Career Development

Strategist Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

Strategy is everywhere. It’s the driving force behind how we approach problems, overcome obstacles, and achieve our goals. Many people have some level of strategy in their jobs on any given day, but strategy is deeply ingrained in the job of a strategist.

Strategy is everywhere. It’s the driving force behind how we approach problems, overcome obstacles, and achieve our goals. Many people have some level of strategy in their jobs on any given day, but strategy is deeply ingrained in the job of a strategist.

Strategists are experts in creating plans for future success. They spend their days looking at the current state of things and using their expertise to devise ways to improve upon all kinds of situations. This might include creating plans to grow a company’s business or develop new products, finding ways to improve organizational operations, or devising strategies for financial success.

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a strategist and what it takes to become one yourself.

Strategist Job Duties

Strategists are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:

  • Recommending changes to strategic objectives based on changing market conditions or other factors
  • Assisting with pricing decisions such as setting prices for goods and services based on the costs of production and the estimated demand for those goods or services
  • Forecasting the impact of proposed changes on organizations’ performance
  • Providing guidance to employees on how to apply new strategies in their work
  • Developing marketing strategies such as which products or services to offer, how to promote them, and where they should be sold
  • Preparing reports documenting strategy decisions, providing recommendations for implementation, and outlining steps needed to achieve desired results
  • Assessing risk factors involved with potential investments so that businesses can make informed decisions about their long-term financial plans
  • Providing strategic leadership to other personnel within the organization, such as identifying training needs or communicating company goals

Strategist Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for strategists is $105,662. Those earning higher wages tend to work in executive management; the top earners earn over $179,000 per year.

The employment of strategists is projected to grow faster than average over the next decade. This growth is due to the increasing need for companies to improve their current strategies and create new ones that address changes in customer needs and consumer preferences.

Strategist Job Requirements

The requirements for a strategist include:

Education: A strategist should have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, public relations or a similar field of study. Some employers may also prefer candidates with an MBA.

Training: The training required for this job varies greatly depending on the type of organization that the candidate works for. For example, an insurance company will train their strategists differently than a small business owner would. Some strategists also benefit from continuing education courses to expand their knowledge of different areas within strategy.

Certifications & Licenses: There are no certification or license requirements for this position. However, experience is valued highly by most employers and strategists who demonstrate their competence through professional certifications can be more competitive in the job market. Some popular certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP), Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) and Certified Quality Engineer (CQE).

Strategist Skills

A strategist must possess the following skills:

Strong analytical skills: Strategists must be able to analyze a situation and come up with a plan of action.

Strong communication skills: In order to present a strategy effectively, you need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively.

A creative mind: Strategists must be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to meet their clients’ goals.

Research skills: A strategist must be able to research the market and industry thoroughly in order to come up with the best possible strategy.

Ability to work in high-pressure situations: An ability to think quickly and rationally under pressure can be crucial when making important strategic decisions in a fast-paced environment.

The ability to take criticism well: Strategists will inevitably receive criticism from others who may not agree with their decisions, but they must be able to accept this feedback gracefully and use it to improve their performance in the future.

Strategist Work Environment

Most strategists work in offices, usually with a team of employees. However, they may spend some time visiting clients or working from home. They usually work regular business hours.

A strategist spends much of the day in meetings with colleagues, clients, and other people who are involved with the strategic plan. The job requires frequent interaction with others, which can be stressful at times. Strategic plans often put a lot of pressure on the strategist, because it’s his or her job to see that everything goes according to plan.

Strategist Career Path

Getting Started

At the beginning of a strategist’s career, most of his or her time is spent gathering information and developing ideas. Strategic planners may spend up to 40 percent of their time with clients, learning about the issues and refining their approaches. The balance of their time is spent analyzing data, preparing presentations, and writing reports.

Five Years Out

So much depends on how well strategists perform during their first five years in the industry that it is difficult to predict what will happen after this point. Those who are good at building relationships with clients will be considered for promotions; those who are poor at this task will find themselves at the back of the field. Around half of strategists continue to work for consulting firms, while others move into other fields (such as government or business). Some strategists start their own businesses; others leave the field altogether.

Ten Years Out

By ten years out, strategists have developed an impressive range of skills and contacts in their chosen industries. They are often sought after by companies to help solve critical problems. Some strategists stay in-house after ten years; others become independent consultants or start their own businesses. Salaries increase significantly once strategists reach the ten-year mark.

Strategist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how strategists work. Strategists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Increased Need for Strategic Decision Making

In the past, strategists focused on optimizing processes and analyzing market trends, but today they are increasingly tasked with making strategic decisions that can have far-reaching effects.

Strategists must be able to juggle multiple variables at once when assessing a situation, all while working in a complex environment where new variables may arise at any time. This requires excellent communication skills and strong problem-solving abilities. 

The New Age of Content Strategy

Although the role of content strategy is not new, it is becoming more sophisticated. As more businesses recognize the importance of providing engaging content to their customers, they are increasingly looking for professionals who can provide expertise on how to effectively deliver that content. 

This means that today’s strategists need to be experts at identifying the needs of customers and coming up with creative ways to meet those needs.

Increased Focus on Customer-Centric Solutions

Strategists must increasingly work to create customer-centric solutions as customers become more aware of their own needs and desires.

For example, a recent study found that 90% of consumers believe that brands should always provide an experience that is consistent with the image they have created, so strategists will need to build strategies around customer service and marketing campaigns that reflect this consumer sentiment.

How to Become a Strategist

1. Planning Your Career

If you’re thinking about a career as a strategist, it’s important to understand that this role has many different definitions depending on the industry. Some people work in business strategy while others focus on military strategy; these two areas are very different and require very different skill sets.

As such, it’s crucial to know which branch of this field you want to pursue before moving forward. If you aren’t sure where your interests lie just yet, don’t worry – this is a common dilemma among students who are just starting out on their career path. To gain some experience before making a final decision about what type of strategist you want to do long-term, consider taking an internship or entry-level position that will allow you to explore several fields within the profession. Once you have decided on your desired specialty (and received proper training), it will be much easier to find jobs that match your skillset and career goals.

2. Writing a Resume

Remember that your resume is a marketing document, so it should be designed to highlight your most relevant skills. When describing the results of your work, provide any measurable data that may be relevant such as increased sales or traffic to a website. In addition to listing examples of your work experience you can also list your educational background and skills that indicate that you have what it takes to succeed in this position.

3. Applying for Jobs

It can be helpful to build relationships with people in the field before you apply for jobs. Try getting to know some strategists by joining professional organizations related to your industry. It’s also a good idea to connect with recruiters within the field and ask for informational interviews. This will allow you to learn more about the companies that interest you while making contacts that may help get your foot in the door.

Another way to make yourself known is by speaking at conferences and sharing content through podcasts, blog posts, and other types of writing. 

4. Ace the Interview

Strategists are constantly working on their own skill sets to ensure that they are constantly moving forward. As a result, many interviewers will ask about how you stay current on the latest developments in the industry.

Carefully research what is trending in your field and what other professionals are doing to stay up-to-date. Make sure to put your knowledge into action by using it to solve problems for clients or employers.

You can prepare by making a list of all the possible problems related to your field of expertise that you might be asked about during an interview. Think through each problem carefully, and explain how you would address it if given the opportunity.

You should also do some research on the company or organization you are interviewing with. This will help you develop stories that demonstrate your experience solving similar problems for other companies, which will make your story more relevant to this particular group.

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