Operations Management Careers

Introduction to Operations Management

Efficiency is one of the most important elements of a successful business, but it is also an abstract, difficult-to-pin-down idea. At first glance, one might imagine that “efficiency” consists of simply sharpening every point of a business; however, it takes a special kind of individual to properly assess just how much time and energy should be devoted to each element in the business. The people making these assessments are operations managers.


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Operations Management Job Description

A career in operations management requires attention to detail, problem-solving capabilities and excellent communication skills. Of course, enjoying working closely with others doesn’t hurt either. Much of the work conducted by an operations manager deals with maintaining and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of employees, resources, and production processes. An operations manager must be able to identify problems inherent in internal processes, and must figure out not only how these problems can be fixed, but also how to present these solutions to employees and fellow managers.

Advice From an Expert

BusinessDegreeOnline.com speaks with Michael Gorman, Associate Professor of Operations Management and Decision Sciences at the University of Dayton. Michael has 10 years of experience in operations for the rail industry. In 2009, he was selected as a finalist for the Edelman Award, one of the most prestigious honors in operations research, for his application of research in the rail industry. In the video, Michael explains operations and what to expect from the field.

Operations Management Requirements

Many schools offer four-year bachelor’s degrees in operations management, and most companies require applicants to have at the very least a bachelor’s in operations or a similar field. But, most larger corporations require their operations managers to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in operations management.

Operations Management Career Outlook

With the current economic climate, a career in operations management is a timely choice. In fact, during economic downturns, companies must look for the most efficient way to do business. With greater efficiency, a company can produce a higher volume of product in less time. With greater efficiency, seven people can do a job that nine people were doing before. Because capable operations managers make these outcomes possible, they are almost always sought after. Pay for Operations Managers falls within a broad range, from $40,000 to nearly $90,000 annually, according to PayScale.com. Higher salaries typically reflect jobs within larger companies.

Operations Management Trends

As the economy begins its uphill climb and consumer spending increases, some companies will continue to cut corners internally in an effort to save money. Other companies, conversely, will look for a proactive way in which to attack the marketplace. While operation managers are indispensible to such companies, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities in this field won’t increase much through 2018. Competition for these positions is high, and the best way to break in to the field is with a well-rounded business education.

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