This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info

7 Managerial Positions for Future Business Leaders to Strive For

illustration of an organizational chart

You’ve come a long way since borrowing a family friend’s old blazer for that first job interview. Since then, you’ve got yourself on a steadier career footing and things are going ok. But you can’t help but wonder if it’s time to take the next step. Some people shy away from climbing the ladder, but you know that you’re capable of more—you just need a little help in determining where to focus your effort.

To help you determine what career path to choose, we’ve taken a closer look at a variety of managerial positions you may be interested in pursuing as you advance in your career. Whether you’re in healthcare, IT, marketing or finance, there is a “next rung” on the career ladder—and it is closer than you think!

7 Management roles to strive for

Career growth can take you in a ton of directions—so what can you expect from these different branches of opportunities? We take a closer look at seven management positions to potentially grow into.

1. Health services manager

Job duties: Health services managers handle the business behind healthcare. Just like any other business, hospitals need to turn a profit in order to stay open. As a manager, you would keep track of services rendered, prices charged and bills paid. You may also work with medical staff to determine if your department is running efficiently. Do the doctors want more time with their patients? Are the nurses consistently working overtime on shifts? Will a change in our scheduling process cause issues? Are patients satisfied with the outcome of their visits? These are the kinds of questions and factors health services managers weigh.

Work environment: You can work in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, hospital departments such as pediatrics, or—with additional licensure—nursing homes.

Salary and job outlook: The median annual salary for medical and health services managers was $99,730 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 The BLS also projects an 18 percent increase in employment of medical and health services managers by 2028, much faster than the national average of 5 percent for all occupations.1 Given the large aging population and improved management of chronic illness, more workers are needed across the board to manage the increased patient load.

Education requirements: Education requirements for these roles will vary somewhat depending on the specifics of the position. That said, our analysis of over 422,000 medical and health services management job postings from the past year found that 67 percent of positions were seeking a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.2 Looking beyond minimum requirements, 36 percent of health services manager job postings preferred candidates with a Master’s degree.2

2. Human resources manager

Job duties: An HR manager plays a vital role in the handling of an organization’s internal business. In this position, you would oversee the efforts of a team to find, hire, and onboard new employees. Additionally, HR managers guide efforts to mediate workplace conflicts and ensure that all parties feel safe and fairly treated. Being detail-oriented is a must as you will keep track of sometimes complex employment laws regarding equal employment opportunity, healthcare, wages and retirement plans.

Work environment: Most HR managers work in traditional business settings; however, you may need to travel for recruitment purposes such as to job fairs or college campuses. 

Salary and job growth: The median annual salary for human resources managers was $113,300 in 2018, according to the BLS.1 The BLS projects a 7 percent increase in employment of human resources managers by 2028, faster than the national average.1

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 91,000 human resources manager job postings found that 82 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.3 When including preferred education requirements, 25 percent of human resources manager job postings were seeking candidates with a Master’s degree.3

3. Information systems manager

Job duties: Information systems managers do a lot more than just troubleshoot technical problems. As an information systems manager, you would oversee large scale IT initiatives and ensure systems are operating as planned. The exact duties of these roles will vary based on the size and structure of the company, but these professionals are often tasked with the creation and vetting of plans for changes in IT infrastructure and may manage the IT team responsible for the deployment and upkeep of that infrastructure.

Work environment: Like most of these positions, you can find information systems manager positions at virtually any large company. Given how critically important information technology infrastructure is for many organizations, this role may be subject to long hours during periods where complications arise.

Salary and job growth: The median annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $142,530 in May 2018, according to the BLS.1 They report an 11 percent increase in employment by 2028, much faster than the national average.1

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 27,000 information systems management job postings found that 88 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.4 When including preferred education requirements, we found 42 percent were seeking candidates with a Master’s degree.4

4. Marketing manager

Job duties: Marketing managers help set the strategy for driving customer demand for products. Think who, why, when, where and how. Who is the customer? Why do they care? When is the right time to connect with them? On social media, a billboard, both? Do they want anecdotes or proof? These professionals analyze market research and pair it with an understanding of human psychology to optimally position their organization’s product or service. A knowledge of economics and finance is key to trend analyzing and market research, but connecting with your audience through empathy is what will set you apart.

Work environment: Marketing managers typically work either as part of an agency that represents multiple clients or in-house for one company.

Salary and job growth: The median annual salary for marketing managers was $134,290 in May 2018, according to the BLS.1 They project an 8 percent increase in jobs by 2028, faster than the national average.1 As the print industry declines, most of these positions will be in digital marketing. 

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 274,000 marketing manager job postings found that 90 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.5 When including preferred education requirements, we found 37 percent preferred candidates with a Master’s degree.5 

5. Sales manager

Job duties: The work of a salesperson is nothing new—they gather information about the potential needs of a prospect and work to convince them that their product or service is the best way to meet that need. So where do sales managers fit in this? On top of performing sales work of their own, they typically train and oversee the work of a team of sales professionals, set goals and budgets, determine discount rates and communicate with other business stakeholders. These professionals can either work in business to business sales (for example, selling raw materials to a manufacturer) or business to consumer sales (selling a finished product like a car directly to consumers).

Work environment: This is typically an office job; however, you may have to travel nationally, even internationally, for important sales depending on the kind of company you work for.

Salary and job growth: The median annual salary for sales managers was $124,220 in May 2018, according to the BLS.1 They also project a 5 percent increase in sales manager employment by 2028, the rate of the national average.1

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 368,000 sales manager job postings found that 80 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree.6 When accounting for preferred educational background, that figure jumps to 90 percent seeking a candidate with a Bachelor’s degree and 19 percent seeking a candidate with a Master’s degree.6

6. Financial manager

Job duties: Financial managers are the professionals who oversee the teams responsible for providing a clear picture of an organization’s financial health. They create financial reports, audit financial information, guide investment activities and help organizations set and plan long-term financial goals. This role can have a huge influence on the overall direction of an organization as management teams often rely heavily on their input when weighing potential courses of action.

Work environment: The finance and insurance industries are a very common landing spot for financial managers, however financial management roles can be found in nearly any business. 

Salary and job growth: The median annual wage for financial managers was $127,990 in May 2018, according to the BLS.1 They report a 16 percent increase in jobs by 2028, much faster than the national average.1

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 265,000 financial manager job postings found that 84 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.7 When accounting for preferred educational background, we found that 35 percent of job postings preferred candidates with a Master’s degree.7

7. General manager

Job duties: General and operations management roles can cover a little bit of everything—recruiting employees, managing budgets, analyzing sales, and overseeing production or overall operations are all fair game. The day to day duties of this role will vary heavily based on what you’re overseeing—a retail store has different challenges and responsibilities than what you’d see in a factory. No matter the setting your goal as a general manager is to ensure things are running smoothly and efficiently.

Work environment: As we mentioned before, this can vary substantially depending on what you’re overseeing. This could mean a regional cluster of coffee shops or a massive international production facility. 

Salary and job growth: The median annual salary for general and operations managers was $100,930 in May 2018, according to the BLS.1 They project a 7-10 percent increase in jobs by 2028, faster than the national average.1

Education requirements: Our analysis of over 342,000 general and operations manager job postings found that 65 percent were seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.8 When accounting for preferred educational background, that figure jumps to 77 percent seeking a candidate with a Bachelor’s degree and 22 percent seeking a candidate with a Master’s degree.8

Ready to take the next step?

Transitioning to a managerial position is not just good for your bank account. If you are interested in developing your leadership skills and genuinely improving business, being a manager can help you see the office from a different perspective. It might seem intimidating at first, but then again, so did that first job interview.

Don’t let a lack of formal education be what holds you back from advancement. Rasmussen College offers a variety of high quality, flexible programs that can help you get to the next step in your career. To explore your options, visit the Rasmussen College School of Business page.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed March 5, 2020] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 422,212 medical and health services manager job postings, March 1, 2019 - February 29, 2020)
3Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 91,623 human resources manager job postings, March 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)
4Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 27,404 information systems manager job postings, March 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)
5Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 274,360 marketing manager job postings, March 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)
6Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 368,096 sales manager job postings, March 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)
7Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 265,128 financial manager job postings, March 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)

Hannah Meinke

Hannah Meinke is a writer at Collegis Education. She enjoys helping people discover their purpose and passion by crafting education and career-related content on behalf of Rasmussen College.

hannah meinke headshot

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-healthcare-management 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE Start Here MASTER’S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR’S DEGREE End Here MASTER’S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsb 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsjs 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsn 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-bank icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-mglass icon-scales icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x