In order to become a division manager, a suitable combination of education and experience is often desired. In most cases, division managers will at least have a bachelor’s degree, but often times also have a master’s degree. Further, the process to become a division manager often involves taking lower positions so that you can learn the business and be granted higher levels of responsibility. It may also be necessary to switch from one company to another as opportunities present themselves.
If it is not a prerequisite to at least have a bachelor’s degree, it is certainly a big plus if your ultimate goal is to become a division manager. A four-year degree from a university in your field of choice tells the employer you have at least a background in the skill sets needed to be successful in the job. Furthermore, others applying for the job may have a degree, which would put someone without a degree at a competitive disadvantage. Whether or not you get an advanced degree, division managers often take continuing education courses to keep up with the latest innovations in their professions.
While it may not be necessary to have a master’s degree to become a division manager, having a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is only one possibility. Depending on the type of division you may be running, it may be that you need a more specific degree. For example, if you are hoping to become a division manager of a marketing division, it may be better to seek an advanced degree in that field, rather than the general field of business administration. The same may be true of a retail division or manufacturing division.
Once you have a job, you may typically start out in a lower position. Divisions, in the corporate hierarchy, are generally made up of different departments. For example, a manufacturing division may have departments for production, research and development, and process improvement, just to name a few. If you want to become a division manager, it is best to have experience as the head of at least one of these departments and have familiarity with all of them. That will take some time.
The process to become a division manager may be shortened if you are willing to look at both smaller companies and larger companies. Smaller companies offer the chance to do more multitasking to get more experience in different departments, to some extent. At the same time, moving up in smaller companies can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, you may find that eventually you will need to make the move to a larger company, where opportunities may present themselves more often.