Those who have an MBA in Operations Management can work in a variety of different business types. Because of their knowledge, they are not only experts in managing operations but also in business administration. This role is in high demand, particularly now that most business operations are going global.
What We Do
The field of operational management concerns itself with organizing, planning and supervising all the different elements of manufacturing, production and/or providing services. Hence, it focuses strongly on delivery and making sure that an organization is able to efficiently turn input to output. The input could be things such as equipment, material, human resources, technology, workers or staff for instance.
The exact duties of someone with this type of MBA vary greatly. However, it generally includes procurement (acquiring services and/or goods from an external source), relationship management across all elements of the process and improving the sustainability of a company in terms of how they use their resources.
Two areas in particular are the focus of what operational managers do. The first is supply chain management and the second is logistics. Operational managers cover both of these areas. For instance, gaining an understanding of global trends within managing the supply chain is critical in terms of meeting customer demand. In terms of logistics, managers must know how to use the available resources while remaining cost-effective. Indeed, this is one of the vital elements of operational management as we live in an era where resources are often in short supply and diminishing while expectations of customers are growing.
Why It’s Hot
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an operational manager with an MBA is $117,200. Job growth is reasonably stagnant and the minute, but that doesn’t mean there is no work to be found. As the world is becoming increasingly global and businesses have to cut costs in terms of their resources, as well as having to make environmental sustainability decisions, while at the same time seeing customers make increasingly higher demands, someone who is able to manage these different elements is needed. This is what an MBA in Operations Management teaches you to do.
In the main, you will be working in an office. However, you may also have to make frequent site visits. This may include foreign travel.
How to Do It
In order to obtain an MBA in Operations Management, you will need to complete a four year bachelor’s degree in a relevant major. Competition to get into an MBA program is fierce, and it is recommended that you apply to several different schools in order to increase your chances of being accepted. In most cases, you will first have to pass the GMAT exam and the results of test will heavily influence whether or not you will be accepted to the program. Hence, studying for this examination as much as possible is always a good idea. Some schools are now offering No GMAT options for their world class MBA’s.
Once accepted, you will be able to study either on campus or online. One great on campus option you may want to considered is offered by the Tepper School of Business (Carnegie Mellon). This is one of the world’s highest ranked business schools. The emphasis is on general management, but their operations management curriculum is very strong as well. This is why they also have the Operations Club, for instance, which holds events for students, including an annual International Case Competition and an Operations Boot Camp.
MBA in Operations Management Online
The leading schools where you will find an Online MBA Operations Management include:
- *Online MBA Operations and Supply Chain Management – Southern New Hampshire University- (Editor’s Pick!) This degree offers combined training in supply chain and operations management, and is unique in its offering. The combination provides mid-career professionals for executive and leadership positions within various business organizations with increased skills and training in various management principles and operations issues.
- *Online MBA Operations Management– Colorado Technical University- (Editor’s Pick!) – The MBA program at Colorado Tech is designed to provide a high-quality education in areas like operational procedures, management principles, leadership, and other areas to prepare mid-career students for moves into executive management and operations leadership roles. For the second year in a row, CTU’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs were ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report.
- MBA Operations Management – Regis University– The MBA at Regis gives students a foundation of business training with a focus on efficiency and using leverage in operations to increase business success. Capitalizing on available resources and technology to better the operations of a business are also discussed and studied.
- MBA Quality Management – Upper Iowa University– This program offers mid-career professionals to help develop leadership roles within various organizations. Training focuses on area like leadership, management, quality control, operations, and other related areas of focus.
- MS Business Intelligence – St. Joseph’s University– Although not an MBA, this program focuses on operations management and business intelligence topics that ensure that people get the management training that they need for advancing their career at the professional level within the world of operations management and business operations.
- MBA Supply Chain Management – Bellevue University– This degree program provides students with a degree in supply chain management for advanced studies, including operations management principles and elements. It is specifically designed for mid-career professionals who are looking to move up in their career or expand their training for professional advancement.
- MBA Operations Management – University of Scranton– This program is designed to give mid-career business professionals the education that they need in operations management and business leadership from an operational perspective. This degree provides training for advanced career positions.
- MBA Enterprise Resource Planning – University of Scranton– Although it is named differently, this degree is actually very similar to operations management. It provides advanced training in operations, leadership, resource planning and allocation, and related areas for professionals who need training for career advancement. University of Scranton is featured in the top of our America’s Best Online MBA degree rankings report for 2017.
- MS Management, Operations Management – New England College– This program is similar to an MBA, but without the excessive business focus. The program does still provide relevant and necessary information for working professionals looking to advance their career in operation and supply chain management, however. The program also operates entirely online for convenience.
- MS Operations and Supply Chain Management– University of Liverpool– This degree program is another that’s not classified as an MBA, but offers the same basic training and experience. This degree prepares mid-career workers for supply chain and operational careers in executive leadership, management, and more.
- Global MBA Operations Management– Concordia University Wisconsin-Global MBA programs like this are opening up career professionals to better positions within the growing global economy, including studies in operational issues, supply chain management, and other management and leadership issues that result in career advancement for working professionals.
- MBA Enterprise Resource Management– Brandman University– This degree has a different name, but is essentially the same as the MBA in Operations Management. Students will learn about enterprise resource allocation and management, operations, and other relevant areas of study. It is offered entirely online, as well, making it ideal for mid-career professionals and working business students who need something flexible and convenient.
- MBA Information Management– Grantham University– This program is sure to provide the necessary education in operations management, business intelligence, resource allocation, and other important areas of focus for executives and leaders in the operations management sector of various companies. With online access, it is convenient and attainable for everyone.
- MBA Professional Practice Management– William Howard Taft University– WHT University has an operational management degree that actually focuses even more closely on the field of professional practice management. The studies and courses include operational training, supply chain management, practice procedures and policies, management of medical and professional practices, and more.
- MBA Nonprofit Management- Kaplan University– As a leading online school, Kaplan offers an online management MBA in nonprofit operations, including operational studies, supply chain management, and other advanced studies for mid-career professionals seeking advancement. This degree program is available to all students with advanced degrees in business.
Pros & Cons
There are pros and cons to any career choice and the MBA in Operations Management is no different in that respect.
- It is a job that gives a lot of freedom.
- You may deal with important projects, managing large teams.
- Salary is very good and growing.
- You can work in a variety of different industries.
- A huge amount of responsibility.
- A lot of competition in the positions that are available due to the prestige and salary associated with the job.
- A high pressure job in which you must complete things on time and in an efficient manner.
- You could have to work very long, unsociable hours.
- Tepper School of Business Scholarships – Various scholarships for students of Tepper University. It is based on superior personal, professional and academic background.
- Ross School of Business – Scholarships based on need and/or merit to students of the school. All students are automatically considered for the funds made available through private and corporate donors.
- Krannert School of Management – A number of scholarships are offered to students based on need and/or merit.
- Wharton School of Management – All students are automatically considered for scholarships and will be notified of their position in due course.
- MIT Sloan – A number of highly competitive scholarships based on merit for second year students. An independent review process decides whether or not the scholarship is awarded. A number of different awards exist and students automatically apply to all that are applicable. Only those who receive the fellowship or scholarship will be notified.
- Supply Chain Manager – A supply chain manager can be known by various titles, including purchasing or buyers managers or purchasing agents to name but a few. Their role revolves around purchasing goods and services for the organization or company that they work for. Their goal is to make sure that they get the highest quality products at the lowest possible price. Hence, they must have a great understanding of different suppliers, both in this country and abroad, and they must understand the different factors that can have an effect on supply. Usually, they have particular experience in a certain type of merchandise. They also know how to complete an analysis of the buying preferences of their company’s customers. This particular area of work is expected to see strong growth and salaries are some of the highest in the field.
- Logistics Manager – The logistics manager spans different departments, including manufacturing, marketing and purchasing. Their role is to implement supply chains and manage them properly, focusing on both import and export. The ultimate goal is to make sure that the chain is cost effective. Their responsibility is also to develop new distribution strategies and to create and maintain relationships with other logistics intermediaries. They also make sure that if any goods enter the country from a foreign market, these are sure to comply with all the relevant export and important laws from both countries.
- Consultant – Consultants have the greatest freedom in terms of jobs of all. They can work for a range of different organizations, performing various different tasks. Overall, however, they will usually take on work in one aspect of a business with the goal of improving its supply chain management and logistics operations. They often bring new technology to the table that can improve these operations, as well as help to create new strategies. They also provide recommendations on any potential operational changes and how these might affect the business. One particular area of work that is very popular right now is the global optimization of supply chains. This includes strategic sourcing and selecting software. Additionally, they help their clients to implement new knowledge in terms of logistical processes, providing them with the necessary tools to increase overall efficiency and profitability.
- Inventory Control Manager – These professionals create and perfect plans to ensure inventory costs are reduced and put these into place. They focus not just on lowering inventory costs, but also on exceeding expectations of customers. To do this, they oversee and manage the various systems that are used in order to manage inventory, but they also deal with the physical, actual inventory that is in place. Their responsibility includes being responsible for the quality of inventory, as well as how this flows through the entire system. This can be done across a range of different organizations, from government to not for profit.
- International Journal of Services and Operations Management
- POMS Journal
- APICS Magazine
- International Journal of Operations & Production Management
- Manufacturing & Service Operations Management
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in fields relevant to an MBA in Operations Management: