How to Map Out Your Career Path – With Examples
What Is a Career Path?
To achieve the career you want, you need to be strategic with the jobs you take. That’s where mapping out your career path can be a major help. Your career path is simply a series of jobs you take that ultimately lead you to your dream career. Career paths go hand-in-hand with a career plan , which is basically a list of short- and long-term goals that you strive for along your career path.
- Avoid taking jobs that get you nowhere. Chances are good that you’ll have at least a few job changes over the course of your career. When you’re tempted to leave your current job for greener pastures, it helps to ask yourself one simple question: Will this progress my career in the direction that I want? If the answer is no, think twice before you jump ship.
- Identify gaps in knowledge and skills. Not sure what skills or training you need to progress to the next step in your career? Mapping your career path takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation by helping you see which skills you need to reach your future career goals.
- Strive for something other than a paycheck. Sure, you want a job that pays the big bucks. Who doesn’t? But for many employees, a paycheck isn’t enough to keep them motivated at work. They want to be fulfilled in their careers, and that comes through personal and professional development.
- Bounce back quicker from career setbacks. Mapping out your career won’t make you immune to career setbacks. However, it can help you get back on track if your original career plans are derailed. Getting laid off unexpectedly can be super scary, but with a career strategy in place, you can pick up the pieces quickly and come back stronger than before.
Make Your Move: 3 Powerful Career Moves You Should Know
- Forward Career Move: The forward career move is what most people strive for in their careers. This move involves steadily advancing your career through promotions and pay increases.Example: Getting promoted from sales leader to vice president of sales.
- Sideways Career Move: This sideways or lateral career move can be a total game-changer for your career. This move involves switching to a position within your company that is neither a step down nor a step up. Employees may choose to move laterally in their careers in order to broaden their experience and become more successful in future positions.Example: Transitioning from the finance department to the sales department within the same company.
- Backwards Career Move: A backwards career move involves taking a step down in status and/or pay. While this might seem like career suicide, it makes perfect sense for those who want to switch careers or those who have been pigeon-holed in their jobs. Who knows? If the perfect job opportunity comes your way, it could be worth it to start from scratch.Example: Leaving a job as an accountant to pursue a career opportunity as an editorial assistant.
There is only one way careers can go: up!
Last week we looked at the way employee journeys are visualised. The next room in the Museum of HR (planned opening in 2022), will be dedicated to Career Paths. Career paths were particular fashionable in the period 1970 to 2010. Today we see them less, but they are certainly not extinct.
The primary visual people associate with a journey, is a road. If you ask designers to design a visual to illustrate a career path, their first choice is a ladder, or stairs. Hardly ever a real path, hardly ever escalators (a career is too easy, if you use escalators). There is only one way careers can go, and that is up. Sometimes there is more than one way to go up, but most of the time there is only one way. Even the way out (“up-or-out”) cannot be found in many visuals.
Real Career Ladders
3. A very classical picture, used by many. If I use Google Images to search for this picture, the list with results is endless. This is the iconic career picture: a man, in a suit with a briefcase climbing the career ladder (stairs). He is in the spotlight (look at the shadow), but he does not mind. He is a man with a mission.
5. Yes, there are female versions of the classical picture. She also has a briefcase, and she seems more careful than the men in pictures one and two. A bit hesitant. The stairway seems to be a bit more dangerous. Health & Safety seems to be less of an issue when is comes to career management, the stairways hardly ever have handrails. Where is the sky gone? The future looks grim…
Wow! It is fantastic at the top
6. From Manual Tester to Director in a period of 12-23 years, that is a bright prospect. As a manual tester you can wear T-shirt and jeans, but thereafter a suit is mandatory. If you reach the top after 12-23 years, it is time for a party, and you can post your flag on the top. Luckily there is room at the top in this organisation. The picture does not show what happened to the current Director…
7. The way to the top in this organisation is longer. Six layers between Associate and Managing Director. There seem to be some vacancies (at the Associate Manager and the Senior Manager level). No briefcases here. Teamwork is important, your journey to the top will not be lonely. And again, a big “hurray” when you have reached to top (less room here at the top, but the woman does not look as if she will leave soon).
10. Where most visualisations picture a career that is one-way up, there are examples that are more flexible. Is this “Retail Career Roadmap” (why “Roadmap” and not “Map”?) you can make choices. Somewhat mechanical, but maybe more attractive than a one-way road.
11. A second example in the category “Do-It-Yourself”. You have to draw your own career ladder. This high potential is not very creative: he immediately starts drawing a traditional career: up the stairs, as quick as possible (although he could have drawn higher steps). We cannot see his other hand, but my guess is he carries a briefcase.
Zero To Mastery Academy Career Paths
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced professional, figuring out the next step in your career can be overwhelming. Our curated Career Paths provide you with the step-by-step roadmap you need to take you from any level, to getting hired and advancing your career. Pick a Career Path below and we’ll guide you every step of the way.
Not sure what course to take? Not sure where to start? We’ll help you find the right path 👇
Step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects, and action items where you’ll learn to code, build a portfolio, become a Fullstack Web Developer from scratch and actually get hired.
Step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects and action items that will give you everything you need to become a Software Engineer, ace coding interviews and get hired at the company of your dreams.
Step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects, and action items where you’ll learn to code, build a portfolio, become a Frontend Developer from scratch and actually get hired.
Step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects, and action items where you’ll learn to code, build a portfolio, become a Backend Developer from scratch and actually get hired.
This path is for those that have a full year to dedicate to learning all of the latest in-demand skills in the tech industry and make themselves stand out. Web, Mobile, Machine Learning, Python. this is Andrei’s recommended path to learn everything!
Step-by-step roadmap with our best recommendation to get hired in the fastest amount of time. We provide you with the career path with the biggest job demand so that you go from zero to hired. Learn only what is absolutely necessary to get your dream job.
Step-by-step roadmap to learn Python from scratch and actually get hired. This curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, and action items will build your skills, portfolio and experience so you become a confident Python Developer.
Step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects and action items that will give you the skills, portfolio and experience to become a Machine Learning Engineer and get hired.
This path is for those wishing they had a Computer Science degree but can’t afford the money or time to get one. This curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects, and action items will help you make up for not having a CS degree.
Business Analytics Careers with an MBA
Data is a raw material that has no value from a business perspective until it is processed and analyzed. Business analytics professionals convert raw data into business intelligence. The number and variety of business analytics careers expands almost as rapidly as data itself. Among the business analytics career paths available to MBA degree holders are business systems analyst, business process analyst, business solution architect, technical data analyst, quantitative analyst and business analyst manager.
Data and Analytics Manager
Data and analytics managers, sometimes referred to as data analytics managers or analytics managers, use advanced data analytics tools to distill business intelligence from the data an organization collects. Insights gleaned from their data analyses support the decisions made by business managers and officers.
In addition to experience in preparing data for analysis and applying advanced analytics techniques, data and analytics managers require a background in business management, organization structure, marketing, corporate finance and business communications. All of these areas are covered in an MBA curriculum. Other necessary skills are statistical modeling, quantitative analysis, predictive data modeling and database management.
The median annual salary of data and analytics managers is approximately $98,000 as of June 2021, according to PayScale figures. Professionals with less than a year of experience have a median salary of approximately $73,000 per year, and analytics managers with 20 or more years of experience have a median annual salary of about $115,000.
Business Intelligence Analyst
The primary role of business intelligence analysts is to convert raw data into knowledge that supports business decisions. The position differs from data and analytics managers in its narrower focus on extracting business insights by carefully manipulating massive collections of structured and unstructured databases.
Among the tasks performed by business intelligence analysts are identifying sources of lost revenue, discovering opportunities to maximize revenue and profit, and testing the validity of the data used in the analyses. The technical, managerial and business skills required to qualify for a career as a business intelligence analyst correspond to the expertise gained by graduating from an MBA program, including data mining, predictive analytics, marketing analytics and customer equity management.
PayScale reports that business intelligence analysts have a median annual salary of about $70,000, according to June 2021 data; those with less than a year of experience have a median salary of approximately $60,000 per year, and business intelligence analysts with 20 or more years of experience have a median annual salary of about $92,000.
Data Mining Specialist
Data mining specialists perform a particular type of data analysis that focuses exclusively on extracting valid, useful data from massive datasets that extend across multiple structured databases. The resulting data is suitable for further analysis through the application of business intelligence tools. Data mining specialists typically present the results of their work in the form of graphs and spreadsheets; the data is usually converted to a visual form to make it simpler for non-data scientists to understand.
Data mining specialists must be adept in the use of special software to extract information from large data sources with the goal of making business operations more efficient and identifying new opportunities. The skills required to qualify for a career as a data mining specialist include programming, statistics, big data frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark, relational and nonrelational databases, machine learning, natural language processing and presentation software.
MBA Business Analytics Career Resources