Research Outline

Manager To VP- Best Practices


To understand the psychographics (content consumption, desires, career ambitions, career pain points) and demographics of U.S. professionals who are at the director level and are looking to take the next step in their career to VP for the purposes of developing a go-to-market strategy.

Early Findings

Preliminary research indicates that there is some information available on director-level demographics, but psychographics are more challenging. This is due to the fact that most information is geared toward directors on a board rather than directors of a department or division in a company.


  • The average annual salary for employees with the title "director" in the United State is $127,023.
  • In 2018, 24% of directors at "widely-held large-cap companies" in the United States were women.
  • Managing directors typically require a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration or a field related to the industry.


  • Healthcare costs and availability are the top concern of corporate directors in terms of social issues, followed by resource scarcity.
  • Female directors are more likely to say that social issues should "play a part in company strategy formation."
  • This is also true for diversity as 82% of female directors "believe that diversity enhances company performance" compared to just 54% of male directors.
  • One of the biggest hurdles directors have when moving from director to VP is the responsibility for more than one team.
  • Another pain point is learning to prioritize the most important tasks instead of getting buried under low-impact activities.
  • VPs have to be strong cultural leaders while directors typically take their cultural cues from their department head.