Business & Management - Advanced Learner Loans


Industry Insight

The business, consulting and management sector provides a wealth of career opportunities for skilled graduates. Early responsibility is easy to come by and high starting salaries are the norm.

According to the House of Commons Library, Business Statistics Briefing Paper there were more than 5.7 million businesses in the UK in 2017. Employment opportunities in this vast sector can generally be split into two main areas: business management and consultancy.

You don’t need to restrict yourself solely to the business sector as the majority of organisations across all industries require managers and consultants in order to operate effectively. Because of this, graduates have plenty of job opportunities to choose from.

Business managers usually work in general management or hold specific responsibilities for a particular area of an organisation, such as marketing, strategy planning, human resources (HR) or information technology (IT). Some roles lean towards people management, while others focus on project management, but most managers need skills in both areas.


Graduates entering business, management or consultancy can expect:

  • jobs to be available in a number of locations across the UK, with the majority of the work centred in big cities such as Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and London
  • tough targets and tight deadlines
  • a varied working life that involves a substantial amount of travel, with time spent at client sites and periods away from home
  • high starting salaries of £25,000 to £35,000 excluding bonuses, rising quickly to around £50,000
  • to work in a high-pressured environment, where quick decision making and confidence in your abilities is essential
  • long working hours with a focus on meeting deadlines and completing projects
  • an immediate high-level of responsibility and opportunities for rapid career progression
  • self-employment or freelance work to be an option within several years.

One of the main concerns within the business and management sector is uncertainty about the future, brought on in part by Brexit. According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), one in four managers feel a declining sense of job security since the Brexit referendum.

Rapidly advancing technology also poses a challenge to businesses as they’re continually expected to keep up with new and emerging technologies in order to stay competitive.

The CMI believes that the ill-preparedness of graduates is a real concern for the management industry. Their 21st Century Leaders 2018 report states that the UK economy needs 1.9 million new managers and that employers are struggling to fill the roles they have available. According to the report, 70% believe that management, enterprise and leadership modules should be built into all degree subjects to boost employability, while 66% of employers want to see graduates achieve professional qualifications as well as a degree.

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Career Advice & Job Profiles

Business Adviser

You’ll provide information, support, coaching, advice and guidance to business people, from individuals looking to start their own business through to supporting established businesses.

Many business advisers are graduates from a variety of disciplines, who started out in a professional and financial service such as HR, recruitment, marketing, accountancy, finance and banking. Many business advisers have worked in industry and have run their own businesses.

Entry-level salaries for start-up business advisers range between £18,000 and £25,000.

Business Development Manager

Concerned with improving and growing a business, you’ll foster and develop relationships with customers, suppliers and other partners. You may work to improve profitability through careful strategic planning and positioning in the appropriate markets, or to enhance the operation of the business, position or reputation in some way.

Your starting salary as a graduate business development manager will be in the region of £22,000 to £25,000. To be successful you’ll need tenacity, excellent communication skills, initiative, good networking skills and the ability to think strategically.

Officer Manager

Also known as business, administrative or operations managers, office managers are responsible for organising all of the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of an office. This includes organising people, information and other resources. You must make sure that office equipment is maintained, relevant records are up to date and that all administration processes work effectively.

To successfully carry out your duties you’ll need excellent organisations skills, strong IT knowledge, the ability to prioritise, team working skills and interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.

Salaries for office managers vary depending on the type of industry, employer and level of responsibility involved. Typical starting salaries may range from £18,000 to £30,000.

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