How to become an asset manager? – A step by step guide
Asset management is all about the efficient and cost-effective deployment of assets to achieve a company’s overall business and strategic goals. These assets can be physical assets like plant and machinery, digital assets like intellectual property, or financial assets like investments or equities. Asset managers are expected to be experts at assessing the true value of these assets, acquiring these assets at the lowest possible value, and then managing these assets throughout their lifecycle.
The skill requirements for asset managers are therefore totally dependent on the underlying assets that they expect to manage. This step-by-step guide covers the process of going about acquiring these specific skills.
Step 1 – Choose your niche
Since the skillset that the asset manager needs differs significantly based on his/ her area of specialisation, candidates looking to join a career in asset management would do well to choose the general area of specialisation well in advance. What this essentially means is that the candidate should have a fair idea of whether they want to be in infrastructure asset management, IT asset management, industrial asset management or financial asset management, etc. There are obviously further specialisations within these broad categories, but it might not be possible for candidates without any experience to drill down to that level.
Step 2 – Figure out the skillsets and academic requirements for that niche
Once a candidate has decided on the board area of specialisation, it is time to figure out the academic and skill requirements for the role. For example, industrial asset management might require the candidate to have an engineering degree in production or industrial engineering. For IT asset management, it might be better to have a degree in a tech field like information technology or computer science.
There are also certain certifications that can be undertaken, and we go into some detail regarding the academic qualifications in another article on qualifications.
Step 3 – Start applying to roles related to that niche
In case the candidate has chosen a niche where the experience requirement is minimal, they can probably apply and join that field right away. However, if the candidate has chosen an aspirational role which requires a considerable amount of experience, then it might make sense to start applying to roles related to that specific niche. Even an internship or other part-time experience might make sense.
Step 4 – Rising through the ranks and further specialisation
Asset managers should expect to further specialise as they advance their careers. There are two possible paths available at this point. The first is to become a team leader handling other asset managers. The second is to further specialise in a niche with the aim of eventually becoming a subject matter expert in that niche. Both strategies lead to increased responsibilities as well as more career growth opportunities.
Find out more about what being an asset manager is all about. The following articles cover the job description, salaries, CV building tips and more.
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