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What is an MBA in Operations Management?

An online MBA in operations management is a broad, multidisciplinary degree. Students will learn about logistics, supply chain management, customer service, and human resources. Jobs in the field will involve interaction with engineers, marketers, and others. With a 6% job growth projected in the executive field over the next ten years, it’s a great time to earn your MBA in operations management online.

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An online MBA in operations management will qualify you for many positions, and a professional certificate could open the door to even more.

Many executive positions in operations management require an MBA. Earning your operations management MBA online is the most convenient means to advance your career. The MBA will also increase your earnings potential. The table below compares a bachelor’s-level education to a master’s level.

Comparison of Operations Management Master’s Degrees

There are different degree options for an operations management education. While each degree will prepare you for an executive-level business career, each program differs in terms of specializations and curriculum.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master of Science (MS), Operations Research & Industrial Engineering The master of science in operations research and industrial engineering teaches students to use computers to design models that solve problems. This degree involves mathematics and programming. $76,500 1 Year
Master’s of Supply Chain Management (MSCM) Focusing on the supply chain element of operations management, MCSM graduates receive training in areas such as forecasting, sourcing, and logistics, in addition to business problem solving. $57,571 1 Year
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Operations Management The MBA in operations management includes a wide range of disciplines, including accounting, supply chain management, economics, and finance. $69,174 1-2 Years

There is a general skill set expected of MBA in operations management online graduates, including general management, data analysis, and supply chain management abilities. Schools and programs differ in how they teach these skills. Below is a sample online MBA in operations management curriculum.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Strategic Planning Organize priorities, strengthen operations, and maximize energy and resources TITLE: Executive Director

SALARY: growth of 9%

Budget Management Plan and control the budget and manage income and expenses TITLE: Operations Manager

SALARY: growth of 7%

Process Improvement Study, oversee, and improve organizational processes and protocols TITLE: Director of Operations

SALARY: growth of 10%

Professionals who earn their operations management MBA online can be hired into a number of different areas. We break down a few of the more popular options below.

Operations Manager Median Salary: $61,546
  • Offices
  • Warehouses
Operations managers oversee purchasing, warehousing, manufacturing, and other departments that deal with a company’s supply chain and production.
Executive Director Median Salary: $76,534
  • Offices
Executive managers oversee and create strategic plans that maximize their company’s resources.
Procurement Operations Manager Median Salary: $61,549
  • Offices
Procurement operations managers are in charge of researching, evaluating, coordinating, and purchasing inventory. They also determine where that inventory gets sold.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Carnegie Mellon University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $115,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 12,963 School Type Private
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Cedarville University

Location Cedarville, OH Tuition Tuition $21,456 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 3,654 School Type Private
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Endicott College

Location Beverly, MA Tuition Tuition $31,454 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,695 School Type Private
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Idaho State University

Location Pocatello, ID Tuition Tuition $21,924 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 13,078 School Type Public
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $23,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private
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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $41,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private
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Northwest Nazarene University

Location Nampa, ID Tuition Tuition $19,635 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 2,207 School Type Private
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Regis University

Location Denver, CO Tuition Tuition $34,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 8,725 School Type Private
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University of Scranton

Location Scranton, PA Tuition Tuition $34,740 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 5,422 School Type Private
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in operations management is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in operations management is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a school that is well connected with local businesses can provide an advantage. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program that adheres to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in operations management program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

An online MBA in operations management will qualify you for many positions, and a professional certificate could open the door to even more. Certain positions, especially in supply chain management, have these certificates as prerequisites. We highlight two of the most important industry standard certificates below.

Liscense Description
APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management Professionals with the CPIM certificate earn, on average, a 12% higher salary. This certificate is particularly useful for production and purchasing managers.
Certified Professional In Supply Management® (CPSM®) The CPSM is a broader certificate that is useful for anyone who works in supply chain management. Professionals with this certificate earn on average a 9% higher salary.

There are a number of scholarships available for MBA in operations management graduates. The awards are merit and need-based, and many have certain prerequisites, including membership in an organization or family relation to a member of an organization. If you are pursuing an online MBA in operations or supply chain management, it is worth applying for these scholarships, as the average award amount is around $2,000.