Solving: Managers often oversee operational and personnel concerns, making the ability to solve problems and strive for the best possible outcome a key part of their job.

Earning an advanced degree and pursuing work experience or an internship provides graduates with the opportunity to show not only that they are committed to a career in management, but that they have developed advanced skills in areas such as project management, business intelligence, product development, and strategic planning. According to PayScale, those on a management career path with a range of valuable knowledge and qualifications put themselves in the position to earn a higher salary.

How to Advance Your Career in Management

With a well-rounded education, relevant work experience, a strong professional network, and the in-depth knowledge required by their fields, advanced managers become skilled professionals who have the potential to drive success for themselves and their organizations.

Complete an Advanced Education

Pursuing an advanced degree can equip graduates with practical knowledge, while demonstrating to potential employers that they have the expertise to complete complex management tasks. An online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, for instance, educates students in areas such as organizational development, business ethics, project management, accounting, and leadership.

Students in Maryville University’s online master’s in management and leadership program can choose to concentrate in rising professional fields such as cybersecurity, health administration, human resource management, information technology, marketing, project management, data analytics, and software development. These concentrations help students build practical, relevant skills for their chosen career path.

Gain Experience

In addition to pursuing an advanced degree, many professionals choose to gain real-world experience through internships or entry-level management positions, allowing them to build a foundation of experience and add valuable training to their resume. Working directly with professionals in a given field can also help future business leaders keep up with important industry trends.

Develop a Professional Network

With many positions being filled through networking, graduates can also move forward on their management career path by cultivating relationships. By joining organizations and attending events sponsored by groups like the American Management Association, Project Management Institute, or International Facility Management Association, or by taking advantage of the alumni resources at their school, ambitious professionals can build valuable connections that will enrich and help them throughout their careers.

Job Settings for Advanced Management Careers

Employed in fields ranging across advertising, educational institutions, cybersecurity, healthcare, and government or nonprofit agencies, the daily life and responsibilities of advanced managers can look very different depending on the management career path chosen.

For managers in coveted top-paying industries, the BLS reports mean annual management occupation salaries ranging from $181,740 in central banking to $196,280 in securities, commodity contracts, and other investment-related activities as of May 2020. Management professionals who rise to top executive positions, such as CEO, president, chief operating officer (COO), or chief financial officer (CFO), can earn annual median salaries of around $185,950, according to the BLS, with manufacturing and professional, scientific, and technical services executives earning the highest median salaries of $208,000 or more.

What Are Advanced Management Careers?

What separates an advanced management career path from other avenues in business? Those striving to fulfill roles in advanced management are looking to take on senior or executive positions, often setting their sights on working for large corporations, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. To qualify for coveted high-level positions, graduates often acquire years of work experience as well as an advanced degree.

For graduates interested in pursuing a management career path, one of the greatest advantages is the versatility, allowing those with an advanced degree in management to pursue a career in any of a wide variety of industries. Some sought-after management positions include:

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers. Responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing an organization’s computer-related activities, computer and information systems managers are in high demand. As computers and technology impact virtually every industry, the need for professionals who can manage a tech-savvy team is growing.
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers. Architectural and engineering managers are highly skilled professionals responsible for planning and coordination for architectural and engineering firms. As with other management fields, most have at least a bachelor’s degree and years of experience, and the management career path often includes earning a master’s degree.
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers. Managers in the marketing and advertising realm oversee projects and the creative teams tasked with generating interest in products and services. As global marketplaces become increasingly competitive, the demand for these skilled managers is growing.
  • Financial Managers. Preparing financial reports, handling direct investment activities, and developing plans and strategies for an organization’s long-term financial goals, financial managers play an important role in the success of companies.
  • Sales Managers. Tasked with leading sales teams, and often required to travel and handle sales across large territories, sales managers supervise the salespeople who are the boots on the ground for corporations.

Take Your Management Career to the Next Level

Future professionals on the advanced management career path have the opportunity to steer organizations toward success. For individuals looking to build the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running in their new career, pursuing a program like Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership can provide them with the foundation they need.

With its 100% online program, practical experience gained through collaborative team projects, and opportunity to choose from eight concentrations, our program is designed to prepare graduates for real-world challenges. Discover what you can do with an exciting new career in management with an online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Maryville University.

Recommended Reading

Ethical Leadership in Business: Why It Matters

Importance of Diversity in Leadership

Virtual Leadership Styles for Remote Businesses


American Management Association

The Balance Careers, “Top Management Skills Employers Value with Examples”

Harvard Business Review, “What Does It Mean to Be a Manager Today?”

International Facility Management Association

PayScale, Average Business Manager Salary

Project Management Institute

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Administrative Services and Facilities Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Architectural and Engineering Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Systems Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Management Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sales Managers

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