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Career Information for a Degree in Business Management and Operations

Degree programs in business management and operations typically cover the training an individual needs to run a business' technical or production functions. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for business management and operations graduates.

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A degree in business management and operations prepares you for a variety of business careers. As part of this degree, you can expect to study subjects like management practices, microeconomics, human resource management and information management systems. Some career choices for those pursuing a business management and operations degree include general or operations manger, operations research analyst and purchasing manager.

Essential Information

Degree programs that focus on business management and operations are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In some programs, this field is offered as a concentration within a larger degree program, such as business administration. At some institutions, students can pursue a degree in business management and operations online. Graduates of these programs can pursue careers as managers or research analysts.

Career Titles General or Operations Manager Operations Research Analyst Purchasing Manager
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree and work experience for entry-level; master's degree usually needed for advancement
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% 30% 2%
Average Salary (2015)* $119,460 $84,180 $114,130

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Graduates of business management and operations degree programs have a variety of career options. Some related job titles include general or operations manager, operations research analyst and purchasing manager. A bachelor's degree is often enough to get a start in these fields, but some employers require a graduate degree to move up.

General or Operations Manager

General or operations managers oversee an organization's general operations and ensure that departments are working efficiently. They also might be called operating officers or superintendents. Workers in these positions are generally responsible for formulating company policy, as well as overseeing human resources, expenditures, investments and procurements.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the average salary for general and operations managers was $119,460 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Jobs in this field are expected to increase at an average rate of 7% from 2014-2024.

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts, also known as operations research managers or business analytics directors, help organizations solve problems by analyzing management techniques and practices. Using models and evaluations, they determine how various factors affect a company's operations. They also might assist managers in making new or better decisions about how a business should operate.

The BLS reported that the average salary for these analysts was $84,180 in 2015. The BLS projects above average job growth of 30% for these professionals from 2014-2024.

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers oversee the purchase of products that a business will either use or resell to its own customers. Although these managers usually coordinate the activities of purchasing agents and buyers, they also might make some purchases themselves. Additionally, purchasing managers negotiate contracts with a business' suppliers.

Overall, growth in this field is expected to be slow, with only a 2% increase in opportunities over the 2014-2024 decade, based on BLS figures. Job availability for purchasing managers depends on growth within industries that employ these professionals, such as retail, farming and government. The BLS reported an average salary of $114,130 for purchasing managers in 2015.

Degree Programs

Degree programs in business management and operations are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor's degree programs typically cover topics like management practices, microeconomics, human resource management and information management systems.

In a master's degree program, such as a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in business operations, students might study inventory management, quality assurance, supply chain management and strategy, production scheduling and project management. Some master's degree programs are available online; however, students might need to complete an in-person internship. In a doctoral degree program, students likely will conduct research in the field and write a dissertation.

Business management and operations careers require a bachelor's or master's degree. Students can complete a degree in business management and operations, or pursue it as a concentration as part of another business degree. On-line degree programs are available from some institutions.

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