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Industries for management careers

Going for a graduate management job? Consider careers in these industries

Are you a born leader with management potential but don’t want to wait until you’re half-way up the career ladder to get your first taste of management? Find out which career sectors will allow you to work in a management job from the off.
Client-facing sectors offer the most graduate management opportunities.

Trainee manager roles and graduate management schemes will see you get involved in directing staff members, meeting financial targets and planning and supervising projects at the beginning of your career. Customer-facing sectors such as retail, retail banking and hospitality, as well as areas including construction, logistics and the public sector, offer the most graduate management opportunities.

Find a management career in the public sector

There are plenty of management opportunities for graduates who want to work for the public good – though competition can be fierce. Options include the NHS, civil service, local government and the armed forces  The NHS runs a management scheme to prepare graduates to work as a health service manager in finance, health informatics, HR or general management. The National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) and the Civil Service Fast Track Scheme are also intended for graduates who want work in national and local government. Both schemes require a degree in any discipline.

Graduates interested in the military can apply to join the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force at officer level – the management role of the military world.

Find out more about a career in the public sector.

Step into management with retail banking

Retail banking (also known as high street banking) is a great choice for those with managerial aspirations who would thrive in a fast-paced financial environment. Graduates can be employed as trainee branch or relationship managers. Large retail banks, building societies and supermarkets offering financial services often run graduate branch management schemes. They typically last around two years and many go on to become area managers. Management roles in retail banking are usually open to any degree subject.

Find out more about a career in retail banking and financial services.

Take up a management opportunity in retail

There are plenty of management opportunities for graduates in the fast-moving retail sector. Typically graduates start out as trainee store or departmental managers and many leading retailers, such as the John Lewis Partnership, Tesco and Aldi, run management training schemes. Forget shelf-stacking: you could be helping to manage budgets, overseeing pricing and stock control and leading a team. All degree disciplines are usually accepted for these roles.

Find out more about a career in retail.

Navigate your way into management in logistics

Graduates can walk straight into managing a team in the multi-disciplinary logistics sector. Most do this by going through a management training scheme and then onto a management role in their preferred area. Some become trainee transport managers or warehouse managers, while others secure distribution management roles. Some employers hire graduates with specific degrees (eg engineering), but there are opportunities for graduates from all degree backgrounds.

Find out more about a career in logistics, transport and supply chain.

Managers are needed in the hospitality industry

The hospitality industry is all about the consumer, so if you want a customer facing management role that requires the ability to think on your feet, then this area may be for you. Management roles such as hotel manager, restaurant manager and food service manager are suitable for graduates. Most enter at trainee or supervisor level or through a management trainee scheme at a large company. A hospitality degree can be advantageous, but generally most employers accept graduates with a degree in any subject.

Find out more about a career in hospitality, leisure and travel.

Build a management career in construction

If you’re a natural planner with a keen interest in the built environment, a management career in construction may be for you. Graduates can be hired as trainee site managers where they will help supervise construction sites and plan and run projects. You don’t need to have a specialist undergraduate degree as you can do a postgraduate conversion course. Some employers will sponsor you to complete this while you work for them; however sponsorship has become harder to secure over recent years.

Graduates can also be recruited as on site civil engineers who manage a team and oversee projects. For this role, an engineering degree would be required.

Many construction employers (including quantity surveying firms) hire graduates into assistant project manager roles. Although a related degree is not always required, it would be advantageous.

Find out more about a career in construction.