Strategy managers work in various industries, including automotive, banking, entertainment, finance, health care, insurance, information technology, and manufacturing. Some examples of the types of companies that hire strategy managers are Cadillac, Consolidated Container Company, Disney Parks & Resorts, Lenovo, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Tyson Foods, and Verizon, among many others. According to the Department of Labor, approximately 709,750 management analysts, a job that is similar to that of strategy managers, are employed in the United States.
Strategy managers are top-level professionals who work closely with corporate executives to create and manage realistic goals that benefit companies. They get their start through internships while in college and entry-level positions upon graduation. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship and entry-level opportunities. Also search for job listings on employment Web sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, as well as on professional associations' Web sites.
Strategy managers with more than five years of experience may advance to senior managers, overseeing the work of junior-level strategy managers and related professionals and handling more complex projects. In large corporations, they may become directors of strategic management departments. Many leave full-time positions to start their own consultancies. They may also advance by getting certification in specialized areas and going back to school for a master's or doctoral degree. Strategy managers grow their reputation in their field by getting more involved in professional associations, such as by joining committees, teaching workshops, speaking at conferences, and becoming board members.
Tips for Entry
Get a part-time or summer job in a company that has a strategic management department. Ask your school's career services office for help with the job search.
Get involved in a professional association to meet others working in the field and learn about potential job opportunities. For example, find various interest groups and communities on the Strategic Management Society's Web site, https://www.strategicmanagement.net/home/members/igc.
Conduct an informational interview of a strategy manager to find out how they got started in this career and what they like most and least about the job.
Keep up to date on developments and practices in strategic management by taking courses and webinars. Find information at the Association for Strategic Planning's Knowledge Center for Learning, https://www.strategyassociation.org/page/KnowledgeCenter.