MBA in Operations Management
Operations management is about so much more than just manufacturing and, in the opinion of one Harvard Business School (HBS) professor, gives organizations ‘the power to act’ – such has been its expansion from early assembly line concepts.
The field of operations management should therefore appeal to anyone looking to work with a wide variety of people, as typical roles will involve regular interactions with engineers, researchers, marketing professionals and everything in-between.
An MBA in operations management allows students to tackle challenges in logistics, supply chain design and supply chain management, as well as to look at ways and means of making operating systems or processes more efficient and easier to use.
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Operations manager jobs often necessitate that a person streamlines all manner of processes, from workflow and product development to operations across all of the sectors of a company.
Top business schools for operations management offerings, such as HBS, MIT Sloan, and INSEAD, therefore often aim to broaden students’ skills in order to maximize their flexibility, analysis, and problem solving skills.
An operations manager salary is also one of the more competitive compensations around for MBA graduates.
Entry requirements for specialized MBA in operations management programs will resemble a traditional MBA program’s typical requirements: An existing academic degree, work experience of more than two years, an above-average GPA, excellent recommendations, and a high GMAT score are all basic requirements among top business schools, but having an adaptable personality and an ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly, and effectively, is also bound to come in handy. Some specializations, like those available at HBS and INSEAD, combine an MBA in operations management focus with one on technology, so, while a background in IT is not necessary, some working knowledge of IT will be of great benefit.
Analysis and decision making factor heavily into an operations manager’s day-to-day activities, and many of the courses taught at top business schools reflect this. As the field covers a relatively broad area, so too do the skills required to perform this job at a high level. Duties - from the careful planning of processes, manufacturing, or product design, to aspects of layout, strategy, and the integration of different teams – call for a mix of creative and analytical attributes.
An MBA in operations management should ensure that students can apply their newly-acquired skills across a number of related roles and functions. From data analysis and multiple technological functions in logistics and supply chain management to product design, development and implementation, for instance.
Of course, all MBA degrees, including those that allow for specialization, seek to provide rounded educations in preparing their participants for management careers. Graduates of an MBA in operations management program will therefore also leave with a number of core business skills enriched as well as having had the chance to reflect on their personal characteristics and approach towards leading others.
Courses that you are likely to find listed under MBA in operations management specializations include supply chain design, supply chain management, operations management, data analysis, logistics, plant design and layout, manufacturing processes, manufacturing strategy, product design and development, operations strategy, logistics, as well as data analysis and modeling.
Supply chain management
Supply chain management is a key discipline within operations management and, indeed, is integral to many an operations manager’s role. An important part of supply chain management is efficiency - ensuring a company’s resources, be they monetary or human, are not used needlessly. In this, data analysis, and its ability to help anticipate supply and demand, has become crucial.
Business challenges in logistics will often concern themselves with timing factors pertaining to a particular supply chain.However, here too, questions of cost effectiveness, data analysis and decision making will all be critical considerations in being able to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in demand, or in the availability of materials on which a company’s fortunes depend.
Operations manager jobs often necessitate that a person streamlines all sorts of processes from workflow to product development to operations across all of the sectors of a company.
MBA in operations management – top schools
The ten top business schools for an MBA in operations management – rated, as one of 10 popular MBA specializations, in the 2013/14 edition of the QS Global Business Schools Report – are listed below:
- Harvard Business School
- MIT Sloan
- IE Business School
- Stanford GSB
- London Business School
- IESE Business School
- Chicago Booth
Top companies for an operations management internship
Globalization in business, and layers of complexity that this brings to companies jostling in numerous international markets, is good news for the operations manager, in terms of employer demand for their services. This demand is reflected in both operations manager jobs and internship opportunities.
Indeed, the annual MBA jobs and salary trends research conducted by QS has shown that approximately a quarter of all reported roles offered to MBA graduates in each of the past four years have encompassed functions attributable to operations and/or manufacturing.
Indeed, some of world’s biggest companies regularly recruit interns in operations and supply chain management positions, as well as in logistics. Examples of such companies include:
- JP Morgan
- Goldman Sachs
- Bank of America
- HP (Hewlett-Packard)
This list is a great example of the broad range of industries in which companies require skilled operations managers and interns, from finance and manufacturing to technology and retail.
Operations manager jobs
Depending on the industry, company, or location you find yourself in after graduation, an example of the type of operations manager jobs available is a role that oversees the entire supply chain from design and product development to implementation, logistics and coordinating the efforts of various teams and team members.
Regardless of a company’s product, the process will remain fairly similar, as will an emphasis on efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Top companies for operations management
Because almost all international companies have operating models and processes that require good management, a list of the top companies for operations manager jobs can essentially be equated to a general list of top employers. Here then, is a reminder of the US’s 10 best companies to work for, according to Forbes’ latest assessment.
- Boston Consulting Group
- SAS Institute
- Robert W. Baird
- Edward Jones
- Wegman’s Food Markets
- Camden Property Trust
Operations management salaries
A typical operations manager salary might range anywhere between US$46,000 and US$187,000 according to US News, with the median operations manager salary coming in at around US$96,000. As far as its place among its management peers is concerned, an operations manager salary stands just inside US News’ top 10 for best paying jobs.