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Top 10 Reasons to Specialize in a Career in Operations Management

Top 10 Reasons to Specialize in a Career in Operations Management main image

Operations management applies to any industry, function, organization, or company – it really is that important to a business.

Because of this, the job opportunities available to experts in operations management are unparalleled. Here are 10 reasons why it’s the right path for you to specialize in.

Accelerate your career

As today’s business landscape continues to evolve, the need for leaders with core management skills and knowledge to analyze and make complex decisions across all facets of an organization are in high demand.

Big data management is important

Within an operations role, knowing how to analyze and make recommendations based on data is critical.

Whether you’re working with major databases such as SQL and Access or dealing with spreadsheets – employers are on the lookout for that knowledge. Having that knowledge and being able to use data comfortably will set you apart from the rest.

Opportunities for women are expanding

Traditionally, operations management roles were held by men, but women are becoming even more involved at all levels. Many women now hold top positions in logistics companies and logistics departments, demonstrating it’s not just a man’s field anymore.

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Many hats, many rewards

In this line of work, you don’t simply have one role. You’re a manager, IT guy, repairman, and pretty much everything else in between.

You’ll be a wearer of many hats – but with that comes many rewards.

Team player

Once you break through the initial newbie vibes, and your team gets to know you – what you can accomplish together will be pretty amazing.

A team who works well together will achieve mind-blowing results together. And with you at the helm, what’s not to enjoy?

You won’t work in isolation

Roles in operations are highly cross-functional. Operations employees need to have a firm understanding of how different parts of an organization come together and be able to work across different functions.

Why you ask? Process improvements usually involve changes among multiple functions or departments – with operations employees often responsible for leading that change.

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Transferable soft skills

As a jack-of-all-trades within the industry, the soft skills you can develop and curate are unprecedented.

Some examples include:

  • Presentation skills: Delivering results and ideas to different stakeholders in the business, including senior management and other members of staff
  • People skills: Ensuring communication is efficient across all the different departments
  • Initiative: Being able to ‘get on with it’ and take the lead when obstacles rear their ugly heads

The expected salary

As of February 2020, the average operations salary in the US is US$98,230, but salaries usually range anywhere from US$85,475 to US$114,842.

The range in salary is hugely dependant on a number of important factors, including certifications, education, additional skills and the number of years you have spent in the profession.

Projected job growth

Estimated job growth for operational management professionals is around 12.5 percent for 2012-2022, which is faster than the average for all professions analysed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Operations with logistics expertise can expect even better employment opportunities than most – with the projected job growth for logisticians coming in at about 22 percent.

Personal satisfaction

Steady employment and high salary opportunities entice a number of employees into a career in operations management – with most choosing to remain in the field because they find the work so rewarding.

A 2017 report compiled by APICS (a supply chain management research association) stated that millennials see supply chain management as an opportunity for growth. Employees surveyed believed in their ability to make a difference in the field, while also achieving personal growth and development.

Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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