Students interested in studying management can find several undergraduate- and graduate-level degree programs available. Learn more about the different programs, coursework and career opportunities.
If you are employed in the corporate sector and would like to enter or advance in the field of management, you will need management training. Some of this training is on-the-job, and many managerial positions do have their own 'in-house' programs to teach you the basics of their particular style of management. A degree program in management, however, will prepare you for what you need to know to succeed at all levels and in all areas of management. These programs usually cover other business fundamentals, such as marketing, business strategy and ethics. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels, and you can also find both on-campus and online programs.
Programs At a Glance
- Associate's degree programs usually take 2 years to complete while bachelor's programs take about 4 years.
- These programs can be found on-campus and online.
- Master's degree programs can be completed in as little as 1 year.
- These programs are available on-campus and online.
Associate's Degree Programs
An associate's degree in management may be required in order to achieve a management position in secretarial services, in the mailroom or in other related support services. This degree, combined with appropriate office experience, may be what is needed to take that first step up the corporate ladder of advancement. These programs usually include introductory core business courses and management courses in topics like finance, computing, supply chain management, marketing, project management, human resources, customer service, business law, and leadership. Students will also develop their communication skills and participate in various projects.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Management of more complex areas of business, such as human resources or finance, requires at least a bachelor's degree in business or management. At this level, instead of automatically promoting from within, many companies will seek outside managerial candidates or trainees. Those with specific training in management will naturally be the preferred candidates. Bachelor's programs in management sometimes offer concentrations, such as accounting, management information systems, international management or supply chain management. Internship or practicum opportunities are also available. In addition to the basic business and management courses found in associate's degree programs, advanced topics of study may include business strategy, international business, marketing management, statistical methods, information systems management, operations management, business ethics, diversity management, E-commerce, and organizational behavior. Some schools may offer a fast track to finish your degree in 2 years, instead of the typical 4 years. This usually requires classes on nights and weekends.
Master's Degree Programs
For those who aim high and would like to manage at a top executive level, there are a number of master's degree programs offering a concentration in management. Graduate degrees you can earn include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accounting and Financial Management (MAFM), Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM), Master of Information Systems Management (MISM), Master of Network and Communications Management (MNCM) and Master of Project Management (MPM).
Coursework widely depends on the type of degree. For example, an MBA program with a management concentration might have courses in conflict management, sustainability management and leadership development, while an MISM program might have technology courses mixed with organizational management and strategy coursework. Students in these programs often are required to complete a capstone or final project.
Depending on the specialization chosen and the degree level earned, graduates of management programs may work as human resources managers, marketing managers, sales managers, top executives, administrative services managers, information systems managers and financial managers, among other roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth for managers in general to be slow at a rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024. Some careers have better prospects than others. For example, computer and information systems managers will actually experience faster-than-average growth, at a rate of 15%, while financial managers will experience about average growth, at a rate of 7%.
Salaries also vary. As of May 2015, the BLS reported a median wage of $86,110 for administrative services managers, while computer and information systems managers made a higher median salary of $131,600.
Students can study management at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels on campus or online to accommodate their schedules. Graduates will be prepared to work in careers as financial managers, general managers and more.