Top Online MBA Programs in Operations Management

| OnlineMBA.com Staff Modified on May 3, 2022

Top Online MBA Programs in Operations Management

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Operations managers enjoy one of the best-paying and fastest-growing occupations in the country, according to Business Insider magazine. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that, depending on industry, general and operations managers can make an average annual wage exceeding $160,000.

Online MBA in operations management programs prepare graduates to step into one of these lucrative jobs. Read on to learn more about top programs in the field, what to look for, where to find money for school, and where to find help upon graduation.

What Is an MBA in Operations Management?

An MBA in operations management combines the standard business administration degree with an intense focus in logistics and operations. MBA programs vary, but they all give students a well-rounded education in the fundamentals of business, including coursework in accounting, finance, economics, and leadership. This particular degree adds classes in supply chains, data analysis, project administration, business forecasting, quality control, and production planning.

These skills prove valuable in the current job market. According to the BLS, management jobs outpace other occupations when it comes to growth and demand. Graduates of online MBA in operations management programs can take their degrees in a variety of directions. They may work as executive directors, CEOs, supply chain managers, procurement specialists, or administration service professionals, among other professional positions.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Operations Management?

Executive positions in the business world, including operations management positions, generally require an MBA or comparable degree. Most employers in the field want their top staff to hold graduate degrees. Online MBAs in operations management give graduates a competitive edge in this fast-growing business market.

The online format is ideal for MBA education. It both provides networking opportunities and allows learners to continue working while earning their degree. Online options also offer cost savings over traditional brick-and-mortar programs, since distance learning rarely requires travel or accommodation expenses.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Operations Management?

Operations Manager

Operations managers run their organization's day-to-day operations. These might include hiring and firing, overseeing new projects, executive-level strategizing, and implementing policy. Some work in the public sector and others in the private sector, but all bring similar skill sets to their jobs.

These professionals need good communication and people skills, as well as the ability to prioritize, problem-solve, and make decisions. The mean income for a company or enterprise manager sits at $162,410.

Executive Director

Executive directors typically work in the public sector, running nonprofits or government agencies. Some serve as top executives, while others work under a CEO. They often report to a board of directors. Most set policies, direct staff, make daily decisions, and establish and manage the budget.

Skills required for these positions include excellent communication, critical thinking, personnel management, strategic vision, and troubleshooting. They earn an average salary of $79,000.

Procurement Manager

Procurement managers maintain their organization's supplies. They source the products their companies need, negotiate supplier prices, and ensure materials arrive in a timely manner and remain well-stocked. To do so, these professionals must work closely with other managers, track inventory, and prepare budgets.

Procurement managers need top organizational and logistical skills, plus the ability to communicate effectively, make decisions, and solve problems. Average income for these positions sits at $82,000.

Administrative Services Manager

Another logistics-based position, administrative service managers oversee the support services that keep an organization running. These services might include manufacturing, printing, recordkeeping, or facilities management. Administrative services managers work closely with staff and executives, coordinating operational flow. These professionals must understand logistics, statistics, and budgets, and they should know how to communicate well.

These managers typically need problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking skills. These positions earn a median of $98,000 annually and enjoy average growth.

Director of Operations

Sometimes called chief operations officers, directors of operations run their business' day-to-day workings. Ranking just below the CEO, these professionals manage staff, oversee projects, implement policy, and ensure their business meets budgets and standards.

Often executive-level positions, directors of operations need people skills, as well. They must know how to make decisions, solve problems, think strategically, analyze data, and lead staff. Directors of operations bring home an average annual salary of $92,000.

Online MBA in Operations Management Curriculum

Online MBA programs in operations management include coursework in traditional MBA fields such as accounting, economics, and finance, as well as operations and logistical studies. Every program differs, however, so check closely with your schools of interest. Most feature classes like those below.

This course explores the logistics of moving materials, data, and products. Students learn about sourcing, inventory, and the global infrastructure for moving goods. They also explore the risks involved in the process. Economic theory, as it applies to management, forms the basis of this course. Topics include pricing, sourcing, sales promotion, and capital budgeting. Regression analysis, calculus, and correlation also factor in. Distance learners in this course learn to structure, plan, administer, and direct available resources. They delve into assets, obstacles, and the fundamentals of management theory.

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How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Operations Management Program

Due to the sheer number of MBA programs in operations management, choosing the right one can prove daunting. You must consider factors such as cost, accreditation, enrollment status, program rigor, and internships and practicums.

Some students get confused about the difference between graduate-level degrees in operations management, supply chain management, and other related areas. A Master of Science in operations research and industrial engineering, for example, prioritizes technical skills over business aspects. A Master of Supply Chain Management focuses on technical considerations, while an MBA in operations management offers a well-rounded business degree with an emphasis on operations.

Cost ranks as the most important factor to many program applicants. Think about whether you intend to continue working, which impacts whether you attend full time or part time. Part-time learners can continue working to earn money and defray costs, while full-time students finish their degree more quickly. Work status also affects students' ability to participate in practicums and internships, so they should consider each program's requirements.

Accreditation also plays a major role. The best online MBA programs hold regional accreditation. Some also boast accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Scholarships for Operations Management MBA Programs

Students in online MBA in operation management programs can apply for an array of scholarships. Many companies and foundations sponsor grants and awards specifically for students in business programs. Some even offer money for operations scholars. Hundreds of scholarships remain available for any and all graduate students; these funds can offset the rising costs of an MBA program.

John Galt Scholarship for Future Supply Chain Leaders

Who Can Apply: This scholarship helps students interested in entering the world of supply chain leadership. Recipients must attend an accredited U.S. university and study logistics, business forecasting, or another supply chain-related field.

Amount: $10,000

Apply for Scholarship

AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Scholarship applicants must hold membership with AfterCollege, attend an accredited university, and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must study business or a related field, but can pursue any degree level.

Amount: $500

Apply for Scholarship

PixelPlex Bi-Annual STEM Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Despite its title, this scholarship also is open to students in the fields of business and economics. Applicants must write an essay and attend an accredited U.S. university.

Amount: $2,000

Apply for Scholarship

Professional Organizations for Operations Management

Professional organizations offer students and new graduates invaluable opportunities for networking, professional development, and job searching. They also fill in members on the latest field developments, advocate on their behalf, and provide mentoring opportunities. These associations of like-minded individuals can help launch students' careers.

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

The largest association of operations research, INFORMS offers members access to continuing education, professional development, and annual meetings and conferences. The institute also regularly publishes the latest research in its INFORMS journals.

The Association for Supply Chain Management

The largest nonprofit supply chain association, ASCM brings together an international membership of operations management professionals. The association sponsors a conference, hosts events around the country, offers seminars, and maintains a job board on its site.

Project Management Institute

An international organization based in Pennsylvania, PMI provides professional development, advocacy, research, and networking for project managers around the globe. Members gain access to job boards, certification, and a wealth of online resources.

Production and Operations Management Society

An international association, POMS hosts a conference, offers educational opportunities, and publishes a journal. Members can join chapters across the country and receive the society's job and research bulletins.

Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning

A membership organization dedicated to logistics, IBF sponsors events, webinars, and training programs, including S&OP boot camps. IBF also runs a nationally recognized certification program.

2022's Top Online Operations Management MBA

This guide ranks 2022's top five online MBA in operations management programs. Our ranking methodology highlighted below considers factors such as reputation and flexibility.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

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