The most successful business professionals possess people skills, organizational expertise and a special knack for navigating the corporate sector. Earning a degree in business management, whether through online management courses, or at a traditional brick-and-mortar university, will help groom you into one of these professionals. You'll take courses and become fluent in each area that modern businesses need to succeed in to be competitive: finance, accounting, marketing, human resources and more.
Management is the organizational process that includes strategic planning, setting; objectives, managing resources, deploying the human and financial assets needed to achieve objectives and measure results.
This career field can be hard to pin down, since management is present in not only business, but also other fields like healthcare, engineering, and social sciences. In response, the academic field of management takes a holistic approach by equipping students with skills and expertise that can be applied to all areas of modern business.
While programs can vary to a wide degree, students in a management program can count on a lot of group projects, as well as a focus on math, finance, and economics. Number-crunching and statistics are of particular importance in many degree programs, notes Princeton Review. This list of management courses should give you an idea of what you might expect from a business management degree program:
- Organizational Leadership
- Principles of Management
- Information Systems Design and Management
- Managerial Accounting
- Sales and Marketing
- Business Ethics
- Managerial Economics
- Financial Analysis
- Human Resources Development and Management
Specializations are common in this field. Many concentrate in marketing, data-analysis, organizational leadership, or information technology management.
Some colleges allow students to minor in areas of business that are a little broader, such as international business, business law, supply chain management, or information sciences and technology. Other schools allow students earn a double major in management and human resources, finance, or other related degrees.
A bachelor's in management is an important credential in the world of business, and this will be the only requirement for many entry-level positions, though some employers may only require an associate in management. Additional credentials, such as a project management certificate or any other certificate in management might help you get in the door or improve your career prospects once you complete your program.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most popular advanced degrees in the U.S., with more than 125,000 graduates in 2011. Besides demonstrating a graduate's academic commitment and discipline, an MBA also builds important management and leadership skills. According to Forbes, MBAs are best for students who have prior experience in the business world. However, there are also unrelated master's in management programs that prospective students can consider.
Ideal Candidates for Management
Successful managers have the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and act decisively. Staff will depend on you to identify needs, problem-solve solutions and do it so in a way that keeps the business thriving.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also encourages managers to build skills related to interpersonal communication and team-building. The ability to motivate and instruct employees, as well as facilitate productive brainstorming sessions between co-workers, is prized by all companies, but especially those who rely on innovative thinking.
The BLS tracks data for two dozen managerial careers, and these sectors vary considerably in terms of earnings, projected sector growth, and other factors. Administrative service managers, for instance, earn a median salary of $77,890, and that particular career is expected to grow 15% between 2010 and 2020. Compensation and benefits managers, on the other hand, earned more than $100,000 per year — but that career path is only projected to increase by 3% during the same period.
Ultimately, you should research different management trajectories before choosing a specialization; many students invest considerable time and money into a specialized degree, only to find that jobs are sparser after graduation than when they were enrolled in classes. Regardless of job growth trends, candidates with a master's degree or advanced certification should enjoy the best job prospects — but there are plenty of jobs available to individuals who only earn undergraduate credentials.
If you are committed to becoming a management professional in this competitive business world, show your determination through plenty of research. Get insight from students in business programs at schools that you find appealing or ask to chat with a professor during their office hours. Take a proactive step to finding the program that will work best for you.