Graduates and students alike will be wondering how they can rise to the top of their profession or chosen career path. The upper echelons of business are varied but overall, it’s all about landing a role in which you can impact your industry the most. It’s actually quite an easy concept to grasp because promotions to the top are not always linear but they do have the same kinds of requirements for advancement. Keep in mind a few things. You need to aim for your holistic understanding of your subject and or role desire. Then you need to understand the history of the role and or profession and how it has played its part in the growth and development of business.
You must also be ready to think of new solutions to old challenges and be able to utilize as many modern tools as possible, to be successful in your implementations. Finally, you have to understand where your role fits in with regards to the global economy. Thus, knowing the industry, the culture and the interactions with other industries must come naturally.
Do you want to be a CRO?
For a great many decades, the risk department has always been one of the lesser-known areas of modern business. It’s often been seen as the school of dark arts and at other times, it’s been seen as something that isn’t as important regarding departmental funding and manpower. However, all of this is changing as the global economy is going through yet more turmoil. Since the 2007 crash, risk analysts and managers have become highly sought after by a bunch of professionals. The financial meltdown of that year wasn’t seen by 99% of people in business and thus, nobody ever wants to get caught out like that again. So how can you get set onto the path of CRO?
To start your journey, you must get a degree in law, history, finance, philosophy or economics. If you can’t get a degree in one of these fields, it’s a good idea to achieve some kind of qualification in macroeconomics. Then apply for a risk analyst role in a company that has apprenticeships open or perhaps internships. You will be tested and evaluated on your ability to spot trends, analyze large quantities of data, identify long-term and short-term risks and come up with solutions to avoid losses. Working your way up the ladder, you’ll want to become a risk manager next. A team of risk analysts will work under you and you’ll be given specific roles to perform as well as unique projects as per the request of the CEO. The next step up will be the deputy to the CRO, undertaking orders to manage floors and priority desks with important clients. Eventually, if you’re good enough, you’ll be in the running to become Chief Risk Officer in the company.
So you want to be a CIO?
The Chief Information Officer rank has only recently been added to the C-suite. Only since the 80s has this role became important. This is because this was the decade in which computers have become an integral part of any modern business; especially for economics and finances. Since this is one of the lesser-known roles as well, there’s no real widespread knowledge in the mainstream professional culture on how you can become a CIO. Firstly, you need to have a degree in computer science. There’s no way around this. Unlike other C-suite ranks, this is a technical role that requires a lot of knowledge about computers, servers, data, online security, and the latest technology. You can get such a degree from University of Southern California where you will be taught how to implement IT in the corporate culture. You will learn how to adapt modern technology to the needs of a business such as data security and employee protection e.g. HIPAA.
When you have attained a degree eligible for the CIO pathway, you should begin to follow a niche route. The most advantageous role would be to become an IT security professional. Small and large businesses are constantly attacked by cybercriminals looking to steal customer data and sell it on the black market. You will also need to make sure you’re an expert in data encryption and server security. The next role will be becoming an IT manager whereby you’ll be given a lot of responsibility to maintain and improve networks and IT structures in business. You might also be given the responsibility to watch over the activities of a floor. When you have proven yourself to be reliable and efficient in your role, the final step will be to become Chief Information Officer.
Becoming a CFO
In recent times, professionals have argued whether the CEO has more power than the CFO. the Chief Financial Officer is in charge of all the finances of a company, giving you considerable weight and authority throughout each and every department. It’s in your best interest to attain some kind of financial or economics degree. Accounting is by far the most popular subject path chosen for this role because it incorporates many things but most of all focuses on good bookkeeping. You can also get a degree in economics, which is great for a company that is international. Multinational companies will often look for broad-minded CFOs that can develop different financial strategies regarding different markets around the world.
When you have such a degree, you can get a job as an accountant, a financial planner and or advisor, an investor and even an auditor. All of these roles a brilliant in their own right but you will want to become a senior in your own roles such as head financial planner, or senior financial advisor. Slowly, you will work your way up to becoming a senior project or company finance manager. The final step up the ladder would be to become the Chief Financial Officer, working directly with the CEO; almost as an equal rank.
Different professions all have their own requirements and culture to get to the top. However, they all have similar ladders and linear journeys up to the top.