If you are planning to study strategic management, here are the educational qualifications you need, the challenges you can tackle with this career path, and the job prospects.

Strategic management, job skills, career in strategic management, recruitment, strategic management jobs

If you are planning to study strategic management, here are the educational qualifications you need, the challenges you can tackle with this career path, and the job prospects.

By India Today Web Desk: There are two great challenges I see facing students entering the workforce. The first is that there is a rapid change to a number of incumbent business models. A key driver of this change is the rapid and seamless migration of customers onto digital devices and platforms.

This changes the ability of companies to connect with consumers and the cost structure by which they do so. Everything from retail, to education, to healthcare, through freight and logistics is being transformed by these radical changes.

Given these challenges, a question students are asking themselves is: does digital present a risk or opportunity for me to enter the technology sector? How should I position myself to employers in this changing environment? What part of the business should I join? And do I need to become an expert in one of these technologies?

A second major change is that students often find themselves working within a different work environment than in the past. Part of the reason for this has been the trend towards work-from-home. This has meant that newly minted graduates can sometimes find it difficult to get the supervision and guidance they need as they enter the workforce.

The other implication of this is that business communication and team building has migrated online. This is especially relevant for employees of multi-national companies where a lot more teamwork is being managed digitally.

This presents unique internationalisation opportunities but also increases the ability to work within a remote and digitally-connected work environment.


Strategic management emerged in the 1980s as a scientific approach to managing organisations. Some of the initial pioneers in the field were scholars like Drucker.

His initial thrust was focused on supporting efficiency and identifying ways to set and measure the goals of organisations. Over time, the field has evolved to offer a much more nuanced and human-centred approach to the work of organisations.

Anyone who works inside teams and within an organisation will be impacted by strategic management. As they rise in seniority, their role will shift from responding to the strategic demands of the organisation to set them for themselves and others.


Doing strategic management well is crucial to addressing the challenges outlined above. For example, studying business models is a classic aspect of strategic management. To examine business models, you first need to understand the underlying drivers of revenue and cost within a given organisation.

Within this, you should also be clear about the materiality of revenue and cost – what are the size of these profit pools, their growth rates, and benchmarked position relative to competitors. From here, you can begin to understand whether business models are sustainable or new approaches are needed.

Understanding how different firms within a variety of sectors have made these choices is a crucial driver within strategic management.

Working within distributed organisations, international businesses, and remote work contexts are also a classic topic examined in strategic management. All of these issues relate to the managing of teams and communication.

For example, a key issue managers must decide on is how the responsibilities and decision-making rights within the organisation are distributed. Once these issues are organised, a process needs to be put in place to ensure teams are able to work in a distributed manner. Strong organisations can tackle complex problems and decide well – with data, in a timely matter, and specific to the issues at hand.

Understanding the basic principles of organisational decision-making is the first step in strategic management. More experienced managers are then not only able to support teams in making complex decisions but are also more familiar with the complex emotions and biases that these challenges can pose to themselves.


Traditionally, strategic management was the mainstay of MBA programmes. This was because it was traditionally felt that many students needed to have some industry experience before they could appreciate the core concepts involved in running a team.

Nowadays, it is possible to study strategic management at an earlier stage, such as within a Management Major within a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business.

The courses will typically cover topics like strategic management, business model innovation, managing people and teams, leadership communication, etc.

If you want to study at a PG level, but don’t yet have work experience, then a Master of Management or a Master of International Business programme will help you get familiar with the core concepts from a management perspective.


Generally, management students would complete their studies alongside a second major or specialization within their degree. Increasingly, we observe that students study management with Business Analytics or Marketing.

This is because a key attribute for leaders is the ability to understand and communicate with data. The combination of data and the ability to manage teams is a powerful combination.


I generally expect to see management students take on general management positions within a firm, and often rise to business unit heads. This is because they are good all-rounders – analytical, with good people skills, operational acumen, and a strategic mindset.

That means starting as a graduate within a company and making your work into a business unit. Or it might mean starting within a functional area (e.g. marketing and sales, or IT) and then transitioning across to running a business function.

The latter profile is particularly common amongst MBA students, where they have worked in a functional area – like law, accounting, or finance – but ultimately want to be business owners themselves.

– Article by Professor Eric Knight, Executive Dean, Macquarie Business School


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