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Irrespective of a company's size or economic sector, it will be made up of several departments that have specific roles necessary to the company's smooth operation: product or service design, manufacturing, marketing, budget & accounting or human resources for example.

These are the company's key departments and are always there. Only how they are implemented may sometimes be different - sub-contracting or outsourcing for example.

Within each of them there are specific professions, some of which are open to graduates.

Department definitions

Senior management:

At the summit of the management pyramid, senior management is responsible for operational and strategic management.


The IT directorate now more and more frequently reports to senior management. The internal organisational structure of this department varies depending on the type and structure of the company.
The IT department encompasses:

The IT design department

This includes all the basic departments that contribute to the implementation of new IT systems: case studies, development of  programmes or making functional changes based on user specifications.
Examples of professions: director of studies, project manager, developer (analyst/programmer), database manager.

The IT operations department

All the departments necessary for the secure transactional and deferred processing that makes up IT applications:  physical and logical security (if this is not the remit of an independent security department), operating applications (deferred processing, back-ups, restarts etc.), equipment administration (server, network etc.), performance monitoring and optimisation (availability, processing time etc.)
The implementation of applications acquired or developed by the IT study department.
Examples of professions:  ERP configurer, operations technician, system analyst, database administrator.

The IT maintenance department

The design department with applications maintenance which may be corrective or developmental.
The operations department with system and network maintenance which aims to guarantee the continuity of business on a daily basis. It includes infrastructure maintenance and operating systems.
Examples of professions: maintenance technician, telecoms network maintenance engineer.

The IT security department

This department covers the definition and monitoring of physical and logical access control procedures for IT data.
Its role can be performed
by an independent department whose remit is security, but only the physical and logical security of the IT system (application, systems and networks).
Examples of professions: IS director, tester, IT security expert.


This service is in charge of innovation. It enables the company to adapt its products to the market.
Examples of professions: researcher, calculations engineer


it covers:

the manufacturing department

This is a key department. Its goal is to produce the goods that are to be marketed.
Example of professions: junior manufacturing engineer.

the method and control department

The manufacturing and quality control processes are defined at the design office. It is here also that all production is planned.
Examples of professions: junior quality engineer, measurement and analysis engineer

the logistics and transport department

It manages product and material flows. Purchasing - supply - distribution
Examples of professions: industrial buyer, distribution buyer

the maintenance department

It is responsible for the upkeep and smooth operation of equipment as well as the safety of the production apparatus in keeping with standards.
Example of professions: junior maintenance engineer.


Reporting to general management, the role of this department encompasses development strategy to product or service sales: marketing, technical sales, distribution, sales promotions, export, sales and after-sales.
Examples of professions: product manager, market research manager

Information & communication:

This department is responsible for the company's image at both a technical and commercial level It works both internally and externally: documentation, advertising, public relations.
Examples of professions: web content producer, multimedia graphic designer, documentalist, archivist.

Administrative, financial, and accounting department:

It takes care of the company's administration. Accounting is the dashboard - it complies with a legal requirement. Finance's role is to manage the company's financial flows.
Examples of professions: junior management assistant, general services manager, management auditor.

HR human resources:

Manages staff: recruitment, career management, training
Example of professions: Human resources manager, recruitment manager.

A few questions to ask yourself about a profession

  • What are its main and subsidiary aims?
  • What are the skills required in a given profession? Relevant techniques etc.
  • What are the necessary qualities? Personal abilities etc.
  • What company department is this profession based?
  • Which departments and which people, both internal and external, does one liaise with?
  •  On what premises is the job performed?
  • Are there specific characteristics to the role depending on the economic sector?
  • Is the profession open to graduates or does one need to progress into the role?
  • What are the other possible names for this profession?
  • Are there professional bodies, trade unions etc. for this profession ?
  •  What are the career prospects moving on from this initial role?
  • What is the remuneration/salary like?

Last updated April 6, 2012

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