An operations manager is one of the most important roles in any business regardless of what field it is in. These individuals help improve a business’s efficiency and productivity in a variety of ways, particularly through human resources. In addition to helping employees, they can also negotiate contracts, manage the business’s budget, and conduct whatever tasks are necessary for the business’s success such as registering a company.
Because managers can do such a wide variety of tasks, this is a business field in growing demand. US News states that the average salary of an operations manager is over $100,000 with an unemployment rate of just 1.8%. Young individuals looking for a successful career where they can learn many skills should strongly consider this career path, and here are some of the most important things to enter this profession.
Education and Experience
Most operation managers start with a bachelor’s degree, typically in business administration. This lets one build valuable skills and knowledge which can be applied to a wide variety of businesses. Good operation managers learn both hard and soft skills in school. This includes statistical modeling, budgeting, management principles, and how to communicate effectively to different individuals in the business.
A graduate degree is often recommended for operation managers but is not necessary for those starting on this career path. An MBA can help managers improve their business and communication skills, though it is often just as good to learn those skills by working on the job. In addition to schools, operation managers often pursue certifications such as in supply chain certifications, human resources certifications, or QuickBooks.
As noted above, operations management is closely intertwined with human resources. This means that new workers often begin by joining the human resources field, whether as an assistant or as a coordinator. From there, a manager might branch out into other fields as the job demands. Operation managers will often take online courses where they can learn additional skills and continue to meet with mentors who can open doors for them.
Advantages and Disadvantages
As operations manager are highly in demand, this is a career path which should let you choose from a wide variety of jobs and industries and earn a decent standard of living. The most well-compensated operation managers often work in growing and important sectors such as IT, even if they do not have technology experience themselves.
However, this is not to say there are no disadvantages to this career path. As operation managers are often high in demand, they will have to work hard in whatever job they choose. This is not a path for someone who is looking for an alternative working schedule or can only work part-time.
But for those who can work full-time and are willing to put in the hours, an operation manager career offers a steady, well-paid job which lets one work in different roles and industries and does not necessitate going to graduate school. This is a career path for the ambitious and the industrious.