Online Degrees in Operations Management
Organizations are always looking at ways to improve their operations, as optimizing outdated, underperforming processes can provide measurable benefits. Customer service, production times, effective use of resources -- these are all functions that companies want to make as efficient as possible in order to raise productivity. These positive changes can eliminate excess waste, reduce needless expenditures and help increase revenues.
Online degree programs in operations management typically feature foundational courses in accounting practices, supply chain efficiency, and process design and layout. Those pursuing a graduate degree tend to study more advanced topics, such as statistical quality control, spreadsheet modeling, international business and managerial economics. These skills may help degree holders move into positions at large corporations, nonprofit organizations or any other entity that is concerned with streamlining their production and processes.
Available Online Operations Management Degree Programs
Associate Degree in Operations Management: Students enrolled in online associate programs can generally complete the degree in two years of full-time study. Topics may include process analysis and control, project management, business statistics and supply chain management. In addition to the fundamentals of operations management, students usually take general education courses in order to complete their associate degree. These classes can include mathematics, communications, history, English composition, and social and natural sciences. Graduates may be able to enter the workforce once they earn their degree, or they can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution.
Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management: These programs can usually be completed with four years of full-time study, or in two years if students earned an associate degree first. Online schools typically offer this degree in two variants: a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Operations Management or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration with a concentration in operations management. Courses can be very similar, except the B.S. tends to focus more on business-related classes. An online bachelor's degree program offers a deeper understanding of quality management, project administration and supply chain management. Students may also receive training in topics like Six Sigma, transportation logistics and human resources. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates of these and other business-related programs may qualify for positions such as logisticians, industrial production managers, administrative services managers or operations research analysts (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).
Master's Degree in Operations Management: Students can usually earn this degree in one of two forms: a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in operations management. The M.S. program typically teaches students how to manage personnel and production, while the MBA program focuses more on training individuals to make decisions for businesses as a whole. In addition to a bachelor's degree, these programs generally take two years of study to complete. Graduates may be qualified for positions such as management analysts, medical and health services managers, or human resource managers (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).
Doctoral Degrees in Operations Management: Online doctorates in operations management typically come in one of two forms: a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Operations Management, or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a concentration in operations management. A Ph.D. path can help train students to become postsecondary educators or researchers, with courses such as mathematical programming, production systems and facilities design. Individuals earning a DBA, on the other hand, may learn skills needed to become top executives or consultants by taking classes like strategic planning, global challenges, and how to lead innovation and change,
Along with core curriculum courses, students are generally required to produce a dissertation before they complete their degree program. The dissertation is an original contribution to the field of operations management produced through extensive research and analysis. Typically, students work with faculty mentors, who, after approving the dissertation topic, offer guidance when needed.
Career Opportunities for Graduates of Operations Management Programs
Businesses large and small often seek ways to operate more efficiently and effectively. This may involve improvements in supply chain management, resource allocation and disbursement, warehousing, quality control, and response times for customer service. Students who enroll in online operations management degree programs can learn the skills to analyze these business practices and enhance them. With this training, graduates may find employment opportunities in health care facilities, large corporations, nonprofit organizations, or even government agencies.
To learn more about available programs, request information from one of the schools below. An admissions counselor will contact you and answer any questions you may have.
"Administrative Services Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm
"Human Resource Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
"Industrial Production Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition) Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/industrial-production-managers.htm
"Logisticians," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm
"Management Analysts," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
"Medical and Health Services Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
"Operations Research Analysts," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm
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