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What is Business Management?

Arizona is home to thousands of businesses of all sizes in all industry types that require business management professionals. In Arizona, much like all states, small business is important to the economy and employment. Arizona small businesses alone employ roughly one million individuals, according to the state, with over 550,000 small businesses in total with less than 500 employees. Just like large businesses, small businesses also require business managers to operate successfully.

Among both small and large businesses alike, certain industries are more common throughout the state than others. In Arizona, real estate and rental and leasing is the biggest industry. This is followed by professional and business services, education services, healthcare, and social assistance. The next biggest industries are manufacturing, finance, insurance, and retail with wholesale trade, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food services, construction, and information bringing up the rear.

In addition to long-standing major corporations making Arizona their home such as GoDaddy, U-Haul, and Cold Stone, today, a new shift in Arizona’s industry is occurring. To begin, a number of major tech businesses are relocating or expanding to the Phoenix metro area, as well as other parts of the state. The area is also attracting cyber security firms and financial institutions from Northern California. Some of the new additions include Silicon Valley Bank, Door Dash, Opendoor, and Norton LifeLock.

All of these new organizations, alongside the more established area businesses, are influencing the type of curriculum and degree offerings from the best business management schools in Arizona. The driving force behind the relocations and expansion opportunities is to access the educated workforce these higher learning institutions are producing year over year. And the tax breaks and incentives also have a bit to do with the shift from California to Arizona.

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Business Management Education in Arizona

A business manager is a broad term for any individual who manages certain aspects of the business. The overall roles and responsibilities will vary by job title, industry, and any specializations. However, many business manager positions will have similar duties. Most business managers will work to make company, department, and team goals a reality. They will oversee budgets, projects, operations, and human resources.

In smaller companies, business managers often have even greater tasks such as overseeing purchasing, marketing, data entry, and much more. At the end of the day, a business manager will have to be able to prioritize situations, lead a team, supervise, complete daily tasks, generate reports, work well with others, be self-motivated, motivate others and create, as well as implement and maintain strategies. This is simply a general overview of what a business manager does. Each position will be unique to the industry, employer, and area of expertise of the individual or role.

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Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

It is possible to reach the level of business management with an associate degree if you have the right experience and skillset. Most employers will prefer or require at least a bachelor’s degree for most business management positions. However, if an individual has an associate degree in business and over five years of experience, it’s possible that an employer would hire an individual with a two-year degree for a management role.

Keep in mind that it’s often easier to reach management positions with less experience at smaller organizations. With that being said, it is absolutely possible to reach management for large corporations with only an associate degree, with the right circumstances, such as more experience and exceptional leadership skills.

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Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

Most business managers will have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is often the most common requirement by employers. The type of degree and concentration that is required will vary greatly depending upon the position such as human resources, business administration, communication, computer science, engineering, and more.

To secure a business management position with a bachelor’s degree, most people will require significantly less experience than those with an associate degree. The preferred years of experience will depend upon a number of factors including size of the team, type of experience, overall responsibilities, and more.

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Master's Degree in Business Management (MS or MC)

A master’s degree or an MBA in business management will be a requirement for top employers as well as many large employers. In Arizona, with in-demand businesses flocking to the state, the competition for the best jobs is becoming increasingly intense. As a result, more and more businesses are likely to require a master’s degree and prefer an MBA for business management roles.

For those who seek out these advanced degrees, it’s important to select a specialized area. These specializations could be anything, from cyber security and finance to marketing and logistics. A general master’s degree in business management is helpful; however, a specialization will provide a competitive advantage and increase pay even more.

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PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

A doctorate or PhD in business management is highly unlikely to be a requirement for most employers. Some exceptions will exist, particularly for those who wish to become professors at four-year colleges or universities and those who wish to work in research.

While these expert-level degrees may not be necessary, they can provide individuals with a distinct advantage over other candidates. And in some cases, doctorate and PhD degrees may be a requirement to land a C-suite role in some organizations. This level of degree can also increase pay by at least $20,000 a year over someone with a master’s degree.

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Top College Programs in Arizona for Business Management

  • Arizona State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Arizona
  • Prescott College
  • Grand Canyon University

Become a Business Manager in Arizona

It’s possible to become a business manager in Arizona through many different career pathways. Many people will choose specific departments for management positions, whereas others will focus more on certain industries. Every industry requires business managers. Those who focus on a business specialization and an industry specialization will be in great demand. The areas of interest one might pursue are many such as architecture, entrepreneurship, computer and information science, sports, social justice, food and agriculture, law, engineering, and much more.

The types of businesses for which one might want to work is another important aspect to consider. There are businesses of all sizes, from just a few employees to tens of thousands of employees worldwide. Employers can also be private or publicly traded. While private employers are typically smaller than multinational, publicly traded corporations, private companies tend to put the welfare of employees and customers over that of shareholders. It’s also possible to work for government agencies and non-profits.

To secure top jobs in business management in Arizona, certifications can also be quite helpful no matter the employer type or the area of interest. One of the most common and in-demand business management certifications is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Many additional certifications can provide career advantages, as well, such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Business Process Associate (CBPA), Professional or Leader, AIPMM Certified Brand Manager and AMA Certificate in Analytical Skills.

All of these business management professional certifications aid in necessary skill development. Many business management professionals will complete these certifications online while they continue to gain invaluable work experience. And remember, many employers will pay for such certifications that are considered to be beneficial to a current position. However, it is important to note that many professional certifications require at least a bachelor’s degree to enroll. In some cases, they may require a master’s degree.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

  • Management Information System Specialist:
    A management information system specialist works in information technology. These individuals provide support and maintenance on databases and computer systems. They may have to work with technical issues as well as systems, hardware, and software. And today, MIS specialists must have a solid understanding of security practices for every action taken.
  • Project Manager:
    Project managers keep people on task with both deadlines and budgets. These individuals must possess high-level communication and organization skills. They must also have remarkable interpersonal skills. A project manager will have to monitor progress and find ways to motivate individuals to stay on task. It’s also important that these individuals inform stakeholders of progress and setbacks along the way. Project managers might work for a company or work as an independent freelancer on a project-by-project basis.
  • HR Manager:
    A human resource manager’s role will vary by the size of an organization. Generally, HR managers are responsible for establishing company conduct and disciplinary policies and procedures. They will also be in charge of hiring and firing employees. It’s possible that some HR managers will also host training sessions on social issues such as racism, bias, and sexual harassment.
  • C-Suite Executive:
    C-suite executives are the top senior executives in an organization. These individuals’ titles start with the word chief, such as chief executive officer (CEO), chief information officer (CIO), and chief financial officer (CFO). These titles used to be quite limited; however, today, it is possible to find a C-suite title for nearly any type of management and executive role. These are the primary leaders of an organization who make the final decisions on the direction of a company.
  • Non-Profit Manager:
    A non-profit manager is in charge of all managerial duties associated with non-profit business activities. These individuals could be a non-profit manager for a large corporation with a large philanthropic division. Or these individuals might work directly for a non-profit organization. Regardless, they will be responsible for the operations. It’s also possible they will also be responsible for fundraising.

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  • Sports Manager:
    Sports managers are a growing part of the professional and amateur athletic industry in the US today. These individuals are responsible for business activities regarding sports and recreation. They might be in charge of promotions, event management, facility management, and marketing. These sports professionals could work for high schools, universities, minor league teams, or even individual sports superstars.
  • Marketing Manager:
    A marketing manager’s roles and responsibilities will vary. Some marketing managers are in charge of a team and all marketing initiatives for the entire company. Other marketing managers may only be responsible for specific accounts or campaigns. And other marketing managers might be assigned specific types of marketing methodologies, such as digital or print. Whichever type of marketing manager a person is, they will all have to remain on brand and stay within a budget while maximizing engagement and working closely with the sales department.
  • Logistics Manager:
    Logistics managers are responsible for making sure the right items are at the right places at the right time in the right condition and at the right price. Essentially, they make sure that a product or raw material moves from point A to point Z smoothly, efficiently, and within a budget. These individuals have to work with nearly every department in an organization. As such, superior interpersonal skills and communication skills are essential for these business management professionals.
  • Purchasing Manager:
    A purchasing manager, also referred to as a buyer, is in charge of selecting raw materials or finished goods for an organization. These individuals will have to evaluate vendors and suppliers based on specific needs and budgets. They may have to negotiate pricing and track shipments. Purchasing managers must be able to perform analyses and create financial reports.

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