Students interested in this field may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Process Management degree or a Master of Business Administration. Certificate programs in business process improvement are also available. In addition to covering business process engineering, these programs provide an overview of information systems, business organization and management skills.
While a GED or high school diploma is sufficient for applying at the undergraduate level, a bachelor's degree and GRE scores may be required for the master's degree.
Bachelor of Science in Business Process Management
Bachelor's degree programs in business process management provide training that blends aspects of business efficiency practices with topics in information technology (IT). Students may learn to use IT programs and processes to manage operations in manufacturing, services and distribution. Programs may also provide coursework in the management of workers or capital investments, as well as logistics and consulting.
These curricula generally include supporting coursework such as business calculus, business communication and English composition. Common business process management course topics include:
- Information systems design
- Data management
- Decision models
- Application development
- IT and networked organizations
- Systems security
Master of Business Administration
Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs may offer business process management or operations management as concentration options. These programs typically focus on the financial aspects and applications of process management. Key areas may include consulting, business forecasting and marketing.
MBA programs usually divide required topics into areas according to the different subareas of consulting and marketing. Additional topics may cover Six Sigma (a form of business management strategies), databases and supply chains. Possible course topics may include:
- Supply chain management
- Corporate strategy
- Managerial accounting
- Industry analysis
- Market intelligence
- Multinational organizations
Certificate in Business Process Improvement
Business professionals may consider certificate programs to refine their skills or advance their careers. Certificate programs in business process improvement typically focus on how to increase the quality of a business' operations and outputs. Students are trained to identify processes and opportunities that could benefit from reduced waste and costs. To refine these processes, students learn about techniques like process mapping, experiment design and effects analysis.
Programs may be structured around workshops, each of which covers a core focus area like Six Sigma training or statistical process control. Electives may be drawn from areas like leadership or project management. Common topics include:
- Six Sigma process improvement techniques
- Process innovations
- Team process development
- Management of change
- Lean enterprise management
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Individuals who complete a degree in business process improvement may find work in a career related to logistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for logisticians were expected to increase by only 2% from 2014-2024, due to the expected decline of government and manufacturing (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that logisticians earned a median annual wage of $74,260 as of May 2015.
MBA programs sometimes recommend that students go on to obtain professional certification. A common certification is the Certified Business Process Professional certification awarded by the Association of Business Process Management Professionals (www.abpmp.org). Leaders and instructors who are proficient in Six Sigma may opt for the Six Sigma Black Belt certification, which is awarded by the American Society for Quality (www.asq.org). Obtaining these certifications requires an individual to pass an exam and earn continuing education to remain certified.
Popular Career Options
These programs prepare graduates to work in many areas of the business industry, including business analysis, information systems and process improvement. Some common career options include:
- Supply chain analyst
- Quality management professional
- Project manager
- Database administrator
Degree programs in business process management typically blend business efficiency strategies and information technology processes. Students learn to use these varied techniques to streamline manufacturing, services and distribution.