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Online PhD IN Operations Management: Program Overview

Learn about online graduate programs with operations management courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

Ph.D. in Operations Management programs are generally not offered remotely, but Master of Science in Operations Management programs can readily be found online. Programs can be completed either entirely through distance learning or in a hybrid format, in which students attend some classes on campus. The program is for students who hold bachelor's degrees and want to study logistical strategy, project management and international business.

For those seeking more advanced positions as business consultants, executives and postsecondary instructors, Doctor of Business Administration programs are also available online. Students may be able to concentrate their studies on operations management. Although courses are all presented remotely, students typically need to attend residencies, which consist of several days spent on campus each year.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Operations Management

Master of Science programs in operations management are widely available online and are open to students who have earned a bachelor's degree in any field. Many students in these programs are working professionals, who intend to advance into a managerial position. This degree program emphasizes project management, logistical strategies, communication and scheduling. Some students may instead choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration program, in order to receive training in many fields of business, in addition to operations management.

Program Information and Requirements

An M.S. in Operations Management typically requires 30 credit hours and can be finished in two years. Many programs utilize an online system, such as Blackboard, for course delivery, while others stream lectures and course material via websites and downloadable files.

Students need to own a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Because much of the course material is delivered via web streams or downloadable files, students must have a media player and speakers or headphones.

Course Topics

Prerequisite courses for an M.S. in Operations Management include accounting, business law, statistics and economics. Students must complete or test out of these courses prior to enrollment.

Operations Management Introduction

This course teaches concepts integral to the creation and production processes within a business. These concepts include global business strategies, human resource management, quality control, project planning and supply chain management.

Project Management

Students in this course focus their study on the factors that influence project management through both case studies as well as traditional lectures. Some factors include, allocation of resources, time-cost relationships, conflict resolution, planning methods and communication.

Information Technology

Information technology courses focus on the use of electronic resources for the storage, organization and management of crucial business operations data. Students study such topics as management information systems, e-Commerce systems, e-Business systems, network security, management of data resources and information technology strategies.

Managerial Organization

Students in this course analyze the organizational skills and techniques that business managers apply in leadership positions. Topics covered include social and environmental accountability, decision-making, motivational methods, staffing, ethics and office control.


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Doctor of Business Administration

An online Doctor of Business Administration is available to full-time students, as well as working professionals, who have completed a master's degree in business, management or a related field. In these programs, students learn to succeed as consultants, higher education instructors and as business leaders. Many D.B.A. programs offer concentrations in management, leadership or international business, which allow students to tailor their studies to their professional goals.

Program Information and Requirements

Most doctoral business administration programs require 60 hours of coursework. This work can be completed entirely online; however, in many cases, students must attend two 4-day residencies, in which they consult with academic advisers, network with colleagues and attend seminars.

Because course material is primarily delivered via website and textbook, students must have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and a media player. Students can also communicate with professors and peers via online discussion forums. It's recommended that students have a printer in order to create hard copies of course material for their study.

Course Topics

Many online universities require doctoral candidates to have completed graduate coursework in finance, economics and accounting prior to enrollment. Some programs necessitate that the student have at least 3 years of professional managerial experience before entering into the doctoral degree program.

Change Management

This course trains students to anticipate, identify, analyze and adapt to potential issues that necessitate changes on any level of a business. Students learn to prioritize the areas of the organization that will undergo a change and then develop strategies for efficiently implementing new protocol. Past case studies in organizational change are examined, as well as current business journals and periodicals to keep the student abreast of current issues.

Management Ethics

A course in management ethics focuses on the ethical ramifications of conducting business in a global environment. Foreign nations have varying standards of laws and ethics, within which business leaders must make appropriate decisions to maximize profits. Concepts in ethical studies include, foundations, research, education and multicultural perspectives.

Issues in Leadership

Students in a leadership course study the characteristics, strategies and external factors that shape current business leaders and their decision-making processes. Students analyze how the performance expectations of business leaders affect not only the inner workings of an organization, but the global community and environment as well. Leadership models are analyzed within domestic and global business markets and students learn to apply these practices to maximize stockholder and consumer satisfaction.


Career Information

Graduates with a Master of Science in Operations Management can find employment as operations managers in many fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for general and operations managers was $97,730 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). In 2014r, the BLS reported that there were 2,124,100 employed general and operations managers, a number expected to grow by 7% between 2014-2024.

Graduates from a Doctor of Business Management program are qualified to advance to executive managerial positions within business organizations. In May 2014, the BLS reported that top executives held 2,525,900 jobs in the country and that this number could grow 6% between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage for chief executives in 2015 was $175,110; however, salaries for executive positions vary greatly due to the size and success of business organizations.

Online graduate degree programs in operation management or business management prepare students to work in managerial positions through coursework that includes project management, management ethics and leadership issues. Graduates of a master's degree program may work as general and operations managers, while doctoral graduates may work in executive managerial positions.

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