The next generation of CEOs stand a good chance of coming, at least in part, from positions not generally thought of as C-suite steppingstones.
The spots include computer support, human resource specialists and even customer service representatives.
That’s according to a study by CareerBuilder, which calls these and several others steppingstone positions in which employees get a real feel for the business through a bird’s-eye view.
“These are jobs with the most potential for future growth as employees really learn the business,” Michael Erwin, director of global corporate communications and social media at CareerBuilder, told FierceCEO. “These could absolutely lead to CEO positions.”
Computer support providers, for instance, are in a growing field, with 693,704 positions projected to exist this year and another 57,607 to be added over the next five years. This help desk role receives exposure to evolving technologies and training for higher skill IT positions, just as companies are looking to their leadership for advanced technological savvy.
Human resource specialists work not only with HR but all functions, allowing for a varied skill set which can be applied across the business.
Organizational and multitasking skills are core to the role of administrative assistant, which serves as the support system for a team with insider knowledge on a wide range of projects and businesses.
Customer service representatives are in a spot that provides a great way to become an expert on the company's products while building problem-solving and communication skills.
Medical assistants are exposed to both clinical and nonclinical learning opportunities that can open the door to other positions in the industry.
Retail salespeople are in a role that builds confidence, hones people skills and helps master the art of persuasion.
Construction laborers get great on-the-job training that teaches the fundamentals of the profession and can allow for advancement.
Teacher assistants gain hands-on experience in the classroom that can be transferred to other types of education and training roles.
“These are strategic positions where you are training yourself,” Erwin said. “They could be executives of the future.”