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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.

Supply Chain Management

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.

Managerial Economics

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.

Organizational Management

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's

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.

#1

Florida Atlantic University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

FAU enrolls about 30,000 students in programs delivered on six campuses. Most students take classes on the Boca Raton campus, located near the Atlantic Ocean. FAU also manages a robust virtual college with affordable online programs.

MBA in Operations Management

FAU's MBA in operations management enrolls students from all professional and academic backgrounds. Students complete the 40-46 credit degree online in 16-23 months. The curriculum includes two foundation courses and a set of core classes. 

The MBA core develops advanced managerial skills in areas such as financial accounting and marketing. The 12-credit concentration requires classes in business process improvement, project management, and supply chain management. Learners use elective credits to develop an in-demand skill such as data analysis. 

Enrollees go through classes in a cohort. The program's eight-week sessions help accelerate degree completion. Students finish the MBA faster if they get a waiver for the two foundation courses. Participants receive free Microsoft Office products and tutoring for quantitative core classes.

FAU's Affordability

Students pay the same affordable tuition rate no matter their residency. FAU offers financial aid including fellowships and scholarships. FAU's payment plans make budgeting easier for self-paying students. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $800/credit
  • Required Credits: 40-46
  • Program Length: 16-23 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Admission requires a bachelor's degree in any major and four years of professional work experience. Applicants submit school transcripts and recommendation letters.
    • GPA: 3.0
    • Standardized Tests: N/A
    • Cost: N/A
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#2

Johnson & Wales University-Online

School Information
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Admission Rate 41%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

Founded in 1914, JWU delivers programs to 10,000 students online and on campuses in Rhode Island and North Carolina. The school's MBA offers many different concentrations. 

MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management

The online MBA in operations and supply chain management emphasizes effective business practices and lean management. Students earn the degree at their own pace. The MBA's 36-42 credits include foundation classes in economics and corporate financial accounting.

Students learn core managerial skills such as financial management and strategic marketing. One class uses case studies to introduce learners to operations management. Enrollees build on this knowledge with advanced training in global logistics and strategic sourcing. Participants learn how to integrate lean management across business operations. 

Degree-seekers finish the MBA with a major final project showcasing their skills. Graduates leave the program able to collect, analyze, and use data to inform decision-making.

JWU's Affordability

Students pay the same affordable tuition rate regardless of their residency. Students finish the degree faster and save money with eight-week terms. 

Program at a Glance 

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Tuition: $817/credit
  • Required Credits: 36-42
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Admission requires a bachelor's degree in any major, school transcripts, and two recommendation letters.
    • GPA: N/A
    • Standardized Tests: N/A
    • Cost: N/A
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#3

Ohio University-Main Campus

School Information
Location Athens, Ohio
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The oldest public college in the state, OHIO administers programs to 28,000 online and residential students. Most learners study on campus in Athens, a town located in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio.

MBA with a Concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management

OHIO's online MBA offers an applied curriculum to prepare enrollees for leadership roles. Students complete the MBA with a concentration in operations and supply chain management mostly asynchronously. Some classes feature live lectures. 

Learners complete 35 semester credits in six semesters, exploring different parts of business operations. They build skills such as accounting for executives, managerial finance, and strategic marketing. Degree-seekers develop expertise in project management and supply chain risk management.

Participants learn how to use Lean Six Sigma methodologies to enhance quality while cutting costs. A business simulation requires that students work in teams to solve business challenges. The teams compete against each other as they would in the real marketplace, providing invaluable hands-on experience. 

OHIO's Affordability

Students earn the AACSB-accredited MBA for about $36,000-$37,000, depending on whether they live in Ohio. This is far less than many accredited programs. Ohio offers $5,000 scholarships for alumni, veterans, and active military personnel.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $1,028/credit in-state, $1,047/credit out-of-state
  • Required Credits: 35
  • Program Length: 6 semesters
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. Applicants submit two recommendation letters and a resume showing at least two years of professional experience. 
    • GPA: 3.0
    • Standardized Tests: N/A
    • Cost: N/A
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#4

Cedarville University

School Information
Location Cedarville, Ohio
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 75%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private Christian college in Ohio, Cedarville enrolls about 4,000 students in 150 programs. The school administers degrees online and on a 780-acre southwest Ohio campus.

MBA in Operations Management

Cedarville's MBA students get advanced business training integrating a biblical worldview. Students complete the MBA in operations management entirely online in 1-2 years. The program offers full-time and part-time enrollment. Degree-seekers learn how to perform core business functions such as accounting, marketing, and financial management.

One class develops leaders who can skillfully manage organizations and staff. The operations management concentration examines lean process management and supply chain management. Graduate learners take a class that provides a theological framework for life and work. The program offers six start dates each year.

Cedarville's Affordability

Cedarville competitively prices tuition for the ACBSP-accredited online MBA at less than $24,000. Full-time students save money by finishing the degree in 12 months. Applicants may qualify for a $1,000 achievement scholarship. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: HLC, ACBSP
  • Tuition: $648/credit
  • Required Credits: 36-39
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Admission requires a bachelor's degree and business prerequisites such as accounting and statistics. Applicants submit school transcripts and Christian leader and professional recommendations.
    • GPA: 2.75
    • Standardized Tests: N/A
    • Cost: N/A
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#5

Abilene Christian University

School Information
Location Abilene, Texas
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 61%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A Texas institution, ACU offers residential and online programs in many fields. Students pick from 164 areas of study in seven schools and colleges. Enrollees receive personalized learning with a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

MBA with a Concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management

ACU's online MBA offers a concentration in operations and supply chain management. Students without a business education complete a three-week intensive to increase their knowledge. The MBA core covers topics such as organizational behavior, innovation, and managerial decision-making.

Participants learn accounting and finance for managers. Classes teach how to apply business law and ethical principles in business contexts. The concentration focuses on project management and global supply chain management. 

Enrollees study how to effectively manage operational resources as part of a successful long-term strategy. MBA degree-seekers take one class every seven weeks, completing six courses per year.

ACU's Affordability

Learners can complete the AACSB-accredited MBA for less than $27,000. Students from all states pay the same tuition rate. ACU offers alumni and military tuition discounts.

Program at a Glance 

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
  • Tuition: $732/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Admissions
    • Process: Admission requires a bachelor's degree and prerequisite business classes. Applicants must show at least two years of relevant professional experience or submit satisfactory GMAT/GRE scores.
    • GPA: 2.5-3.0
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT/GRE 
    • Cost: $50
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