Operations management once was considered a mere necessitgy of doing business. That has changed completely in the 21st century. Today, more companies and managers realize how important effective business operations can result in positive financial consequences for their organizations.
Good operations management can boost productivity, which improves financial health and profitability. Second, it assists organizations in meeting the competitive priorities of customers.
Earning a master’s degree in operations management will develop the skills you need to connect operations and projects with relevant activities in all areas of business.
This type of advanced degree – typically a Master of Science degree – will expose you to the latest topics and skills development in operations management and project management. Other important topics that will be important to your business career in operations include supply chain management, quality control, management science and logistics.
Hot Job in Operations Management
With a master’s degree in this growing business field, you will have your pick of good paying jobs.
One of these is operations research analyst.These operations managers use complex mathematical and analytical methods to help their companies to solve their business problems and to improve efficiency. They work in every aspect of an organization, and help managers to make decisions about allocating resources and managing supply chains. For example, an operations research analyst may help a company to determine the most efficient means to ship and distribute their goods.
Why Earn a Master’s in Operations Management?
Operations management might not sound as ‘sexy’ as finance or consulting, but operations management is vital. It is the lifeblood of companies, and it allows them to bring their products to market and to customers in as efficient a manner as possible.
Operations is important for running all companies, and having advanced management skills in this field will make you very much in demand. Here are four excellent reasons you should get a master’s in operations management:
- All businesses need operations management. This field turns the resources of the organization – namely, materials and labor – into products and services. For a management professional in manufacturing, for example, much of the money that a firm can make or lose is involved in operations management.
- Operations knowledge can make you a top executive. Experts in business say that most top executives have experience and education in operations. Businesses who need a new CEO or COO want highly experienced professionals with operations management experience and education. Globalization forces are making operations management skills more in demand than ever.
- Operations understanding makes good managers. Understanding operations in any company will make you a better manager; you simply will have a more holistic understanding of the entire company.
- Operations management skills can be used elsewhere. Having superior operations management skills is important in any industry. The skills learned in your master’s program can be easily ports from, for example, manufacturing to banking and finance.
- Operations puts you in touch with the end product. Many business professionals like to work in operations because you are working directly with the production of the end product or service. These professionals like being involved in handing the final deliverable product to the client or customer.
Operations management is being recognized as a vital part of a company’s bottom line. So, you can expect that the requirements for admission at most of these graduate programs will be rigorous. For example, the distance program at the University of Alabama lists the following requirements to be considered:
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
- Score of at least 580 on the GMAT or 308 on GRE. Other programs may have different requirements for standardized tests, while others might waive them entirely.
- Resume that reflects at minimum, three years of relevant business experience
- Personal statement that states why you want a career in operations
- Official transcripts
Curriculum and Courses
The University of Alabama offers an excellent online Master of Science in Operations Management that will allow you to develop the skills that you need to supervise people, equipment and materials that all companies need today to deliver goods and services on time.
This program offers both the Operations Management and Decision Analytics tracks.
This program allows students to complete the degree entirely online. Students attending full time can complete the program in 18-24 months.Most students are able to continue their full time work while they earn their advanced degree from one of the best business schools in the nation. This program helps graduates to hone their business skills in these areas:
- Service operations
- Supply chain management
Required courses for the operations management concentration are:
- Statistical Methods I
- Management Science and Spreadsheet Modeling
- Supply Chain Modeling and Analysis
- Operations Scheduling Problems
- Inventory Management
- OM 524 Manufacturing Scheduling and Control Systems
- Systems Simulation
- Capstone Project
- Statistical Quality Control
- Effective Quality Management
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Completing your degree in operations management will qualify you for these types of positions:
- Distribution manager
- Operations manager
- Materials manager
- Plant manager
- Management analyst
- Operations research analyst
- Purchasing manager
- Quality control manager
- Supply chain manager
Operations management professionals are needed in virtually all industries, including government, consulting, manufacturing, defense, aerospace, military, health care, retail and transportation.
Job and Salary Outlook
- Operations research analyst – As technology is improving and companies need to get more efficient and save money, demand for these operations professionals is going to increase – 30% by 2024, which is much faster than average. There should be especially high demand for analysts who are particularly skilled in analytics to improve business planning and managerial decision making. There also is a growing need for these professionals in the US military. The median wage is $78,300.
- Management analyst – These professionals may also be referred to as management consultants, and they work with various companies to improve their operational efficiency. They also will provide advice to senior executives and upper level managers about how to make companies more profitable. Job demand for this profession will increase by 14% by 2024 – much faster than average. The median salary is $81,320.
- Top Executive – These top level managers develop policies and strategies to ensure that the company meets all of its goals. They are responsible for directing, planning and coordinating all of the operational activities of the organization. For that reason, having excellent operations management skills can be very valuable as a top executive. Job demand will increase by 6% by 2024, and the median wage is $175,000 per year.
Scholarships and Grants
Consider these scholarships if you are interested in a career in operations management:
- Texas A&M University: The Department of Information and Operations Management offers various departmental scholarships who are studying either information management or operations management. The scholarships can range from $1000 to $5000 per year.
- Minnesota State University: MSUM offers several operations management grants and scholarships for bachelor’s and master’s students. All of the scholarships are awarded by the Professional Management Department.
- American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS): This is the premier association and trade group in the world for supply chain and operations management professionals. It is a top provider of operations, supply chain and logistics management publications, education and research.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary Data for Operations Managers: BLS provides a helpful breakdown of the mean and median wages for operations managers across the US, and in individual industries.
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