Operations Management Degree: Overseeing Business Operations

Operations Management Degree

The operations function is central to any organization. It is one of three core functions of a business, along with marketing and finance. An operations management degree is designed to teach students how to design and efficiently manage products, processes, services, and supply chains. As an operations manager, you will manage the acquisition, development, and utilization of resources needed to deliver your company’s products and services to clients. Read on to learn more about this field and determine whether it is right for you.

Operations Management Training Overview

Types

You may acquire operations management training through a stand-alone course or through a program that culminates in an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. Undergraduate and graduate certificates are also available.

Undergraduate Prerequisites

The prerequisites for degrees in operations management vary depending on what level of degree you pursue. If you want to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you need to have a high school diploma or GED, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required SAT/ACT scores. It takes two years to earn an associate’s degree and four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Prerequisites

If you want to get a master’s or doctoral degree, you typically need an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with training in economics and mathematics, a minimum required GPA, minimum required GRE/GMAT scores, and strong letters of recommendation. A master’s degree can typically be completed in two years, whereas a doctoral degree may take from three to five years to complete.

Curriculum for Operations Management Courses

Overview

An operations management program will provide you with a broad foundation in business and operations, so that you will be trained to boost an organization’s production, operational efficiency, and overall profitability. Many operations management courses are offered online, allowing busy working adults to fit classwork into their schedules.

Operations Management Classes

Courses that operations management students may take include the following:

  • Supply chain management
  • Production planning & scheduling
  • Business logistics
  • Quality management
  • Business process design
  • Finance for operations managers
  • Project management for operations managers
  • Strategic management
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Organization & control

Career Profile for Operations Managers

Responsibilities

Overview

Operations managers plan, direct, and coordinate the operations of an organization.

Strategic

The strategic responsibilities of an operations manager may include determining the size and location of manufacturing plants, designing technology supply chains, and deciding on the structure of telecommunications networks.

Tactical

The tactical responsibilities of an operations manager may include selecting and replacing equipment and deciding on the layout and structure of a manufacturing plant.

Operational

The operational responsibilities of an operations manager may include quality control and inspection, equipment maintenance, and traffic and materials handling.

Preferred Qualities

Skills and talents that would be beneficial to have as an operations manager include strong decision-making, communication, leadership, management, and problem-solving skills.

Work Environment

Operations mangers work for both small and large companies in nearly every industry. They typically work in an office environment and might have to travel on a regular basis. About half of all top executives work more than 40 hours a week. Management positions also tend to be very demanding and can be stressful.

Job Outlook for Operations Managers

Employment Projections

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of general and operations managers is expected to grow by 12% from 2012 to 2022, which is about as fast as average. There is strong competition for jobs among operations managers, and although education requirements will vary, those who have excellent leadership skills with a record of proven success in the field will have access to the most job opportunities.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of an operations manager was $96,430 in 2013. The bottom 10% earned $46,190, and the top 10% earned more than $187,199. The top paying industries were in the fields of securities and commodity exchange, financial investment activity, securities and commodity contracts, scientific research, and insurance. The top paying states were New Jersey, Rhode Island, DC, New York, and Delaware.

If you would like to build a rewarding career as an operations manager, consider earning your operations management degree today.