Occupation review site Glassdoor has been busy creating its best jobs 2018 list for workers here in the UK. Today we look at a selection of the positions featured in the list and consider what it takes to land one yourself.

Marketing Manager 

In at number one (up 11 places from 2017) is the sought-after role of Marketing Manager. The role of a marketing manager can be reasonably broad depending on the size of the company; if the company is large, you may have other managers (under the Marketing Manager) who are responsible for the finer details of areas like content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO). By contrast, marketing managers for smaller companies may be directly responsible for managing a team that consists of designers, writers, SEO specialists and marketing executives.  

An essential function of a marketing manager role is to build an all-encompassing, long-term strategy for marketing campaigns. Staying up-to-date with this ever-changing industry is a must, so excellent research skills and knowing how to implement new practices are both critical. Marketing managers may also be responsible for department spending in areas such as media buys, ad agency contracts and printing. Spending money does not come without responsibility, which is why assessing, evaluating and reporting results of campaigns to a company’s senior staff is also essential.  

How to Land the Role  

A relevant qualification is unlikely to land you directly in a marketing manager role, but it should set you on the right professional path from which point you can begin progressing. An HND, top-up degree or equivalent higher education qualification in business will open up entry-level marketing positions such as marketing executive; from here, candidates usually begin taking on more responsibility in a particular area. During this period, it’s crucial for aspiring marketing executives to keep on top of all areas of marketing if they wish to progress. You may specialise in pay-per-click advertising, but you’ll need to know (and be able to demonstrate) your knowledge in areas such as content and social if you want to eventually land a marketing manager role. Progression to a marketing manager position for a smaller company can be anything from 2+ years in a marketing role. Larger companies would most likely expect several years of direct, relevant managerial experience due to the scope, targets and responsibilities involved in managing large teams and higher budgets.  

Software Engineer  

Number 12 on Glassdoor’s list is the role of a software engineer. As a software engineer, you’ll be at the forefront of the technological changes that are defining the world. Due to the sheer breadth of the sector, software engineers can specialise in any number of programming languages like C# or Ruby on Rails. However, thanks to emerging services like cloud storage and cloud computing, new software engineering roles are being created daily. It’s an exciting industry to join, and the pay reflects the intricate skills needed to find success in the sector. 

The title of software engineer covers a wide variety of levels, from entry to senior and managerial; junior roles could include extensive code writing and testing, whereas senior-level software engineers could be tasked with mentoring client engineers and running workshops to make sure staff know and understand new practices. The only real downside to the occupation is the sometimes-long hours needed when projects come closer to their launch date; it’s not uncommon to find software engineers working late into the evening to ensure a platform transition project runs smoothly.  

How to Land the Role 

The best-traversed path on the road to a senior software engineer role is through hard work and dedication; junior or entry-level employees will find sticking in their position and becoming an expert in a particular area brings great rewards. Usually, to gain employment in an entry-level software engineer role you’ll need a relevant higher education qualification (like an HND in Computing for example). Another bonus that employers look favourably on is the presence of continuing professional development (CPD) courses on their CV. These qualifications demonstrate a candidates’ eagerness to stay ahead of the curve and add value to a company. After around five years’ experience, in which the software engineer has been given increased responsibility, they can expect to move into a senior-level role.  

HR Manager  

At number 6 in Glassdoor’s list is the role of human resource (HR) manager. This role involves taking on a company-wide responsibility to make sure all teams are promoting the right attitudes, practices and procedures in everyday work. HR managers are akin to the PIT team in Formula One: preparing all members of staff to help maximise engagement, happiness and productivity. They work alongside heads of department to make sure all are up to date with policies like CPD, budgets and recruitment.  

HR management roles are quite varied, and being an excellent communicator is a prerequisite: one moment you could be speaking with a colleague about redundancy, the next you might be phoning someone to congratulate them on their successful interview. You’ll likely work closely with other teams like marketing to deliver on recruitment targets, and you could be the person responsible for hitting the ‘pay button’ at the end of the month. Due to the sheer variety, showing you’re flexible and quick at picking up new skills it hugely advantageous. 

How to Land the Role 

As with the positions above, to land an HR manager role, you’ll need relevant experience – 3 to 5 years – and appropriate qualifications. PM Jobs, the official job site of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, reports that “graduates with a level 7 qualification will be in highest demand,” for HR management roles and professional body qualifications are also a bonus. One such pathway to achieving an HR manager role is to gain a higher education qualification (such as an HND in Business) and top up the qualification with a one-year top-up bachelor’s degree course in Business Management (Human Resources). You could then move into employment while studying a part-time master’s degree in human resources. After the 2-3 years needed for the part-time master’s course, you will have gained the necessary experience and qualifications required to progress into the senior role.

Which role in Glassdoor’s top 25 are you aiming for? Contact UKCBC’s course advisors today to discuss the potential pathways to achieving your dream position.

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