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What types of roles are there in business?

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

Got a knack for leading others? Thinking long-term? Building a successful brand image? Perhaps you have an entrepreneurial spirit, and are simply looking to build experience? 

In the world of business management and administration – those with the passion, skills, and creativity can apply their talents in various fruitful and fulfilling roles; taking part in the long-term success and profits of companies big and small. If you consider yourself of a “business mindset”, the field has plenty of opportunities in store. 

We explore some of the most popular and lucrative business roles below, and how training in related courses can help you in your job search. 

What areas of business can you work in?

1. Business Administration. 

Those working in business administration are tasked with the organisation and management of their company’s personnel and resources. These include the business’ financial budget, marketing resources, and human resources. Business administrators may work independently or within a team and may regularly report to upper management on company operations. They may also be in charge of hiring, supervising, and delegating work among staff members. 

While primarily responsible for day-to-day processes, business administrators may also take part in planning long-term projects and strategies. 

Career Opportunities in Business Administration 

Those entering the field can find work as an administrative assistant, an office administrator, a contracts officer, or an operations manager. As soft skills make up much of the role (i.e. leadership, management, communication) business administrators are likely to find work in any industry, for organisations of any size. 

Since the field covers various aspects of an organisation – including its financial resources, employees, production, IT, and marketing plans – those who build skills in the field may also choose to progress their career in other specialised areas. These could include the role of a financial manager, sales manager, human resource manager, or training and development manager.

With enough knowledge and experience, a business administrator can climb the ladder up to executive roles such as a company’s CEO, general manager, or chief financial officer (CFO).  

According to Payscale, the average business administrator earns $57,808 AUD a year.

2. Business Operations.

business operations concept

Business operations accounts for everyday tasks, activities, and processes employees engage in to raise company efficiency, value, and profits. These can include the services, sales, marketing, manufacturing, and R&D processes of a business – most of which can be optimised to increase revenue and cover regular expenses, resulting in greater financial returns for the company owners. 

As a business grows, so should its business operations. Those managing these activities must thus accommodate new company demands or changes to prevent “glitches” or performance errors in the system. As a small business expands, for example, its operations must evolve to handle new legal, staff, or marketing needs. 

Career Opportunities in Business Operations

Similar to the business administration field, business operations are found across any industry, and can vary greatly depending on the sector. As much of the area (once again) depends on transferable soft skills, workers will find themselves able to easily shift across business types, industries, and fields that best suit them. 

Since business operations is a managerial role, those entering the field will need to firstly build experience in their chosen industry. For example, those in the retail field will need to familiarize themselves with customer service, people management, and maintaining an efficient inventory system. Those in manufacturing will need to know the ins-and-outs of supply chain management and efficient shipping logistics. 

Once in this role, business operations managers earn an average of $98,277 AUD a year (according to Payscale), with plenty of room for further progression into senior-level management.

The skills acquired in business operations can also be applied to other, related career paths including a business operations analyst, program manager, production manager, and product manager.

3. Leadership and Management.

Finally, we have leadership and management – both playing critical roles in the performance, efficiency, and success of a business. While both elements have a vast overlap in skill, they may refer to slightly different roles and positions. Business management roles often focus on the “big picture”, laying down the overall structure of a business; delegating authority and responsibilities; and concentrating on general planning, staffing, and control of operations. 

Leaders, on the other hand, may focus on smaller-scale activities such as motivating employees, cultivating positive relationships, and following the manager’s policies and procedures. 

Nevertheless, both leaders and managers share much of the same skills and objectives, and often function hand-in-hand (i.e. leaders require a managerial mindset, and managers must possess the traits of a leader). 

Career Opportunities in Leadership and Management

Business leadership and management encompass a wide variety of roles and specialties suited to varying career interests. Positions can range from entry-level opportunities such as team leader or project coordinator – to higher-level pathways such as business manager and sales team manager. Employees can thus enjoy the great potential for career progression and the ability to transfer their skills across all fields and industries. 

Becoming a general manager typically requires at least two years of experience in administration or operations positions, in addition to several years of working experience in their chosen industry. They may also work closely with other departments (on top of the employees in their own department), and may report to upper or executive management.

According to Payscale, the average business manager earns about $82,078 per year. 

What can I learn from business courses?

people working in business

Training courses are a valuable first step into building the skills you need for a business role. Programs in this field typically range from short courses (that run for under a month) to fully-fledged bachelor’s degrees, depending on your education provider.

Such courses can equip you with the practical training required to succeed in your chosen role, focusing on both soft and technical skill sets. A BSB40120 – Certificate IV in Business (Operations), for example, will focus on the skills required to research, develop, and coordinate business plans – while also exploring effective communication and personal development. A general business diploma, while delving into soft skills of resource management and relationship-building, will also dive into the technicalities of implementing WHS policies and workplace procedures. 

Students may also have a choice between varying specialties, including human resources, marketing and communication, and project management. 

Start building your business skills today! 

Upskilled offers a wide array of courses under business and administration, from short, 5-week courses in social media marketing to bachelor courses in applied business and management. Each program culminates in nationally recognised qualifications or credentials to help you stand out in the job market; and through its flexible, online delivery, you’ll have the opportunity of studying at a time, place, and pace that suits you best.

Tap into your entrepreneurial skills or hone your managerial abilities – and enquire with us on a course today. 
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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.