Do you like to boss people around and prop your feet up on a big wooden desk? Then management is career path you should pursue! Just kidding… we had to get this classic stereotype of managers out of the way. This article explores the many facets of managerial roles and gives a more realistic picture of what it takes to be a manager!
The field of management is not an industry but career path. Every industry requires managers and supervisors, and it’s a rapidly-growing career option in Mississippi. This sector featured prominently in the 2022 MS employment projections. Our state is going to need more and more people who have the qualifications for leadership roles over the next few years
Managers provide a vital role that can make or break any workplace. In this article we’ll explore the management field… maybe you’ll discover that this is a career path you’d like to consider!
What is a manager?
Every organization needs managers — the people who know something about the job tasks or business AND who can also lead people.
While managers and supervisors may have some “boss” tasks, their main job is to lead people and manage projects, assets, relationships, sales, or some combination.
Management careers are wonderful for people who have subject matter knowledge in a particular field but who also have additional credentials and experience that qualify them to lead people.
Examples of management jobs in Mississippi
With few exceptions, every industry and business needs managers. Even if the title is different, the role is the same: leading people and producing results while also reporting to higher leadership.
Here are some examples of managerial roles that are important in Mississippi right now:
- Computer or information systems managers — Lead people and/or oversee the technology in organizations.
- Financial Managers — These managers tend to manage money more than people, although they may have team leadership roles also.
- Medical & health services managers — Oversee the operations, people, and results at medical services centers.
- Natural sciences managers — Manage the work of scientists and researchers
- Education administrators — Oversee operations, students, and staff at learning facilities from preschool to postsecondary.
- First-line supervisors — Often have task responsibilities while also having accountability for team results and leadership authority over entry-level team members. Supervisory roles are often the first step to higher management positions.
- Marketing managers — Oversee teams and projects related to marketing businesses or nonprofits.
There are many other manager roles. If you’re interested in any industry, you could research what types of managers it employs. Pursuing managerial roles is a great move if you’re already in a field but want to increase your earnings!
What does it take to be a good manager?
Maybe you have a picture in your head of the stereotypical manager (thank you, Michael Scott!). If you’re nothing like this picture, you might not think you’re right for the job. However, many people have natural leadership abilities and can also learn the skills needed to be a good manager.
Here are a few common skills that managers practice:
- Communicating consistently with those under you, those over you, and possibly with customers/clients. Communication is vital for management success.
- Teaching and training others. Onboarding new employees is often the responsibility of front-line supervisors and other managers.
- Enforcing rules and standards. Managers may need to be the “bearer of bad news” and don’t always get to “be the nice guy/gal.” Managers are often responsible for making sure that their team meets standards.
- Balancing relationships with other employees with the expectations of those over you. As a manager, you might want to be “one of the crew” so that you can keep good relationships with your coworkers, but as a manager, you also need to maintain your proper authority and the ability to direct your team.
- Keeping up with the details your role requires or “getting the job done.” For instance, if you’re a purchasing manager for a retail chain, you will have a big set of tasks that you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Even if you’re not a “details person,” you’ll need to develop ways to remind yourself to “check all the boxes” that your job requires.
- And many others depending on your business/organization!
Don’t automatically disqualify yourself as a manager if you’re not a “10” in each of these skill areas. You don’t need to be perfect in them already, but just know that these skills will likely set you up for success in a management role. Look for ways to practice good habits in these areas as you position yourself to move up the management ladder.
You may already have more management experience than you think!
Even if you’ve never held the title of “manager,” you might have a lot of managerial experience. Have you already been building your leadership résumé in any of these ways?
- Leading other volunteers or organizing projects while volunteering or working with nonprofits.
- Leading organizations or groups during high school or college. Being involved in clubs, theater, band, and sports can absolutely build your leadership capacity!
- Raising kids: being a parent requires a lot of managerial skills. If you have kids, you’re maybe already very practiced in giving instructions, teaching people with less experience, enforcing unpopular rules, and balancing productivity with building relationships.
Finally, you can show leadership even if you don’t have a title. Taking initiative at work, helping new employees get better at their jobs, communicating consistently with your leadership, and showing positive results at your job can go a long way. As you act like a leader, you’re preparing to climb the management ladder!
What’s in it for you? Rewards of management careers
Management roles aren’t just cushy and full of perks. The extra responsibility can make your job potentially more difficult. However, this step up in your career comes with some big benefits too! Here are a few:
- Higher wages: stepping into management is often the easiest way to increase your wages, especially if you’ve already reached the top of your pay scale in your field. The actual salaries for managers vary widely per industry and role, but you can explore expected management salaries in Mississippi here.
- Seeing behind the scenes: Managers often get to be a part of the “bigger picture” in an organization. If you like being part of the strategy and forethought and also learning how things really work, a management role could be very rewarding!
- The satisfaction of motivating & developing people: Managing people can be difficult, but you also have the chance to make a lasting impact on your team members. You might still remember a manager from one of your past jobs and how they impacted you — either positively or negatively! As a manager, you get to reach beyond yourself to make a positive work experience for your team.
- More interesting job duties: Of course, it’s fun to be super lazy and watch Hulu all day, but deep down most humans crave meaning, and this often comes through facing challenges. Managers have additional job duties, and these can make our jobs more interesting as we learn to balance work tasks with leading people and having accountability for results.
- Better work schedules: In many industries, managers are more likely to avoid shift work, weekends, and other crazy schedules.
If you’re curious about the benefits of management at your workplace, try to talk with someone in leadership to see what “perks” they notice!
What kind of degree do you need for a management position?
Since management positions vary widely, there’s no “one size fits all” degree that you need if you’re interested in management. The good news is that any degree will likely help you move up the ranks. Many industries require an associate or bachelor’s degree for leadership roles, which means that a degree might be even more valuable than years of experience when it comes to getting the job!
Business degrees, or even management degrees, provide great background if you want to apply for a position. However, depending on the industry, the hiring managers may be looking for one of the following:
- An associate degree in any field
- A bachelor’s degree in any major (many C2C students opt for the University Studies degree because it can help them use their past credits to reach graduation most quickly)
- Industry-specific degrees or certifications (for instance, the Project Management Professional certification for project managers or other trade certifications)
Pursuing additional education like an associate or bachelor’s degree could give you the edge that will help you advance into managerial positions.
How C2C can help
All of the community colleges and public universities in Mississippi can help you prepare for a path into management. Thankfully, each of these higher ed institutions also participates in the Complete 2 Compete (C2C) program. C2C helps adults with some college credits go back to college to graduate.
Here are a few of the resources C2C offers to former college students in Mississippi:
- C2C Coaches are experts in helping adults find the fastest path to their college degree and in sharing resources that can help with finances, academics, schedules, and more! Learn about coaches.
- The C2C Grant is available for almost all C2C participants. Qualifying adults receive $1000 per semester toward educational expenses. Learn about the grant.
- Tailored degree options are available only for C2C participants, along with other resources from Mississippi community colleges and universities. Learn about options.
All of these resources are available to help adults finish their degrees as quickly so that they can get credentials that can make a difference in their careers, life, and family.
It’s very easy to get started with C2C: register here to find out if you qualify for C2C options.
Please take this first step today… Mississippi needs good managers, and C2C could be your first step to becoming one of them!