Operations managers ensure that a company's human resources, production and distribution methods are functioning effectively. Because online graduate degree programs in this field are typically designed for working professionals seeking advancement, schools may require prospective students to have a certain amount of professional experience in addition to possessing a bachelor's degree. Some programs, particularly those in business administration, may require students lacking a related undergraduate background to take prerequisite courses in areas such as accounting, economics and statistics.
Fully available online, graduate programs often lead to a Master of Science (MS) in Operations Management or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Operations Management.
MS Degree in Operations Management/MBA - Operations Management Specialization
Taking about two years to complete, online operations management graduate programs prepare students for management or executive positions overseeing operations of organizations and businesses in a variety of fields. Programs cover management skills and industry-specific knowledge needed to direct the operations of both large and small organizations.
Typical coursework in an online operations management program might include the following:
- Supply Chain Management
- Global Business and Economics
- Information Systems
- Financial Management
- Project Management
- Inventory Systems
- Strategic Management
Distance learning students access course materials through their schools' online classrooms at a time that fits their schedules. Professors might provide multimedia presentations, video recordings or lectures to help students grasp the material. Some programs also offer opportunities for interaction among students and instructors through email, online chat or discussion forums.
Graduates in operations management are prepared to hold top-level positions at many organizations. According to projections made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), top level executives were expected to see job growth of 6% in 2014-2024, with some variation by industry (www.bls.gov). Operations managers should continue to find themselves essential to organizations, although strong competition for jobs is expected. Other job opportunities include directors of operations, operations analysts, inventory control specialists, directors of development, production managers, labor relations specialists and logistics managers. In specialized industries, job options could include food service managers and construction managers.
Professionals in human resources, product production and product distribution looking to advance their career may seek a MS Degree in Operations Management or a MBA with a operations management specialization. Both masters degrees may be found online for the convenience of working professionals.