Career Definition for a Strategic Management Specialist
Strategic management specialists plan the overall strategy for a company or department. At the highest level, the specialist may report to the chief executive officer and oversee a staff that includes directors, managers, and analysts. He or she may meet with top-level executives in the company and use information compiled by his or her staff to identify the organization's strengths and weaknesses, establish goals and strategies, and investigate opportunities which may expand the company's presence in the marketplace, such as mergers and acquisitions. They are often responsible for drafting the organization's mission and vision statements, explaining the company's philosophy in meeting its goals.
Some strategic management specialists may oversee just one area of a company, such as sales, marketing, pricing, buying, or sourcing. They are employed throughout the U.S. in industries ranging from manufacturing to financial services.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in business administration required, master's and Ph.D. recommended for higher positions|
|Job Skills||Budgeting, business planning, communication, flexibility|
|Median Salary (2019)||$93,556 for a strategic planning manager|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||8% for top executives|
Source: Payscale, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Strategic management specialists generally have a bachelor's degree in business administration or a field related to the specific industry in which they work; however, a master's degree or Ph.D. is often required for senior-level positions. Some universities also offer certificate programs in strategic management through their business schools. Employers may also require additional credentials such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensing for specialists working in financial areas.
Strategic management specialists must have excellent analytical, budgeting, and business planning abilities. In addition to good computer and Internet skills, they must be effective communicators so that they may interact with all levels of management, make presentations, and issue reports. Strategic management specialists must be flexible, decisive, and possess strong leadership ability in order to establish and convey objectives consistently throughout an organization and adjust goals and strategy as necessary.
Career Outlook and Financial Forecast
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), top executives, such as those working in strategic business management, should experience job growth of 8% throughout the 2016-2026 period. As of April 2019, PayScale.com reported that the median salary for a strategic planning manager was $93,556.
Alternate Career Options
You might also want to look into these careers in high-level management:
Human Resources Manager
A human resources manager works with top executives to develop staffing plans in accordance with company needs, and then carries out or arranges for hiring, training, and employee evaluations. Human resources managers also coordinate employee benefit programs, payroll, and pension plans.
Human resources managers have a bachelor's degree in human resources or business administration and several years of experience, sometimes as human resources specialists. Voluntary professional certification is available. Employment is expected to increase 9% from 2016-2026, per the BLS; human resources managers earned median pay of $113,300 in 2018.
Medical and Health Services Manager
In this occupation, managers oversee and coordinate healthcare services for employers, such as hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, and residential nursing care facilities. Depending on the size of the organization, they may lead the entire organization or a single department. Duties usually include managing employees and finances, setting policies, and ensuring adherence to applicable regulations.
Depending on the employer and the position, a bachelor's or master's degree in a field like health administration or public health may be required. Some jobs, like nursing home administration, require a state license; voluntary professional certifications are also available. The BLS predicts that jobs will increase 20% from 2016-2026, a much faster than average rate. This occupation paid a median salary of $99,730 in 2018.