Prepare for a Career in Management

A career in management can be extremely rewarding, both financially and professionally, but getting to the top requires hard work and dedication. Understanding what GCSEs are necessary and which A Level courses will set you head and shoulders above the rest can prove essential to your success. The key to climbing the managerial ladder begins at school.

Having solid GCSE results is undoubtedly one of the best ways to pave the way towards a career in management. Gaining entry onto A Level courses and degrees usually requires at least five GCSEs, grade A-C, in the core subjects. Potential employers will expect a minimum GCSE grade C in both English and Maths.

Business Studies and Business and Communication Systems are certainly great options for those on a managerial career path to consider while still at school. With subjects such as marketing, business communication, finance and enterprise covered throughout the course, and the opportunity to explore business within the international and national context of today’s modern society, Business Studies and Business and Communication Systems offer an excellent glimpse into the future for tomorrow’s potential managers.  These courses are available at many state and private schools.

Design Technology offers pupils the chance to try out their project management skills and ICT is essential in today’s computerised world. History is also a good course for those aiming to forge a career in management. The skills acquired during the GCSE and the lessons learned throughout offer not only a solid foundation of knowledge but also a valuable insight into the workings of the world. Language GCSEs can also help pupils strengthen their communication skills, which can pay dividends when it comes to preparing CVs and doing business in the international arena. Language courses also give many budding managers an edge over their peers. Likewise, Psychology, Law, Leisure and Tourism can strengthen people management skills and should, therefore, be considered alongside the core subjects.

Apart from choosing the right GCSEs and striving to get the best grades possible, what else can secondary school pupils do to  prepare them for a career in management? Careers Guidance tools, such as the multiple choice questions asked through the ‘Kudos’ system, can really help individuals to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.

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Work experience also provides a valuable opportunity for young adults and can give pupils the chance to experience the real day-to-day working environment in a particular field. If management is the end goal, then there is no better way to experience what your future working environment will be like than shadowing a manager in a busy office.

Choosing A Levels to help propel you into the world of management can be a little trickier. If you have a clear idea of what kind of organisation you want to work for and in what capacity, whether it be a project, finance or HR manager, you can tailor your choices specifically. Alternatively, approaching A Levels in much the same way as GCSEs can result in achieving a rounded skill set. An English A Level can help to demonstrate strong communication skills, Maths A Levels confirm numeracy and logical reasoning and Business Studies will further skills acquired at GCSE level. Psychology and Law are also strong A Level options for anyone hoping to continue into management.

It may also be worth looking into post-16 apprenticeships and training schemes. Many companies will willingly take strong candidates and train them up, providing them with the necessary skills for the job whilst allowing them to gain qualifications en route.

Image credit: Bromsgrove School

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