What is management and consultancy?
Business, Management and Consulting overview on Prospects. Management has been defined as “the process of planning, organising, co-ordinating and controlling resources”. This process is engaged in by most professionals in a diverse range of areas: just about any kind of organisation needs managers, from supermarkets to universities and from airlines to theatres.
What do managers do?
Managers have responsibility for, and control of, an organisation or (more often) an aspect of that organisation's work. Aspects of management include finance, sales, marketing, human resources, purchasing, logistics, strategic planning. All involve planning, directing, making decisions, problem-solving and taking responsibility.
What skills do managers need?
Managers need not only good organising and leadership skills but also the ability to work with other people: to communicate, persuade, influence and negotiate.
Do I need a business degree?
Not usually - many organisations will recruit graduates of any subject into trainee management posts, although some organisations may prefer a business-related degree.
If you are studying another subject, you may choose to take a postgraduate course that will give you a general introduction into management. There are also more specialised postgraduate management courses, such as Human Resources and Marketing. An MBA (Masters in Business Administration) degree is often useful for a manager's career development, but is not an appropriate course for new graduates, as a few years work experience is normally required.
How do I get into management?
Many students think that a “graduate training scheme” in a major blue-chip company is the only way into management – but this is only one of the possible routes with around 20,000 graduates joining schemes with The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers each year.
Other routes might be through:
- a professional qualification and/or experience
- starting in a more junior role and working your way up
- starting your own business
A few employers run general training schemes, where graduates are rotated between different management functions, but more often you will need to decide which area of management interests you before applying.
Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives and is a rapidly growing profession. According to the Association for Project Management, Project Managers are in increasing demand, and in general, project management skills are considered highly valuable by businesses. Numerous surveys have predicted the demand to grow for many years to come.
The core components of project management include putting together business cases, leading the project delivery team, risk and budget management. For a more detailed list of duties, take a look at the Association for Project Management’s website.
- How to become a project manager
- Role and responsibilities of Project Managers
- Project manager job profile from Prospects
- Charity Officer leading and administering projects
- Business Project Manager job profile from the National Careers Service
- Project Coordinator job profile from Charity Jobs
Management consultancy is the service provided to business, public and other undertakings by an independent person in identifying and investigating problems concerned with policy, organisation, procedures and methods, recommending appropriate action and helping to implement those recommendations.
Management consultants provide objective advice and expertise that will identify options for the organisation, and suggest recommendations for change. They may advise on: organisational structure and development; production management; marketing, sales and distribution; personnel management and selection; systems analysis and design, and economic and environmental studies.
This is a very popular career choice for students, but is not easy to get into as a new graduate. You will need a strong academic background; good numeracy, analytical and communication skills, confidence, determination and a strong interest in business. It is also common to move into consultancy after building up expertise in areas such as HR, finance, systems, production, marketing or operational research.
- Job profile of a management consultant from the Prospects website
- Job profile of a management consultant from the TARGETjobs website
- Inside Careers: management consultancy
- Profiles from the Management Consultancies Association
Background to working in Management Consultancy
- Management Consultancies Association includes careers advice and a jobs board
- Management Consulting Career Guide from efinancial careers
- Top Consultant includes career forum and free PDF career guide
Find out more
- Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply information on professional qualifications
- Supply Chain Online jobs in purchasing, supply chain and logistics
- Reed Purchasing jobs
- Barclay Meade Procurement Jobs
- CASTUK specialise in procurement, supply chain and logistics recruitment
- Government Procurement
Specialist advice on opportunities in Finance, Insurance Accountancy and Consultancy Inside Careers
What to know about a career in management Balance careers
ICSA Chartered Secretaries are high ranking professionals trained in corporate law, finance, governance, company secretaryship and management. They advise companies about the conduct of business, governance and compliance and are often part of the senior management team.
Vault Research companies and find tips of preparation for applications and interviews.
Inside Careers A comprehensive source of information on careers in consultancy.
Rate my Placement An insight into the consulting industry; internships, placements and work experience
Oxford University Information, advice and resources to explore careers in Management Consultancy
Association for Project Management
Practitioner Qualifications - Association of Project Management
Prospects job profile of a Project Manager
Project Manager Case Studies
Supply Chain Management