Is Business Management a Good Career Choice in the Age of Coronavirus?

Yes – It Is! Discover 3 Solid Reasons to Pursue a Business Management Career

In the aftermath of COVID-19, the job market has been decimated in some of Australia’s previously booming industries such as food service and accommodation. This means that many highly experienced people must now look for work in different industries than the ones in which they used to be employed.

Not only that, many new graduates must now make important choices about whether to seek out training or launch a new career. With all the current challenges, this is one of the toughest time periods to be entering the job market, but many new graduates are bravely conducting their job hunt regardless.

The sad reality is that it isn’t easy for anyone of any experience level in any industry to find a new job right now. That said, some career paths have a brighter future than others do. As Australians attempt to change course and navigate the “new normal” that includes a virus, a wounded global economy, high unemployment statistics and a rush to use automation technologies, business management is likely to remain a relatively viable career path. The following are 3 reasons this is the case:

1. Excellent Managers Remain in Demand in All Functioning Industries

Virtually all sizable companies need management talent, but it has never been easy to find truly brilliant managers. It also isn’t easy to develop a manager’s skill set, which requires excellent collaboration, leadership, listening, speaking, decision making and organisational abilities.

Learning how to manage others can pay off handsomely in terms of career versatility. In some cases, developing this skill gives you the option to switch from one industry to another, because all industries need people who are able to lead, motivate and manage others well.

The extent of this career versatility depends on the specific requirements of the industry in which you choose to seek work. There are some management roles, such as nurse manager, construction manager or engineering manager,  that require specific expertise and industry-focused education. Others, such as sales manager, office manager or retail manager, could possibly allow you more flexibility in transitioning, because a specific set of academic credentials is less likely to be a requirement for these sorts of positions.

2. Business Management Cannot (Yet) Be Automated

The topic of automation is a divisive one. Some people believe that automation of jobs will be necessary for businesses to remain profitable, and that the speeding of automation will be an inevitable consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. Others believe that it will be necessary to resist the allure of automation if we wish to preserve any semblances of human freedom and economic prosperity.

Regardless of one’s position on the ethical aspects of automation, when choosing a new career, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that top executives at many companies are scrambling to automate everything they can.

An interviewer at The Guardian asked Daniel Susskind, who wrote a book called A World Without Work, about what sort of work is most likely to remain viable for human workers through the onslaught of automation. His response was to explain that today’s job seekers would be best served by either seeking work that machines cannot do, or by learning how to build automation technologies. Business management currently falls into the former category.

Businesspeople serving on the Forbes Technology Council have identified 13 types of jobs that should never be automated. Four of the job types they’ve identified overlap to describe the typical business manager’s job:

  • Leadership roles
  • Strategic decision-making positions
  • Relationship-based jobs
  • Roles that require critical thinking skills

Each of these aspects of the business manager’s job would be difficult, on its own, to automate. There isn’t yet a robot in existence that could replace a human manager who is good at each of these facets of the job.

3. Business Managers Still Command Relatively High Salaries

Business managers tend to be highly valued by their employers for the work they do, and their paychecks reflect this. The National Skills Commission reports the following average salaries for managers in Australia:

  • Retail managers earn an average of $1,440 per week.
  • Office managers earn an average of $1,490 per week.
  • Sales and marketing managers earn an average of $2,224 per week.

How Do You Become a Business Manager in Australia?

There are multiple possible pathways that could lead an Australian worker to employment in a management role. One straightforward path is to obtain a university degree in business management. Another possibility is to obtain VET training. Some companies offer traineeships that could potentially lead to management positions in the long term.

In the highly competitive post-COVID-19 job market, solid academic credentials can help to distinguish you from the numerous other applicants who are also seeking work. The more sought-after a job is, the more likely it is that your academic record will be an important consideration for the hiring manager.

If you aspire to become a high-level corporate business manager such as a chief executive officer (CEO) or chief operating officer (COO), it can be beneficial to partake in postgraduate study. Many high-level corporate executives hold a postgraduate degree such as a Master of Management or an MBA.

It is sometimes possible to obtain one of these degrees before you launch your career; but, if you’re a new graduate, be aware that it is often advisable to work for at least a couple of years before embarking on one of these postgraduate degree programs. Nowadays, many of these degree programs are tailored specifically for working professionals and allow for part-time or online study.

If you’re seeking a career that offers respectable work, a great salary and a sizable number of promising opportunities, business management has historically been a fantastic choice. In the short-term aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, you could expect fewer available opportunities than usual in all career niches, including this one; but in the long term it appears that this career path will remain a viable one.

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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