Why Earn an Operations Management MBA

The field of operations management has to do with the business practices that ensure efficiency within an organization is as high as possible. Oftentimes, this is related directly to the process of converting labor and materials into services and consumable goods. By maximizing the efficiency of this process, profit is maximized as well.

The field of operations management is often misunderstood, due to the fact that it is so multidisciplinary in its nature. However, it is essentially the backbone of any business anywhere in the world, and the success of a business can literally rely solely on operations management. It is no surprise, therefore, that Operations Management MBA is one of the most popular concentrations in business schools all over the world.  Jump to 9+ Operations Management MBA Programs for 2017.

Why Earn an Operations Management MBA?

If you hold an Operations Management MBA, you will be able to come into any industry because you have the skills set required to help the company you work for to become more efficient overall. You will do this from a position of strategic leadership, through your advanced skills and knowledge. It opens up a huge variety of career opportunities, in other words.

What makes the Operations Management MBA different from a logistic or supply management concentration, for instance, is that it offers a greater global perspective. You will have an understanding of financial regulations, industry trends, and political uncertainties the world over, and how these impact a business. Two key elements of the degree are risk management and change management, which are both essential for the understanding of the complexities of different industries.

A cornerstone of the Operations Management MBA is strategic thinking. This ensures that you will have the skills required to ensure your business is always one step ahead of the competition. Add to that the globalized nature of the program, and you will start to understand why you will be in such high demand.

Admission Requirements

Each school has its own admission requirements for their MBA programs. They are usually very competitive, due to the great interest in these degrees. Those required by Regis University College of Business and Economics are quite representative of those required by other schools, and they are:

• Holding a bachelor’s degree in any field, from an accredited university or college
• Transcripts
• An essay
• GMAT/GRE scores
• Current resume
• Two letters of professional recommendation
• Prerequisite courses, usually in fields such as finance, accounting, and math
• TOEFL/IELTS for non-native English speakers

Curriculum and Courses

Every program has the right to set its own curriculum. However, in order to earn accreditation, they do have to meet certain standards. Hence, while the exact name and nature of the courses will vary, there are significant similarities between all schools. An example is given by DePaul University, which offers the Operations Management concentration in order to increase students’ ability to:

• Formulate effective strategies for operations and implement those
• Manage operations across a wealth of different industries and organizations
• Manage the various processes required to improve the quality of products and services across the world
• Analyze high quality transformation and business processes and design them
• Guide multi-functional, multi-disciplinary projects
• Lead on innovative ideas, including new technology implementation
• Transform the way a business runs so that operations improve across the board

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

Someone who graduates from an Operations Management MBA is able to work across all types of industries. Because of this, the exact job title you will hold will vary depending on what sort of company you work for. However, it is common to see the job titles be divided into one of two categories, being service providers and manufacturing or production managers.

For example, an operations manager within a cosmetic product company is a production type of role. This is because their role is to plan and coordinate the way different products are researched and designed, developed, and eventually sent to the different places where cosmetic products are sold. Essentially, their role is both in the preparation of products, but also in the availability of the products. If, by contrast, you work for a cruise ship company, your focus will be more service directed. Your role is to ensure passengers can go from A to B in a safe and secure manner.

A key difference between the two elements is that manufacturing managers tend to focus on tangible products. This means they have little to not direct contact with their clients. In a services role, the opposite is true.

It can be very difficult for the two elements of operations management to be divided, however. This is because many companies span both elements. Take for instance, an airplane manufacturer. While they manufacture airplanes, they are also responsible for the servicing of their product. Similarly, a diner where people can consume sandwiches may even make their own bread. And then, there are the quasi-manufacturing companies. These appear to be manufacturing businesses, but what they do is actually a service. An example is an Amazon warehouse, where goods are stored, but the goal is to dispatch those to customers.

Job Salary & Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS), all top executives earned $102,690 per year as of May 2015. They also predict a 6% growth in demand from 2014 to 2024, which is as fast as the national average.

Scholarships and Grants

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, which honors how people who immigrated to this country, as well as their children, contribute to everything that makes America great. The group invests in the education at graduate level of 30 New Americans, receiving up to $90,000 of financial support over a two year period. They must demonstrate that they intend to improve the country, which will also earn them lifelong membership of the New Americans community.

• The National Black MBA Association, which offers financial support across different universities to students looking at professions in relation to academia and business. This is offered to those with a black background, aiming to recognize more black talent in nonprofit, private, public, and business sectors. Money for the scholarship comes from donations from members and educational and corporate partners. The value of the scholarship varies depending on the applicant and available funding, and ranges from $1,000 to $10,000.

Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship, which offers a scholarship to women looking at completing a degree program from an accredited institution in this country, regardless of level. They must be interested in entrepreneurship or business, which they must demonstrate through past experiences. A 3.0 GPA minimum is required.

Additional Resources

Rotman Operations Management Association
European Operations Management Association (EUROMA)
Production and Operations Management Association (POMS)
UCLA – Strategy and Operations Management Association