Working in business with a degree (or similar)

Many of the jobs available for business graduates are either training routes into senior posts within the organisation or are specialist jobs that require a high level of technical knowledge.

There is often a lot of competition for graduate training schemes with large companies. Many of these opportunities are based in London and other large cities.

Example jobs

Project manager
Planning and managing all kinds of business projects, and making sure they are completed on time and within budget.

Health service manager
Making sure that a hospital, or other health organisation, runs efficiently and effectively.

Executive officers
The first level of management in the civil service within one of the government departments. They may manage the work, training and development of other administrative staff in a department or section.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay level graph

Typical working conditions

  • Work is usually office-based, although you may be required to travel to meetings as part of your job.
  • You might need languages to work for an international organisation and you may have the opportunity to work overseas.
  • Working hours at this level are more flexible, as managers are often expected to work additional hours when needed.

Qualifications needed

You will usually need a degree, often in a business-related subject. To enter a degree course, you will usually need relevant A levels such as business and finance. IT, English and maths are also useful.

Another option is to take Level 3 courses such as BTEC National diplomas in business-related subjects and then study for a Level 4 and 5 HNC/HND in business. These courses will give you the opportunity to learn about how businesses operate in the workplace.

You could also study for a two-year foundation degree in business. You can use an HND or foundation degree in business to contribute towards a full degree qualification. These qualifications will usually allow you to enter the final year of a degree course.

Career path

Some employers will support you to continue your study beyond degree level if the study will help you develop in your career. This may involve studying professional qualifications for the industry you work in. For example, if you work in a personnel department you could take specialist qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

If you want to progress through the levels of management, then university postgraduate courses are available in business, such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Most applicants for MBA courses need to have business experience. You will usually study for these courses part time and may be supported by your employer.

Useful links

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Association of MBAs

Find out more aboutĀ postgraduate business education

Civil Service Fast Stream

Fast track careers in the civil service

Prospects

The UK's official graduate careers website