Business

Business graduates are in the position of being able to access a wide range of commercial opportunities as diverse as financial roles, such as accountancy graduate training schemes to logistics, buying and marketing roles. 

Employability Profile

General business and management degree programmes focus on the study of organisations, their management and the changing external environment in which they operate, preparation for and development of a career in business and management and enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development to contribute to society at large.

These degree programmes provide broad, analytical and integrated study of business and management. It is expected that graduates can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of markets, customers, finance, people, operations, information systems, ICT and business policy and strategy as well as contemporary and pervasive issues such as innovation, ecommerce, enterprise, knowledge management, sustainability, globalisation and business ethics.

A graduate in business and management typically will:

  • be able to demonstrate understanding of organisations, the external environment in which they operate, how they are managed and the future needs of organisations
  • have skills in critical thinking analysis and synthesis, including being able to identify assumptions, evaluate statements, detect false logic, identify implicit values, define terms adequately and generalise appropriately
  • be effective at problem-solving and decision-making, using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills and also be able to create, evaluate and assess options, together with being able to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations
  • be effective in communication, using ICT and a range of media widely used in business, for example, business reports
  • have numeracy and quantitative skills including modelling and data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation
  • self-manage their time, behaviour, motivation, initiative and enterprise
  • have an appetite for reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning
  • be self-aware, sensitive and open to the diversity of people, cultures, business and management issues
  • have leadership, team building, influencing and project management skills
  • be effective at listening, negotiating and persuasion
  • be able to research business and management issues
  • be able to address issues at European and international levels

(SOURCE: Student Employability Profiles, Higher  Education Academy)

Prospects also gives a brief but effective summary of the strengths, attributes and skills that can be cultivated through business and related programmes of study.  It also encourages you to consider the skills developed through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles.

Career Options 

Business graduates are found in almost every employment sector.  Typical roles which business graduates progress into include

  • Management consultant - advises client businesses on getting value for money, maximising growth or improving performance
  • Systems analyst - examines a business activity to help decide whether new IT solutions will improve productivity
  • Chartered accountant - provides accountancy, audit/assurance, tax and business advisory services to external or internal clients
  • Chartered management accountant - analyses business performance and provides financial information to set policy and help organisations plan future development
  • Insurance underwriter - decides whether to accept insurance cover applications and sets terms by assessing risk factors to determine likelihood of a claim
  • Logistics and distribution manager - manages the supply, movement, distribution and/or storage of goods and materials
  • Investment banker (corporate finance) - provides investment and advisory services to client companies, institutions and governments
  • Marketing executive - develops product brands using marketing and promotional campaigns. The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) field covers high-volume, low-value goods with high public visibility and a short life span, such as food, drink, confectionery, toiletries and household goods
  • Human resources officer - develops, advises on and implements policies for the effective deployment of an organisation’s human resources (HR). The work may involve recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations and discipline, pay and conditions, departmental restructuring and diversity
  • Advertising account executive - works for an advertising agency that serves outside clients, acts as a link between client and agency and coordinates the client’s campaigns
  • Retail merchandiser - responsible for retail product planning and works closely with buying teams to forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor performance
  • Banker - provides financial services to individual and business customers including: bank accounts, cash handling, cheque clearing, credit and debit cards, loans and mortgages, foreign currency, and insurance products
  • Sales executive - maximises sales of a company’s goods or services in designated markets at home or overseas. Opportunities include those in FMCG, consumer durables (e.g. clothing, footwear, domestic equipment, toys) and in specialist industrial supply
  • Public relations account executive - manages the dissemination of information between an organisation and its public  gaining exposure for an organisation or individual with their intended audiences through news items, without  necessarily advertising
  • Retail manager - responsible for running stores or departments to meet company’s targets and policies.  Depending on the size of the store, and company structure, retail managers may also be required to deal with human resources, marketing, logistics, information technology, customer service and finance

Current Issues in the Industry

Employers often expect graduates to be commercially aware and will expect you to keep up to date on the latest issues affecting the industry. They may even ask you questions at interview that will 'test' your commercial awareness and knowledge.  To keep abreast of the issues affecting your chosen industry read the industry specific trade papers and refer to the professional associations web pages listed.

Trade papers and Professional Associations

As well as advertising vacancies, trade papers and professional associations can help you to keep up to date with the industry news and can even help you to identify organisations to whom you could make speculative job applications.  Some of these have websites with job vacancy listings and also a 'directory of members' which can prove to be effective sources of information on companies to whom you may want to target a speculative application.  

Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:45