Bellamy has made it clear he wants to become a manager - and has already been linked with the Wales job if Chris Coleman vacates the position following Wales' disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.
"Whether Craig will be a good manager or not will be up to him," said Mackay. "But he does need to go through his seven years of study that you must do, rather than cut corners, to give himself the best chance of success.
"It's important to do the (Uefa) Pro Licence and study hard, study the best coaches in the world. When I did the Scottish Pro Licence we had 25 guest speakers in a year and a half, a lot of men experienced in different fields.
"You must give yourself the best chance you can because when you do stand there as a manager you are judged from the very first moment.
"It can go wrong quickly there's a lot of first-time managers who, if they lose their job in the first nine months, never get a job again."
For the big stories and the banter follow us on Twitter: @tribalfootball