What Can You Do With a Management Degree? | Top Universities

What Can You Do With a Management Degree?

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Sabrina Collier

Updated Apr 17, 2021



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Studying a management degree gives graduates a broad knowledge of business, finance, economics and marketing, as well as a range of practical skills and work experience, making them highly sought after by graduate employers and for graduate training schemes. Management graduates can work in a large variety of sectors, including the public, private and voluntary sectors.

With the second edition of the QS World University Rankings: Masters in Management Rankings coming soon, we thought we’d run through the main graduate career paths for management students. For each career option, we’ll include the average salary you can expect if you worked in the UK or the US, with data from PayScale. We’ve also covered careers for the similar degrees of business, business analytics and finance.

Management consultant

Average salary: $84,963 in the US, £46,904 in the UK

One of the most obvious careers paths with a management degree is management consultancy, in which you’ll help business improve their performance and evolve by resolving problems and using your business skills to offer objective, expert advice on the company’s strategy, structure, management and operations. You’ll need to carry out research and data collection in order to best understand the company and its goals, and then identify issues, present your findings and help implement changes. This role involves a large amount of responsibility and pressure, and management consultants often work with minimal supervision, so it’s important to have stamina and be self-motivated.

While a master’s degree or a PhD is not essential for becoming a management consultant, they are desirable and can mean you can enter the profession at a more senior level. There is intense competition for this role so you can demonstrate your commitment by joining the Institute of Consulting (IC) in the UK, taking part in relevant work experience, and keeping up to date with industry news.

Production manager

Average salary: $68,227 in the US, £34,618 in the UK

If you have an interest in manufacturing and want to combine this with the knowledge you acquired in your management degree, a role as a production manager could be for you, in which you’ll be responsible for the planning, coordination and technical management of manufacturing processes. Your exact responsibilities vary depending on the company size and the nature of the production system, but you’ll be involved with both human and material resources, designating both a timescale and budget for production jobs and being responsible for product standards and ensuring health and safety standards are met. Most production managers are employed by food manufacturing and processing companies.

To become a production manager, you’ll need a relevant degree as well as strong technical, organization, teamworking and project management skills. Membership with a professional body (such as The Institute of Operations Management (IOM) in the UK) is beneficial, as is work experience.

Project manager

Average salary: $71,944 in the US, £37,917 in the UK

Project managers are responsible for delivering projects on time and within budget by organizing people, resources and tasks. Also known as project coordinators and project officers, you could work in almost any sector and organization, from healthcare to construction or advertising. Your role will involve finding out the client’s goals, checking the feasibility of the project by analyzing budgets, teams and resources, negotiating with contractors and suppliers, monitoring progress and implementing changes where needed, reporting back to senior managers and the client, and evaluating the success of the project against its expectations, in order to learn from any mistakes.

If you want to be a project manager, you could find a graduate job as an assistant project manager or train for the role through a graduate scheme or apprenticeship. (In the UK you’ll likely need to train for an industry qualification such as the PRINCE2 or Agile). Of course, you’ll also need strong organizational skills as well as interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to make decisions under pressure.

Social media manager

Average salary: $49,015 in the US, £25,247 in the UK

One of the newer management careers, if you’re an expert social media user and understand how engaging multimedia content can be used to promote businesses, you might enjoy a career as a social media manager. In this role, you’ll be responsible for developing and implementing strategies for social media marketing, including blogging, maintaining social media platforms, and creating and/or outsourcing videos. You might also be involved with other areas of marketing and communication, particularly in smaller companies. Social media is fast-paced and always changing, making your role difficult but always interesting.

To get this management job, you’ll probably need a degree (ideally in business management, marketing, media or public relations) and will likely need to find work in a junior position before working your way up. You’ll need to show employers that you have a broad knowledge of a range of social media platforms, and have great creativity, communication skills and an attention to detail.

Risk manager

Average salary: $83,651 in the US, £50,108 in the UK

Risk managers advise organizations on the potential risks to its profitability, reputation, safety, security and even existence. After identifying and assessing threats, risk managers implement plans and processes to ensure their client is prepared when something goes wrong. You might specialize in a particular area, such as enterprise risk or corporate governance. This is a highly analytical role in which you’ll need to be aware of the company’s goals, legal requirements, costs and environmental factors. You’ll also need to build relationships with clients and present your risk reporting in a suitable way to different audiences.

Although a specialized postgraduate degree in risk management isn’t essential, it would be very beneficial in your path to becoming a risk manager. You could also join a professional body, such as the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) to increase your employment prospects.

Other management careers

Other management careers you could pursue following your degree include roles in retail management, in which you’ll be responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of a store, working on the shop floor to deliver excellent customer service and meet the store’s financial goals. Or if you have an interest in finance and excellent numeracy skills to match, you could pursue a career as a forensic accountant. The skills gained from your management degree would also be useful for a role as a human resource manager, in which you’ll help employees develop their careers and look after relations, benefits and welfare. You could also work as a sales executive/consultant, promoting products and services to customers and aiming to meet sales targets. And of course, your management degree could also enable you to have the skills and knowledge to become an entrepreneur and found your own business!


‘What Can You Do With a Management Degree?’ is part of our ‘What Can You Do With…’ series. We have also covered art, biology, business, communications, computer science, English, engineering, fashion, finance, history, geography, law, marketing, mathematics, performing arts, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology, chemistry, economics and physics.

This article was originally published in November 2017. It was updated in September 2018 with the latest salary figures.

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