What qualifications do you need to become a general manager?

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With the right education and experience, anyone can assume the role of a general manager.

By U2B Staff 

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Do you want to climb your way up the higher rungs of the corporate ladder? Combining your work and educational experience can help you ascend to the role of a manager or general manager. There are different levels of management — depending on the organisation you work for, a general manager may entail being among the company’s top executives or the individual above corporate-level executives.

Your tasks varies depending on the role and size of your organisation. You may need to oversee daily business activities, or tasked with improving overall business functions, training heads of departments, managing budgets, developing effective strategies, creating policies, to name a few.

General managers are critical for organisations across all sizes.

Their role can also be financially rewarding. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, general and operations managers earn anywhere between 130,870 US dollars and US$162,410 across a wide range of sectors.


Bolstering your qualifications to become a general manager

The qualifications you’ll need to become a general manager varies as each organisation will vary from the rest.

A general manager at a tech company, for instance, may benefit from having a background in IT before rising the ranks to become a product manager. A general manager at a manufacturing company may want to have a background in supply chain logistics.

In most cases, a fundamental understanding of a department’s operations is essential. The ability to motivate and manage will also be essential. Most general managers will likely have — at least — a bachelor’s degree, regardless of the industry they’re in.

Upon achieving an undergraduate degree, an aspiring general managers might want to rack up some work experience and excel in their respective positions in order to be noticed at work for a promotion — or before applying for more senior positions at another organisation.


The benefits of an MBA

Professionals might want to consider bolstering their existing credentials with an MBA to improve their chances of securing a general manager role, more so in our tech-driven era where multiple sectors are on the lookout for talented business professionals who are well-versed with business lingo and are able to adapt to change swiftly.

MBA programmes are designed to equip professionals with this agile knowledge and more, making it equally valuable for many organisations. 

Students enrolled in these rigorous programmes do not only receive the chance to sharpen their business acumen, but they also graduate with a larger professional network and managerial skills for a successful career. 

Admissions requirements for MBA programmes vary from one business school to another; however, they generally include some combination of the following: a competitive undergraduate GPA (3.0 or greater); letters of recommendation; GRE and/or GMAT scores; a personal statement; and several years of work experience.