What is a Development Candidate?

Not all career paths are the same in business. They vary from industry to industry, career function to career function and company to company. Fundamentally, there are two types of career paths—Development and Non-Development.

  • Career path for candidates who will want to be leaders in a company.
  • Throughout a career, you will be exposed to various company functional areas. Most often, this happens through assuming specific positions and having exposure to other areas within the company (finance, accounting, IT, manufacturing, logistics, sales, marketing). You can also gain this experience and exposure by moving from one functional group to another through promotions.
  • Companies expect the Development Candidate to contribute and make an impact immediately. Over the course of your career, a company will invest time and money to develop you for future positions that have greater impact on the company.
  • To identify a Development Candidate, companies use the “whole person” concept. They evaluate academic success, extracurricular activities and leadership positions and military performance.
  • Companies want a generalist with broad interests and successes.
  • It takes both the ability (track record of success) and the desire (attitude) to be a Development Candidate.


  • Designed for the candidate to fill a position in a specific area of expertise.
  • Oriented toward becoming a subject matter expert in a specific area and not a future leader.
  • As you progress, the company will gear your development to learning more and more about one area versus broad exposure.
  • Generally do not assume significant leadership positions.
  • Companies more focused on knowledge and expertise and not track record of leadership success or desire to assume leadership positions.

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