Published on May 30, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for operations management in Arkansas.

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What is Operations Management?

Operations management involves overseeing the entire production process including planning, organizing, and controlling resources to deliver goods or services. It encompasses tasks such as inventory management, quality control, supply chain management, and process improvement. In Arkansas, operations management is integral to industries like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and retail, among others.

Arkansas boasts a robust industrial base with diverse sectors that rely heavily on efficient operations management strategies. Companies in manufacturing such as aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, and timber products rely heavily on efficient operations management strategies to stay profitable and remain competitive; in healthcare delivery facilities efficient operations management is necessary to provide seamless patient care while optimizing resource utilization.

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, there were approximately 20,610 operations managers employed in Arkansas. This number represents individuals responsible for overseeing operations and coordinating activities within their organizations. The median annual wage for operations managers in the state was $98,260, which reflects the importance and value placed on this profession.

The BLS provides more detailed employment figures across Arkansas' various industries. As of May 2020, Arkansas had the highest concentration of operations managers employed in manufacturing; these positions were then followed by government, healthcare, retail trade, and other areas; for example, retail trade relies heavily on effective operations management to ensure smooth production, service delivery, and customer satisfaction.

Students interested in earning a degree that prepares them to work in business and government operations can find plenty of options throughout the state. This might include undergraduate or graduate programs from the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, University of the Ozarks, Harding University, John Brown University, and any other regionally accredited institution that offers a pertinent degree in a campus near you or online. That may be a Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Science, depending on your existing education and experience in the field. These institutions can offer courses and programs that will prepare you lead complex business interests and make operations management decisions.


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Online Operations Management Education in Arkansas

Operation managers' primary responsibility is to oversee and direct the daily operations of a company. This may involve overseeing production processes, managing budgets and resources, optimizing workflow, meeting operational goals, and more. They're accountable for planning, coordinating, and carrying out various tasks to ensure efficient and effective operation within an organization.

One of the key skills required of an operations manager is strong leadership and organizational abilities. An operations manager should be able to successfully oversee their team, ensure everyone is working toward common goals, delegate tasks appropriately, set performance objectives for team members, provide guidance and support as required, while communicating effectively with other managers, employees, and clients to ensure optimal operation. Communication abilities also play an integral role.

An operations manager's primary duty is analyzing data and making informed decisions to optimize operational processes, using strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to resolve any issues that arise. They must also possess a thorough knowledge of financial management as they must allocate budgets accordingly to meet operational demands.

An operations manager needs more than these skills to effectively lead their organization's operations. They must also stay informed on current industry developments, competition, and market dynamics - as well as adapting strategies that keep ahead of competitors and market dynamics. By keeping abreast of industry developments and keeping up with changes, they can implement strategies to stay a step ahead.

Online Associate Degree in Operations Management (AS)

Earning an associate degree in operations management equips you with a foundational understanding of the key principles and strategies essential to effective business operations. With a focus on streamlining processes, optimizing resources, and enhancing productivity, these degree programs provide a solid grounding in logistics, supply chain management, quality control, and project management. Through practical coursework and real-world case studies, students can gain valuable insights into the inner workings of various industries and develop crucial problem-solving skills.

These degrees open diverse career opportunities in fields such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, hospitality, and transportation. From overseeing inventory control to coordinating production schedules, operations managers play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth workflow and efficient resource allocation. The ability to analyze data and implement innovative solutions is a hallmark of the specialized skill set acquired through an associate degree in this field. Whether it's reducing costs or improving customer satisfaction, graduates are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of modern-day business operations with confidence and competence.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management (BS)

A bachelor's degree in operations management offers a comprehensive education on the core principles and strategic practices involved in managing business operations. These degrees equip students with the knowledge and skills to optimize processes, enhance efficiency, and improve overall performance within organizations. Graduates of these programs are well-prepared to tackle complex challenges in supply chain management, project planning, quality control, and resource allocation.

One unique aspect of pursuing a bachelor's in this field is that they often put an emphasis on real-world applications. Students may have the opportunity to engage with industry professionals, participate in internships, and work on case studies that reflect actual operational dilemmas faced by businesses today. This experiential learning approach not only enriches their academic experience but also prepares them for seamless integration into the workforce upon graduation.

National Online Rankings - Best 25 Bachelor's Programs

Online Masters Degree in Operations Management (MS)

The pursuit of a master's degree in operations management from a graduate school offers an immersive and dynamic learning experience for individuals interested in the intricate world of business operations. These advanced degrees equip students with a robust understanding of supply chain management, process optimization, and strategic decision-making; preparing them to tackle complex challenges within organizations. Moreover, the program delves into the integration of technology and innovation, emphasizing the importance of leveraging cutting-edge tools to enhance operational efficiency.

One intriguing aspect of pursuing a master's in operations management is the possible opportunity to collaborate with industry experts and gain real-world insights through internships and projects while you update skills you learned in your undergraduate degree. Students can delve into case studies that highlight successful operational strategies implemented by leading global companies, providing invaluable lessons for future application. Additionally, the potential for networking with seasoned professionals in the field opens doors to mentorship opportunities and career advancement prospects upon graduation. Ultimately, this degree not only enhances one's theoretical knowledge but also fosters practical skills that are highly sought after in today's competitive job market. Graduates can find roles in business and government operations, where they will make important management decisions using the practical knowledge and relevant skills they learned in their graduate program. They may work in specialty areas of industry and government organization, such as industrial engineering or manufacturing, where they may develop products and maintain long term business interests, as well as working to manage day to day issues.

National Online Rankings - Best Masters Programs

Online PhD Degree in Operations Management (PhD)

A PhD in operations management offers a deep dive into the intricacies of designing and optimizing processes within organizations. It equips students with advanced analytical tools to tackle complex operational challenges, making them valuable assets in various industries. Through rigorous research and analysis, PhD candidates expand their understanding of supply chain management, quality control, logistics, and decision-making processes. Moreover, they develop innovative solutions to enhance productivity and efficiency while considering factors like sustainability and global competitiveness.

As the demand for skilled operations managers continues to grow across diverse sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, and technology; a PhD in operations management becomes increasingly relevant. These programs not only foster expertise in addressing contemporary operations issues but also encourage scholars to push the boundaries of conventional methodologies through cutting-edge research. From leveraging data analytics for predictive maintenance to implementing agile practices for demand forecasting, operations management professionals with a PhD are at the forefront of driving transformative change within organizations.

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Online Operations Management Certifications

With the increasing demand for skilled operations managers, certifications in operations management have become a valuable asset in the job market. One such certification is the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) offered by APICS, which focuses on supply chain strategy, compliance, and quality management. Another popular certification is the Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI, which equips professionals with essential project management skills crucial to operational success.

In addition to enhancing knowledge and skillsets, operations management certifications also demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and development. Employers often view these certifications as a mark of dedication and expertise. As businesses continue to seek tangible ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs, professionals with certifications in ops management are well-positioned to advance their careers and make significant contributions to their organizations.

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Become an Operations Manager in Arkansas

Becoming an operations manager in Arkansas requires a combination of education, skills, and experience in the field. Whether you're starting your career or looking to switch paths, here are the steps to follow if you want to become an operations manager in Arkansas.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

    Although a bachelor's degree may not be strictly necessary for becoming an operations manager, having one can certainly increase your odds. Consider studying business administration, management or a related field as this education will equip you with essential skills in organizational behavior management, supply chain operations management, and project administration.

  • Step 2: Gain Experience in the Field

    Education is crucial, but hands-on experience is even more essential. You can seek entry-level jobs in operations or related fields that provide the opportunity for you to gain hands-on experience such as operations analyst, supply chain coordinator, or project assistant roles to start developing this experience. Be willing to accept extra responsibilities to distinguish yourself among your competition and make sure to look for roles within the industry you are most interested in working within.

  • Step 3: Develop Leadership Skills

    As an operations manager, your responsibilities include overseeing a team and ensuring efficient operations within an organization. Being successful at this job relies heavily on developing leadership abilities; look for opportunities to lead projects, collaborate with cross-functional teams, and expand your communication and interpersonal skills while taking on this position.

  • Step 4: Pursue Professional Certifications

    Earning relevant professional certifications can bolster your credibility and demonstrate your dedication to your field. Consider attaining certifications such as Certified Manager (CM) or Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), which validate your expertise while giving you a competitive edge.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Operations Management?

With a bachelor's in operations management, graduates have a wide range of career options available to them. They can pursue roles as production supervisors, supply chain managers, inventory analysts, operations consultants, or procurement specialists. One exciting aspect of this degree is the diverse skill set it provides - from project management and process improvement to logistics and quality control. This versatility allows individuals to work across various industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and technology.

Furthermore, a degree in operations equips students with the expertise needed to tackle today’s complex business challenges. Graduates are well-prepared to streamline processes, optimize resources, and enhance efficiency within organizations – essential skills in our increasingly competitive global market. The demand for professionals who possess strong operational knowledge continues to grow across all sectors of the economy, making this field both lucrative and personally rewarding for those seeking meaningful work in business management.

Potential Careers for Operations Management Graduates

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers have undergone significant transformation over time as supply chains become ever more complex and globalized. Aside from overseeing logistics and inventory management, their duties now encompass sustainability issues, risk mitigation strategies, digital technology integration, data analysis, and supplier relationship management, as well as strategic planning.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in supply chain management, logistics, business, or a related field
  • Proven experience in supply chain management or a related roles
  • Strong knowledge of procurement processes, inventory control, and logistics management
  • Effective communication and negotiation abilities
  • Proficiency in using supply chain management software and tools
  • Strong leadership and team management skills

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for logisticians in the US in 2022 was $77,520
  • The mean annual wage for logisticians in Arkansas is $70,960
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Operations Analyst

Operations analysts are charged with reviewing and optimizing operational processes within an organization to identify inefficiencies, streamline procedures, and enhance workflow to increase productivity and performance.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or a related field
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proficiency in data analysis tools and software
  • Excellent communication and collaboration abilities
  • Experience in op. management or process improvement is a plus

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for operations research analysts in the US in 2022 was $85,720
  • The mean annual wage for operations research analysts in Arkansas is $73,160
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Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers play a critical role in ensuring the smooth flow of goods from production to consumption. Beyond overseeing the physical movement of products, these professionals must also navigate complex supply chain networks and optimize operational processes to meet customer demands effectively. With the rise of E-commerce and globalization, the role of transportation, storage, and distribution managers has evolved to include new challenges such as last-mile delivery solutions and sustainability initiatives.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in logistics, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven experience in transportation, storage, or distribution management
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and leadership abilities
  • Knowledge of relevant regulations and industry best practices in logistics and supply chain management

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers in the US in 2022 was $108,910
  • The mean annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers in Arkansas is $103,850
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Purchasing Manager

In the fast-paced world of supply chain management, the role of a purchasing manager is crucial in ensuring smooth, efficient operations. Beyond traditional responsibilities of negotiating contracts and sourcing suppliers, today's purchasing managers also play a strategic role in driving innovation and cost savings. With increasing pressure to reduce costs while maintaining quality, purchasing managers must possess a keen understanding of market trends and technological advancements to make informed decisions. They are continually seeking out new opportunities for vendor partnerships that align with the company's goals and values.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience as a purchasing manager or in a similar role
  • Strong negotiation and communication skills
  • Proficiency in procurement software and Microsoft Office applications
  • Knowledge of supply chain management and inventory control principles
  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, supply chain management, or a related field

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents in the US in 2022 was $140,650
  • The mean annual wage for purchasing managers in Arkansas is $123,990


As a logistician, your role will involve overseeing and coordinating the movement of goods and materials within an organization. Assuring products reach their destination on time and efficiently will be your main responsibility.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience in logistics or supply chain management
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and negotiation abilities
  • Proficiency in logistics software and tools
  • Knowledge of transportation regulations and best practices

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for logisticians in the US in 2022 was $77,520
  • The mean annual wage for logisticians in Arkansas is $70,960

Facilities Manager

Facilities managers are accountable for overseeing the maintenance, security, and overall functionality of a company's facilities. Their primary role involves making sure the physical workplace environment is safe, productive, and in good repair to support business operations effectively.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience in facilities management or a related field
  • Strong knowledge of building systems, construction, and maintenance practices
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Familiarity with relevant health and safety regulations
  • Bachelor's degree in facilities management, engineering, or a related field (preferred)

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for administrative services and facilities managers in the US in 2022 was $101,870
  • The mean annual wage for facilities managers in Arkansas is $93,740

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